Paul Gorman is…

Jasper: Memories of the London fashion label and a Barney Bubbles connection

May 15th, 2017

//But Is It… ART, t-shirt design, Ian Harris for Jasper, 1979//

I’ve dug into collector and graphic artist Ian Harris’s rich archive again and turned up a brace of t-shirts he designed in the late 70s for Jasper, the eponymous London-based fashion label operated by entrepreneur Jasper Hamilton Holmes from showrooms in central London.

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Before We Were Men: With David Gwinnutt, Ian Massey and John Maybury at National Portrait Gallery tonight

Mar 23rd, 2017

Tonight I will join academic and arts writer Dr Ian Massey and filmmaker John Maybury in conversation with photographer David Gwinnutt for an event to coincide with his exhibition Before We Were Men at the National Portrait Gallery.

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Look sharp! In conversation with Mark Powell at Sartorial Style at the V&A, 2pm, Saturday, March 18

Mar 5th, 2017

Later this month I will be in conversation with British menswear legend Mark Powell at the V&A’s Sartorial Style day.

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Before We Were Men: With David Gwinnutt, John Maybury, Ian Massey + Jeffrey Hinton at the National Portrait Gallery on March 23

Feb 23rd, 2017

//John Maybury, Crowndale Road, c. 1981. Photo © David Gwinnutt//

//Leigh Bowery, Farrell House, Stepney Green, c. 1983. Photo © David Gwinnutt//

I am one of the guests of the photographer David Gwinnutt at an event being staged next month to coincide with the opening of his forthcoming exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery.

Before We Were Men showcases Gwinnutt’s documentation – with hand-held camera and exclusive use of natural light –  of creative London in the 1980s. Among his subjects were the designer/performance artist Leigh Bowery, artists Cerith Wyn Evans, Duggie Fields, Gilbert & George and Grayson Perry and dancer/choreographer Michael Clark.

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‘Extraordinary… transgressive’: Malcolm McLaren’s great lost fashion collection

Feb 12th, 2017

//Detail: Etching in steel toe-cap for the 80s collection. This image © Paul Gorman Archive. No reproduction without permission//

On the collapse of their design partnership in October 1983 after showcasing of the collection Worlds End 1984 in Paris and London, Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood went their separate ways.

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Identity, Photography, Fashion: Images from new exhibition North

Jan 6th, 2017

//From the series Skelmersdale, 1984. Photograph by Stephen McCoy//

//Derrin Crawford & Demi-Leigh Cruickshank, The Liver Birds, LOVE, 2012. Photograph by Alice Hawkins//

//Raf Simons menswear Autumn Winter 2003, Paris Menswear Fashion Week. Copyright Catwalking.com//

Here is a selection of amazing images featured in new exhibition North: Identity, Photography, Fashion, which is open to the public from today at Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery.

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Exclusive installation shots from North: Identity, Photography, Fashion

Jan 5th, 2017

//Mannequin, New Power Studio, Autumn/Winter 2010 – Spring/Summer 2012. Wall: Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield, 1995-2001, Jason Evans//

//Set design, Tony Hornecker, 2016. Film: Stylist Simon Foxton discusses growing up in Berwick-upon-Tweed, produced in collaboration with SHOWstudio, 2016//

I am very grateful to curators Adam Murray and Lou Stoppard for these exclusive installation shots from their exciting exhibition North: Identity, Photography, Fashion, which opens in a couple of hours at Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery.

Exploring the influence of England’s northern cities and landscape on fashion and visual culture, the show presents the work of such vital image-makers as Alasdair McLellan – who has created his first film installation for public display at North – as well as Jamie Hawkesworth, Glen Luchford and Nick Knight.

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On Malcolm McLaren’s reading list: Nik Cohn, Frederick’s Of Hollywood and Giorgio Morandi catalogues, Wilhelm Reich, Tom Wolfe and the folk art and magic studies which inspired fashion adventures with Vivienne Westwood

Jan 3rd, 2017

A few years back I came across Malcolm McLaren’s annotated copy of Indian Rawhide, the anthropologist Mable Morrow’s study of the folk art produced by Native American tribes which inspired the late cultural iconoclast in the conceptualising with his partner Vivienne Westwood of their Spring/Summer 1982 fashion collection Savage.

//Frontispiece to Morrow’s book, published by University of Oklahoma Press in the Civilization Of The American Indian Series, 1975//

//From Indian Rawhide: design produced by the Apache Mescaleros in Taos, New Mexico, matched by McLaren and Westwood with book-end marbling on this Savage slip dress. No reproduction without permission//

//The Apache design as it appeared printed on the end of the train on a Worlds End jersey toga dress. No reproduction without permission//

McLaren obtained a copy of Morrow’s book during travels recording his debut solo album Duck Rock. Since the Pirate collection of March 1981 had established a post-Punk direction for himself and Westwood and their Worlds End shop and label, McLaren set about investigating the powerful ideas residing in pre-Christian ethnic cultures, selecting Indian Rawhide as the text with which to frame the next group of designs.

My McLaren biography, to be published in spring 2018, will reveal that research – particularly literary – was one of the life-long consistencies in his approach to creative acts.

The musician Robin Scott told me that McLaren was an avid attendee of art history lessons during their spell as students at Croydon Art School in the 60s, and a couple of years before his death in 2010 McLaren confirmed that he was inspired in part to open Teddy Boy revival emporium Let It Rock at 430 King’s Road in 1971 after reading Nik Cohn’s peerless post-WW2 youth cult history Today There Are No Gentlemen.

//This edition Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1971//

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Man Smart (Woman Smarter): Joe Stevens focuses on his female subjects

Dec 19th, 2016

//The late DJ/journalist Anita Sarko and fashion writer Merle Ginsberg at legendary New York nitespot Danceteria, early 1980s. Photo: © Joe Stevens//

On Thursday evening, veteran photographer Joe Stevens will be at Book & Bar in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, presenting an illustrated talk on capturing the wonder that is woman, from Caroline Coon to Yoko Ono via Lulu, Madonna, Joni Mitchell, Patti Smith and a host of others who embody one of my favourite song titles:  Man Smart (Woman Smarter).

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Revenge of the suburbs: David Bowie fans shine in doc about the 1983 Milton Keynes Bowl gigs

Nov 1st, 2016
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//Members of the audience from Edinburgh who preferred Australian support act Icehouse to Bowie//

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Fittingly Britain’s most surprising rock star has found his way to Britain’s newest and most surprising city, where high tech meets ecologic, where concrete meets conservation, where the silicon chip meets the fibreglass rod…

Steve Taylor, South Of Watford, Summer 1983, London Weekend Television

While putting the finishing touches to my forthcoming book about The Face magazine, I followed a line of research which lead me to an excellent documentary about the late David Bowie which I hadn’t seen since it was screened in 1983.

Shown as part of London’s regional broadcaster LWT’s South Of Watford strand, the film focused on Bowie’s immersion in the mainstream with the Let’s Dance LP and companion Serious Moonlight tour (sponsored by Levi’s in a groundbreaking marketing deal, this inaugurated the era of corporate and branded live music events).

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The doc’s point of entry was Bowie’s weekend of sold-out gigs that summer at Milton Keynes Bowl, the open-air arena in Britain’s newest city north of London in the Buckinghamshire countryside.

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