Youth bands who introduced street style, a clothing style. La Honda, California, 1965: the meeting between Ginsberg, Ken Kesy and his Merry Pranksters with Sonny Barger, head of the Hell’s Angels, is remembered as one of the most productive intersections in the history of counter-culture. On that occasion, bikers took acid for the first time during a party that lasted two days and concluded with alliances. The Grateful Dead, presented in a embryo formation among the Merry Pranksters, would always employ the Hell’s Angels as their bodyguards in the future. Janis Joplin officially inherited them often wondering why and the Stones, on the advice of Jerry Garcia, successfully used the English contingent for the concert dedicated to Brian Jones in Hyde Park in 1969. They tried again, some months after the conclusion of the American tour, and the result was the Altamont mess. When the Angels arrived in La Honda they were already very different from the Bikers triumphantly embodied by Brando: Kenneth Anger, in Scorpio Rising, had already given a more updated version. Their style became decidedly baroque with chains, fringes, and studs. On the leather jackets, whose sleeves were sometimes cruelly removed, there were an enormous number of badges and signs that were very often ideologically worrying. Besides the Hell’s Angels, other bands included the Satan’s Slaver, Diablos, and Road Rats. All of them had a ostensibly demoniac behavior and they repeated their famous motto, “Better your sister in a brothel, than your brother riding a Japanese” (meaning a bike, of course!), while riding their Harley, Norton or Guzzi bikes.
Clothing store in Milan. It opened in 1930 as a shop for hosiery and gloves on Corso Vercelli, which at the time was a street on the outskirts of the city. The owner, Attilio Gemelli, immediately revealed his talent for what would later be defined as marketing: his clear and simple ideas, which he himself called “from the countryside,” were an immediate success with consumers. After World War II, thanks to the commitment of the current president, Sergio Gramelli, the store took center stage and became a sophisticated boutique. It was one of the first to import, during the 1960s, the new prêt-à-porter from Paris. In the late 1970s, the business consolidated its position, becoming outstanding for the style of its offerings, a balance between classic items and novelties, and the range of its cashmere garments.
Jacke T-shirt that became trendy in the western world during the 1970s after the West fell in love with the East. It was inspired by religious guides and Indian politicians. Pandit Nehru always wore one in white cotton. In the USA, it is called the Nehru look. Straight and long to the knees, very tight and closed by a thick line of buttons, it is manufactured in light cloth with a mandarin collar and long sleeves.
Rudi (1922-1985). American designer. He anticipated the era of the nude look, presenting, in 1964, a topless bathing suit. It caused a scandal. But just a few years later, all the beaches in the western world, despite fines and injunctions, were crowded with bare nipples. He was also famous for a series of daring designs of bras that glorified the breasts, and for dresses made of knit and stretch fabrics that adhered closely to the body, emphasizing it but not sheathing it. In 1951, he entered the world of fashion by way of ballet, in which he had worked as a dancer and as a costume designer, a job more consistent with the experience he had gained as a student at the Los Angeles Art School during the 1940s. Born in Austria, he left Vienna with his mother in 1938, emigrating to the U.S. after Hitler’s Anschluss.
Elspeth (1963). English designer, born in Nottingham. She finished her fashion studies in 1984 and the following year found a job with Zandra Rhodes in London. After a short period as head designer at Monix, she launched her own brand in 1996. In 1998 she won the New Generation Designer of the Year award and opened her first single-brand boutique in Knightsbridge, London, the shopping area for the jet set and high society.
Concetta. Italian dressmaker, born in Rome. In the late 1800s she had an intuition which, almost a century later, has given birth to shops and fashion trends: the idea of second-hand clothes. She would buy used garments from the great ladies of the Roman aristocracy, renovate them, and finally sell them to the ladies of the lower and middle bourgeoisie. These garments were only called second-hand: for the great ladies of Roman society, who at the time were crazy for the young D’Annunzio, for “il Duca minimo,” it would have been unthinkable to wear and show off an important dress more than once, perhaps twice, whether it were an evening gown or a fox hunting outfit. The dressmaker and her two nieces, Assunta and Giovanna, had a good business, but the change of wardrobe of their suppliers was faster than the speed with which they could sell to their middle-class ladies and the clothes would pile up. Concetta skimmed wardrobes from 1890 to 1946, filling five apartments with garments of the great fashion designers from Worth to Balenciaga. Some 60% of the Collection of original clothes, about 20,000 pieces, belonging to the theater costume designer Umberto Tirelli, including some items from the wardrobe of the Savoy queens — Margherita, Elena, and Maria José — came from that storehouse, in which Tirelli dug like an archaeologist of fashion.
Aldo (1979). Italian photographer. Native of Grosseto, he first moves to Bologna, where he studies at the Dams, then to Milan where he graduates for the European Institute of Design before becoming Gianpaolo Barbieri’s assistant. His photos appears on several publications, among which GQ, Max, Uomo Vogue, Maxim, Glamour, and creates advertising campaigns for Alessi, N.O.D., Chiara Boni and in 2003 for the IperCoop of Sesto San Giovanni.
Nathaniel (1970). French photographer. In 1996 he won the prestigious prize dedicated for young fashion photographers at Hyères. His photos are published in Harper’s Bazaar USA, W Magazine, Numèro, The Face, and Vogue France. He lives in Paris and New York.
James (1924). American designer of Greek origin, born in Philadelphia. His place in fashion is due to his tailoring ability and the classic nature of his cocktail and evening dresses, which are very low-necked, especially in the back. After studying at the Traphagen School of Fashion in New York, he worked at Piguet in Paris in 1947. He made his début in Los Angeles in 1954. His clothes, often handmade, are in lace, chiffon, silk muslin, pearl embroidery, velvet, and brocade. In April 1997, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art documented his career in a retrospective film. He retired without making a fuss over it to his house in Palm Springs.
Nuremberg. Museum established by the Duke of Aufsess in 1852 in order to document the history and the culture of the German countries. Its clothing and fabric Collection is the largest in Germany.