Friday, 14 November 2008


In the end of 60s, McLaren and Westwood had setted on pure rock´´n´roll as a mean of expressing their disgust with the post-hippy fall-out. McLaren spent the late 60´s collecting hundreds of original rock´singles and 50s artefacts and ephemera from flea-market stalls and the dusty sleeves of old shops in far-flung suburbs. While Westwood sold home-made jewellery on the Portobello Road, and also tinkered with an historical film about London main shopping thoroughfare, Oxford Street, some of whick was shot inside Mr. Freedom shop.
In late 1971, McLaren was on the hunt for premises to sell his collection, so one day he took a walk along the lenght of the King´s Road until he encountered Paradise-Garage at number 430. The shop was on its uppers and ripe for renewal. Owner Trevor Miles had disappeared on an extended break, and his stand-in, Bradley Mendelshn, struck a deal with McLaren, Westwood and their art-school friend Patrick Casey to take over the back part of the store in order to sell regurbished radios, records and clothes.
Casey and Mclaren set about over hauling the shop while Westwood worked away at producing a line of copies of the original clothing which McLaren was amassing. A sign was erected displaing the legend ´´Let-It-Rock´´
With the Ted revival under way, the shop had a ready-made clientéle, whose brutish charms appealed to their renegabe sensibilities. There was a jukebox left over from the Mr. Freedom days and this survived every subsequent incarnation of the shop until its reflt in late 1976 to become Seditionaries, and much of the initial stock of Eddie Cocharan and Billy Furry records remained until well into the punk years.
As Patrick Casey faded from the scene, Mclaren became the huckster boutique frontman while Westwood stayed at their flat and toiled assiduously, all the while thoroughly researching period detail and use of cloth.


The Clothes were hung on an antique stand they were a mixture of vintage itens and recosnstruction - the trouseres made by Westwood, the jackets by an East-End tailor named Sid Green. Other itens included blut and silver pegged pants, several scarlets shirts and a beautiful 50s flecked jacket, in black with white strands woven in like tv static. Dotted around were Day-Glo socks, vintage records and handbills for films . The front half of the shop was the hangout area. This was dominated by Odeon wallpaper and a peculiar trompe-l´óeil window under which stood an original 50s cabinet, pickec out in pink taffeta and containing plastic earrings, Brycreem and pendants.

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