The interiors of the shop were painted purple and decorated with Aubrey Beardsley's erotic prints. The was a heavy scent of incense in the air. The overall effect was supposed to be intimidating for customers who were not a part of an 'In' crowd. And so were the prices. The high prices at Granny's were determined by the use of expensive fabrics. Weymouth and Pearse were buying Liberty fabrics at retail prices and they were using the same outworkers as Savile Row tailors. As a result, shirts from Granny's were prized at anything between 4 to 10 guineas. A floral jacket inspired by William Morris designs would set a buyer back an extortionate 15 guineas. Skinny trousers made out of velvet or satin ("They were sort of more foppish alternative to levi's" - John Pearse(Decharne, 182)) would cost 6 guineas, and satin ties were priced at £1.10. However, the quality of the clothes was very good and John Pearse was putting a lot of emphasis on fine tailoring. Velvet suits were tightly-fitting with tight buttoning. Double - breasted jackets were tailored in floral-printed fabrics. One of the sales assistants, Johnny Moke remembers: "We used to cut up blouses and dresses and turn them into shirts or tops for men. What was great about Granny's was that there were no boundaries. Anything went and they kept on changing"(Paul Gorman. The Look - Adventures in Rock and Pop Fashion, p 78).The effect of Granny's clothes was foppish, flamboyant and decadent - a 1960's reinvention on fin-de siecle dandyism.
Granny Takes a Trip quickly developed elite clientele. Nigel Weymouth says: " The first people to sniff us out were the mixture of Chelsea gays and debutantes(...) Then pop stars started quickly coming after them. We had all these personalities coming through, and groups like the Animals would have their photos taken outside".
John Pearse also points out that: "We were the first bisexual shop, if you like - We had woman's clothes big time, frocks and blouses, and there was no hard sale because everyone knew everyone else"(Gorman, p 76). One of the female clients of Granny Takes a Trip, actress and model Anita Pallenberg remembers: "If I wore mini-skirts, I'd have them made by Granny's. We'd try on clothes and have a joint in the back. Granny's was very small, just two rooms, so everyone knew each other" (Mojo Classic, vol.2, issue 4, 2007, p59).
Sadly, Freddie Hornick passed away in 2009.
Photos used here come from personal collection of Roger Klein (former employee and manager of LA branch of Granny's) who shared them via Granny Takes a Trip Facebook fan page.