In the 1960s men’s fashion, particularly in England, witnessed an extraordinary rebirth that led to lasting social, cultural, and commercial change – what media commentators coined the Peacock Revolution. The Day of the Peacock takes a fascinating look at the shops, celebrity photographers, tailors, and fashionable men who made up the “Swinging Sixties” scene.
Neatly evoking the ‘60s atmosphere of optimism and opportunity, this richly illustrated memoir by fashion insider Geoffrey Aquilina Ross looks at the era’s most dashing figures –fashion designer and Carnaby Street entrepreneur John Stephen; Savile Row tailor Tommy Nutter, whose clients included Mick Jagger, the Beatles, and Elton John; photographers Cecil Beaton, David Bailey, and Patrick Lichfield; hairdresser Vidal Sassoon, actors Michael Caine and Terence Stamp– and discusses such iconic London shops as Granny Takes a Trip, Blades, Hung on You, and Mr Fish. With photographs, ephemera, and outfits from the V&A’s superb archives, The Day of the Peacock brings back an unforgettable time.
The rebirth of men's style in the 60's is the subject of a new book which ploughs the V&A's fashion archives. By Nicola Ranson on Thursday 3rd February, 2011 The period of 1963-1973 marked the transition from one distinctive era of men’s style to a wholly new one. At the dawn of what was later to be referred to as the 'Peacock Revolution', men were subject to strict etiquette in terms of what was deemed suitable attire. Often a man’s dress was a simple representation of his occupation and his social standing and nothing more. Conformity and conventionality were the key to being well-dressed, with a brightly coloured tie providing the only opportunity for expression. Then came the sartorial revolution that saw men embracing style in a completely new way, resulting in enduring cultural change. The Day of the Peacock: Style for Men 1963-73 takes an in-depth look at the style upheaval of the 60’s, and the social revolt that this overhaul in men’s fashion represented. This decade was characterised by a “pursuit of personal liberation”; for the first time class boundaries had become blurred and the nature of social attitudes had changed. For men to be actively interested in fashion and clothing was no longer taboo, and young men reflected this new sense of liberation, independence and break from tradition in how they dressed. The new book draws upon the influence and expertise of author Geoffrey Aquilina Ross, the first male editor of British Vogue during the 60’s and merchandise editor of its fleeting companion Men in Vogue. Beautifully illustrated, this memoir is a rich exploration of the Peacock era’s most influential shops and designers, from John Stephen of Carnaby Street to the eclectic boutiques Granny Takes a Trip and Michael Rainey’s Hung on You. Other significant influences reviewed in the book are Rupert Lycett Green’s Dover Street shop Blades, Michael Fish and Barry Sainsbury’s Mr Fish, Tommy Nutter and Cecil Beaton. The Day of the Peacock takes a definitive look at each prominent influence, charting their rise and fall and elaborating on the impact they had. This volume also looks at how the Peacock era sparked the inception of a host of men’s magazines specialising in clothes, grooming and masculine vanity, plus it saw the opening of Britain’s first male modelling agency, English Boy Ltd. Embellished with sleek photographs, the book creates a comprehensive portrayal of the journey taken in men’s fashion from 1963-1973 and is, as described by Christopher Breward in his foreword, “a marvellous ‘insider guide’ to the key developments and personalities involved”.