Michael Fish (fashion)

For the UK weatherman named Michael Fish, see Michael Fish.

Michael Fish is a British fashion designer[1] famous for designing many of the notable British looks of the 1960s and 1970s, such as the kipper tie.[2]


As a fashion designer

Fish apprenticed in shirtmaking, and by the early 1960s was designing shirts at prominent design boutique Turnbull & Asser of Jermyn Street. His designs reflected, and to some extent brought on, the "Peacock Revolution" in men's fashion design, which was a reaction against the dull conservatism of men's dress. His shirts were floral in pattern and often included ruffles and other adornments.[1] By the middle 1960s, he had opened his own boutique in Mayfair, Mr. Fish, on Clifford Street.[3] Fish became known for designing flamboyant, attention-getting clothing for notable celebrities of the 1960s and 1970s such as The Rolling Stones[4] and David Bowie.[5]

By the middle 1970s, Fish's shop had closed, and he took a job with Sulka in New York, a label famous for its silk foulard dressing gowns. In 1978, he returned to London to work for Jeremy Norman as Greeter at the fashionable Embassy Club in Bond Street, the London equivalent of Studio 54.

Fish's designs set fashion trends, one example being the polo neck sweater look, which proved a major success in New York and London in the winter of 1967.[6] Perhaps the most controversial of Fish's designs was the "dress" designed to be worn by men, which was occasionally worn by such rock stars as David Bowie (including on the cover of the album The Man Who Sold the World) and Mick Jagger (including in the film Performance).[7]

Film work

Fish's designs could be seen in films between the middle 1960s and the early 1970s as well, such as Performance, in which Mick Jagger wears one of Fish's man's dresses.[3] Fish was credited as a costume designer for the successful Peter Sellers film There's a Girl in My Soup.[8] He also designed the ruffled shirts worn by Jon Pertwee for the duration of his five-year tenure as "The Third Doctor Who."

Literary References

Jerry Cornelius, Michael Moorcock's fictional poster child for this era, often wore elaborate tailor-made suits by Mr. Fish.


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