DIA :How did you get into it? I am assuming you were too young to actually remember original movement...What were your sources of knowledge about that era in late 70's/early 80's?
DIA: I've heard from quite a few people who lived through 1980's, that apparently it was quite easy then to get original 60's clothes from charity shops. Would you say it is true?
DIA: Tell us about your boutique, Sweet Charity. How did you get started? Were you a part of first Regal in Kensington Market? Did you design the clothes yourself? If yes, which 1960's designer was your main inspiration? Do you remember the prices? Who were your customers? How did you advertise it? How long did The Regal/Sweet Charity last?
AMN: My shop was a wow to look at. I used scaffolding for the rails. I had huge pots of paint in the shop to allow people to create graffiti befitting the era. I have some great pictures taken by the famous street fashion photographer Ted Polhemus. I designed the clothes myself and had never had any formal training but had a good eye for posture so it was easy to judge how the front of a garment was not the same as the back! As I Said before I only sourced original fabrics and some of the stuff I found was truly amazing. Needle cord with paisley patterns in yellow and turquoise was one of my best finds and a roll of textured cotton with super psychedelic designs put me on the map! Mary Quant was a good inspiration but I also took a lot from the men’s designs which were originally Regency…hence Andy calling his the Regency…2 meanings in one. I was not part of the first Regal as I met Andy after. But as a natural progression I was well established in the Market anyway when I had my vintage shop there. I was next to Jesse Birdsalls and Gaz’s Rockin’Blues, a great vinyl record shop. I do remember that my hipster drainpipe jeans cost £17-50 and in the Thatcher years that was expensive. My customers were aged between 12 and 35! I had such customers as Annie Lennox, The Belle Stars, Kim Wilde, Paul Young, and Kid Creole and the Coconuts! I made clothes for bands on photo shoots in a matter of hours that gave us a great reputation. U2 visited the shop when Bono still played the drums and sang, Paul Weller popped in and to be honest the shop was buzzing most of the day…FUN! I advertised in the Face, ID and put out flyers at the Groovy Cellar. Mostly it was word of mouth. Sweet Charity lasted 3 years until I sold up and passed it on when I went off to India…it was there for another few years. Not sure Bout the Regal…6 years?
DIA: Tell us about your band , The High Tide. Were you sharing your time between your band and your boutique? Who were your fellow members? What were your main influences? Was the main emphasis on recreating the original 1960's sound, or did you try to give your music a little bit of contemporary, 80's feel? Did you ever tour?
DIA: Tell us a bit more about the scene itself - What were your main hangouts? Who were the Dj's and the regulars? What sort of music did the dj's play?
DIA: How did "A Splash of Colour" compilation come about? Did it mark the end of the scene?
AMN: I don’t know whether it marked the end of the scene because I had gone onto my next stage of life but it did not do as well as it should have done…the music scene then was really bubbling with the Eurhythmics, U2, etc.…lots of bands were making it big…we were out of time.
DIA: Tell us briefly what do you do today? Do you keep in touch with Andrew Yiannakou or your former band mates?