Archive for the Art category

Banksy con men ordered to pay £24,000 to victims

Last Wednesday (July 13) at a confiscation hearing at Kingston Crown Court, Grant Champkins-Howard and Lee Parker – who were convicted last year for selling fake artworks in the style of Banksy – were ordered to pay £24,000 as part of a confiscation order issued under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The money will be paid in compensation to victims of the duo’s online scam, which netted them more than £80,000.

At their trial last year, Champkins Howard and Parker denied conspiracy charges of copying and embellishing punk-era clothing designs by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood and possessing articles for use in fraud. The court ordered that these charges should lie on file.

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John Simons’ new shop

John Simons new shop, Chiltern Street, London W1.

Final preparations are being made to John Simons’ new shop at 46 Chiltern Street, in the simpa area of London’s West End wedged between Baker Street and Marylebone High Street.

The sign has yet to be erected and there are many finishing touches to be made but already the space is shaping up to present a unique offer. “I’m juxtaposing the clothes with my abiding interests in art and design over many years,” says Simons.

As explored in THE LOOK, Simons is the nonpareil purveyor of the finest US menswear brands, in particular those associated with Ivy League and the 50s/60s modernist movement in clothes.

Simons has long been at the forefront of the field, with such rich associations as Cecil Gee in the 50s, The Ivy Shop in the 60s and 70s and J.Simons in Covent Garden for more than two decades up until February this year.

John Simons at his new shop in Chiltern Street, London W1.

John Simons, Chiltern Street, London W1, November 30, 2010.


[This was originally posted on December 7,2010]


John Simons new store, Chiltern Street London W1.

Tomorrow see the opening of John Simons’ smart new retail outlet at 46 Chiltern Street, London W1.

These photographs were taken last week; much progress has been made since, but they should provide a flavour of the environment Simons and his team – including son Paul – are creating.

Formerly the site of a print shop, the premises have been transformed into a modernist’s dream, decorated with art, insignia, branding, furniture and design classics, some of which serve as fittings, such as the Penguin Donkey which will be used to display socks.

John Simons new store, Chiltern Street London W1.

John Simons new store, Chiltern Street London W1.

John Simons new store, Chiltern Street London W1.

John Simons new store, Chiltern Street London W1.

John Simons new store, Chiltern Street London W1.

As noted, the locale is perfect for Simons, whose outlet is in the company of such stores as Grey Flannel, Archer Adams and Mario’s barbershop.

John Simons new store, Chiltern Street London W1.

We wish Simons and his crew all the best in this new venture which returns this key figure to London’s style scene; next stop, apparently, is the online shop which follows soon.

John Simons' new store, 46 Chiltern Street, London W1.

Paris: Capital Of The XXIst Century

malcolm in Newcastle

It’s a year since we were at the premiere screening of Paris: Capital Of The XXIst Century at The Baltic in Gateshead.

The sequenced film is an unforgettable piece of art, and that was an unforgettable night. Afterwards Malcolm talked about his home in Paris, art and a whole lot more with Michael Bracewell.

Spirit of Hapshash invoked for Lucy In Disguise

Lucy In Disguise poster by Nigel Waymouth and Tim Watkins

Within hours of mentioning Granny Takes A Trip and Lucy in Disguise (the new label from Lily Allen and her half-sister Sarah Owen) in the BBC Blast presentation, this beauty arrived in my in-tray – a poster for LID by Granny’s founder Nigel Waymouth with Tim Watkins.

As detailed in Chapter 10 of THE LOOK,  while he operated Granny’s in the 60s, Nigel joined forces with the late Michael English as Britain’s foremost psychedelic art/design team Hapshash And The Coloured Coat.

These days a prominent portraitist, Nigel collaborated with us on a fabulous line of t-shirts for THE LOOK PRESENTS a couple of years back. Congrats to him on invoking the spirit of Hapshash for the 21st century.

The hyperreal art of Masafumi Kamei


We hadn’t come across the work of artist Masafumi Kamei before this mention by Hiroshi Fujiwara on his honeyee blog yesterday.

Kamei’s hyperreal depictions of objects (including the distressed Anarchy shirt acquired by Fujiwara for his collection from Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook 20 years ago; see below) was the focus for the artist’s only exhibition so far, held at the end of last year.


