Granny Takes a Trip was the first psychedelic boutique in “Swinging London” in the 1960s.
The boutique was the brainchild of graphic designer Nigel Weymouth and his girlfriend Sheila Cohen – part time actress and fanatical collector of vintage clothing. In the summer of 1965, John Pearse, who had trained as a tailor on Savile Row, agreed to join them in the venture. Granny Takes a Trip opened it’s doors in December 1965 at 488 King’s Road, – an area known as World’s End in Chelsea.
The name of the boutique was giving away its policy – ‘Granny’ symbolized the influence of the past, and ‘Trip’ , a colourful world of bougeoing hippie movement and its drug of choice – LSD.
Initially the ambience was a mixture of New Orleans bordello and futuristic fantasy. Marbled patterns papered the walls, with rails carrying an assortment of brightly coloured clothes. Lace curtains draped the doorway of its single changeroom, and a beaded glass curtain hung over the entrance at the top of steps, which led on into the shop. In the back room, an Art DecoWurlitzer blasted out a selection of music.
The boutique clothed London’s fashionable young men and women, including many major rock performers. A constant stream of people visited the shop, especially on Saturdays during the weekly King’s Road Parade.
The facade of the boutique was an ever changing display of psychedelia, from Native American chiefs to the giant pop-art face of Jean Harlow and a car driving out of the window.