On August 6 I am taking part in a discussion about Punk visual style and culture with fashion historian Amber Butchart and Jordan Mooney, the sales assistant superstar at Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s shops at 430 King’s Road in the 70s who became a fashion inspiration and role model in her own right.
May 20: Celebrating Malcolm McLaren’s fashion legacy at London’s ICA with Young Kim, designer Kim Jones + Man About Town editor Ben Reardon
Next week I will be taking part in a panel discussion on the fashion legacy of the late cultural iconoclast Malcolm McLaren at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts.
The other participants in the chat – chaired by Young Kim of the Malcolm McLaren Estate – are Louis Vuitton menswear artistic director and McLaren/Westwood collector and expert Kim Jones and Ben Reardon, editor of Man About Town; the new issue of his magazine contains a huge section dedicated to McLaren’s stylistic forays with and without Vivienne Westwood, including a fashion story photographed by Alasdair McLellan and styled by Olivier Rizzo and my essay Been There Done That Going Back.
The panel will be followed by the launch of Man About Town S/S 16 in the ICA Bar in partnership with specialist dealer Idea Books.
Tickets for the event are £7/£8 available here.
‘Progressive, provocative, beautiful and belligerent’: 52-page Malcolm McLaren extravaganza in new issue of Man About Town
//Above left: Frankie in Buffalo hat, white Nike socks and my George Cox Diano creepers. Right: Natalie in Malcolm McLaren’s Chico hat (Witches, 1983), Buffalo jacket (Nostalgia Of Mud, 1982) and Bondage Trousers (Seditionaries, 1976). Photography: Alasdair McLellan. Styling: Olivier Rizzo. Hair: Duffy: Make Up: Lynsey Alexander. Man About Town SS16//
On a warm London afternoon last July I enjoyed a meeting with Ben Reardon, editor-in-chief of the biannual Man About Town, the magazine’s senior fashion editor Danny Reed and Young Kim of the Malcolm McLaren Estate.
Here are just a few examples of the riches presented by photojournalist/filmmaker Paul Yule’s highly recommended Instagram feed @paul_yule.
Long Live The Soho Dead: Ghosts of Le Macabre haunt Robert Rubbish’s exhibition Spiritus Soho Volume Zero
“When I started working as the Saturday boy at Let It Rock (in 1973), Malcolm McLaren used to take me around these strange places which played a part in early rock & roll. One time we went to Le Macabre. I don’t know how he knew about it, but it was the real thing. The tables were coffin lids and the jukebox only had songs to do with death.”
Glen Matlock, interview transcript for The Look, 2000.
A chance encounter on eBay spurred artist Robert Rubbish into creating one of the key elements of his current exhibition Spiritus Soho Volume Zero.
Rubbish – who is one of many mourning the recent death of his friend and documentary subject, the poet Jock Scot – is known for deep associations with central London’s Soho, and has celebrated its sleazy past and uneasy present in his own work and with the other members of the art collective Le Gun.
Punk Rockers meet The Cockettes founder downtown: When Fayette Hauser, Rory Johnston + Malcolm McLaren spent a wild weekend in Sin City
To mark the arrival in London of the legendary founder of The Cockettes Fayette Hauser for screenings of rare films featuring the transgressive troupe, here are some extracts from an interview she gave me for the forthcoming Malcolm McLaren biography.
I’m also featuring photographs Hauser took when she hooked up with the late McLaren on the West Coast after the Sex Pistols had splintered in San Francisco at the end of their January 1978 US tour.
With meetings arranged with record company and movie studio producers and financiers, McLaren stayed at West Hollywood’s infamous Tropicana Motel on Santa Monica Boulevard, home to the likes of Tom Waits and visiting musicians from Bob Marley & The Wailers to the Ramones and the Velvet Underground (Andy Warhol’s Heat and Trash were both filmed there).
‘A complete environment’: Patrick Casey and Malcolm McLaren’s installation at Let It Rock in Ben Kelly’s 111 Inspirational Interiors exhibition
I have elected the above image for inclusion in the exhibition 111 Inspirational Interiors, which opens tomorrow in the Windows Gallery 1 at Central Saint Martins in Kings Cross, north London.
The show is curated by designer Ben Kelly in his role as chair of interior and spatial design at University of the Arts London as part of his project Popular Culture And The Interior; the 1972 David Parkinson photograph stems from my participation in Kelly’s ICA symposium last year, Dead Or Alive – Interior Design.
For the exhibition, Kelly invited 111 people to contribute “an image of an interior that has been important and influential in their creative and intellectual development”. The image I chose was taken on the completion of the refurbishment of the ground floor of 430 King’s Road from the premises of boutique Paradise Garage into Teddy Boy culture emporium Let It Rock in late 1971 by the late Malcolm McLaren and his fellow former Harrow Art School student Patrick Casey.
Exclusive: Gay orgy Pleasure Chest t-shirt Malcolm McLaren détourned into shocking Joe Orton/Warriors/punk design classic
The trickster’s function is to add disorder to order, and so make a whole; within the fixed bounds of what’s permitted, an experience of what is not permitted.
Karl Kerenyi quoted in Prick Up Your Ears: The Biography Of Joe Orton, John Lahr, 1978
In January 1978, after the break-up of the Sex Pistols in San Francisco on the last date of the group’s ill-fated US tour, their manager Malcolm McLaren shifted base to Los Angeles for a few weeks to work out his next move.
Discussing options with record companies and holding meetings with movie companies to drum up business for biopic The Great Rock N Roll Swindle, the late McLaren had a ball, staying at the legendary rock’n’roll hang-out The Tropicana Motel on Santa Monica Boulevard, hard by Duke’s Coffee Shop and a few blocks west of the sex shop The Pleasure Chest.
“It was a spectacular coup de théâtre – Kansai’s models came on moving. They leapt, ran, whirled like dervishes, danced, flung out their arms so that the brilliant colours meshed and merged into a kaleidoscopic cartoon of colour. Kansai himself, black-clothed and masked, moved across the stage like a Samurai warrior, tearing off layers and layers of clothes, stripping down the beautiful, pyramidal outer garments, right down to the vests and body paint. Kansai’s clothes épatent les couturiers.”
Harpers & Queen, July 1971
As fuzzy as they are, the two precious video clips at the end of this post convey the game-changing nature of Kansai Yamamoto’s theatrical introduction of avant-garde Japanese fashion design to these shores at the dawn of the 70s.
They also reveal the extent to which the late David Bowie subsequently drew on Yamamoto’s flamboyance and daring when presenting Ziggy Stardust on stage.
Several of the designs were worn by Bowie in performance during live promotion, in particular of the Aladdin Sane album, and he also adopted the sleight-of-hand layered costume reveals, the emphatic postures of the models and even the flame-red hair colouring as seen on the huge wig worn in the first excerpt below.
Chris Spedding: Unsung hero of Seventies style from Alkasura + Granny Takes A Trip to Let It Rock, Sex + Seditionaries
Guitarist Chris Spedding is one of the unsung heroes of Seventies style.
I’ve been a fan of his music and look since 1974, when I acquired Jab It In Yore Eye. This was the second album by Sharks, formed by Spedding with other survivors of the early 70s music scene after leaving jazz-rock outfit Nucleus and gigging with Jack Bruce.