Thanks to Hiroshi for supplying these photographs of Kamei’s arresting work.






Malcolm McLaren’s role in Banksy trial

THE LOOK can reveal that the late Malcolm McLaren was to be a witness for the prosecution in the trail which has resulted in suspended jail sentences for conmen Grant Champkins Howard of Croydon, south London and Lee Parker, of Eastbourne, Sussex.

At Kingston Crown Court yesterday (July 1), the  pair were each handed 12-month suspended sentences for selling fake Banksy prints on eBay.

“Neither of you should be under any illusion that I regard both of you as nothing more than a pair of old-fashioned conmen,” said Judge Suzan Matthews, who ordered the pair to complete 240 hours of unpaid work in the next 12 months and imposed restraining orders preventing them from selling on the internet.

Parker, 45, and Champkins-Howard, 44, pleaded guilty to selling copies of genuine numbered prints on eBay, earning £57,000 over a three-year period.

Prosecutor Richard Mandel said they passed off the copies as being from official limited-edition numbered print runs made early on in the artist’s career, forging ownership documents and adding official numbers and stamps to some, which were sold for up to £2,000.

The Metropolitan Police recovered 120 prints during the investigation which, if sold as genuine, could have fetched £200,000-plus.

Champkins Howard and Parker denied conspiracy charges of copying and embellishing clothing by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood and possessing articles for use in fraud.

It was this aspect of the case for which McLaren supplied testimony on behalf of the prosecution. His death in April – and Westwood’s unwillingness to comment – are understood to have been factors in the decision  for those charges to be ordered to lie on file.

Banksy forgers plead guilty

Art forgers Grant Champkins-Howard, 44, and Lee Parker, 45, face jail sentences after confessing to selling fake prints by guerilla artist Banksy on eBay at Kingston Crown Court last Friday (June 4).

Charges in the separate case against the pair alleging the manufacture and distribution of fake 70s designs by the late Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood lie on file.

THE LOOK will not be publishing comments on this post.

Go Kim West: Fashion’s first lady of latex

Like leather, latex is the fabric option which brings fashion’s sexual resonances to the fore.

//Kim West Cowgirl jacket//

These days, however, there is little less shock value but we’re still a long way off attaining the SEX shop’s mid-70s agenda of “rubberwear for the office”.

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Just last week Kylie was snapped in latex boots on the set of the shoot for the video for forthcoming single All The Lovers and Topshop recently stocked a glued latex range, piggybacking on renewed interest sparked by the likes of Christina Aguilera and, of course,  Lady GaGa.

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In fact GaGa’s clip for Poker Face inspired Kim West to re-enter the scene last year with a new collection which riffs on her triumphs of the 80s and 90s and updates her designs for the 21st Century.

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//West interviewed by Jonathan Ross, early 90s//

“Watching the video made me realise that my designs still had relevance because I was always about fashion as much as fetish,” says West, who put her label on ice in 1994 after moving into documentary-making and also to Los Angeles with her husband and family.

//Tony James, Sigue Sigue Sputnik; Adam Ant//

//Kylie Minogue; Isabella Rosselini//

As you can read in this bio, during her first decade in fashion, West broke into the mainstream via performers such as Madonna, Adam Ant and Sigue Sigue Sputnik, top-flight fash-mag photoshoots and, not least, supplying the white stockings worn by Naomi Campbell when she took that tumble in 1993.

//Naomi Campbell, Westwood catwalk, 1993. Photo: Niall McInerney//

Now West is capitalising on demand for latex with a complete collection, from boudoir accoutrements to bridalwear and everything in between.

“I am also doing a basic range of 10 items costing from £25 for a short skirt to leggings at £60,” says West. “Bargain!”

//Ribbon bag; Classic bra, G-string and suspender belt//

Though West mourns the passing of such creative hives as Kensington Market and the Great Gear Market, as well as Johnson’s and Western Styling (which stocked her signature fringed cowboy jacket originally), she is bouyant about the opportunities of the digital age and maintains a firing-on-all-cylinders website which includes a blog (where she recently pointed to the anomaly of Youtube age-encrypting her clips but not those of, say, GaGa).

Maintenance and care (usually with application of talcum powder) has always been an issue with latex, but one West believes she has overcome, first by teaming with the makers of conditioner/lubricant Pjur.

