Steven Meisel’s campaign clip for Miu Miu’s autumn/winter 2015 collection tips a knowing wink to Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s 70s label Seditionaries, and in particular the design collage Vive Le Rock/Punk Rock Disco.
I Groaned With Pain: Malcolm McLaren’s own t-shirts to feature in exhibition of status quo-disrupters
Two of Malcolm McLaren’s t-shirts from the very first production run of I Groaned With Pain – the notorious text design produced with Vivienne Westwood in 1974 – will be featured in Eyes For Blowing Up Bridges, the exhibition I am co-curating with David Thorp at Southampton’s John Hansard Gallery this autumn.
I Groaned With Pain is named after the first four words of the paragraph of text McLaren lifted from beat writer Alexander Trocchi’s erotic novel Helen And Desire (published in 1954 by Olympia Press under the pseudonym Francis Lengel).
The story of the Sex shop leather hood: From harmless fetish attire (as sported by David Bowie?) to theatre of cruelty design totem
//Left: Detail of photo of model posing in leather Sex hood, autumn 1974. Photo: © David Parkinson. Right: David Bowie in leather hood, summer 1974, Sherry Netherland Hotel, New York. Photo: Dana Gillespie//
My recent post about David Bowie’s visits in 1974 to 430 King’s Road when it was in its Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die incarnation prompted Facebook friend and DJ Graham “Sugarlump” Evans to alert me to Polaroid photographs of David Bowie trying out make-up, hair and styling options in preparation for his Diamond Dogs tour of the US that year.
In one, as Evans points out, Bowie posed in a leather hood of similar style to the model sold at 430 as it was transformed over a period of six months from TFTL to fetish emporium Sex.
David Bowie’s unwitting role in the transformation of 430 King’s Road from Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die to SEX
It is a little known fact that David Bowie was an occasional visitor to 430 King’s Road when it was operating as Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die.
This manifestation of Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s revolutionary boutique – which paid design tribute to the fetishistic studded leather attire of Britain’s early 60s Ton Up Boys and rockers and sold the cult clothing associated with 40s mobsters and Latino zoot suit rioters – succeeded the 50s outlet Let It Rock in the early spring of 1973, as noted at the time by the fashion writer Catherine Tennant in British Vogue.
AJ article on 430 caps a busy week packed with DIY Cultures, Nathalie Du Pasquier, Apartamento et al
It’s been a busy and satisfying week, rounded off by publication today in the Architects Journal of an essay of mine on the cultural significance of 430 King’s Road.
‘This country is run by a group of Fascists': When Malcolm McLaren met Sweet Gene Vincent backstage at The Marquee
//Clockwise from top left: Gene Vincent with one of The Houseshakers, Magnet Club, Chelmsford, UK, February 1971. Photo: http://gene.vincent.fanclub.voila.net; Let It Rock assistant in Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps top, Wembley Stadium, August 5, 1972. Photo: Masayoshi Sukita; Vincent’s quote as featured on the Sex t-shirt You’re Gonna Wake Up, 1974//
‘Gene Vincent for me was the embodiment of rock’n’roll’
Malcolm McLaren 1997
On September 22 1971, Gene Vincent was a mid-week booking to play a “rock revival” night at central London club The Marquee.
Times were tough; at just 36, the soft-spoken American rocker was apparently way past his heyday and beset by severe health problems brought on by the combination of alcoholism and addiction to prescription drugs taken to dull the constant pain in his left leg. This was the result of a crippling motorbike accident in his youth and the lingering effects of having been in the 1960 car-crash which killed Eddie Cochran.
Electric Colour Company were intent on enlivening the visual landscape of grey London town by desecrating polite notions of decor and good taste
My feature on the pioneering but sorely undervalued design studio Electric Colour Company appears in the current issue of UK GQ Style.
//The four pairs of boots are classic examples of early 70s rock n roll style//
These rare and unusual boots are thought to have once belonged to Elton John; the current owner was told this when he acquired them.
Preparation for my paper at Ben Kelly’s interior design symposium Dead Or Alive has coincided with the refurbishment of the Worlds End shop at 430 King’s Road in Chelsea.
The address is the subject of my talk; I’ll be detailing the history of 430 and how and why it was an important social and cultural locus over a number of decades.
I’ve been aware of the existence of the Kensington boutique Roxy for some time, particularly since the store name was used as the title of the feature on London street fashion in a 1972 edition of Japanese magazine An An.
But my curiosity was pricked recently while browsing that same issue of An An which appears in Freddie Hornik’s scrapbook (see last post).