Paul Gorman is…

Apollonia Van Ravenstein + Ara Gallant in originals of Seditionaries Mickey & Minnie and Exposé t-shirts

//Van Ravenstein with Gallant (wearing his trademark Japanese schoolboy’s cap adorned with gold charms). From photo by Francis Ing//

Images of the novelty t-shirt designs détourned by the late Malcolm McLaren for sale in Seditionaries in 1978 are rare, which is why this shot of Apollonia Van Ravenstein and Ara Gallant from a spread in a late 70s issue of L’Uomo Vogue is extra special.

//The whole picture: Van Ravenstein and Gallant are bottom left. Also in the frame: Fashion designers Stephen Burrows and the late Willi Smith and actress/model sister Toukie, luxury brand owners CeCe and Barry Keiselstein-Cord and Candy Pratts of Bloomingdales and American Vogue. Photo: Francis Ing, from L’Uomo Vogue, summer 1978//

Distressed punk-style for the Italian fashion magazine by the Dutch model and the late American hairdresser and photographer, the same t-shirts bearing images of the Disney characters enjoying sexual congress and the cartoon Empire State-straddling King Kong ejaculating over Fay Wray were among those brought to the UK from the US by McLaren after the dissolution of the Sex Pistols at the beginning of 1978.

//Model in Seditionaries t-shirt with King Kong illustration adapted and entitled ‘Exposé Punk Rock Sex’ by McLaren. From photo by Francis Ing, 1978//

//Sid Vicious in Exposé t-shirt with Nancy Spungen, London, April 1978. Photo: Watal Asanuma//

Included in the haul were shirts bearing images of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves isolated from Wally Wood’s 1967 drawing for underground magazine The Realist and an illustration credited to ‘PopPorn’ of a homosexual orgy (these became the designs ‘Snow White & The Sir Punks’ and ‘Prick Up Your Ears’).

//Model in novelty t-shirt in Lei Glamour, summer 1978. Photographer: Unknown//

//McLaren’s adapted version for Seditionaries, with added genitalia and encircled Anarchy ‘A’ on Mickey Mouse’s ear//

Each illustration was adapted with a calculated crudeness of effect by McLaren with screens and spot-colour, collaged elements, juxtaposed slogans and provocative messages. These were issued over the course of 1978 with his partner Vivienne Westwood via Seditionaries on plain t-shirts and muslin tops as part of their final  punk clothing designs.

Read about the genesis and realisation of companion pieces Prick Up Your Ears here and Snow White & The Sir Punks here.

There is at highly recommended book about Ara Gallant’s work. Copies available here.

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