pink bits

Sir Mark Palmer, baronet and former pageboy to the Queen, declared himself a fashion oracle in 1967.


“Sir Mark Palmer predicts that pink will be the popular shade in menswear next season. He has set up a shop in Chelsea and revolutionised the image of the male fashion model.

A staff of 35 English boy models are kept busy at £15 an hour. They must be 6′ tall, weigh 140 lbs and not be more than 36″ around the chest.


When we met Mark Palmer he was wearing a sky blue flat felt hat, blue striped red blazer, flowered Moroccan vest with striped tie around the waist, pink pants and pink shoes. “Painted the shoes myself” he said with pride.


“We’re riding the crest of the wave he said. “The shape of men’s bodies had already changed before we pointed it out but nobody had noticed. Male models should look like poets. Who wants to look like a 35 year old muscular Australian male model? Young girls don’t want to be seen with that type any more.”

David Genat

In 1968 he had an epiphany and set off in search of a Shangri-la in Cornwall

“The fifth baronet has grown his hair to shoulder length and sleeps in a brightly painted wagon pulled by a carthorse. Several women, nine puppies, four horses and a lamb have joined his hippie band. He has cashed in his inheritance to buy an estate but at the moment lives in a derelict lodge.


Sir Mark, who went to Eton and Oxford (“not really my scene”) is wearing hand sewn moccasins, gold socks and trousers, red trimmed vest, flower patterned shirt and yellow flower embroidered open jacket.

Nice to know he was still interested in fashion. For several years he travelled around Britain in a horse drawn caravan. He was also a friend of the Rolling Stones


“Palmer’s revised modus vivendi was to live out, eat au naturel and to sleep rough, late and with whomever he could. Villagers became inured to the sight of Palmer’s numerous acolytes appearing in the local shop to buy cigarette papers or a magazine of astrological data.

Eventually he married one of the aficionados of astrological magazines and became a horse dealer and father to artist, model and aspiring trapezist Iris Palmer.


‘A touch of the Iris Palmers’ is fashion-speak for not smiling. The one-time face of both ‘ready-to-wear’ (Chanel and Lacroix) and ‘already worn’ (Oxfam), Iris is a product of St Mary’s Wantage, the rather more liberal Bedales and Chelsea Art School. She first turned up at her modelling agency, Storm, in a micro-miniskirt, fishnets and spike heels, took acid at Glastonbury, grew her armpit hair for a Helmut Newton shoot and is a demon ping-pong player. She’s now editor-at-large of Cheap Date, a magazine advocating ‘freedom from fashion’. ‘All my clothes are second-hand and cost less than a fiver. I never wash them – I just chuck them in a terrifying pile, and I may not see them again,’ she says. Her paintings of robust nudes are not admired by critics, but Helena Christensen bought one for £2,000. Recently, to the amazement of the fashion world, Iris has joined a travelling circus, and hopes to learn the trapeze. Audiences report that she has even been spotted smiling.


Published in: on May 5, 2010 at 8:20 am  Comments (42)  
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42 CommentsLeave a comment


    I just cant get over the pink Darth Vader! Classic!!!

    You know 5 years ago the sight of pink on a man would have made me barf, but it’s actually growing on me. Although to be clear, very few men can actually pull it off

    • Johnny Depp can….

      • I can’t.

      • Not even with a tie?

      • Johnny Depp is some kind of wonderful weirdy chameleon.

    • I think men look very sexy in pink.. a pink oxford cloth or nice knit polo.. it says they’re not worried about their masculinity. I like the Ivy League look- grey flannel suit w/ pink shirt.. gets me hot every time!! almost every time.

  2. Hello Vader? Darth Gay-der? i really want that costume…

    as for Iris? you go, honey! except for that laundry pile. my daughter has one of those in the basement. it moves around sometimes and freaks me out.

    • gotta love a demon ping pong player

  3. “Who wants to look like a 35 year old muscular Australian male model? Young girls don’t want to be seen with that type any more.”

    Not only is this an unnecessary jab at Australians, it also explains why I am doing so poorly with young girls.

    Hugh Wudigme

    • young girls have no taste

  4. I shall sit for Iris Palmer. Robust is my middle name.

  5. Who could smile if her father was famous for telling people men would be wearing pink?

    • Well she is smiling in the last photograph…..

      • Dollie brings a smile to even the most solemn.

  6. I’m glad Vader went over to the Fav side!. I don’t know what the problem is with pink for men. Let’s face it it was a colour for bpys before it was a oolour for girls.

    I wear bit os pink – shirts, underwear, as part of tie patterns (I have a fetish for Duchamp ties), Add a rose scent for men (sometimes) and I am ready for work

    Shame that I still look like a sack of spuds though!

    • Have you got a paisley Duchamp?

  7. I am not afraid to wear pink and I must say I look damn good in it.

  8. I feel downright dowdy in comparison.
    I am dowdy. But I smile!

    • Smiling is good 🙂

  9. Men in pink… not too bad, I think.

    • We refer to it as “Bubble Gum” not pink.

  10. What this proves is that anyone can get away with anything. Oh, if they’re posh, like I.

    • I is never posh, except when imbibing with queens

  11. Now we know why Luke screamed, “Noooooooooooooooooo!” when Darth Vader ‘fessed up to being his dad.

    • I’ve only ever seen the first Star Wars film, lucky me!

  12. Great piece nursemyra. The British aristocracy have pretty much cornered the global market in decadent fops.

  13. I may try to hit Glastonbury this year, I’ve never been. Maybe you should come and we could drop acid as a prelude to peyote in the desert.

    • I can’t go to Glastonbury this year – I’m going to France with queenwilly and The King followed by a week on Lesbos with daisyfae and dolce!!!!!

      • maybe we should pack in pink corsets for the ‘triple corset friday’ shots on the beach?

  14. Usually when I see a guy wearing pink it’s some overtan douchebag in a pink polo shirt. Douchebags have ruined pink, along with polo shirts, for me.

  15. I like the pink bit, alot

  16. I like the pink bits, alot

  17. It’s nice to see families handing down traditions. I hope Iris’s circus comes to these parts.

  18. When I was managing bouncers at The Bon View Inn; a former whore house – turned nightclub in Narragansett, Rhode Island — all of the bouncers (mostly rugby players and wrestlers) wore a bright pink tee shirt. The reason was simple: When a brawl broke out, we could spot each other very quickly. BRIGHT pink. I still have one in the attic, although it’s probably a tight fit these days, or no fit at all. Good times . . . that place could be an interesting post here.

  19. As I once budding trapese artist myself, I have to say I understand why she is not smiling – it fucking really hurts! (trapese that is, not smiling…)

  20. This is funny that you have a pink Darth Vader because the Theme Thursday this week is “Pink” and I did a post on things that shouldn’t be pink…because there are still things that shouldn’t be pink!

  21. Pink is not for me but I do dig Helmut Newton!!!

    • I don’t like Helmut Newton’s work very much. Except for a shot (shots?) with one very small woman and one very tall woman. I do like pink, or at least some pinks. Pink with grey. Pink with black. Pink with light brown. Pink with green. Yeah. I like pink.

      • Do you not Synchy? I really love his work

      • No, I really don’t. In the late 70s his work seemed to me daring, erotic, beautiful and unusual. Now I find him boring at best and misogynistic at worst.

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