If an enlarged picture paints a thousand words

11 January 2014: At The Armoury this afternoon I was talking about fashion disasters with my younger brother. I mentioned the Ra-Ra skirt a one time girlfriend of mine wore. Then he mentioned the Skouser. I shot him down with another one. He thought I had partaken too many pints of Trooper till I showed him the picture on my smartphone.

Once more we return to Philip Kives’ company, this time their efforts to break in to the fashion market.

‘I’m In The Mood’ T-Shirts

K-Tel’s 1971 garment was a remarkable combination of synthetic materials, or cotton and pseudoscience. A feat which would be repeated in the early 1990s with the Global Hypercolor sweaters and T-Shirts (pretty common among audience members in Shane Richie’s forgotten rival to You’ve Been Framed, entitled Caught In The Act).

Placed upon the front of each t-shirt is an appliqued oval in portrait form with ‘I’m In The Mood’ written outside in a serif font. A black oval meant ‘oh dear, you are under stress’ whereas green meant you’re chilling out. Violet to blue, the most desirable of mood colours under the advert’s quackery, was supposed to symbolise ‘I’m in the mood for love, or fun’. As if you’re going to be out on the pull with a lame t-shirt!

The 1971 advert begins with two female models displaying their t-shirts, with the appliqued oval set to UKIP blue. On showing two males sat on sun loungers, seen through one male’s sunglasses is a shot of the same girls. This time, scantily clad devoid of their ‘I’m In The Mood’ t-shirts stripped to bikinis. Both males’ t-shirts see the applique change from green to violet/blue. Oh, the chauvinism…

Our narrator claims K-Tel’s t-shirts would be part of your life. Not quite the same way as hoping baked beans haven’t gone up in price over the space of week. Nor in the same vein as ‘how long shall I be queuing for petrol this time?’ (after all, this is the early 1970s, era of Edward Heath’s government and non-PC sitcoms).

Available in leading stores, according to our narrator, they were available in different colours.

*                                *                                *

S.V., 19 December 2013.

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