Paul Gorman is…

Punk Fashion at the NFT on Aug 6: Sidestepping cliches with Amber Butchart + Jordan Mooney

Jun 28th, 2016
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//Jordan Mooney, Gallery International, Vol 1, no 4, 1976//

On August 6 I am taking part in a discussion about Punk visual style and culture with fashion historian Amber Butchart and Jordan Mooney, the sales assistant superstar at Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s shops at 430 King’s Road in the 70s who became a fashion inspiration and role model in her own right.

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//Jordan Mooney in Derek Jarman’s Jubilee, 1978. Photo: BFI//

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What We Wore: An intelligent and egalitarian celebration of our collective visual invention

Oct 30th, 2014
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//Left: Among the contributors Ian Johns, Mark Wigan, Nendie Pinto-Duschinsky and Andrew Gallix. Right: Fred Butler 1995-2001 and Tracey Emin in 1995//

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//Winston Milton and friends, Hackney 1993-8//

Into the over-worked field of ‘street style’ comes a breath of fresh air: What We Wore – A People’s History Of British Style.

Free of cliche and pretension, Nina Manandhar and Eva Dawoud’s book compiles the personal images and anecdotes of a hugely diverse set of contributors.

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//Left: Caroline Milne, Ghetto, London, 1999; DJ Dazee and DJ Rap, Bristol, 1997. Right: Nancy Thornber, Essential Festival, London, 2001//

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//Juliette Hedoin and friends clubbing in London and Ayia Napa 1995-2002//

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//Gavin Watson and friends on the skinhead scene, 1982-5//

The book is not dominated by well-known people and the usual suspects who patronise this narrative (though I snuck in there) and so is true to the subtitle; What We Wore celebrates in a thoroughly egalitarian manner “the presentation of self” – Erving Goffman’s phrase as cited by Ted Polhemus in his excellent foreword.

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//Don Letts with friends, London, 1971 (right) and 1973//

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//Russel Coulthart and friends at Rockley Sands, Dorset, 1988//

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//Left: Diane El Dabi, London, 1979. Right: Cassie Clarke, London, 2002//

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//Left: Mimi Joshua-Olushoga, London, 1971. Right: John O’Connor, Leeds, 1982 and Teo Connor, London, 1994//

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//Left: Michael Dipple and friend, London 1980. Right: Jock Scot and Anna Chancellor, London, 1986//

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//Me, London 1973, Ibiza, 1986, Portugal, 1982//

What We Wore is a fitting testament to our collective visual invention. I recommend it highly.

Buy What We Wore here.

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David Parkinson: Fashion photography’s forgotten figure to be a GQ Icon

Apr 4th, 2014
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//Front cover, Club International, 1974. Paul Raymond Publications. Photo: David Parkinson//

Ahead of the publication of my piece about the late photographer David Parkinson in GQ UK in a few weeks, here are a couple of masterful images which demonstrate his stylised,  simultaneously gritty and glamorous approach.

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//Front cover, Man Only, 1974//

Both stem from issues of men’s magazine Club International; the 1974 cover shot model is wearing Parkinson’s decorated Lewis Leathers jacket which he used to dress other fashion photo-sessions. The image was also used on the cover of Italian soft-porn title Man Only.

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//Acme Attractions photoshoot for Club International 1975 including (left) Martin Brading and Don Letts and far right Steph Raynor. Photo: David Parkinson//

The spread above focused on the suits and menswear available at Acme Attractions, the Kings Road vintage/retro outlet co-owned by Parkinson’s Lesicester friend Steph Raynor, who appears in the photograph with Acme’s manager, filmmaker/DJ/BAD member Don Letts, and Parkinson’s assistant, photographer Martin Brading.

Raynor is among those who contributed to my feature on Parkinson, who is granted the accolade of ‘GQ Icon’ in the June issue (available at the beginning of May).

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This is Now: Film + Video After Punk to screen John Maybury’s Solitude featuring David Holah

Apr 3rd, 2014
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//David Holah in Solitude, directed by John Maybury. 11mins, 1981//

One of the choice selections to be screened as part of this month’s post-punk film season This Is Now is Solitude, the 1981 John Maybury short featuring David Holah, then a fashion student, soon to launch the era-defining label Bodymap with Stevie Stewart.

