Anyone who loves books like London Dossier and London Spy will be interested in Gear Guide 1967 – Hip-Pocket Guide To Britain’s Swinging Fashion Scene, which is just published by Old House.
It’s a hipster’s guide to shopping, but not shopping in the modern era. This is a paperback reissue of a guide from 1967, where to find the coolest gear for men and women, from either the Carnaby Street or Kings Road areas.
So in essence, a pretty useless guide in 2013. But that is missing the point. The book gives an insight into the shops trading back in the day, what they sell, what they charge and just who happened to favour that particular store. So if you want to know where Johnny Halliday got a pair of navy blue and white leather shoes from, or indeed, where you can get a hipster suit to fit your figure on Carnaby Street, this is the book for you.
It also flags up the good and the average in the shopping streets, the key styles of the year and where to get a pine dresser in the world’s hippest shopping area. Yes, you could even buy things like that in a London boutique in the mid-1960s.
Bulking out the listings is a potted history of London boutiques (pre ’67), some detail on key styles of the era, the movers and shakers, a piece on how London led the world on clobber and to finish things off, a tip off on just what might follow in the years to come. Some nice little black and white images too, photos and illustrations.
The book is a designed to be a reproduction guide and as such, certainly lacks on finish. it all resembles a photocopied guide, with a nice vintage-style fold-out cover. That’s not penny pinching, that’s the point – it is intended to look and feel like a vintage publication.
It also helps ease the price too – you can secure this for just over a fiver and to be honest, if you have an interest in the shopping streets of London in the 1960s, this is well worth that price tag.