Carnaby Street – Embodiment of the Swinging Sixties 19th February 2016 – Posted in: City, Design, Fashion, Lifestyle – Tags: , , , , , ,

Before the 60’s changed the fashion scene in London, Carnaby Street was a run-down area with cheap properties at the quieter end of Soho. Carnaby Street’s fate was changed by a fire, that forced John Stephen to move his flamboyant fashionwear store from Beak Street to Carnaby.

By popular demand he opened up more shops on the street, called ‘His Clothes’ and ‘Male West One’. More fashion outlets followed suit, with distinctive names such as Lord John, I Was Lord Kitchener’s Valet, Take Six and Gear. The traditional media outlets of the day disregarded this new fashion movement, branding it as ‘peacocking’, but the youth of London delighted in it.

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The street became even more appealing with the introduction of womenswear, Lady Jane was the female counterpart to Lord John, although the street always remained stronger on the male fashion front, while women were flocking to Mary Quant’s Bazaar on the King’s Road.

The Roaring Twenties underground nightclub opened up on Carnaby, adding a hip vibe to the mod fashions. It was not unusual to see band members from The Who, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles shopping and socialising in the area, cementing it as the grooviest area of London.

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It became so famous that it was hailed in songs: The Kinks made fun of the ‘Carnabetian army’ in their song Dedicated Follower of Fashion.

Although some now lament that Carnaby Street is no longer the epicentre of London fashion, we can always look back to our rich Britpop history that remains an influence on fashion and music today – just take a look at out Autumn/Winter 2015 collection for some inspiration!

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