Paul Gorman is…

The Filth & The Fury: Punk Fashion at the NFT tomorrow with Amber Butchart + SEX & Seditionaries superstar Jordan Mooney

Aug 5th, 2016

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Tomorrow I’m a guest of historian Amber Butchart at London’s National Film Theatre for a conversation and q&a about Punk fashion with her special invitee Jordan Mooney, SEX and Seditionaries superstar and inner member of the Sex Pistols circle.

I’ve put together a presentation from my archive to run during our chat, including images of Jordan’s striking series of visual personae and slides showing how the designs by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood at 430 King’s Road were regularly featured in the fashion and national press from the early 70s to the time of Punk later in the decade.

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//Selection of Let It Rock designs showcased in a May 1972 issue of The Sunday Times Magazine. Photos: Hans Feurer. Paul Gorman Archive//

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Rabble-rousing Caroline Coon, grim-faced editors and Eric The Tramp: Inside Oz and the obscenity trial with Joe Stevens

Jul 9th, 2016
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//Activist/artist Caroline Coon leads protests outside the Central Criminal Court during the Oz trial, summer 1971. Photo: Joe Stevens. No reproduction without permission //

Photographer Joe Stevens has dug deep into his archive for these three gems from his time with the underground press in London in the early 70s.

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//Oz editors (from left) Jim Anderson, Richard Neville and the late Felix Dennis in serious discussion during the trial, 1971. Photo: Joe Stevens. No reproduction without permission//

New Yorker Stevens had already made a name for himself at radical weekly The East Village Other before pitching up in London and contributing to International Times, Oz and Friends (which changed into Frendz in 1971). Later Stevens moved on to the music press and in particular New Musical Express, where he was often partnered with the likes of Charles Shaar Murray (ex-Oz) and Nick Kent (ex-Frendz).

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Rarely spotted Mr Freedom designs emerge from Audrey’s wardrobe after 45 years

May 31st, 2016
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//Audrey Watson’s great grand-neice Carlie models the spot-print two-piece bought in 1971 from Mr Freedom’s branch at 20 Kensington Church Street in west London. All photos: Helen Smith//

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//Sooty & Sweep print Mr Freedom shirt also acquired by Watson on one of her shopping trips to London in the early 70s//

The emergence of good condition Mr Freedom designs with strong provenance is rare these days, so I’m delighted to showcase these unusual and original garments from the seminal early 70s London boutique operated by Trevor Myles, John Paul and Tommy Roberts.

They were acquired in the early 70s from the second Mr Freedom outlet in Kensington by the ultra-stylish British collector Audrey Watson, now 87 and a lifelong devotee of quirky and interesting clothing who has reluctantly begun the process of divesting herself of her fashion archive.

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May 20: Celebrating Malcolm McLaren’s fashion legacy at London’s ICA with Young Kim, designer Kim Jones + Man About Town editor Ben Reardon

May 11th, 2016

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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.

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‘Progressive, provocative, beautiful and belligerent’: 52-page Malcolm McLaren extravaganza in new issue of Man About Town

Apr 30th, 2016
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//Cover, Man About Town SS16. Otto in Buffalo hat and Rigby & Peller bra (prototype for Nostalgia Of Mud, 1982). Photography: Alasdair McLellan. Styling: Olivier Rizzo//

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//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.

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Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory: Ben Kelly’s choice for 111 Inspirational Interiors

Apr 13th, 2016
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//Warhol poses for photographer Jon Naar on the famous red couch in his studio on E. 47th Street in midtown Manhattan, 1965//

Designer Ben Kelly, chair of interior and spatial design at University of the Arts London, has chosen this photograph of Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory for his exhibition 111 Inspirational Interiors.

Kelly has curated the show – which opens tomorrow at Windows Gallery 1 at Central Saint Martins  in Kings Cross, North London – after inviting 111 creatives to each select an image of an interior which is important to them.

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‘Misfits in the pantheon of pop’ : Barney Bubbles exhibition at Leamington Spa’s White Room Gallery this weekend

Apr 12th, 2016
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//Four of the five 60in x 40in posters designed by Bubbles for the 1977 UK tour by Stiff Records’ artists//

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//Jacket sported by Jake Riviera in the late 70s decorated with badges, adorned with a ‘Jesus Of Cool’ promotional tie produced for Nick Lowe and accompanied by a Roberta Bayley photograph of Riviera in the jacket in 1977//

Music fan and pop ephemera collector Mike Hobday is realising a long-held ambition this weekend with a show of designs by the late graphic artist Barney Bubbles at The White Room Gallery in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.

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The Conformist: Last few days of this glittering celebration of great British non-conformity from Emma, Lady Hamilton to Punk Rock and beyond

Apr 12th, 2016
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//Details of Judy Blame jewellery with Helen Bullock bag//

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//Bullock’s window for The Conformist at Belmacz, 45 Davies Street, London W1//

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//Curator Paul Kindersely with wall of David Parkinson photographs 1970-75//

“So great to see an eclectic range of images and objects that challenge norms and play with moral codes”
The Courtauld’s Documenting Fashion blog

The Conformist – artist Paul Kindersley’s celebration of great British non-conformity of expression – is now entering its final few days.

If you have the opportunity, I recommend a visit to this fascinating exhibition (at Mayfair’s art/jewellery space Belmacz) which joins the dots between Emma, Lady Hamilton and Punk Rock, via Judy Blame, Leigh Bowery, Helen Bullock, Jennifer Campbell, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Paul Housley, Malcolm McLaren & Vivienne Westwood, Julie Verhoeven, Rose Wylie and many other glittering and creative creatures.

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Angie Bowie, Freddie Burretti, City Lights Studio, Ola Hudson, Kansai Yamamoto: My essay on the important factors in David Bowie’s style changes 1972-76 now live on SHOWStudio

Mar 25th, 2016

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My essay on David Bowie’s style changes 1972-76 is now on Oooh Fashion!, SHOWStudio’s current celebration of the late performer which also includes rare footage of Nick Knight’s photo-shoots for the 1993 album Black Tie White Noise and the 2003 British Vogue session of Kate Moss in Bowie stagewear.

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//Still from film of Nick Knight’s December 2002 London Black Tie White Noise shoot on SHOWStudio’s David Bowie: Oooh Fashion!//

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//Kate Moss in the Life On Mars Freddie Burretti suit from the film of the 2003 British Vogue shoot, also on David Bowie: Oooh Fashion!//

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Fabulousness: Rarely-seen footage of Kansai Yamamoto’s game-changing 1971 King’s Road catwalk show

Mar 19th, 2016

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“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.

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