Images of the novelty t-shirt designs détourned by the late Malcolm McLaren for sale in Seditionaries in 1978 are rare, which is why this shot of Apollonia Van Ravenstein and Ara Gallant from a spread in a late 70s issue of L’Uomo Vogue is extra special.
Apollonia Van Ravenstein + Ara Gallant in originals of Seditionaries Mickey & Minnie and Exposé t-shirts
Ian Harris is a man of many parts, having been at various stages in his life a successful graphic artist, fashion designer, homewares retailer and musician/performer, notably with late 60s blues-rock group The Earth and as his mod revival alter ego Terry Tonik.
Just this week Harris let me in on a curious, humorous and anonymous public intervention series he staged in London galleries and museums a few years back.
“This choice of a title was an attempt to suggest an outline broken by refraction, a distortion in the mirror of being, a wrong turn taken by life.”
Vladimir Nabokov, from the introduction to the 1963 edition of Bend Sinister
Donald Trump’s nightmarish occupancy of the US presidency has occasioned quite a few literary comparisons, causing sales spikes for such dystopian works as George Orwell’s 1984 and prompting arguments about whether other books more accurately envisioned what passes for our current version of reality: see Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.
An admittedly cursory check around hasn’t turned up anyone else who, like me, makes the connection to Vladimir Nabokov’s 1947 novel Bend Sinister, about a bereaved world-renowned philosopher living in a totalitarian state run by the repulsive schoolmate he had once bullied and nicknamed “The Toad”. This tyrant, Paduk, rules via his Party Of The Average Man.
Lives less ordinary: Jane England’s Turn And Face The Strange documents 70s cultural and social churn
Jane England’s Turn And Face The Strange is a valuable addition to the documentation of the social and cultural churn occurring at the edges of society in the 1970s.
As punk expert/collector and design academic Paul Burgess notes, references to 430 King’s Road turn up in the most surprising places.
So thanks to him for notifying me about this photograph of the coolest address in pop culture – and in particular the tiger stripe-flocked Ford Mustang which adorned the street outside during the Paradise Garage phase – in a 1976 light educational book for young children.
Stiff Records was on fire in 1977.
The British independent record label, with owners Jake Riviera and Dave Robinson snapping up acts and art director Barney Bubbles applying his unsurpassable skills to the visualising of their music, came straight out of the traps 40 years ago this month with the release of the first ‘punk’ LP Damned Damned Damned by – who else? – The Damned.
On the collapse of their design partnership in October 1983 after showcasing of the collection Worlds End 1984 in Paris and London, Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood went their separate ways.
I am fortunate enough to be able to state that the first live music concert I attended was the midnight double bill of Frank Sinatra and The Count Basie Orchestra at London’s Royal Festival Hall in May 1970.
I was 10 years old. My resourceful mother wangled tickets for the entire family, with one of my sisters selling programmes. That gained her access to the artists’ area; she gave me the backstage pass which I duly placed in the school project autobiography I wrote the following year.
Sweet relief from travails personal and political was provided last night by visits to openings of two contrasting yet similarly satisfying creative endeavours in our great capital.
Here is a selection of amazing images featured in new exhibition North: Identity, Photography, Fashion, which is open to the public from today at Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery.