Tommy Roberts a.k.a. Mr. Freedom

“Tommy Roberts is a towering figure of British fashion and design – a truly original retailer and entrepreneur. In the 60s, he pioneered the vintage clothing trade, selling antique threads to the likes of Jimi Hendrix and the Who at his Carnaby Street shop Kleptomania. But it was with London fashion label Mr Freedom’s fun, rainbow-hued, pop art-inspired clothes – all cartoon and fruit-machine motifs, all satin and flash – that he made the biggest splash. Also referencing Art Deco and 50s kitsch, Mr Freedom ushered in a new playful eclecticism in fashion which infected design, too, throughout the 70s – especially as, in the wake of the 60s pop movement, creatives of all colours rebelled against modernism throughout the decade.”

Flashin’ on the 70s










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Strike a Pose, There’s Nothing to it. Vogue.

“Reading is the real artform of insult,” explained Venus Xtravaganza in Paris Is Burning. “You get in a smart crack, and everyone laughs and ki-kis because you found a flaw and exaggerated it then you’ve got a good read going on… Vogueing is the same thing. Taking two knives and cutting each other up, but in a dance form.” This artistic competition born out of adversity draws comparisons with the early days of b-boy culture in the South Bronx, as Robbie Saint Laurent tells Regnault: “I think voguing was probably a gay version of breakdancing in a way. But it was only done pretty much in private. When it was in a club setting, it was more like a duel, people dancing with one another to see who can dance the best.”