DATE 12/24/2015

Sylvie Fleury, Santa Baby

DATE 12/18/2015

The Bauhaus: #itsalldesign, Marcel Breuer Children's Chair

DATE 12/15/2015

Henri Matisse, 'White Alga on Red and Green Background' (1947)

DATE 12/14/2015

Picasso Sculpture, Bull

DATE 12/13/2015

ARCANA Launch and Signing for 'The Soviet Photobook'

DATE 12/11/2015

We Go to the Gallery

DATE 12/10/2015

Andy Warhol: Prints, Marilyn Monroe

DATE 12/9/2015

Andy Warhol: Prints, Electric Chair

DATE 12/8/2015

Agnes Martin, Untitled 1959 purple and grey painting

DATE 12/7/2015

International Pop

DATE 12/6/2015

Peter Schlesinger: A Photographic Memory 1968-1989, Amanda Lear

DATE 12/5/2015

Peter Schlesinger: A Photographic Memory 1968-1989, Reto Guntli backflip

DATE 12/4/2015

Hans J. Wegner: Just One Good Chair

DATE 12/3/2015

Martin Hyers and William Mebane's "HERE – 77070019" (2010)

DATE 12/2/2015

Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty

DATE 12/2/2015

Jenny Holzer: War Paintings, Formica 3086

DATE 12/2/2015

Jordan Wolfson & Laura Owens Joint Book Launch at Ooga Booga, LA

DATE 12/1/2015

Modern Taste: Art Deco in Paris 1910-1935, Simone Kahn, Man Ray 1926 portrait

DATE 11/30/2015

Philippe Halsman's Jump Book, Brigitte Bardot

DATE 11/29/2015

Strand Books presents Dan Martensen, Author of 'Wolves Like Us: Portraits of the Angulo Brothers'

DATE 11/29/2015

Hiroshi Sugimoto: Seascapes, Lake Superior, Eagle River

DATE 11/27/2015

Vogue: Like a Painting, Paolo Roversi

DATE 11/27/2015

Vogue: Like a Painting, Peter Lindbergh

DATE 11/26/2015

Vogue: Like a Painting, Grant Cornett Still Life

DATE 11/26/2015

Vogue: Like a Painting, Grant Cornett Still Life

DATE 11/25/2015

Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer, Courtyard of a House in Delft

DATE 11/25/2015

Hiroshi Sugimoto Talk & Book Signing at The Strand

DATE 11/24/2015

Walter Chandoha: The Cat Photographer, Gift Kitty

DATE 11/23/2015

Walter Chandoha: The Cat Photographer

DATE 11/22/2015

Henry Leutwyler: Ballet

DATE 11/21/2015

Don McCullin, Sunday Morning, Chapel Market

DATE 11/20/2015

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: For Kids (& Parents)

DATE 11/19/2015

Leendert Blok: Silent Beauties, Color Photographs from the 1920s, TULIPA, Bleu celeste

DATE 11/18/2015

Artbook Corporate and Executive Gifts

DATE 11/18/2015

ARCANA Presents 'Photography is Magic' Multi-Photographer Signing with Charlotte Cotton

DATE 11/17/2015

Hans Schärer 'Madonnas & Erotic Watercolors' Opens at Swiss Institute

DATE 11/15/2015

Japanese Inspirations

DATE 11/14/2015

Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment, Sunday on the banks of the Marne

DATE 11/14/2015

Barbara Kasten: The Diazotypes

DATE 11/13/2015

Imponderable: The Archives of Tony Oursler, ESP Practitioner with Coins

DATE 11/12/2015

Peter Schlesinger: A Photographic Memory 1968-1989 at BOOKMARC

DATE 11/11/2015

ARTBOOK & Swiss Institute to Launch 'Imponderable: The Archives of Tony Oursler'

DATE 11/11/2015

Don McCullin, US Soldier Rescuing Vietnamese Woman

DATE 11/10/2015

'Both Sides of Sunset' Panel and Signing at the Brand Library

DATE 11/10/2015

Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment, Punjab India

DATE 11/9/2015

Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment, Christian Bérard, Jean-Paul Sartre

DATE 11/9/2015

Chef Mina Stone to Sign and Cook from 'Cooking for Artists' at As Of Now, LA

DATE 11/8/2015

Richard Learoyd: Day for Night, Agnes with Eyes Closed

DATE 11/7/2015

Richard Learoyd: Day for Night, Nancy with Tears

DATE 11/6/2015

Alvin Baltrop: The Piers

DATE 11/5/2015

Joaquín Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern, Construction in White and Black



Tommy Roberts: Mr. Freedom Reviewed in W Magazine

Adelita's new book on the pioneering Carnaby Street designer responsible for backless "Bumster" jeans, Jimmy Hendrix's ruffled shirts and Mick Jagger's infamous "Zodiac" cape, worn at Altamont, is treated to a full page in the May issue of W magazine, in which Diane Solway talks to "Swinging London's pop pioneer," Tommy Roberts: Mr. Freedom.

