Thursday, November 15, 2012


If you are looking for original and hard to find labels such as Mr. Freedom, Biba, and Jeff Banks then check out the British Boutique Collection at Featherstone Vintage.

You will also find iconic designers such as Courreges, Ceil Chapman, Marimekko and Yves Saint Laurent.  

Featherstone Vintage is currently having a store wide 25% off sale!

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mr Freedom

Tommy Roberts opened his first boutique on Carnaby Street in 1966 called "Kleptomania." It mainly sold vintage clothing along with clothes from India.

In 1969 Roberts and his business partner Trevor Myles decided to open Mr Freedom . A boutique which sold both clothing and furniture.

Sailor Inspired Suit, 1974

Inside Mr Freedom, 1970
The fashions echoed pop art culture. Bright blocks of colour were often used.
1969 Jacket

The boutique began to attract many customers such as Pablo Picasso and the Rolling Stones.

Around 1974 Tommy Roberts decided to open a bigger shop called "City Lights." He left Myles to turn the boutique into "Paradise Garage" which sold Hawaiian shirts and dungarees.

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Friday, June 6, 2008

Jeff Banks

Jeff Banks was another prominent British designer. He first came into the fashion business in 1964 by opening a boutique in London called "Clobber." It housed the works of designers such as Ossie Clark, Janice Wainwright and Jean Muir. Soon after Banks started designing for the shop. In the 70's he got into mass retail with his "Warehouse" label and remains to design today.

Here is a sample of his work:

Late 60's Velvet Mini Dress for Clobber, £85

1968 Dress Worn by Sandie Shaw

(courtesy of the V & A Museum)

Late 60's Chenille Coat for Clobber, £145

Floral Lace Blouse, sold for £75

Patch Work Dress, sold for £195

Rayon Belted Dress, sold for £175

70's Forties Inspired Suit


Early 70's Viscose Dress, £175


70's Dress for W1 Boutique
(courtesy of Lester Vintage,

70's W1 Boutique Dress

70's Art Deco Blouse, £75

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Janice Wainwright

In 1940 Janice Wainwright was born in Chesterfield, England. Janice attended three post secondary schools throughout her lifetime: Wimbledon School of Art(now Wimbledon College of Art), Kingston School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London

60's Cut-Out Mini Dress, sold for £125

In 1965 Janice started working for the label "Simon Massey."

60's Janice for Simon Massey Mini Dress

1968 Rayon Dress, retailed at Sidney Smith Boutique
(courtesy of V & A Museum and Museum of Costume, Bath )

She soon became highly respected by world-renowned designer, Ossie Clark. It has been documented that she was the only designer besides Ossie himself to be permitted use to Celia Birtwell's textiles in the 60's.

60's Purple Velvet Waistcoat

In 1969 Janice stopped working for Simon Massey. It wasn't until 1970 that she started designing under her own label, 'Janice Wainwright at Forty Seven Poland Street.' Janice's work in the 70's was a lot more sophisticated then her youthful designs of the 60's.

70's Green Dress

Embroidery became a signature of Janice's work during the 'Poland Street' era. Her work became a lot more intricate, focusing more on detail. She continued to work under that label until 1974 where she switched simply to 'Janice Wainwright.'

70's Embroidered Jacket

Janice's love in detail heightened in the mid 70's. Although, she returned to the simpler silhouette's and designs in the late 70's. She continued the pattern all throughout the 80's.

( all images on this post were supplied by unless stated otherwise)

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Sunday, August 5, 2007


In 1966 fashion designer Aristos Constantinou opened the very first "Aristos" boutique. It was located on Carnaby Street like many of the other great boutiques of the era.

In 1971 Aristos and his brother Achilleas went into business together to form "Ariella Fashions." The clothing labels then changed from simply just "Aristos" to "designed by Aristos."

Late Sixties Suede Mini Dress, £145
(picture courtesy of, currently available at

The company greatly expanded in the 70's. After new locations on Carnaby Street, Oxford Street, Duke Street and Newburgh Street, Punch Magazine named Aristos "the power of Carnaby Street."

1970's Silk Chevron Dress
(courtesy of

70's Mushroom Dress

(courtesy of

70's Novelty Print Dress

(courtesy of

Aristos eventually became a wholesale label that sold to large retailers. In 1974 there were already 9 different branches including stores in the USA and Switzerland.

1970's Chiffon Dress
(currently for sale at

The label continued until 1985 when Aristos was shot to death. Although, the name was still running in the wholesale division. Throughout the 80's and 90's Ariella Fashion received many fashion awards and Achilleas kept his place in fashion by founding important organizations such as the British Fashion Council.

