Peter Golding

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Peter Golding FCSD
Peter Golding 100 Club.JPG
Peter Golding playing at
The 100 Club London,
Born United Kingdom
Nationality British
Occupation Fashion designer

Peter Golding FCSD created the first 'designer jean' in 1970, opened his clothing store ACE on London's King's Road Chelsea in 1974 and created the world's first stretch denim jean in 1978. He was the first fashion designer to be invited to join what is now known as the Chartered Society of Designers, and in 2004 was invited by The Queen to Buckingham Palace in recognition of his contribution to British design.

He has been described by Fashion Weekly as "the Eric Clapton of denim'.[1]

Beginnings and the Beat Hotel, Paris[edit]

Outside The Beat Hotel Paris: Peter Golding, Madame Rachou (Proprietor) and Robin Page, Peter's busking partner

Golding came from an academic family background, and became a clothing industry management trainee and production manager in his teenage years. An early trip to Paris saw him busk in the streets on blues harp and guitar, and take up residence at No. 9 Git le Coeur, later known as the Beat Hotel,[2][3] a renowned hangout of Anglo-American beat artists and performers. Peter features in books on the beat generation by Harold Chapman [4] and Mike Evans.[5]

Leaving Paris, Golding set out on a 20,000 kilometre journey with friend Michael Kay on Lambretta Scooters. They travelled overland to Jerusalem via Athens, where they appeared as extras in the Jayne Mansfield film It Happened in Athens, then travelling and adventuring on through Turkey, Syria and the middle east, including appearing on television in Beirut and radio on Radio Jordan, before returning to London in the early-Sixties.

Fashion design and consultancy[edit]

On his return Golding worked for the Rael-Brook shirt company as a designer, combining his technical experience with his artistic background, before setting up one of the first professional fashion design consultancies with offices in Old Burlington Street, then Savile Row. He attracted international clients such as Viyella International, Phillips-Van Heusen (US), The International Institute for Cotton, The International Wool Secretariat, ICI (UK), Fabwerke Hoechst AG (Germany) and Hystron Fibers Inc (US), McGregor-Doniger (US), Barracuta (UK) among others.

A series of 'firsts' followed. The introduction of the 'Peter Golding' label was with the first madras cotton shirts from India (sourced while travelling in India and Nepal)and sold through the early London boutiques – Just Men, John Michael and the Westerner and beyond with celebrity customers including the Beatles. The International Wool Secretariat promoted his designs as the first men's unconstructed clothing collection using double knit-wool jersey and also for Project Adam, chaired by Stirling Moss for the advancement of ergonomic clothing.

In 1970 with a commission from Falmer Company Ltd[6] he created what can be considered the world's 'first designer jean' 'Peter Golding for Falmer'.This successful line was followed in 1973 with Peter Golding bleached denim jeanswear which was distributed by Jean Machine and Mayfair Fashions in the UK. In that year Golding also exported these jeans and jackets to the United States through the Brittania Company in Seattle thus introducing the first bleached denim jeanswear to America.

Golding was a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art, and was invited to join the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers which today is known as The Chartered Society of Designers of which he is a fellow and previously an assessor for student membership both in the UK and Hong Kong.[7]


"ACE Goodbyes" page from Ritz Magazine 1984
PG ACE Store

In 1974, Golding opened his flagship store, ACE,[8] in London's King's Road, with sculptures by Andrew Logan and an interior described by European Fashion Guide as "glittering":

This may be the "hottest" store in the world. There is nothing inside here that does not glitter: the jeans, the shirts, the walls and the people. The black walls shine under silver lights, music plays continuously, and there’s no telling what stars may pop in – Liza Minnelli, Rod Stewart, Bianca Jagger or the Rolling Stones’...models,rock stars,movie people and lords and princesses come here for clothes that Golding designs to be both fun and sexy. Famous are the Golding jeans which fit like a second skin.. Alan Flusser – European Fashion Guide US 1977)

Clients included The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, Freddie Mercury, Queen, Britt Ekland, Twiggy, Yoko Ono, David Bailey, Bianca Jagger, David Bowie, Joan Collins, David Niven, Mary Quant, the Princess of Wales, Cliff Richard, Cilla Black, Ava Gardner, Marlon Brando, Bryan Ferry, Dudley Moore, Richard Burton, Adam Ant, Ossie Clark, Julie Christie, Jerry Hall, Jack Nicholson, Ringo Starr, Liza Minnelli, Zandra Rhodes, and Cher.1984 Ritz Newspaper.The store is mentioned in Bill Wyman's Rolling with the Stones in an anecdote where Keith Richards attempts to try on Peter Golding stretch jeans, but instead takes several pairs on spec.

