PHOTOGRAPHY Matt Goff
WORDS Laurie Trueman
To celebrate 50 years since Jimi Hendrix first arrived in London, Pretty Green have created an AW collection celebrating the unique and gallant look of 1960s Hendrix. This is a collection informed by rock and roll and driven by modernity and freedom.
For AW16 Pretty Green have created a collection devoted to Jimi Hendrix and his arrival in London in the sixties. Firmly rooted in originality, the collection was created in collaboration with Hendrix’s sister Janie. When asked why she joined forces with Pretty Green, Janie stated that, “When working to develop an artistic entity that will bear Jimi’s name, collaborating with the right group of people is essential.” She added further that Pretty Green will bring Hendrix’s style forward to a new generation.
On September the 24th 1966 Jimi Hendrix visited London for the first time. Relatively unknown at the time and just signed to a new record label, Hendrix was on a trip of exploration. His exploration led to a long lasting love affair with London, the British capital is where Hendrix became Hendrix. Finding a huge amount of freedom in the British way of dressing - stimulated by the sheer frivolity of the swinging sixties and rebellious nature of the city.
His style became somewhat unmissable. He purchased an antique Hussar’s uniform dating back to the 1950s and often wore it bare chested with wild hair. He favoured bold floral shirts, paisley and embellished jackets. His outerwear became synonymous with the energy of his performances, Hendrix wanted to move with ease on stage, as well as being eye catching and audacious.
Pretty Green’s AW16 offering is not only a tribute to these elements of Hendrix’s style but a modern redevelopment of the way he dressed. To capture this the label incorporated original material from the Hendrix archive, the garments being developed from original pieces he wore. At the heart of Pretty Green is its paisley print and for this collaboration it was not absent - an exclusive paisley shirt has been interwoven with the words ‘Are you Experienced’, the title of Hendrix’s debut album released in 1967.
The charisma of Hendrix is advanced in the ‘Jimmy’ floral shirt, with each flower hand painted in house. Hendrix described his music as ‘Free Feeling’ and this shirt is unrestricted in terms of its colours (orange, green, yellow and pink), flirting subtly with femininity like Hendrix so often did. Known for his musical style of rock, freak out, rave and blues, this shirt acts as a representation of his inventiveness in London – melodic, head wrecking and groovy.
A Hendrix collection would never be complete without a range of army shaped shirts and jackets. To compliment the simpler shapes, Pretty Green here present The Marshall Shirt and Marshall Granddad Shirt. Two shirts in classic kurta style, as well as a kurta style scarf, a square number which sets tribute to the boldness of Hendrix’s demeanour.
Singlehandedly, the greatest piece in the collection is a longer length navy grey pea coat. It is a decadent, smart and unapologetically 1960s piece. Alongside the more decadent and expensive pieces, a range of graphic print t-shirts, iPhone cases and badges are available to buy. Making the collection as a whole accessible and pertinent.
For Hendrix enthusiasts these pieces are unmissable. They are authentic and incorporate artistic methods that ensure their price value and relevance in a modern day wardrobe. This collection does very well to represent something new in the Jimi Hendrix legacy and not be an entirely sixties nostalgia trip.