I’m a journalist, author and commentator on visual culture, and this is my blog, a cultural portal presenting exclusive interviews, information and images.
I began my professional writing career in 1978, working on weekly news for trade publications and in 1983 won the Periodical Publishers’ Association award for campaigning journalism.
In 1990 I was appointed west coast bureau chief of Screen International, reporting on the film industry and based in Los Angeles.
Between 1993 and 1998 I was contributing editor at Music Week, reporting on and profiling executives and artists including Madonna’s manager Freddy de Mann and U2 manager Paul McGuinness as well as Bjork, David Bowie, Oasis and the Sex Pistols.
In 1993 I was recruited by Brian Eno and Anthea Norman-Taylor to their creative think-tank on behalf of the charity War Child, which resulted in events Little Pieces From Big Stars at Flowers East and Pagan FunWear at the Saatchi Gallery.
Between 1994 and 1999, I was contributing editor at Music Business International. During this time I travelled the world and contributed regularly to a wide variety of publications including the Daily Telegraph, Heat, Mojo and Radio Times (and conducted the first interview with the Spice Girls).
A foray into television resulted in a development deal for a trash culture magazine show called The Strip and in 1999 I directed Channel 4 documentary Las Vegas Grind.
In 2000 I delved into music management by signing Latino artist El Vez to Alan McGee’s Poptones label and also worked with Kevin Rowland in 2003 on a Dexys Midnight Runners tour and compilation.
In 2001 I published the first edition of The Look: Adventures In Pop & Rock Fashion, followed by the only history of the music press In Their Own Write (also 2001) and book collaborations with Goldie (Nine Lives, 2002), Ali & Robin Campbell of UB40 (Blood & Fire, 2005) and Boy George (Straight, also 2005).
The second edition of The Look was launched in 2006 in Tokyo by Sir Paul Smith and resulted in talks on post-war style at the V&A, London College Of Fashion and Central Saint Martins, where I was made an associate lecturer.
The first edition of Reasons To Be Cheerful: The Life & Work Of Barney Bubbles came out in 2009 and was made MOJO Book Of The Year in 2010. Associated Barney Bubbles events have included lectures at Chelsea College Of Art, Manchester University, Suffolk University School Of Art & Humanities, Bath College Of Art & Design, University Of Brighton and others.
In 2011 I edited and created the format for the exhaustive Any Day Now: David Bowie The London Years.
My most recent book was Mr Freedom – Tommy Roberts: British Design Hero, which was published in 2012.
I am editor of Derek Boshier: Rethink/Re-Entry, a monograph of the eminent British artist providing a catalogue raisonné of his work from the mid-50s to the present day. Boshier’s work and life has encompassed fellow RCA students Pauline Boty, Peter Blake and David Hockney and includes album covers and stage-sets for David Bowie, a songbook for The Clash and an abiding political and social engagement. Rethink/Re-Entry will include contributions from such authorities as critic and curator Guy Brett, Tate Britain head of displays Chris Stephens and Prof Lisa Tickner, visiting professor at the Courtauld Institute. It will be published by Thames & Hudson in autumn 2015.
I have also embarked on the history of one of the most important publications of the 20th Century, The Face magazine. With the support and involvement of founder Nick Logan, Legacy: The story of The Face is to be published by Thames & Hudson in spring 2016.
Between 2008 and 2010, my fashion label The Look Presents produced seven sell-out clothing collections in collaboration with Nigel Waymouth, Wonder Workshop and Antony Price for Topman in the UK, US and Japan.
I make regular TV and radio appearances on such channels as Sky Arts, ARTE, Resonance and BBC Radio London and l give lectures at design and fashion study days at the V&A. I have also spoken at design conferences in Belgium and France.
In 2010 the publication of the second edition of the Barney Bubbles book was accompanied by my first exhibition as a curator. Process, at London’s Chelsea Space, was selected as a highlight of the London Design Festival by Creative Review and the New York Times.
In 2012 I curated two exhibitions: Lloyd Johnson: The Modern Outfitter at Chelsea Space and The Past The Present & The Possible at the International Poster & Graphic Design Festival in Chaumont, France.
I sourced and contributed exhibits from my archive to Postmodernism (2011) and British Design (2012) at the V&A, Pop Music at Pallant House Gallery (2012), Glam! The Performance Of Style at Tate Liverpool (Feb-May 2013), Frankfurt Schirn Kunsthalle (June-Sept 2013) and Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz, Austria (Oct 2013-Feb 2014), Lucy Harrison’s Carnaby Echoes in central London (Sept-Oct 2013) and Punk at SHOWStudio (Oct-Nov 2013).
In 2014 I curated two exhibitions presenting the work of Malcolm McLaren. Let It Rock: The Look of Music The Sound of Fashion was held at the Copenhagen International Fashion Fair in August 2014 and curated with Young Kim of the McLaren Estate. Based around sections focusing on each of the six retail outlets McLaren operated with Vivienne Westwood, it presented original clothing, photographs and ephemera loaned from my archive, the Estate collection and such collectors as British fashion designer Kim Jones and musician Marco Pirroni.
British fashion writer Charlie Porter praised the show on his blog: “At the Malcolm McLaren show in Copenhagen, the hang of the garments is exceptional.”
With Young Kim, I also curated an exhibit about McLaren’s background in the visual arts as a student and practitioner at contemporary art gallery Le Magasin, the Centre Centre National d’Art Contemporain in Grenoble, France, from October 20114 to February 2015. This was the major component of the group show Art In Pop, which also featured contributions from Captain Beefheart, Genesis Breyer P. Orridge and Alix Lambert.
The McLaren space at Art In Pop included original examples of fashion designs created with Vivienne Westwood, including loans from Kim Jones, Marco Pirroni, anthropologist/writer Ted Polhemus and streetwear guru Hiroshi Fujiwara as well as photography, ephemera, images from a 1969 student art show and for the first time on public display a painting McLaren made in the mid-80s entitled “I Will Be So Bad”.
The King’s Road Music & Fashion Trail, my series of films for the Royal Borough Of Kensington & Chelsea’s culture section, is available for download.
In November 2012 my map THE LOOK Of London was published in collaboration with Herb Lester Associates.
Projects currently in development include:
430 King’s Road: Crucible Of Cool – a social history of the most important address in pop culture, with contributions including exclusive material from the late Malcolm McLaren.
David Parkinson – a catalogue raisonné of the striking work by the late fashion photographer.
You may contact me direct here.