Paul Gorman is…

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

Sep 30th, 2016

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


//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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May 20: Celebrating Malcolm McLaren’s fashion legacy at London’s ICA with Young Kim, designer Kim Jones + Man About Town editor Ben Reardon

May 11th, 2016


Next week I will be taking part in a panel discussion on the fashion legacy of the late cultural iconoclast Malcolm McLaren at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts.

The other participants in the chat – chaired by Young Kim of the Malcolm McLaren Estate – are Louis Vuitton menswear artistic director and McLaren/Westwood collector and expert Kim Jones and Ben Reardon, editor of Man About Town; the new issue of his magazine contains a huge section dedicated to McLaren’s stylistic forays with and without Vivienne Westwood, including a fashion story photographed by Alasdair McLellan and styled by Olivier Rizzo and my essay Been There Done That Going Back.

The panel will be followed by the launch of Man About Town S/S 16 in the ICA Bar in partnership with specialist dealer Idea Books.

Tickets for the event are £7/£8 available here.

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Maximum cool: Paul Yule’s photojournalism casts creative figures in a new light

Apr 27th, 2016

//Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood at Paul Yule’s studio in Berwick Street, Soho, central London, 1980//


//Filmmaker Alex Cox directing an Oxford University Dramatic Society production of Bertholt Brecht’s The Resistable Rise Of Arturo Ui, 1975//

Here are just a few examples of the riches presented by photojournalist/filmmaker Paul Yule’s highly recommended Instagram feed @paul_yule.


//Bow Wow Wow singer Anabella L’win and manager Malcolm McLaren at L’Escargot restaurant in Greek Street, Soho, immediately prior to the group signing with RCA Records, 1981//

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The Conformist: A vibrant, eccentric, chaotic delight – miss out at your peril!

Feb 23rd, 2016

//Leporello for The Conformist featuring (far left), David Parkinson’s unusual entry in his 1970 photography degree show at London’s Regent Street Poly//


//Paul Kindersley at last night’s exhibition opening//

The Conformist – artist Paul Kindersley’s counter intuitively-titled group show about non-conformity of expression from Emma, Lady Hamilton and Aubrey Beardsley to Marvin Gaye Chetwynd and Julie Verhoeven – opened with a bang last night with a private view at Mayfair’s art and jewellery space Belmacz.

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Published for the first time in 46 years: Inside legendary King’s Road boutique Alkasura

Feb 18th, 2016
Alkasura 1

//Alkasura staff inside 304 King’s Road. Photographer: Unknown. Paul Gorman Archive. No reproduction without permission//

This is the first time these photographs – taken inside London’s legendary glam boutique Alkasura – have been published since they appeared in a Japanese fashion magazine in 1970.

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Be Reasonable Demand The Impossible: Happening at Saint Martins to celebrate 40th anniversary of first Sex Pistols gig

Oct 27th, 2015

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On November 6 1975, the Sex Pistols made their live debut in the refectory of Saint Martin’s School Of Art in London’s Charing Cross Road before an audience of around 20 people.

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Modernize your old culture! Be up to date! Eyes For Blowing Up Bridges installation well underway

Sep 23rd, 2015



Intended for the public. Easy reading

Collectors and museums,
be modern
If you have old paintings,
do not despair.
Keep your memories
But detourne them
So they correspond to your time
Why reject the old [paintings]
If one can modernize them?
With a few brushstrokes
Modernize your old culture
Be up to date
and distinguished at the same time
Painting is over
Better give it the final blow
Long live painting

Asger Jorn, exhibition catalogue, Galerie Rive Gauche, Paris, May 1959. Translation: Young Kim.

Among the pertinent exhibits of our forthcoming show Eyes For Blowing Up Bridges is the statement disavowing traditional approaches to artistic creation made by the Danish artist and writer Asger Jorn in the late 50s.

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RIP Robyn Beeche, 1945 – 2015

Aug 20th, 2015

//Top: The photographer in A Life Exposed; above: One of Beeche’s arresting images from the show for the McLaren/Westwood collection Nostalgia Of Mud, March 1982//

I’m saddened by the news of the death last week of the great Australian photographer Robyn Beeche.

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From Vive la Commune! in 1881 to Vive le Rock! in 1972: How a Chinese Communist Party pamphlet inspired one of the great Malcolm McLaren designs

Aug 20th, 2015


//From top left: Chinese Communist Party pamphlet, 1971; McLaren in Let It Rock 1972; Proclamation by Engels and Marx, 1881; Title lettering, Belgian film poster, 1958; Little Richard compilation, 1972; Repro of McLaren’s 1972 t-shirt collage//

A year or so ago I established the source material for one of the first designs generated by Malcolm McLaren in the fashion partnership he conducted with Vivienne Westwood in the 70s and early 80s.

Now I can reveal the inspiration: text contained in an unprepossessing Communist booklet celebrating the short-lived “Paris Commune” government of 19th Century revolutionary France.

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Anarchist, Situationist + Yippie texts + an army munitions handbook: Fashion graduate Imogen Hunt unearths the radical roots of Seditionaries’ incendiary Vive le Rock/Punk Rock Disco design

Aug 6th, 2015

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//Front and back of Vive le Rock/Punk Rock Disco and the radical political and military texts used as source material for the design//

There were T-shirts left over from the Wembley Rock & Roll revival festival in our cupboards in South Clapham; we had to do something with them. Sid Vicious liked them just the way they were and was often photographed in the original Vive Le Rock! design. But I needed to throw a few messages across them and reinvent them. So, I married the slogan and images of Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis with words and drawings from various texts, using the title of The Anarchist Cookbook as well as the famous phrase of the Spanish anarchist Buenaventura Durutti.

Malcolm McLaren 2008

Imogen Hunt is a recent graduate from London College Of Fashion who tells me she was inspired by my work to write her thesis for the college’s history of fashion and culture course.

Part of Hunt’s dissertation – on the importance of the Situationist International and King Mob to the development of punk style – is dedicated to an examination of the influences and source material for the double-sided design Vive Le Rock/Punk Rock Disco, which was printed on the front and back of t-shirts and tops first sold in Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s King’s Road store Seditionaries in 1978.

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