Cockney Rebel star’s outfits in Suffolk sale

Various stage costumes belonging to 1970s Cockney Rebel star Steve Harley will go under the hammer in a Suffolk saleroom next month.

The veteran rocker has consigned a number of costumes and vinyl to sell in Lacy Scott & Knight’s upcoming Music, Film & Sporting Memorabilia auction taking place on September 16.

Steve Harley + Cockney Rebel, Steve Harley's 1970's Clown stage costume,

Some of the highlights of the sale include a clown stage costume featuring a black and silver thread lamé top with has a net collar and flowers with zip fastening, together with a matching pair of trousers. Steve commented: “The first Cockney Rebel wore lurex clown suits, two green, two blue and my own in black. We never felt part of the Glam Rock movement, but there was a real theatricality about my early songs and it seemed natural to portray ourselves with a theatrical image.” This suit has been in a plastic cover since 1973 and is estimated at £400-£600.

Red-striped blazer jacket that belonged to Steve Harley of Cockney Rebel

A grey and red-striped single breasted blazer with cream silk lining that belonged to the pop star is also offered. The blazer bears a label to the right inner chest pocket for ‘Nutters 35 Saville Row, W.1. hand written date 28.1.77, no. 5620 Steve Harley’. It is estimated at £100-£200.

A 1970s stage costume designed by Bill Gibb for Steve Harley + Cockney Rebel, worn by the singer on many legs of the band’s 1976 world tour, has an estimate of £1,500-£2,500 in the sale. The outfit comprises a full-length, hooded coat in blue silk with maroon velvet lapels, cuffs and waistband. It is stylised with embroidered birds and oriental motifs, alongside chevron piping with matching waistcoat and maroon velvet trousers. The clothing bears a label for ‘Bill Gibb, London’.

Steve Harley commented: “Photographer Mick Rock introduced me to Billy, a soft-spoken man with the kindness of a saint in his eyes. He didn’t designed menswear, only women’s haut couture, but Billy and his cutters and seamstresses seemed to become quietly excited at the prospect. We went for it, all right. Acres of rare Chinese silk, a hood, red satin lining, folds and pleats to the ground; the outfit brought a slight air of mystery to the dressing-rooms, even if some of the chaps did mock. The hand embroidery was overseen by Billy’s head seamstress, a fabulous Greek woman, Nevis. The costume shared the stage with me in many towns and countries during the ’76 world tour.” William Elphinstone Gibb (23 January 1943 – 3 January 1988) was a Scottish fashion designer who became renowned in the 1960s and 70s for his unusual and flattering designs.

A stage costume worn by Steve Harley in the stage play Marlowe

Other items in the sale include a stage costume from the 1980s worn by Steve Harley in the role of Marlowe in the musical drama of the same title. The outfit comprises a green leather flat cap with studded brass detail and ostrich feathers, a white cotton shirt with lace ruff and cuffs, a black leather lace up shoulder garment with brass ring detail, a pair of pleated black leather breeches, a black leather body belt and a pair of black suede calf length boots. It has an estimate of £300-£500.