When the store closed in 1984 an advertisement was taken out in Ritz magazine to thank the celebrity clientele – the "Lords and Ladies of the night" which has become known as the "Ace Goodbyes".[9]

Original stretch denim jean[edit]

PG's ACE store was the platform from which Golding created and launched the world's First Stretch Denim Jean[10] in 1978 which was quickly popular with its British and international star-studded clientele.[11]

1978 First Stretch Jean Ticket
First Rock Fit Black Stretch Jean Ticket

Design development and early production began in the mid-1970s, as a response to the changing profile of the average jeans wearer. Golding found the solution to the demand for close-fitting jeans in a Japanese stretch indigo denim fabric (96% cotton 4% spandex) and then a sateen stretch fabric in black and plain dyed colours.

The original product was launched in the UK through the ACE store and other outlets, but was swiftly marketed in the US with success, stocked by American celebrity retailers including Fred Segal and Bloomingdales, and worn by LA's Hollywood and music fraternity including: The Rolling Stones, Guns N' Roses, Fleetwood Mac, Madonna, Jeff Beck, Stray Cats, Darryl Hall, John Oates, Van Halen, Gloria Estefan, Janet Jackson, Steve Miller and many others. His distinctive cuts featured his Rock Fit,Chelsea Cut, Two-way Cut and The Original Stretch.

Production of the stretch jean required an in-depth study of the performance of the fabric – namely shrinkage and stretchability and fit.The Peter Golding brand remained dedicated to the design and technology of stretch denim and other fabrics right through the eighties and nineties into the 2000s,as the brand expanded the range to include numerous jean fits, skirts, and jackets as well as his Ace inspired glamorous T-shirts and tops.

In October 2002, Jerry Hall[12] featured in an article by Hilary Alexander for the Daily Telegraph with photographs by David Bailey to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Peter Golding Stretch Jeans since 1978. British society girl Tamara Beckwith then became the jean's photographic model, being featured in various press articles[13] as well as in Hello and OK celebrity Magazines.

Rock art collection[edit]

Rolling Thunder- The 6ft 6inch painting by Alton Kelley of the artwork for The Grateful Dead's drummer Mickey Hart's LP.

Peter Golding is also known for his unique collection of Rock and Roll Art – 'Inspirational Times'.[14]

The collection had its beginnings at a "happening" in Hyde Park in 1967, when Golding picked up a hand-drawn poster from the ground, and has grown to be one of the most comprehensive collections of its kind. It includes drawings, studies, finished artwork and paintings as well as an extensive collection of double uncut posters and printing plates for major bands and Family Dog venues, created by the well known artists of the era. Golding was a major lender of items to the popular Tate Liverpool exhibition: ‘Summer of Love’, in 2005, which went on to museums in Germany and Austria in 2006, and to its exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in 2007.

The collection includes works by Nigel Waymouth, Michael English, Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelly, and artworks commissioned for bands and performers such as: The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Quicksilver Messenger, The Cult, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, and Journey. Stanley Mouse’s painting, The Jester for the Grateful Dead is particularly well known, as is the late Alton Kelley's Rolling Thunder: This is Kelley's large painting of the Mouse-Kelley artwork for Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart's LP, with its star-studded line-up.

The collection includes extensive work by the late Rick Griffin, considered the 'grand master' of this art form. It includes his working portfolios, sketchbooks and paintings as a special spectrum of his unique artistic style, with the Grateful Dead being well represented as one of his most important clients. There are works from his student days through to his later paintings – covering three decades of his talented and renowned artistic journey.

A selection went to auction under the title 'The Peter Golding Collection of Rock & Roll Art' at Bonhams in New York on 14 May 2008, as a first showing of its kind with a preview tour of the United States in April.

The first publicised and curated exhibition for Inspirational Times was held in London in 2003 at Sotheby's[15] Olympia.


Stretching The Blues CD, Indigo Records

Golding is an avid musician, dedicated to blues and jazz playing harmonica, guitar and piano.

His influences have strong roots in the US, and Golding enjoys jamming and performing there: on R & B cruises around the Caribbean, or performing with friends such as Slim Jim Phantom of The Stray Cats at his 'Cat Club' on Hollywood's Sunset Strip. Peter Golding with April De Silva and their band the Ace All-Stars, co-hosted the Valentine's Ball charity event at the Royal Albert Hall in 1990, playing with Mick Jagger's brother Chris Jagger.

He recorded his 1997 album Stretching The Blues[16] with blues musicians, including Otis Grand, Doris Troy and Slim Jim Phantom, and released it with a fashion and live music and fashion extravaganza at the Café de Paris London. The crowd included close friends, the fashion industry, Larry Adler, the Marquis of Bath, Kid Creole and Leo Sayer.

Golding was invited by the Adler family to play harmonica at the tribute to Larry Adler concert in 2001, joining Sir George Martin, Ned Sherrin and Issy Van Randwyck. In 2010, he participated in the tribute concert to Diz Disley at the Half Moon, Putney, with many of Disley's old friends. He re-grouped Diz's band, The Hot Club de Londres, for the occasion.