//Boudoir stool; Classic mac//

And soon she will be announcing the launch of a totally new fabric, called Glyde On.

“It’s latex that doesn’t need talc, Pjur or polishing – just slip it on!” West explains. “Glyde On puts latex on a level pegging with every other fabric, though there is so much more you can do with it. This is fashion not fetish.”

Cheap Chic: The first mention of Sex

Over at, Mrs G is celebrating Cheap Chic, one of the greatest fashion books of all time.

Cheap Chic is notable on many fronts, not least that it is the very first book to make mention of Sex, the shop opened by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood at 430 King’s Road in the spring of 1974.

Exuding Them-ness from every pore, the enduring exquisite Duggie Fields pointed out that Sex was “not fashionable…bits of furs, porno embroidered T-shirts and humorous clothes. My idea of clothes is to make myself smile. I like that in others too. I don’t think clothes should be serious.”

This is an aspect of the boutique which is all-too forgotten; that, behind the commitment, subversive art and anarchic politics, lurked the wit and laughter which underpinned the late McLaren’s life and work. This attracted a clientele which was in no way “punk”, despite the revisionism of recent years.

//430 King’s Road, Sw3, 1975. Photo: Peter Schlesinger//

Read all about Cheap Chic here.

John & Molly’s exciting new hook-up with Paul Stolper

Those wonders of Wonder Workshop John Dove & Molly White have entered an exciting new phase in their illustrious career with representation by leading London gallerist Paul Stolper.


//Sid TV No 2. John Dove & Molly White// 

It is via Stolper that the Doves are previewing their latest artwork at the London Original Print Fair, which opens at The Royal Academy with a private view tonight.

John and Molly’s new work comprises screen-prints on hand-made rag paper created from recycled T-shirts.


//Siouxsie Face No 2 2009. John Dove & Molly White/ 

Now they are preparing for a show at Stolper’s Museum Street gallery. “Our prints are hybrids which have evolved over many years of producing rock & roll  and punk images on T-shirts,” says John. “When you first create the image, you take great care to develop every nuance and facet of the print but, as you continue to repeat the process, you may eliminate some screens or colours and streamline the various stages of the print.


//Westernise 2009. John Dove & Molly White// 

“These prints on paper retain all the character of that journey but we’ve revisited the image and returned to that careful nurturing.”

At the Fair Stolper is also representing prints by Damien HirstPeter Blake,  Ben Kelly & Morph and Kevin Cummins, and among his other clients are Peter SavilleJeremy Dellerand Gavin Turk.

“We have the greatest admiration for all of those guys and are so pleased to be working with Paul,” says John, who views his and Molly’s new artistic direction as a long-term proposition.

“We already have a new set of images waiting in the wings but I think there will be enough from our ‘back catalogue’ to keep the editions refreshed for the next five years.”

Win a copy of 70s Style & Design!

We’re celebrating the New Year with an exclusive competition to win a copy of the spiffing new book 70s Style & Design.

The competition is in conjunction with the Barney Bubbles Blog; the fine folk at Thames & Hudson have supplied us with the prized copy which will go to the person who answers correctly the question at the bottom of this post.


We’ve already detailed the excellence of Kirsty Hislop and Dominic Lutyens’ book here; suffice to say that it is packed with such nuggets as the “Mondo Trasho” spread above, which treats us to views of Duggie Fields in his Earls Court apartment (which he once shared with Syd Barrett) in the mid-70s – that’s Duggie top left in a red cerise SEX t-shirt.

On the right is the 1977 interior of The Rocky Horror Show designer Brian Thomson‘s abode, where flying ducks are matched with a lampshade made from a Seditionaries‘ Anarchy In The UK tee.

For a chance to win a copy of this visual feast, send us your answer to the following question:

Which album by Ian Dury & The Blockheads featured 28 front cover variations of 1970s Crown wallpaper patterns?

MAIL YOUR ANSWER TO: thelook@rockpopfashion.


Be lucky and Happy New Year!

Chicks On Speed’s Love Cats scarf

The latest fashion collaboration from Berlin art/music collective Chicks On Speed has been a stunning silk scarf design for art project-cum-label Little Red Riding Hood.


