Thursday, 28 April 2011

I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet

I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet was a boutique which achieved fame in 1960s Swinging London by promoting antique military uniforms as fashion items.

I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet was opened by Ian Fisk and John Paul at 293 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London, in 1966. Among customers of that store were Jimi Hendrix, who purchased a braided military coat featured in memorable photographs, as well as Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, The Beatles and The Who.

Peter Blake, the artist who designed The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover, said that he and Paul McCartney got the idea for the sleeve while they were walking together past the shop.

In 1966 a song entitled "I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet" was recorded by Peter Fenton and The New Vaudeville Band.

In the summer of 1967 Fisk and Paul dissolved their partnership. Fisk took sole ownership of the premises, which became the Injun Dog head-shop (subtitled Once I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet).

Paul and new partner Ian Richardson, managing director David Morgan and manager Robert Orbach opened a new branch of Kitchener's in Foubert's Place, selling militaria and Swinging London novelty items.

In 1968 Paul added two more Kitchener's outlets, in Carnaby Street and Wardour Street, and soon expanded to sites in Piccadilly Circus and the Kings Road (where the shop was named I Was Lord Kitchener's Thing).

The Kitchener's outlet in Carnaby Street closed it doors in 1977, but is still remembered as an important Swinging Sixties boutique. The store is currently the Hideout clothing shop.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

paul is my godfather and my mums cousin. its great to be able to read about him and the part he played in the sixties