Great print and London’s swinging sixties were synonymous with one another. Print designers of the era like Barbara Hulanicki and Celia Birtwell remain household names to this day. But many others slipped away into relative obscurity. Designers like Richard Allan.
Yet in 1962, Allan’s first year in business, he sold over 50,000 scarves and his designs graced the pages of the worlds finest fashion titles. Allan’s designs leaned towards abstraction, taking inspiration from the Art Nouveau movement and artists such as Aubrey Beardsley and Bridget Riley. He achieved enormous global success. From his store at 87 Duke St, just a few steps from E. Tautz, he sold to customers all over the world, and he worked with the greatest clothing designers of his age, names like Schiaparelli and Yves Saint Laurent.
Allan died in 1994. His archive was lost and it appeared his name would disappear forever. But a few years ago his daughter Cate began the painstaking task of re-assembling, design by design, a library of his work. These she now sells as prints and as beautifully hand-made silk scarves, Allan’s work still being as desirable and contemporary today as it was during the 1960’s.