This is adding credibility to my personal crusade trying to restore the flamboyant and often forsaken glorious days of the French prêt-à-porter from the 70’s. It is not the first time in this blog that I am driving a nail on this billboard. The billboard this time is the everlasting cover of the 1969 Beatles album ” Abbey Road”. John Lennon is leading the flock wearing a white suit and white shoes.
The suit is made in France by Ted Lapidus. I remember well Ted Lapidus’s flagship store on avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie in Paris in the 70’s. I happen to walk past it nearly everyday on my way back from school. The store was designed in metal and glass, an advanced concept for the time. It was shiny, Rock’n Roll and definitely new: suits for men and women alike. As Veronica Horwell writes in her obituary in the Guardian (Ted Lapidus died at age 79 exactly a year ago in the South of France) “Fashion had been emphatically re-gendered after the second world war, and Lapidus’s taste for androgyny was a fresh approach, at least outside the left bank.”Certainly John Lennon and the Beatles and their rivals the Stones were blurring the frontier between genders.
Well, the famous white suit just sold in a Connecticut auction on New Year’s Day for $46,000 according to the New York Times! Ted Lapidus was totally in tune with the avant-garde of his time and transformed the Carnaby street pollution into a scent. Today if the avant-garde is the facebook look. It is hard to see fashion there!