Rare 1971 Mr Freedom by Diana Crawshaw Velvet 'Baseball' Suit

This is perhaps one of the most recognized and well documented pieces of vintage to have ever existed. Rarely have I seen pieces come up for sale in this condition. It also retains its original 'modesty' panel under the front lacing of the jacket that is almost never present as girls took them out and threw them away. In an article from Look-In Fashion Model Annual, 1971, from which one of the reference photos was taken, the writer said this of the Mr Freedom boutique: "It's a remarkable shop. The price tags are cardboard fried eggs. Inside, a huge fly eight or nine feet long slowly flaps it's wings just above your head and further inside a chest-high model of a shoe looms large in metallic mauve. There's an armchair made to look like a huge set of false teeth and furniture the shape and colour of liquorice all-sorts. There are beautiful Mr Freedom-clad assistants and a wide-grinning Teddy boy called 'arold. Not to mention the clothes. Mr Freedom stocks an ever changing shopful of vivid, original fashions, each one more outrageous than the last and each quite different. There are fashions from the thirties and forties. There are drape jackets and blue suede shoes from the Teddy boy era, and shorts and sling back shoes fit for fifties film stars, enamel brooches, sneakers, platform shoes, sailor suits, and a whole host of incredible clothes that could have only come from the seventies. And all the time new ideas bring new clothes. Mr Freedom doesn't follow fashion, he leads"

Both the pants and jacket are made of a combination of red and black velvet. The set is a play on the traditional "baseball suit" with patch appliques at both elbows, on the pant legs and butt area to mimic that uniform. The pants are fitted around the hip with a button front detail. The legs are cut with a slight flare that ends at the cuffed hems. The jacket is also meant to be fitted and its cropped so you get an expanse of skin showing between the pants and jacket. It does up the front with thick, bright yellow laces. The laces can also be tied with the laces ending at the top or the bottom and it seems from the many reference photos that it was done both ways. Truly a rare and fine piece of fashion history. Excellent condition.

Both pieces are unlined. The pants close at the front with a button fly and the jacket laces to close as shown. There are very slight 'crease' marks in the velvet at the parts that sit over a joint but this is a natural effect of time and normal wear and I don't feel it takes away at all from the rating of excellent. The patina adds to the vintage heritage of such a rare set. Tagged a British vintage 12 but please check the listed measurements.

Sleeves: 22"
Shoulders: 14.5"
Bust: 17.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 15" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 16.5" from top of bodice to waist

Waist: 14.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 41" from top of bodice to waist
Inseam: 31.5" from top of bodice to waist

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML

Item# DD2611

Reference Photos: (1) Baseball Jacket from the V&A archives that was on display for Cecil Beaton's 1971 exhibition "Fashion: An anthology".  /  (2) Olivia Newton John, 1970s.  /  (3) Katy Manning, c. 1971.  /  (4) Frederika Elizabeth Mary Lambert-Laughton wears a Mr. Freedom Baseball Suit for Look-In Fashion Model Annual, 1971  /  (5) Ann Schaufuss in Mr Freedom, shot by Clive Arrowsmith, Vogue UK, January 1971.  /  (6) Mr. Freedom Outfits, 1970s.  /  (7) Harold The Ted with fellow shop assistants in the entrance to Mr. Freedom, 22 Kensington Church Street, Summer 1971. Photo by Bob Hall.  / (8) Models posing inside Mr. Freedom.  /  (9) Clockwise from top left: Olivia Newton John with Cliff Richard, 1971 /   Cover of the book "Mr Freedom. Tommy Roberts: British Design Hero" by Paul Gorman. /  Photographer unknown, 1971  /  Model in The Telegraph Magazine, April 1971.

Video Below: Middle of the Road performing on Top of the Pops, 1971.

This garment is in cleaned, as found condition, was steamed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.


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Please review all measurements carefully. More often than not, vintage garments do not fit any size category exactly. If in doubt, measure a garment of your own that fits and is a similar cut and compare it's measurements to the listed measurements below.