Paul Gorman is…

My piece on David Bowie’s early 70s stylistic ch-ch-changes on The Guardian men’s fashion page

Aug 4th, 2015


Read my piece on the stylistic changes rung by David Bowie during the early 70s on The Guardian’s men’s fashion pages here.

I discuss his fashion collaborations with Freddie Burretti, Daniella Parmar and Kansai Yamamoto and talk about the Pin-Ups suit from City Lights Studio designed by Derek Morton. Hope you enjoy.

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Another gem from Joe Stevens: Barney Bubbles + Jon Trux at a Hawkwind gig under the Westway in 1971

Aug 1st, 2015

//Barney Bubbles and Jon Trux, Portobello Road, west London, 1971. Photo: Joe Stevens//

Friend, hero and photographer Joe Stevens sends me gems from his archive occasionally; this shot of the graphics master Barney Bubbles with counterculture mover and shaker Jon Trux was taken at a Hawkwind gig in one of the underpasses of the newly erected Westway in the summer of 1971.

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Subjective Reality: Steven Meisel’s film for Miu Miu A/W 15 tips a wink to Seditionaries

Jul 26th, 2015

Four out-of-this-world Barney Bubbles pieces and a wild Practical Styling bookcase to feature in the Out Of The Ordinary sale at Christie’s in September

Jul 25th, 2015

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//Left: The Ian Dury Cocktail Cabinet. Right: The AC/DC Desk//
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//Left: The Rebel, signed ‘Sal ’81’. Right: The Tree Of Drawers//


//Practical Styling bookcase. Lithographically printed and faux marble. The top section enclosing two adjustable shelves, above three doors enclosing a further three shelves. 87in (223 cm) high; 74 in (188 cm) wide; 20 in (51 cm) deep//

Four extraordinary works by the late Barney Bubbles are to feature in Christie’s Out Of The Ordinary sale, the annual event which is fast becoming one of the highlights of the auction calendar.

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PRINT @SHOWStudio: Interviewed by Lou Stoppard and shots from my magazine archive

Jul 21st, 2015


The launch of SHOWStudio’s new series PRINT features an interview with me by editor Lou Stoppard about my magazine archive.

There is also a section dedicated to images from the archive, including front covers, spreads and ads.

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I Groaned With Pain: Malcolm McLaren’s own t-shirts to feature in exhibition of status quo-disrupters

Jul 17th, 2015

//The t-shirts show the deliberate production of variants within the limited edition designed and written by McLaren and printed on the simple square pattern produced by Vivienne Westwood in 1974. © Malcolm McLaren Estate//

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.


//T-shirt with central tear on light blue jersey with exterior seaming, labelled, Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, 1974. 360mm x 375mm. © Malcolm McLaren Estate//

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).

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The story of the Sex shop leather hood: From harmless fetish attire (as sported by David Bowie?) to theatre of cruelty design totem

Jul 14th, 2015

Gorman_03.tifDavid Bowie in Sex Gimp Mask 1974 copy
//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.

David Bowie in Sex Gimp Mask 1974

// Polaroid taken by Dana Gillespie in New York in 1974//

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.

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‘They had the t-shirt off his back’: The 40th anniversary of the creation of the notorious Cowboys t-shirt + the obscenity debate it sparked in the pages of The Guardian

Jul 11th, 2015

//Nicolas de Jongh’s front-page report, The Guardian, August 2, 1975//

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//Sex Original-labelled Cowboys t-shirt courtesy Hiroshi Fujiwara Collection//

This month – specifically July 26 – marks the 40th anniversary of the introduction for sale of Malcolm McLaren’s notorious Cowboys t-shirt in Sex, the revolutionary boutique he operated at 430 King’s Road with Vivienne Westwood.

The shirt’s status as the most provocative of all punk designs is enhanced by the fact that it made waves immediately: the same day the shirt went on sale, the first customer to wear it in public was arrested. Within 24 hours, the store itself was raided for indecency.

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David Bowie’s unwitting role in the transformation of 430 King’s Road from Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die to SEX

Jul 10th, 2015

//David Bowie recording the Diamond Dogs LP at Olympic Studios, Barnes, south-west London, January 1974 during his residency in Chelsea’s Oakley Street. Photo © Kate Simon//


//Malcolm McLaren and Gerry Goldstein in front of the Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die facade, 430 King’s Road, London, summer 1973. © Malcolm McLaren Estate//


//Malcolm McLaren in Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die designs, Chelsea, London, from New Musical Express, April 6, 1974 . Photo: © Pennie Smith//

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.

tftl vogue

//From British Vogue, April 1, 1973//

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Print @ ShowStudio: Lou Stoppard on the abiding allure of inspirational and off-the-map magazines

Jun 26th, 2015

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//Magazines from my archive (clockwise from top left): Creem, August 1974; Grand Royal #3, 1995; Club International, August 1973; Harpers & Queen, October 1976//

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//After Dark, September 1974; Ben Is Dead #26, 1996//

I’m one of the contributors to Print, writer Lou Stoppard’s forthcoming celebration of the great fashion and music magazines of the past and present.

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