//110cm x 110 cm “Love Cats” silk scarf.//

This is something of a specialist area for LRRH, which has commissioned scarf designs from the likes of Gerhard BlumpopnonameAnton Unai and Miss le Bomb.

Using the theme “Love Cats”,  CoS – Australian Alex Murray-Leslie and American Melissa Logan – decorated their LRRH scarf with graphics and appliques. CoS have previously worked with such designers as Jean Charles de CastelbajacKarl LagerfeldJeremy Scott and Lisa Walker as well as artists Deborah Schamoni (who directed their clips for We Don’t Play Guitars and Glamour Girl) and Douglas Gordon.

Recently Murray-Leslie took part in a performance during Paris Fashion Week:

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“It’s really exciting when you can no longer distinguish between art and fashion, when the design itself is a piece of art,” says LRRH founder Daniela Goergens. “As Jean-Paul Satre said so eloquently: ‘I am the scarf, I am that outer layer’.”

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“At the moment we are doing a lot of works for our art shows,” says Alex Murray-Leslie. “These are only available for a few people to see, due to museum shows being less accessible than making music, so sometimes we like to take things off the museum walls and make them more accessible.”

Currently Alex and Melissa are working with Daniela on the first Chicks On Speed collection for winter 2010. “We´d like it to be super accessible, fun and very LOUD,” says Alex. “There´ll be 10 pieces, a lot of accessories and items with our prints.”

For the CoS performance art piece/solo exhibition at Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre next May, Alex and Melissa also plan to launch “the first wearable E-SHOE high heeled shoe guitar” with Max Kibardin.

They will also be debuting new stage costumes created with Kathi Glas, Ari Fish and Peggy Noland.

With the Chicks On Speed & Friends pop up shop at Changing Room in Barcelona (which travels to Aoyama, Tokyo in 2010), the scarves (priced 90€ / 120€ with appliqués from LRRH) arrive at a hectic time for CoS; their Theremin Tapestry show is currently at Kunstverein Wolfsburg

Meanwhile here’s a trip back to 2003 and one of THE LOOK’s faves from CoS (with Peaches) in the days of Nag Nag Nag:

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Paul Smith: Curiouser and curiouser

In his introduction to THE LOOK, Paul Smith reveals how he has maintained his enthusiam for fashion in the four decades since he started out as manager of Nottingham’s The Birdcage.


//Paul Smith, Nottingham, mid-60s. Courtesy: Paul Smith// 

Smith said: “You need an inner love, a passion for fashion and a curiosity for “stuff”: art, music, graphic and product design, what is happening in these interlinked worlds.” 


//Paul Smith and Paul Gorman, Tokyo, 2006. Photo: Meri Juntti// 

That passion was made manifest when Smith not only hosted the launch of THE LOOK in Tokyo but also invited me to curate an exhibition of photographs from the book in his Space gallery .


//THE LOOK exhibition, Space, Tokyo, 2006. Photo: Meri Juntti// 

Smith’s inquiring passion has enabled this charming enigma to maintain his position outside of the corporate whirl, all the while heading up a global retail empire to which has recently been added a new shop in Marylebone, central London.


//Smith’s new store in Marylebone High Street, London W1//

A quick glance at Smith’s current activities underlines this curiosity: at his Nottingham shop Willoughby House there is a David Hockney exhibition, while fellow artist Robert Clarke’s show British Birds & Dogs is at the Paul Smith shop Globe at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 until tomorrow.


//Left: Wood Duck, Robert Clarke. Right: The Blue Guitar, David Hockney// 

Read all about Paul’s enthusiams and interests, as well as his adventures in rock and pop fashion, in Chapter 27 of THE LOOK.  

Dudley Edwards: Pop art visionary

Tonight (October 29) sees the opening of an exciting exhibition celebrating the work of pop art visionary Dudley Edwards.


A Journey Into Vision & Sound at Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios investigates Edwards’ portfolio in the 60s, including his membership of groundbreaking design team Binder Edwards & Vaughan.


//Dandie Fashions, 161 King’s Road, Chelsea, 1967// 

BEV’s psychedelic murals adorned boutiques such as Dandie Fashions in the King’s Road and Lord John in Carnaby Street.


