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Groovy time capsule of ‘Swinging Britain,’ 1967
04.22.2014
12:29 pm

Topics:
Art
Fashion
Music

Tags:
Carnaby Street
Mary Quant


 
Another week brings further glories from the vaults of British Pathé. “Swinging Britain,” a finished eight-and-a-half-minute report on the goings-on down at Carnaby Street and elsewhere on the isle, presents the establishment’s benign take on fashion-obsessed youth of the day. The video shows us London (and Manchester and Newcastle, too), features several (apparently) noted figures from the worlds of fashion, art, and music, and generally presents a wow-gee-whiz attitude as to the fervent artistic activities of the Swinging Generation.

Mary Quant can be glimpsed briefly, and you’ll also see a “Happening” staged by one Keith Albarn (you guessed it, father of Damon), DJs Simon Dee and David Symonds, and a groovy young artist named Paul Whitehead who paints his compact automobile swirly colors (three years later, he’d be responsible for the cover art of the album Trespass by Genesis). Dee, of course, is practically synecdoche for Carnaby Street of the era, being the purported inspiration for the shagadelic Austin Powers.
 
Intro Magazine
 
The group serving as the emblem of the new generation are the folks behind the new psychedelia-tinged Intro Magazine, in which “youth talks to youth in its own lingo”; it boasted the talents of well-known fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez. In a loose “narrative,” the news piece basically cuts back and forth between footage of young people at play (whether in a park in the daytime or a “speakeasy” at night) and the industrious young editors of Intro. One of the best things in the video is a brief discussion of “paper dresses.” We see a young woman in a park wearing one with a striking b/w photo of an eye over her midsection. She peels that off and begins to sunbathe in the bikini she had been wearing underneath. When a young fellow tosses her paper dress into the garbage, she shrugs and whips out a different paper dress, only this one has the youthful visage of Bob Dylan on it! Totally priceless.

Speaking of garbage, the voiceover explicitly praises the new generation for being so good about picking up litter, which may remind some viewers of “The Gold Violin,” from the 2nd season of Mad Men, which featured a pointed scene of the middle-class, suburban Drapers heedlessly leaving the remnants of their picnic all over the park in which they had been spending the previous afternoon. Maybe series creator Matt Weiner had a point, there. The whole tone of the documentary is one of indulgent compassion, as one might have for some harmless alien race from another planet.
 
Swinging Britain
 
There is a band identified as the Intro Group (somehow affiliated with the magazine) as well as one called the “117 Group,” and we hear a bit of their music, I think. Those names mean anything to anyone?
 

 
via { feuilleton }

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
London Swings: Mary Quant’s revolutionary mod fashions, 1967
07.31.2013
07:29 am

Topics:
Fashion
Heroes
Pop Culture

Tags:
Mary Quant
mods

quant
 
A Pathé News clip previews the fashions of ultra-cool British designer Mary Quant. Quant, was the inventor of the mini-skirt and minidress and popularizer of hot pants, PVC coats, tall boots, and patterned tights. She frequently used models such as Twiggy and Patti Boyd Harrison to display her designs.

Now 79 and an OBE Quant was nominated in 2011 for the Al Copeland Humanitarian Award for “improving the human condition both by adding to our material pleasure and by promoting liberty.” A Mary Quant dress from the 1960s (or earlier) is a valuable museum piece today
 

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Leave a comment
1967: Documentary on ‘The Summer of Love’

sixties_summer_of_love_1967
 
The joyful hedonism of the 1960s was in part a response to the trauma to the Second World War. The same way the twenties swung after the first great conflagration. And like that decade, it was primarily the white, upwardly mobile, metropolitan, middle class that enjoyed the sex, the drugs and the rock ‘n’ roll.

London may have been swinging in 1967, but for the rest of the country not a lot changed. It would take until the 1970s for most of the country to get a hint of what London experienced. The most important changes, apart from pop music and American TV shows, were the legalization abortion and de-criminalization of homosexual acts between consenting adults - both of which set the scene for bigger and more radical changes in the 1970s.

Yet, as so many of the media are Baby Boomers, the love of all things sixties ensures TV fills its schedules with documentaries on that legendary decade. 1967: The Summer of Love is better than most, as it covers the cultural, social, and political changes that the decade brought. With contributions form Germaine Greer, Donovan, Nigel Havers, Bill Wyman, John Birt and Mary Quant, together with some excellent color archive, this documentary is a cut-above the usual retro-vision.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment