Hapshash and the Coloured Coat was an influential British graphic design and avant-garde musical partnership in the late 1960s, between Nigel Waymouth (b. 1941) and Michael English (1941 - 2009). The artistic duo produced psychedelic posters, and two albums of underground music.
Hapshash's silkscreen printed posters were originally created to advertise underground clubs, concerts, and "happenings". Their works included posters for leading performers such as Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix. The designs by the pair swiftly became so popular that they were reproduced and sold in fashionable stores such as the Indica Bookshop and Carnaby Street boutiques, helping to launch the industry of commercially sold posters as art.
It was in December 1966 that Waymouth and English were originally introduced to one another, by the co-founders of the UFO Club on Tottenham Court Road, who asked them to collaborate on posters advertising the club. Since, many original pieces of Hapshash's work has been included in the permanent collection at the Victoria and Albert museum, and in 1999 were the subject of a major retrospective exhibition titled "Cosmic Visions - Psychedelic Posters from the 1960s".
Separately, both artists enjoyed rich and varied careers.
After graduating from University College of London in 1964, Nigel Waymouth began a career as a freelance feature writer for various specialist journals. In February 1966 he then launched the celebrated fashion boutique "Granny Takes a Trip", designing clothes for the likes of The Beatles, Brigitte Bardott, and Andy Warhol. More recently, he has pursued a successful career as a fine art painter, particularly as a much sought after portraitist, since the 1980s.
Michael English read at the Ealing College of Art, studying under the artist Roy Ascott in 1962. At a young age he developed a fascination with drawing technical subjects such as aeroplanes and trains, both of which retained a magnetism for the artist throughout his life. His work included commissioned paintings for both private individuals and public organisations, creating work for companies such as Porsche and even producing a stamp series based around British transportation for the Royal Mail. He lived in London with his wife, Jaki, and continued to work right up until he passed away in 2009.