While trying to get my head around the world inhabited by Simon Fleet and Nicky Haslam (see https://elvirabarney.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/simon-fleet/ ) I stumbled upon this list, taken from the 1998 obituary of interior designer David Hicks. I’m assuming this refers to the 1950s – Hicks was born in 1929.
“Other friends were mainly of the more sophisticated world, headed by Bunny Roger, Arthur Jeffress, Barry Sainsbury and those veteran, inveterate matchmakers Chips Channon and Peter Coats.”
Typical David Hicks design
Apart from my satisfaction in seeing Bunny Roger and Arthur Jeffress in the same sentence ( I’m told the two knew each other from the time of the Red and White party (see https://elvirabarney.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/the-red-and-white-party/ ) it made me wonder about the unbroken link between pre-War and 1960s “Dandyism”, as typified by Mayfair and Kings Road boutiques like “Mr. Fish” (see
This ought to (but won’t) lead to a questioning of the myth of the democratic and egalitarian origins of “Swinging London” and the sixties in general. In Chelsea and Belgravia, A wealthy, often gay, High Bohemia held cultural sway, much as it had done in Elvira’s day.Even some of the names are the same – Hicks was married to a Mountbatten, Mary Quant to a Plunket Greene. I don’t want to downplay the impact of Vidal Sassoon,David Bailey et al but for every Chris Stamp there was a Kit Lambert (son of Constant). The figure of Christopher Gibbs is every bit as emblematic of the period as any member of the new rock star-aristocracy.
Alexander Plunket Greene
Off topic, but perhaps not really, two of the Beatles (George and Ringo) briefly lived in William Mews in the mid-sixties, just a few doors down from Elvira’s former residence.
More on post-War Mayfair and a few Chelsea “Scallywags” in a forthcoming post.