//Carnaby Street postcard, Lord John left, 1967// 

Outside of the BEV umbrella and under the guise of “OM Tentacle” (in conjunction with Mike McInnerney), Edwards was also responsible for the swooping serpent which formed the frontage of infamous Chelsea hangout, the Dragon Cafe.


The Dandie Fashions’ commission is significant; the shop exterior was decorated in lavish style for owner Tara Browne and manager John Crittle.

Just a few weeks back Big Biba designer Steve Thomas told THE LOOK that, as a student at nearby Chelsea College of Art, he was drafted in to paint the straight lines (as Edwards points out, the BEV team were more than capable of completing their own straight lines but the scale of the job required assistance from a number of students).

Edwards has related that when the team worked through the night they were often visited by intrigued local Eduardo Paolozzi.

Browne was on his way to view progress on the exterior when he died in a car crash in December 1966. This of course became one of the inspirations for the narrative of the Sgt Pepper track A Day In The Life.


//Left: BEV Cobra and Buick. Right: Poster for The Million Volt Light And Sound Rave// 

BEV also decorated interiors for Lord Snowdon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, along with a stunning array of furniture and cars. In fact it was Edwards who painted McCartney’s piano; he lived with the Beatle for six months. “I wrote Getting Better on my magic Binder Edwards & Vaughan piano,” said McCartney recently. “Of course the way in which it was painted added to the fun of it all.”

This association led to McCartney contributing The Beatles’ experimental and still unreleased electronic track Carnival Of Light to BEV’s multi-media extravaganza The Million Volt Light And Sound Rave at London’s The Roundhouse on January 28, 1967.  


//Left: BEV with Tara Browne (back centre) 1966. Photo: Right: Dudley Edwards painting Paul McCartney’s piano 1967//

The Cobra is featured in this 1966 Pathe newsreel about BEV’s work shot at Robert Fraser‘s gallery at 69 Duke Street, Mayfair; that’s Browne sitting proudly in the car as it is hauled through the gallery window.

These days Doug Binder is curator at art centre Dean Clough in Halifax while David Vaughan (who was actress Sadie Frost’s father) died aged 58 in 2003.   

Dudley Edwards operates design company Amazed Ltd with his wife Madeleine, creating fabulous rugs and wall hangings for a variety of clients, from Tori Amos to Hugh Grant. 

Edwards will be at tonight’s opening event at Parr Street Studios which includes a DJ set from Will Sergeant of Echo & The Bunnymen.

Invites are RSVP only; the exhibition is on until November 30.

Web exclusive: Amazing images from 70s Style & Design

THE LOOK has been granted a web exclusive we can’t wait to share with you – a couple of the amazing images from this year’s must-have fashion book, 70s Style & Design by Kirsty Hislop and Dominic Lutyens.


//Jim O’Connor and Pamla Motown, 1972. Photo: Steve Hiett//

Dominic and Kirsty have served up a feast in terms of the visuals and verbals, exploring the art, architecture, fashion and design of the decade that really delivered.

THE LOOK is proud to have made a contribution to this cool tome which covers the boutiques, designs and leading figures such as Lloyd JohnsonPamla Motown and Jim O’ConnorAntony PricePaul ReevesMr FreedomSEXBiba, Fiorucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Thierry Mugler and many another.


//Edwige, Maripol and Bianca Jagger. Photo: Edo Bertoglio// 

With (appropriately enough) 430 eye-popping images, 70s Style & Design succeeds by steering clear of the cliches (platforms, polyester flares) and crisply presents the reality of the era: creative, iconoclastic and, in contrast to the elitist 60s, healthily democratic. 

Saluting but avoiding entrapment in the better known aspects (Bibapunk), the book charts areas and movements not commonly identified as having an impact on visual culture at the time, such as eco and high-tech architecture, minimalism, the cult of androgyny, the proto-punk craze of kitsch and the impact on style of the black civil rights and women’s and gay liberation movements.


// 70s Style & Design cover. “All Weather” shoes by Thea Cadabra. Photo: Ian Murphy//

Above all, this book is enormous fun: simultaneously an education, entertainment and celebration.

THE LOOK will return to 70s Design & Style (with a chance to WIN a copy!) soon; in the meantime we urge you to seek it out.

70s Style & Design is published on November 2 by Thames & Hudson.