Tommy Roberts: Mr. Freedom Reviewed in W Magazine

With his outrageous fashion emporiums, Tommy Roberts was the go-to guy
for rock royalty.
DIANE SOLWAY talks to Swinging London’s pop pioneer.

Twiggy wore the store’s signature Mickey Mouse T-shirt, and Jean Shrimpton loved its clingy vest dress. Mick Jagger was a fan of the appliquéd- zodiac-sign T-shirts, while Elton John favored the flamboyant winged ankle boots, which he showcased on his breakout 1971 U.S. tour. Then there was Peter Sellers, another habitué, who could often be found lingering around taking photos of the pretty young birds who flocked about the Mr. Freedom store.

One of the most innovative boutiques in rock fashion history, Mr. Freedom was as much a show as a shop—a fashion, art, and design mecca for Swinging London’s most outré set. In his new book, Mr. Freedom—Tommy Roberts: British Design Hero (Adelita), Paul Gorman tells the story of the boutique’s driving force: the stocky maverick entrepreneur Tommy Roberts, “one of those unpindownable figures,” the author says, “who fast-tracked vanguard ideas right into the mainstream.” Roberts was the first to sell slogan T-shirts, license images from Disney, and integrate the new Pop aesthetic into everything from the clothes and furniture he sold to the decorating of his shop, a task he regularly put in the hands of young designers and artists just out of art school. Hot pants, chairs shaped like dentures, and window displays of huge detergent boxes were the order of the day. Though Mr. Freedom’s moment was fleeting, such was its impact that when Cecil Beaton organized the Victoria and Albert Museum’s first fashion exhibition, in 1971, he featured 24 of the label’s pieces alongside loans from the British royal family, Madame Grès, Balenciaga, and Mary Quant.

A onetime student at Goldsmiths College, the ebullient Roberts, now 70, debuted his first shop near Carnaby Street in 1966. Called Kleptomania, it sold Victoriana, military wear, caftans, and penny-farthing bicycles. The club next door, Bag O’Nails, was home to the rock glitterati of the period, and it wasn’t long before the Who became store regulars and Jimi Hendrix owned the signature frilly-front shirts.

But in 1969 Roberts decided to change things up: Opting for bright, bold color and a cartoonish aesthetic, he opened Mr. Freedom at 430 Kings Road in Chelsea, a space that would eventually be taken over by customers Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood. “If you were a pop star wanting to make a bit of an impression,” recalls Roberts, “we were the shop to go to.” Paloma Picasso bought her father a T-shirt for his birthday there; indeed, wearing Roberts’s jersey maxi dresses and velvet hot pants was statement-making in that pre-stylist era. “It was anti-hippie,” Gorman says. “You weren’t walking around in sandals and flares; you were wearing these things from an aggressive youth cult. His store was very urban—a reaction to the bucolic folkie celebration.” Roberts relocated in 1970 to a three-story “countercultural department store” in tonier Kensington, creating a pioneering lifestyle emporium where Elton John and Rod Stewart jammed one night on the tiny stage in Mr. Feed ’Em, the brashly colored basement diner.

In yet another about-face two years later, Roberts debuted City Lights Studio, the first fashion store in Covent Garden, stocking it with somber, tailored suits for both sexes—such as the box-jacket one David Bowie wore on the back cover of his 1973 Pin Ups—in a goth setting that anticipated the glam-rock scene. Coffins hung from chains, the black floor was spackled in gold glitter, and Schoenberg provided the soundtrack. (Yohji Yamamoto later credited City Lights Studio as an influence on him as a young designer.)

After the store’s closing in 1974, Roberts managed Ian Dury’s art band and subsequently became an influential housewares, antiques, and furniture dealer, introducing Memphis design and Tom Dixon to savvy collectors. “He appeared to kind of disappear,” Gorman says. “But, of course, he didn’t.” This book ensures that he won’t.

Tommy Roberts: Mr. Freedom Reviewed in W Magazine
IMAGE CAPTIONS: Clockwise, from top left: Models in Mr. Freedom T-shirts and hot pants, 1970; Tommy Roberts, 1970; Mr. Freedom shop on Kings Road, 1969; Jimi Hendrix in a Kleptomania shirt, 1967; Mr. Freedom Disney T-shirt; Roberts’s own pair of winged boots; Elton John performs in the iconic boots, 1971; Kleptomania exterior, 1967; David Bowie in a City Lights Studio suit on the back cover of Pin Ups, 1973; Mick Jagger in Mr. Freedom cap and T-shirt, 1971.

Tommy Roberts: Mr. Freedom Reviewed in W Magazine
Tommy Roberts: Mr. Freedom Reviewed in W Magazine
Tommy Roberts: Mr. Freedom Reviewed in W Magazine
Tommy Roberts: Mr. Freedom Reviewed in W Magazine
Tommy Roberts: Mr. Freedom Reviewed in W Magazine
Tommy Roberts: Mr. Freedom Reviewed in W Magazine


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