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Remarkable Book, Remarkable Symbol for Peace

Poster for Peace book from Reel Art Press
Peace is the latest book, and accompanying exhibition, from RAP – Reel Art Press. Some 59 years after the peace symbol was created, this never-before-seen collection of works by photographer Jim Marshall is truly remarkable. And it could not have come at a more poignant time. Marshall, one of the most celebrated photographers of the last century, is best-known for his pictures of rock-and-roll royalty from the 1960s onwards. Though he also enjoyed a rock-and-roll lifestyle, he always saw himself as a photo-journalist and in between music assignments would document the street life of ordinary people. Peace is Marshall's personal archive of the peace symbol. The symbol was created in 1958 by Gerald Holtom for the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. It spread quickly to America, going on to become globally...

Go-Go Boots – are Go!

Go-Go boots. They're up there with Dorothy’s red slippers, Roger Vivier’s Pilgrim pumps and Audrey Hepburn’s Penny Loafers in footwear folklore. Not just an icon of the 1960s, go-go boots are among the most iconic shoe and boot trends of the 20th century. André Courrèges was the magician who introduced the go-go boot.  A white mid-calf boot with a flat black heel, they anchored his space-age look first sent down the catwalk in 1964. The boots were made from leather, matte and patent, vinyl or PVC. Styles had either a cut-out around the top or pleated detail. An instant hit, they defined both the youthquake movement of the time, and the sophisticated look of French stars such as Catherine Deneuve. Where did the name come from?  Theories abound....

Sale! Final Weekend at Shoreditch Pop-Up!

No12 Boots on sale at pop-up
Sale Time! We're back at Shoreditch with Ops&Ops second pop-up shop this year. And as as hit our final weekend, we're offering 10% off until closing time – 5pm, Sunday 6 November. Find our signature No10 all-leather flats, including our latest autumn palette  — Mustard and Teal patent leather, Mink, Cocoa and Indigo suede. And, currently exclusive to the shop, our brand-new No12 ankle boots in super soft, grainy Matte Black and shimmery Moon Dust leathers; and No11 block heel in Black patent and Mink suede. We have sample and sale shoes starting at just £60 a pair, and the chance to enter a count-the-shoehorn compettion to win a pair of No10s. We'd love for you to join us! Ops&Ops Pop-Up 11 Calvert Avenue London E2 7JP 11am-6pm – Sunday 6 November to 5pm...

You Say You Want A Revolution?

You Say You Want A Revolution opener
Excited? On hearing news of the V&A's latest blockbuster show You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 - 1970, we were ecstatic! It's a subject right up our street and we were thrilled to be invited along to the opening. Laid out in six sections, with an accompanying soundtrack, it explores the political and cultural revolution of the time mostly spearheaded by youth – in 1966, half the US population was under 25, and in Britain baby boomer teenagers were in their millions. It begins with a scene-setting collection of press cuttings, mags and pics showing how the foundations for change were laid before moving to the first room: a recreation of Carnaby Street, reflecting 'Swinging London' as a centre of fashion, music and art. Next up is a focus on the growing counter culture of the...

Neon Wonderland

Las Vegas Neon Museum: Shoe
Casinos, the strip, wedding chapels, shows … Las Vegas is not short on tourist attractions, but top of our list is the Neon Museum. We took a trip there when we were last in Vegas, exhibiting at the FN Platform show, and just loved it A visual feast of a slice of Vegas history, packed with signs and neon that at one time illuminated Vegas, both literally and spiritually. The Stardust, Sahara, Algiers, Tropicana … exotic names and futuristic motifs from when the city was a mecca for the good, the bad and the ugly. They are, unsurprisingly, dazzlingly familiar. Seen countless times in films and books, it is slightly surreal to see them up close. Really close. The neon museum is no ordinary museum and none of these signs is behind glass....

Up on the Roof

Dawn up on the roof
We stopped by Dawn O'Porter's roof-top fashion pop-up on Wednesday evening and had a ball at an event to raise money for Breast Cancer Care at the wonderful Gardening Society. DJ Gemma Cairney got the party started with some great music as guests were treated to ice-cold fizz and delicious nibbles – courtesy of B.O.B's Lobster. But best of all were the racks and rails of BOBbyDOP's classic collections and vintage-tastic clothes to try and buy! Dawn looked fabulous in a navy polka-dot dress and Bumper Car Red Ops&Ops, and she worked tirelessly styling and helping people choose the right outfit – her knack of knowing what will suit and fit perfectly in seconds is uncanny. Lots of Dawn's glamorous friends, including actress Ophelia Lovibond, in Bumper Car Blue No10s, Edith Bowman, Caroline Flack and The Tootsie Rollers turned up...

The Man With Two Names

Jean Bates in his studio
The man with two names. Is he John Bates or Jean Varon? He is of course both, one of Britain’s most influential designers, ever, and one of Ops&Ops favourites. It is easy to see why. The shortest mini skirts and dresses, trouser suits and catsuits, cut-outs, op-art black and white, matching coats and dresses, dresses and tights, and sheer and futuristic fabrics, he designed them all, created even – he tops the who-invented-the-mini-skirt list. He was making plastic garments as early as 1962. With no training, John Bates worked for Herbert Sidon of Sloane Street and was a fashion illustrator before opening Jean Varon, aged just 21, in 1959 – he chose the French moniker Jean to chime with fashion’s love of all things Parisian,...

Courrèges: King of the Futuristic

André Courrèges: king of the futuristic? Always. He studied civil engineering before deciding to pursue a career in fashion, and ten years after working under the guidance of Cristobal Balenciaga, Basque-born Courrèges decided to go it alone.  In 1964 he launched the Moon Girl collection. Go-go boots, trapeze dresses, space-age designs, mini skirts and helmets in a colour palette of dazzling white and silver, he was for a time the cosmonaut of couture. Trouser suits, too, became a signature of his label, both smart and laid-back – a real departure for women of the time. He was a team along with his wife Coqueline, who choreographed his shows with soundtracks and sporty vibes. Courrèges finally left fashion to paint and sculpt, but his legacy remained,  as relevant today as it always has...

Design Deity

Design deity
Design deity. That's Bauhaus at the Vitra Design Museum. A perfect match, a double delight and the Bauhaus #it'salldesign exhibition a definite doozy. This is a show with knobs on. Offering a 360-degree view of design at the Bauhaus for the very first time, it enthralls with a roster of rare, some never-seen-before, exhibits. All the major disciplines of the movement – design, architecture, film, art and photography – are covered, and all of it housed in the Frank Gehry designed wonder that is the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhine. Bauhaus is an adored, well-loved institution, long synonymous with pared-back geometric cool. At its inception students were expected to stretch the boundaries of design to transform society. The brilliance of #itsalldesign is how it clearly illustrates the Bauhaus relevance today. Contemporary works...

Show Time in New York

Capsule New York  newspaper highlighting new brands, including Ops&Ops
The bi-annual fashion week fever has started, and Ops&Ops are joining in. We're off to New York where we've been invited to show at Capsule Women's Ready to Wear. Heading Stateside is a big step for us in spreading the word and meeting potential buyers. We'll be showcasing some of our signature styles at the show, but also presenting new colours and finishes for spring /summer 16. We spent a few days on location shooting our latest lookbook for the collection and are excited with people's reaction so far. Capsule is renowned for pulling together top-end labels and directional, independent designers and we are delighted to have been highlighted in their latest newsletter as one of the new brands showing this year. And that's not all, we'll be crossing the Channel in a couple of...