Paul Gorman is…

Exhibition: The Story Of The Face x London at Sonos Seven Dials until April

Jan 27th, 2018

//The cover of the February 1982 issue of The Face featuring Sheila Rock’s striking image of Siouxsie Sioux at the Sonos store in Earlham Street. Photo: Lawrence Ajayi//

//Photo: Lawrence Ajayi//

//Photo: Lawrence Ajayi//

The Face magazine was firmly rooted in central London and like its host city it was inclusive, outward-looking, multi-cultural and diverse. While it expressed all the best aspects of creative London it was never parochial but simultaneously intent on making the connections to cities and sub cultures around the country and around the world.

Based throughout the 1980s and 90s in the enclaves around Carnaby Street, Mortimer Street, Marylebone and Clerkenwell, the magazine and its writers, designers, photographers and stylists became fundamental to the scenes they documented.

From Soho’s “The Cult With No Name” through rare groove, rave and British soul to Britpop, Brit Art and beyond, The Face was at the epicentre of the capital’s youth, music, fashion, art, design and club cultures.

At a time when the area’s venues and nightlife are being challenged by regulation, regeneration and urban development, this exhibition and companion events aim not only to shine a light on central London’s cultural significance but also highlight a time when a magazine could change the world.

Perhaps the greatest exemplars of The Face’s disruptive London attitude were cover stars such as John Lydon, Malcolm McLaren, George Michael and Suede as well as Kate from Croydon and Naomi from Streatham, who toppled the glamazons ruling fashion and endure as emblems of London street style and suss.

The Face: It was a London thing.

My exhibition about The Face magazine’s roots in, and relationship to, London is currently being staged at home leisure specialist Sonos’ newest store, in Earlham Street, Seven Dials.

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The Oui connection: Michael J. Pollard, Uschi Obermaier, Granny Takes A Trip + Greasy Truckers Live At Dingwalls Dancehall

Jan 10th, 2018

//Left: detail, outer gatefold illustration by Holly Hollington, Greasy Truckers At Dingwalls Dancehall, Greasy Truckers Records, 1973; right: Uschi Obermaier and Michael J. Pollard, Oui, October 1973. Photo: Chris von Wangenheim//

//Left: Detail, uncredited cover photo, Oui, Oct 1973. Art director: Don Menell; right: detail; Greasy Truckers sleeve//

Recently I obtained a pristine copy of the October 1973 issue of American men’s magazine Oui, which contains a Chris von Wangenheim fashion shoot featuring actors Michael J. Pollard and Uschi Obermaier .

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Dancing at the Tottenham Royal, driving across town for a decent spag bol, the hip young gunslingers NME ad, founding The Face and much, much more: Listen to Nick Logan talk about his London with Gary Crowley

Jan 7th, 2018

 

For the ‘My London’ slot on his BBC Radio London programme, British broadcaster Gary Crowley has conducted an illuminating interview (with musical choices) with Nick Logan, editor, publisher and hands-down the greatest British magazine innovator of our time.

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The Story Of The Face in Amsterdam

Dec 12th, 2017

//Athenaeum has done the book proud with this splendid window display. Photo: Athenaeum//

The Story Of The Face is coming to Amsterdam on Friday (December 15).

In an event at the city’s NewWerktheater organised by leading Netherlands bookshop Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum, I’ll be making a visual presentation about the magazine that changed culture.

Afterwards I’ll talk about the enduring influence of The Face and my new book The Story Of The Face with Gert Jonkers, founder of Butt and Fantastic Man and publisher of The Gentlewoman and COS Magazine.

If you’re in town please come along. Tickets from aanmelden@athenaeum.nl

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The Story Of The Face: In conversation with Magculture’s Jeremy Leslie + the legend Nick Logan at Central Saint Martins on November 16

Nov 3rd, 2017

To mark the publication of my new book about The Face,  I will be in conversation at London’s Central Saint Martins on November 16 with Magculture’s Jeremy Leslie and the magazine’s founder/editor/publisher Nick Logan.

//Logan in Soho last week. In this area he ran The Face as a one-man band from offices in Carnaby Street (1980-81) and Broadwick Street (1981-82)//

This event represents a chance not just to hear from Leslie, whose shop is the country’s leading independent magazine hub, but also a rare opportunity to witness Logan – in my book (literally) the most important figure in post war British magazine publishing – talk about the magazine that changed culture.

Tickets are £10; all proceeds go to the Alzheimers Society.

Details and tickets from Magculture here.

The Story Of The Face: The Magazine That Changed Culture is published on the same day, November 16. You may order copies here.

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The Story Of The Face in British GQ

Oct 6th, 2017

Out today, the November 2017 issue of British GQ includes a 10-page feature on my forthcoming book The Story Of The Face: The Magazine That Changed Culture.

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RIP Gary Warnett, streetwear guru and sneaker supremo

Sep 28th, 2017

//Warnett in his element. Photo: Hypebeast, to which he was a regular contributor//

This is a terrible week for those of us interested in the accumulation of knowledge and expertise surrounding design, music and popular culture.

I was settling in to write an obituary for New York design hero Jim Walrod when news came through last night that British sneaker guru Gary Warnett – a similarly irreplaceable figure – had also unexpectedly died.

Warnett was 39; the cause was attributed to complications arising from pneumonia.

The former content editor for label Crooked Tongues, Warnett was a streetwear obsessive who worked with the world’s biggest brands. Still he found the time to pursue a wide array of interests as evinced by his excellent Gwarizm/Still Lameaphobic site.

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For Jim Walrod – ‘Decoration is the danger, function is the idea’: The On 1st experiment in conceptual art retailing

Sep 27th, 2017

** This post is dedicated to the New York design thinker and doer Jim Walrod, who has passed away. Just a couple of weeks ago I mentioned my intention to post about On 1st to Jim over dinner. Of course, he knew about the store but was excited to see what fresh info I might have turned up. I’ll write about Jim when I have collected my thoughts; wherever he is, I am sure Jim will join us all in the necessary proclamation: Fuck Trump**

//At the entrance to 1159 1st Avenue at 63rd was Sven Lukin’s two-tonne illuminated sign. Photo: Bert Stern//

//On 1st interior including displays of Roy Lichtenstein wallpaper and Gerald Laing plates. Photo: Bert Stern//

In conversation this summer, British artist Duggie Fields revealed to me that, during a sojourn in the US in 1968, he had been in line to work at photographer Bert Stern’s “architecturally mind-blowing” art store/publishing house On 1st in Manhattan’s east side.

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My new book – The Story Of The Face: The Magazine That Changed Culture

Jun 7th, 2017

This is the front of the jacket of my new book The Story Of The Face: The Magazine That Changed Culture, which is published by Thames & Hudson this autumn.

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Phallic Metallics: Erotic jewellery shoot by Hipgnosis for Club magazine 1976

May 4th, 2017

//Jewellery by Gayle Saunders and Stanley Rosenberg. Photography/art direction: Hipgnosis. From Phallic Metallics, Club, May 1976//

I’m grateful to Stian Brekke for sending me a link to his site hipgnosiscovers.com for these arresting pages from a 1976 issue of US men’s magazine Club, launched as the sister publication the British Club International the previous year.

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