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Strawberry Fields Forever...

Posted on March 06 2009

<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]--> <!--[endif]--> You may not be convinced of the beauty of a strawberry covered 70's satin jacket immediately but if Paul McCartney likes it you're going to give it a second look! This is exactly what happened, out of context you could be forgiven for missing the significance of this little treasure! strawberry covered 70's satin jacket Beyond Retro pricer Lydia wearing her prize find. <!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]--> <!--[endif]-->This strawberry, rhinestone clad jacket was part of a DIY idea called "Cut'n'Sew" kits in '68 designed by John Dove and Molly White. It was a huge project with 6 designs and over 100 silk-screens that ran for 3 years. The first Cut'n'Sew designs were Strawberry, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Jayne Mansfield, and Baked Beans. The Silver Surfer was the last kit. <!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]--> <!--[endif]--> ‘We were busy with many other new design projects so we didn't spend the time on promoting the kits. The Sunday Times wrote an article about my sculptures and learnt about the kits. So we signed a contract for 2,500 Kits to become a sort of Art Project where they would sell them through the magazine but by the time the contract went through we were working overtime with a store in Kings Road called Paradise Garage producing our black Rock'n'Roll T-shirts so we couldn't find the time to do the kits - in those days, you couldn't secure a bank loan without collateral so we couldn't afford to produce the Sunday Times contract anyway. In 1972 the famed Kings Road store, "Granny Takes A Trip" offered to sell the Jackets in satin. We also sold the jackets to a Hollywood store called "Vibrations" in Century City. Colette Neville Pret-a-porter was designers of tough looking glamorous street clothes and they distributed to all the top boutiques in Europe. They also sold our Jackets.' Taken from an email sent to Beyond Retro from John Dove.

John Dove and Molly White

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<!--[endif]-->John Dove and Molly White

The jacket itself was a tribute to The Beatles song ‘Strawberry Fields’ and when Paul McCartney contacted them for some Strawberry jackets for his first US Wings tour, it catapulted them, and their label, Wonder Workshop into the rock & roll limelight.

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<!--[endif]-->Paul McCartney is now a collector of their work.

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<!--[endif]--> These innovative design pieces were requisitioned by The Victoria and Albert Museum in 1974 for the permanent British Collection and were part of an international design exhibition at the V&A called "The Fabric of Pop". The Strawberry Jacket was absolutely unique - not derived or inspired by anything else other than that great Beatles song. The Strawberry was by far the most commercial of the Jacket designs - the number of jackets was only limited by how many we could produce for about 2 years. John Dove. Wonder Workshop were also attributed for the first examples of ‘Tromp- l'oeil' to be used on T shirts, this is the art technique that creates the optical illusion that the depicted objects appear in three-dimensions, instead of actually being a two-dimensional. <!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]--> <!--[endif]--> Other wonder workshop designs were worn by legends such as Iggy Pop, Marc Bolan and Sid Viscious. Perhaps the most famous being the wild thing T'shirts, a tribute to Jimi Hendrix, featuring a leopard head with the words wild thing underneath. it was pirated from America to brazil to become the first global t-shirt hit. Its success launched rhinestones as a major t-shirt fashion and by 1973 they were selling thousands of shirts under their wonder workshop label. If you want to take a closer look at this amazing piece of rock'n'roll history head down to our Soho store from March 16th to see the Strawberry for yourself!