3 September 2021 – January 2022
“We were young, rich and beautiful, and the tide – we thought – was turning in our favour. We were going to change everything, of course, but mostly we were going to change the rules.” – Marianne Faithfull.
In the mid-1960s a handful of Chelsea boutiques sparked a fashion revolution. Freed and fuelled by creative exploration and experimentation, they began selling radical clothing to the counterculture youth. Their outrageously flamboyant designs were inspired by romantic ideas of the past; Byron-esque frilled shirts were paired with Regency brocades and plush velvet trousers were mixed with influences from Morocco and the Far East. They blurred gender boundaries with increasingly androgynous styles, creating an explosion of colour, pattern and decoration.
Beautiful People explores fabulous and rare examples from these era-defining stores and designers, examining the shared free spirit of Granny Takes A Trip, Hung On You, Apple, Biba, Mr Fish, Thea Porter, Ossie Clark and more. Clothes worn by the likes of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix will be displayed as part of recreations of these iconic boutiques.