He presented a 'Talking Jazz & Blues' series at London's Chelsea Arts Club, including his own lecture: ‘75 Years of The Glorious Blues Harmonica’.

Golding’s own jump-blues band "PG & The T-Bones" continues to perform at the Chelsea Arts Club and other London venues, as does his group Cafe Django, featuring gypsy jazz with his unique style of harmonica swing. The T-Bones played London's 100 Club in 2010 and Cafe Django played London's Momo in 2010 and again in March 2012.

Cafe Django continues to play selected London venues and Golding's harmonica and vocals has a six-piece led combo which features two guitars, violin,accordion and double bass. In December 2011, they played at the Chelsea Arts Club as an eight-piece by including an additional guitar and saxophone/clarinet.In March 2012, the regular 5/6 piece band played two nights at London's Django Reinhardt inspired music café Le QuecumBar and then several performances in 2013 with further gigs continuing there in 2016, as well as at the Chelsea Arts Club and other venues.

ICA Culture Now 2013[edit]

Peter Golding – ICA Culture Now, 2013
Peter Golding in conversation with Chris Sullivan

Peter Golding was invited by the Institute of Contemporary Arts The Mall SW1, to participate in their 'Culture Now'[17] lunchtime series in February 2013.He was 'in conversation' with Chris Sullivan, a journalist, contemporary author and commentator, with a discussion and power point presentation of Golding's fashion and design heritage as well as his music and rock art interests.

In addition Golding was invited to take part in 'RIVER BLUE' a documentary movie released in 2016. "River Blue spans the globe to infiltrate one of the world’s most pollutive industries, fashion !” He was also interviewed and featured as the originator of the Stretch Jean in the film 'BLUE GOLD' commercially released in 2017. "Blue Gold: American Jeans A New Documentary That Explores the Cultural Impact of Jeans Around the World"


  • Rodney Bennett-England (1967) Dress Optional: The Revolution in Menswear – Publisher, Peter Owen Ltd. London ISBN 9780720601107
  • The Design Council Educational (1986) Designers Talking: Peter Golding, Fashion Designer :Plus VHS.
  • Harold Chapman (1984) The Beat Hotel Paris: Editor Banal Gris
  • Bill Wyman, (2002) Rolling with the Stones – Publisher, Dorling Kindersley Ltd. London ISBN 9780751346466
  • Paul Gorman, (2006) The Look: Adventures in Rock and Pop Fashion – Publisher, Adelita Ltd. London, ISBN 978-0-9552017-0-7
  • Mike Evans (2007) The Beats: From Kerouac to Kesey, an Illustrated Journey Through the Beat Generation – Publisher, Running Press Book Publishers. New York, ISBN 978-0762430482
  • Gary Italiaander (2014) Reflections: A Tribute to Larry Adler, Harmonica Genius – Publisher, Delancy Press. London, ISBN 9781907205255


  1. ^ Tredre, Roger (16 February 1989). ""The Great Survivor"". Fashion Weekly. London. 
  2. ^ "The Beat Hotel Documentary". Retrieved 2016-09-27. 
  3. ^ "Trailer | The Beat Hotel". Retrieved 2016-09-27. 
  4. ^ Chapman, Harold (1984). The Beat Hotel. Gris Banal. ISBN 9782903942021. 
  5. ^ Evans, Mike (2007). The Beats: From Kerouac to Kesey, an Illustrated Journey Through the Beat Generation. Running Press. ISBN 0762430486. 
  6. ^ "Falmer Jeans & Waistcoat | 70s Fashion". Retrieved 2016-09-27. 
  7. ^ "Culture Now: Peter Golding | Institute of Contemporary Arts". Retrieved 2016-09-27. 
  8. ^ "Ace: "Purveyor of funky elegance" « Paul Gorman is…". Retrieved 2016-09-27. 
  9. ^ ""Ace Goodbyes"". Ritz Newspaper. London: Bailey Litchfield Productions Ltd. 20 September 1984. 
  10. ^ Jacobs, Catherine. "Stretch Jeans Guide - Everything You Need to Know". Retrieved 2016-09-27. 
  11. ^ "Stretch Jeans Guide - Everything You Need to Know". 
  12. ^ "Jerry Hall is planning a country and western album and a cartoon | British Vogue". 2002-11-26. Retrieved 2016-09-27. 
  13. ^ "British Brand Worth Stretching". 2003-06-16. Retrieved 2016-09-27. 
  14. ^ "Rock arts History on Show".  External link in |website= (help)
  15. ^ Ignacio Villarreal (2003-01-19). "Inspirational Times at Sotheby’s London". Retrieved 2016-09-27. 
  16. ^ "Stretching the Blues - Pete Golding | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. 1997-05-27. Retrieved 2016-09-27. 
  17. ^ "Culture Now: Peter Golding | Institute of Contemporary Arts". Retrieved 2016-09-27. 

External links[edit]