Put together by British Film Institute curator William Fowler, This Is Now is on at London’s South Bank and explores the early 80s explosion in DIY creativity in this field among UK art students, clubbers, New Romantics and members of the post-punk scene, all of whom embraced inexpensive domestic technology such as VHS and Super 8 to make often bold and uncompromising statements.

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//Holah in Solitude//

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Photography: David Parkinson shoots Acme Attractions

Jan 16th, 2014
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//Original print of photo for Club International, 1975. Models include, from far right, Stephan Raynor, Don Letts and Martin Brading. Photo: David Parkinson//

I’ve been enjoying researching materials relating to the late photographer David Parkinson for a feature for GQ magazine, so thought I’d share some of the images I dug out of the Parkinson archive concerning the 70s King’s Road retro clothing store Acme Attractions.

Parkinson’s position as fashion editor of Paul Raymond’s sophisticated soft-porn magazine Club International enabled him to style and present Acme clothing for a wide readership, on occasion using the shop team as models.

Acme was opened by Parkinson’s friend Stephan Raynor (they’d known each other since they were part of a gang of style-obsessed teenagers in Leicester in the early 60s) with John Krivine, previously a Brixton-based jukebox dealer, in 1974.

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//As the Parkinson photograph appeared in the magazine, flipped and tinted. Note ref to “Acme Tailors”//

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//Parkinson used ties from his collection – including some sourced from Acme – for this March 1975 Club International feature//

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Susie Bubble on Shop, Posh, Shopgirl + The Look’s first edition

Dec 6th, 2013
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//Susie Bubble pays tribute to Shop, The World According To…, Shop At Maison Bertaux, Posh, Shopgirl//

Rifling through her memories of Pippa Brooks and Max Karie’s Soho boutique Shop (which later mutated into The World According To… and then shifted base to Shop At Maison Bertaux), fashion blogger Susie Bubble has nice things to say about me and my work and includes in her selection of images the cover of the first edition of The Look.

This featured Libby Peder’s photograph of Pippa and James Dearlove, her musical collaborator in Posh, All About Eve Babitz and Shopgirl.

It was as Shopgirl that Pippa and James played the launch party, which was held across the road from Shop  at the club Astral and featured DJ sets by others in the book, including Jeff Dexter, Count Indigo, Dan Donovan + Don Letts and Jay Strongman.

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//2001 invite to the party launching the first edition of The Look//

Read about that eventful night on THE LOOK blog.

Read Susie Bubble’s post Shopped-Out here.

I got to know Pippa through Shop and Posh, who I saw live a few times in the 90s. Sadly I missed this performance at Wembley Stadium on the same bill as Bon Jovi (is it me or is Pippa absolutely bricking it when she leans down to take a slug of water?):

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Television: Don Letts’ Subculture

May 31st, 2012

I’m among the interviewees featured in Subculture, Don Letts’ Channel 4 documentary about post-War British street style, the first part of which aired for the first time last night.

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Blessed & Blasted: Roots of the Anarchy Shirt part 2

Mar 2nd, 2011

Two “manifesto” designs which emanated from 430 King’s Road – the You’re Gonna Wake Up t-shirt and the Anarchy Shirt – share a reference to “The Black Hand Gang”.

I had long assumed that both referred to Spanish anarchists La Mano Negra, since the group’s name was listed with that of their fellow countryman and revolutionary Buenaventura Durruti.

But on the t-shirt, the absence of an “and” or connecting device had me pondering the possibility this was another Black Hand Gang; maybe the secret society dedicated to Serbian unity (linked to one of the events which triggered the First World War, the assassination of Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914)?

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Blokes of Britain: Jah Wobble

Jan 24th, 2011

//Jah Wobble, 2009.//

NAME: Jah Wobble (real name: John Wardle)

RESIDES: Cheshire

OCCUPATION: Musician

It’s well documented that, in his teenage years, Jah Wobble was a member of the Four Johns, the gang of youths who gravitated to each other while at Kingsway College Of Further Education on the fringes of the City Of London in the mid-70s.

The other members included John Beverley, aka Sid Vicious, John Lydon – later Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols – and Lydon’s friend, John Gray.  Knocking around east and north London, the quartet followed football and voraciously consumed music from Bowie to Can to Hawkwind to Big Youth and beyond.

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