Southgate, Michael (3 of 15) An Oral History of British Fashion
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2004-03-17, 2004-03-18, 2004-03-30
British Library, London
Southgate, Michael 1930- (speaker, male)
Sandino, Linda (speaker, female)
Part 3: [Tape 2 Side A] Mentions trip to New York for AR. Story about Lionel Blair recommending R and S to Max Bygraves and appearing at the Victoria Palace Theatre, having to relinquish freelance display work. Comments on Bygraves's ego; R and S routine; MS having to impersonate Fanny Craddock, RS as Princess Anne. Anecdotes about MS being mistaken for Tommy Steele. Bygraves's power and control; his popularity amongst old age pensioners. Break-up of R and S: mentions high earnings, MS' embarrassment at performing in Bygraves's show; remarks about breaking Equity contract. RS' subsequent career: mentions agent Ian Bevan at Talent Artists, and BS' boyfriend. Description of AR: her background in South Africa, work at Aquascutum where she met Rick Hopkins [RH]; his background; mentions Jimmy Cleveland-Bell, Charles Abraham, RH's skills as a designer. AR's decision to become freelance as AR and not using 'Hopkins'. AR would call on MS to help out when busy: examples of projects. Premises in Earls Court Road; South African and Polish staff. AR's Jewish background. American Mary Brosnan mannequins discovered by RH and brought back to UK. Comparison between American and European mannequins by Pierre Aimant, and Schlappi. Decision by AR and RH to manufacture mannequins with Frenchman who had factory and wife Daphne Padell [sp]. Comments on formality of window displays and effect of new generation of designers Mary Quant, Ossie Clark, Zandra Rhodes. American retailers discovery of Swinging London and Carnaby Street retailers such as Foale and Tuffin, Mr Freedom; cottage industry of British fashion. Inappropriateness of contemporary mannequins. AR's help and support for young designers; comments on first AR mannequins.
Life story interview with Michael Southgate (1930-), designer and managing director.