Paul Gorman is…

Don’t Knock The Rock: John E. Reed’s eternal image of exuberant Little Richard

Apr 20th, 2017

//London Records promotional image, 1958//

In 1956 the Hollywood photographer John E. Reed took a series of promotional shots of the stars of DJ Alan Freed’s rocksploitation flick Don’t Knock The Rock.

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Reissued: The Look Of London – charting fashion x music in the greatest city in the world

Oct 21st, 2016

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I’m delighted to announce that my map The Look Of London – which teases out the intertwining of popular music and street style in our capital over five decades – has been reissued by groovy guide makers Herb Lester Associates.

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‘Dreamers only need time and friends’: Judy Nylon on David ‘Piggy’ Worth and life in early 70s World’s End

Oct 18th, 2016
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//Judy Nylon at David “Piggy” Worth’s basement flat, Edith Grove, World’s End, London, 1971. Photo:©Tony Hall. No reproduction without permission//

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//Nylon and  Worth amid the cut-outs, props and mannequins in his flat, 1971. Photo: © Tony Hall. No reproduction without permission//

It is a great honour to feature this guest post by the artist and thinker Judy Nylon about her friend David “Piggy” Worth and their life and milieu in London at the turn of the 70s (brought up in Boston, Nylon had arrived in the UK capital at the start of the decade). The photographs, like those posted here at the weekend, were taken by Tony Hall as he set out on his career in photography, and have not been previously published…

THERE was a time when I smoked and owned skirts.

I lived at 14 Edith Grove, just south of Fulham Road, in a house owned by Donald and David Cammell just after they’d done Performance.

Piggy lived further down Edith Grove below the King’s Road, in a basement flat that was like stepping into his imagination. He had collections of clothes, props and small objects.

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//”Like stepping into his imagination.” Nylon and Worth and part of his clothing/antiques collection. Photo: © Tony Hall. No reproduction without permission//

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In praise of David ‘Piggy’ Worth: Tony Hall’s unpublished photographs of the great British collector, male model and stylist

Oct 15th, 2016
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//David “Piggy” Worth and Judy Nylon at the back of the building which housed his basement flat, Edith Grove, World’s End, London, 1971. Photo: © Tony Hall. No reproduction without permission//

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//Worth in Ossie Clark snakeskin coat, Brompton Cemetry, west London, 1971. Photo: © Tony Hall. No reproduction without permission//

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//On West Pier, Brighton, 1971. Photo: © Tony Hall. No reproduction without permission//

“Piggy was a special dreamer” Judy Nylon

“Piggy got me my first job with Helmut Newton” Yvonne Gold

“He was an amazing character, funny, exuberant, outgoing, such fun to be with. Everybody wanted to be his friend” Tony Hall

Before David Gandy, before Nick Kamen, there was David “Piggy” Worth.

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//With Graeme Edge’s girlfriend at the Moody Blues’ drummer’s apartment, Bayswater, west London, 1971. Photo: © Tony Hall. No reproduction without permission//

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Sex signage: Was McLaren inspired by Lubalin’s cladding for the Georg Jensen flagship NY store?

Sep 30th, 2016
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//Detail, clad signage for Georg Jensen, 601 Madison Avenue, late 60s. From Herb Lubalin: Typographer, Unit Editions, 2016//

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//Detail, shop signage designed by Malcolm McLaren, made by Vick Mead, 430 King’s Road, London, 1975. From a photograph by Peter Schlesinger//

Was the late Malcolm McLaren inspired by one of the greats of 20th century graphics in his creation of the astonishing signage for Sex, the fetishistic fashion boutique and incubator of punk rock he operated with Vivienne Westwood at 430 King’s Road in west London between October 1974 and November 1976?

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I’m Waving: Emma Alonze brings art, chaos + disorder back to the King’s Road

Jul 8th, 2016

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As part of west London’s recent INTransit festival, artist Emma Alonze staged a series of chaotic public interventions in and around Chelsea’s King’s Road under the title I’m Waving.

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//Cakewalking: Alonze with Alexander James Turner, Andy Becker, James Batley and Mandi Goodier. This and other cake parade photos: Claire Poulter//

The two-and-a-half mile thoroughfare has all but lost its reputation as the wellspring for creative activity so Alonze’s acts – by turn absurd, impulsive and surprising – were most welcome in the neighbourhood where property values rather than artistic considerations top the agenda.

And I’m Waving was achieved against resistance from the local council, which deemed six of Alonze’s 10 planned acts “not suitable”.

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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
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//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.

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//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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‘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
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//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
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//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//

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//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//

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//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.

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

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RIP Billy Murphy: ‘There were many kings of the King’s Road but only one Emperor’

Dec 20th, 2014
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//Billy Murphy by Sean Moorman//

“There were many kings of the King’s Road at different periods of time but there was only one Emperor”

Lloyd Johnson

Very sad to note the passing of Billy Murphy, a thoroughly lovely bloke whose contribution to street fashion – particularly in Britain and specifically in and around the King’s Road – is sorely underrated.

I knew all about Billy’s significance in his field decades before I met him; as I wrote here, his shop The Emperor Of Wyoming was “an extremely important staging post not just in the story of British rock and roll fashion but also the development of the vintage scene in this country”.

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//Stetson, embroidered shirt and hand-tooled leather belt from The Emperor Of Wyoming. Photo: David Parkinson for Club International, February 1974//

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