The see-through look has now reached the advertising world as can be seen in this picture taken in London's Carnaby Street the teenage 'mod gear' shopping centre today The three pretty London girls are wearing topless dresses with transparent 'sandwich boards' displaying advertising matter back and front The girls, mounting a publicity campaign for Lady Jane Boutique toured on mini-cycles - much to the delight of the passers-by. 23 September 1969. TopFoto / Retronaut / mediadrumimages.com

By Mark McConville

 

INCREDIBLE images have revealed London in full swing as the sixties hit the capital with a bang.

Keeping in with things is the secret of success, if you are going to run a boutique. Doing just that is Jo Cruickshank, seen using the very latest in cigarette holders. Jo is to manage the newly opened boutique called “Beyond the Pale”, which is opened by Peter Woodworth Smith of Los Angeles, the son of a Washington diplomat. Jo’s job will be to sell clothes to girls who want rare and beautiful fabrics as well as cut and originality in design. London, England. 19 February 1968.
TopFoto / Retronaut / mediadrumimages.com

 

The stunning pictures, as revealed by the website Retronaut, show live models being used in shop windows with only signage protecting some women’s modesty, crowds gathering round to grab a peek and a notice explaining the police had suspended the venture.

The shop with nothing to hide: it’s the lady Jane boutique, one of the many that decorate London’s famous Carnaby Street mod fashion centre. The girl wearing the transparent blouse, she has nothing on at all underneath, is salesgirl Marlene McDonald, who firmly believes in keeping on the fashionable side. The Brave girl is 19 years old and from Toronto, Canada. The see-through look was last seen the previous week when top French designer Yves St Laurent launched it at the showing of his latest collection. 2 February 1968.
TopFoto / Retronaut / mediadrumimages.com

 

Other striking shots show three models and their bicycles being led away by police, other women and men smiling as they enjoy their newfound fashion freedom and one woman picking out her next dress.

The new branch of ‘I was Lord Kitchener’s Valet’ pop boutique in London’s Piccadilly Circus. Carnaby Street in Soho which with its boutiques has become the centre of popular fashion has just about reached saturation point for further expansion ‘I was Lord Kitchener’s Valet’ Boutique today opened a new branch in Piccadilly Circus some way from Carnaby Street The shop, calling itself the wildest shop in town specialises in a wide range of pop gifts and fashions priced from 1/- to £50 28-year old owner John Paul said that he was suprised to find that rents in Piccadilly considered to be the hub of the world are now cheaper than in Carnaby Street 29 December 1967
TopFoto / Retronaut / mediadrumimages.com

 

In the mid to late 1960s the phenomenon known as the Swinging Sixties took over Britain.  It was a youth driven cultural explosion encompassing, music, fashion and art.

Jenny Boyd , sister in law of George Harrison , in the Beatles shop ‘ Apple ‘ in Baker Street , London . 7 November 1967.
TopFoto / Retronaut / mediadrumimages.com

 

The capital became known as Swinging London and the places to be were Carnaby Street, the King’s Road and Kensington.

Swinging London – The Chelsea Scene. A mini-skirted girl with her brightly clad male escorts in the King’s Road, Chelsea. August 1967.
TopFoto / Retronaut / mediadrumimages.com

 

The post war baby-boomers had come of age and with the end of National Service in 1960 and a post-war economic recovery they had more freedom and disposable income than their parents.  The contraceptive pill had also arrived in Britain at the beginning of the 1960s fuelling a sexual revolution.

Model Sylvia Bryan from St Johns Wood London helps advertise the newly-opened Lady Jane Boutique in London’s Carnaby Street Police told her that she would be reported for causing an obstruction She was unable to come down because the man who had helped her up there had gone home Soon someone found a ladder and she was let free. 28 July 1967.
TopFoto / Retronaut / mediadrumimages.com

 

All manner of creative people flocked to London turning the gloomy, grey post-war city into a colourful, stylish city full of optimism.

London’s fashion centre for the younger set is Carnaby Street, London’s most well known, if not most popular, street. Long-haired youths talk away the hours in Carnaby Street the English capital’s Mecca of mod fashions Everthing from the mini-est of mini skirts to the latest styles in men’s jackets and trousers can be bought in Carnaby Street, the young people’s fashion HQ. 20 July 1967.
TopFoto / Retronaut / mediadrumimages.com

 

Mary Quant led the fashion revolution, with the mini skirt, publicised in magazines, worn by the models Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton.

It All Happens In Carnaby Street London teenage Mod Gear shopping centre wearing see through fashion look for advertising Three pretty girls wearing topless dresses with transparent type sandwich boards displaying advertising slogans both back and front. The girls were advertising the Lady Jayne Boutique and here under the watchful eye of the law, they set out on mini cycles to tour the area 23 September 1969.
TopFoto / Retronaut / mediadrumimages.com

 

The successful boutique Biba opened its first shop in 1964 after being a mail order store.  The Beatles opened the short lived Apple Boutique in December 1967.

Window dressing London The boys cant get near enough because of the glass window Bikini-clad girls dancing … and a window dressing of near nude models on a record cover makes an unusual sight for Piccadilly Circus John Paul owner of ‘I was Lord Kitchener’s Valet’ boutique used his shop to promote the new Jimi Hendrix record ‘Electric Lady Land’ but was soon in trouble with the law … for the crowd outside his shop was so great that it caused and obstruction. 7 November 1968.
TopFoto / Retronaut / mediadrumimages.com

 

Music was provided by the Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks and the Beatles amongst others.  Time magazine’s 15 April 1966 issue featured London: the Swinging City, cementing its reputation.

Large crowds gather outside the Beatles boutique shop ” Apple ” in Baker Street , where one free garment is being given to each customer , until the entire stock was cleared . 31 July 1968.
TopFoto / Retronaut / mediadrumimages.com

 

 

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