Our first Observer supplement and a great one here from September 1965. There have been quite a few issues since its launch in 1791 this is still not as old as Guinness (first brewed 1759) not sure about you but when I check out: antiques, houses, tinned meat I always gauge it by Guinness, its just a niggling foible I have.
West London has always been another world for me, indeed the Kings Road has a shop at the wrong end of the road called 'Worlds End' (opened by Westwood & Mc Laren 1970) and a pub of the same name - the world as we know is flat right - so its been a no go.
Geographically the street is prone to posing. As the opening paragraph reads "the afternoons are the most characteristic; rather like the evening promenades in continental towns when everybody ambles up and down watching, being watched, hoping aimlessly for something to happen"
Theres a tube on Sloan Square and nothing at the other end so you could meander up one side and saunter down the other looking for clobber and nookie and if you didn't succeed well you had to walk back to the tube anyway- no ubers in 1965.
The street I hear got as bad as Carnaby Street around 1969 with the hippies and their 'Granny Takes a Trip' and 'Lord Kitcheners Valet' (Portobello Rd) foppishness. Unfortunately when most TV productions do style/music documentaries on the smarter sharper side of the 1960s they fill it with period inappropriate footage of Lord and Lady Chalfont with floral face paint in 1969 in their convertible Rolls Royce bombing down the Kings Road listening to Cream.
The running battles with; Mods, Skinheads, Rockabilly, Teds, and Casuals from 1978 sound far more interesting. Mod revival band Squire dedicated a song to the famous road and the spirit of the 1965 hay day titled: "Walking down the Kings Rd". The Kings Road did have a revival at this period but it was short lived in comparison to its discovery in the 60's.
By the time I'd got to London in 1991, the Kings Road was less important, however the Johnny Moke shoe shop was there and I went just to see the man (original East London mod got his name 'Moke' after asking all his chums for green shield stamps to be able to enter a competition to win a Mini Moke). Its safe to say though the drag had lost its groovy charm.
In 1991 the west London spot to pose, shop was more Kensington High Street with Kensington Market and later Hyper Hyper it was brilliant and must of I'm sure made an impression on Rei Kawakubo's Dover Street Market. For those not au fait with the migration of British northerners to the capital city, we generally get to Euston or Kings Cross station and turn left i.e North London or East London. A few wildcats have been known to go west and some even over the river- which is basically the coast.
There is a very telling position in central London and thats Holborn Underground station. The point at which the central line (rouge) points left for east bound and right for west bound and the last chance saloon of 4G coverage, in the station. I was finishing a phone call and noticed the; jaw lines, height, thick hair, posture of those going west bound. Clearly the children of the jolly nice teenagers in this photoshoot. I finished booking my tray of Guinness at my local pub and like a smug mongrel turned left- well I never get to do it when boarding a flight!
The Observer September 1965
Continentalist on the left sporting an Anglozine knitwear style from our soon to launch AW/20 collection