(Sorry I have not posted in so long! I have been working on a Biba article. I just need to get some facts straightened out before I can post it.)

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Apple Boutique

In the early sixties three Dutch fashion designers named Josje Leeger, Marijke Koeger and Simon Posthua opened the clothing boutique "The Trend" in Amsterdam. Even though it was a success it was closed due to financial problems.

The three designers settled in London after traveling throughout Europe. It was there that they met and teamed up with designer Barry Finch along with his manager Simon Hayes. The group named themselves "The Fool" after the Joker in Tarot Cards.

"The Fool"

Josje Leeger met model Pattie Boyd at Mantagu Square where Ringo Star, band mate of Pattie's husband George Harrison owned a Town House. Pattie loved Josje's designs so much that she mentioned her in an interview and offered to model her creations.

Pattie modelling Josje's designs, August 1967

Pattie wasn't the only person in the Beatles family that "The Fool"'s work appealed too. John Lennon reportedly declared "This is where I want to live" after walking in to their home. He then got them to paint and design his piano and his Gibson guitar. George Harrison also had "The Fool" paint his fireplace.

George Harrison's Fire Place

In September 1967 The Beatles opened a clothing boutique at 94 Baker Street as apart of the new Apple Corps empire. They decided to give "The Fool" £100,000 to design and stock the store. The Fool gathered a group of art students to help them paint the exterior. This angered business owners near by and brought in many complaints. The Beatles themselves were in charge of the interior. Paul McCartney would come in the mornings and ask the workers to change around the store, John would then come in later and order everything to be moved back.

The exterior of Apple Boutique, painted by "The Fool"

In December 1967 Apple Boutique held its opening night. Apple juice was handed out to guests as they walked in. Inside there was a fashion show and circus acts. This is thought to be the first time John Lennon was publicly seen with future wife Yoko Ono.

Opening Night Invitation

John Lennon's childhood friend Pete Shotton became the new manager, he was helped by George Harrison's sister-in-law Jennie Boyd. Other staff were Caleb who slept under the showcase during breaks and a woman who dressed daily in authentic gypsy costume.

Jennie Boyd inside Apple

The boutique ran into problems when Pete discovered that "The Fool" had purchased thousands of pounds worth of luxurious fabrics. The clothes would cost a lot more to make then they would be sold for. When John Lennon was confronted about this he shrugged it off saying, "Oh, let them do what they want. We're not business freaks, we're artists... if we don't make and money, what does it matter?"
Pete Shotton ended up quiting after 2 months. The store had huge changing rooms that were perfect for shop lifters and the designs seemed to be last years fashions.

Pattie Boyd and others model Apple's fashions

In only 7 months Apple had lost almost £200,000. Jon Lyndon, the new manager threatened to ban "The Fool" from the store if they charged any more debts to Apple. They were forced to remove the outside mural and it now was pure white and declared that you were at Apple above the windows.

On July 30th 1968 the Apple staff were told to open the doors the next day and give the stock away. John and Yoko were the first to go through the store, they walked away with arms full of merchandise that they piled into John's Rolls Royce. Paul found one jacket and Ringo said he couldn't find anything that fit. The giveaway was publicised in the newspaper and the next morning there was a line up outside the store three blocks long. There was no limit to how much stock people could take. It was so busy that they opened the basement so that customers could go right out the other side.

"We decided to close down our Baker Street shop yesterday and instead of putting up a sign saying, 'Business will be resumed as soon as possible', and then auction off the goods, we decided to give them away. The shops were doing fine and making a nice profit on turnover. So far, the biggest loss is in giving the things away, but we did that deliberately. We're giving them away - rather than selling them to barrow boys - because we wanted to give rather than sell. Originally, the shops were intended to be something else, but they just became like all the boutiques in London. They just weren't our thingy. The staff will get three weeks' pay but if they wish they'll be absorbed into the rest of Apple. Everyone will be cared for."

- Paul McCartney

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007


Alice Pollock opened the boutique "Quorum" in 1964. In 1965 Ossie Clark along with his wife, Celia Birtwell joined her.

1965 dress by Ossie Clark

Most of the stores designs were by Ossie and Alice, where as Celia would design the textiles. Many of the clothes sported op-art prints and short hemlines, which were very popular at the moment.

1965 Alice Pollock design

1965 Ossie Clark design

Quorum was known to have extravagant fashion shows. Celebrity's such as The Beatles would attend these.

By the late 60's the hem lines became longer and the designs more romantic.

1969 Ossie Clark design, print by Celia Birtwell

Despite how successful Quorum had become the store fell into debt and was sold to Radley in 1969. All three designers continued their career into the 70's.

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