Archive for the 00s category

Anna Sui exclusive: Interview, book preview + archive gems

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To coincide with the publication of the Anna Sui book, today THE LOOK publishes an exclusive interview with the New York designer.

Sui has also granted us access to these gems from deep in her archive: sketches which resulted in early 80s stagewear for Siouxsie Sioux.

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Sui developed her fascination for the dynamics of music and style early.

“I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit dreaming about the British invasion, The Beatles and The Stones,” she says.

“My first concert was MC5 and The Stooges in a park, then along came Glam Rock and I was smitten. It wasn’t just the band that dressed up, but the audience too!  Alice Cooper was my favourite.  Todd Haynes captured that excitement at the beginning of Velvet Goldmine.”

<a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=V87hoJvdT9A">http://youtube.com/watch?v=V87hoJvdT9A</a>

//Todd Haynes captures the excitement at 4.20.//

Sui’s family visited New York every summer. One year they took in  the Biba boutique in Bergdorf Goodman.  “I was astounded by the colour selection of cosmetics, boots, t-shirts and beautiful clothes; I’d never seen colours like that:  Dusty teal, plum, prune, rose…

“I bought a teal t-shirt with billowy sleeves – like the blouse I had seen on Jean Shrimpton when she came to Detroit for a Yardley cosmetics appearance – and teal eye shadow.”

Sui graduated via the NYC punk scene to create a small collection “for rock stars as well people that went to rock concerts”, selling through department stores and Patricia Field‘s boutique on 8th Street.

In the early 80s Sui brought her “Rock and Roll Cowboy” range to London, when Siouxsie acquired the fringe jacket and skirt with faux-cowhide yoke.

While in London Sui caught Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood‘s Pirates collection. “I went to the launch party and the next day bought an entire outfit from Worlds End,” she recalls. “At this time Gene Krell had a clothing boutique in the back of a record store, also on 8th, at MacDougal.  Gene bought my collection, as did Trash & Vaudeville.”

Sui’s customers have run the rock & roll gamut, and she retains a fan’s enthusiasm for the artefacts of rock fashion, as regular readers will know from her recent contribution to this site.

As an addendum to that, here is a charming card for Betsy Bunky  & Nini from Sui’s personal collection:

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Among Sui’s most prized possessions is a complete run of the Hearst Corporation’s short-lived late 60s pop culture magazine Eye. “It covered fashion, music and film with a poster most issues,” she says.

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//Eye magazine, clockwise from top left: Aug 68; Sept 68; Oct 68; March 69.//

“This was a very different time when information traveled in a much slower way.  Any glimpse of what was going on in London or a story about a rock star was precious and went a long way in your imagination.”

Sui also collects vintage Ossie Clark and Zandra Rhodes.  “I missed it the first time around so I’m making up for it now. I like their earlier pieces and wear them a lot. I’ve also collected the subsequent collections for various retailers recently and Zandra has made me a dress in my favorite feather print.”

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It is this enthusiam for the keynotes of fashion history which propels Sui into making the smart choices, especially when it comes to fabric selection, palette control and photographic collaboration, from her good friend Steven Meisel to the fantastic(al) Sarah Moon.

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Sui’s post-modern appeal is outlined by Jack White (whose wife Karen Elson is a favourite model of the designer’s) in his foreword to Sui’s fully illustrated 288-page tome (which is launched in the UK next week).

“It’s not retro or emulation or re-creation or even false modernity,” White writes of Sui’s aesthetic. “It is a beauty that can exist in any era – past, present or future – a beauty that does not fall prey to the wrath of novelty.”

Buy your copy of Anna Sui’s new book here.

Wish You Were There: Nifty guide to London 1960-66

WISH YOU WERE THERE London 1960-66

Wish You Were There, the new retrospective guide to the shops, clubs “and sundry diversions” on offer in central London between 1960 and 1966, may be pocket-sized but it’s packed with exhaustive info and fabulously-researched detail.

Produced by Herb Lester Associates (writer/DJ/60s expert Ben Olins and broadcast/publishing creative Jane Smillie), the simple, stylish map/listings format also makes for a delightful artefact.

This is the third map from HLA, whose aim is to create “attractive and interesting publications for companies and organisations”, extending to books, quarterly magazines, journals and one-offs.

“Some years ago I planned to write a book on London clubs of the pre-psychedelic rock & roll period, approximately 1958-66, and did quite a bit of research but couldn’t allocate the time and energy to do it right,” explains Olins. “When we started to produce the maps, I decided to merge the research and interviews into a more easily digestible and manageable package.”

WISH YOU WERE THERE London 1960-66

WISH YOU WERE THERE London 1960-66

We’re pleased to note that THE LOOK was among the sources of background info, though Olins stresses he focused where possible on first-hand testimony from the likes of Lloyd Johnson and Jeff Dexter.

“Jeff’s like Zelig meets the Memory Man,” says Olins. “He’s just incredible and also enormously generous. Jeff, Lloyd and I spent one long day this summer pounding West End pavements, with the two of them pointing out locations and describing what they were like.

“We ate lunch in the premises occupied by (John Michael’s groundbreaking Old Compton Street store) Sportique. ‘At last I can afford to buy something at Sportique!’ said Lloyd, who generously paid for us all. Then, in a moment of circle-closing, we bumped into John Pearse in Wardour Street.”

WISH YOU WERE THERE London 1960-66

WISH YOU WERE THERE London 1960-66

Wish You Were There is an absolute steal at £4 a copy, available here.

Fabulous new David Bowie book is crammed with delights

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//David Bowie wears John Stephen on a modeling assignment with Jan De Souza in Kingly Street W1 for Fabulous 208, 1965. Photo: Fiona Adams//

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//Up on the roof, central London 1967. Photo: Kenneth Pitt. //

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//Ziggy Stardust’s first photo call, 1972. Photo: Brian Ward/David Bowie Archive.//

Any Day Now, the new book about David Bowie’s London life between 1947 and 1974, is hands-down the music book publishing sensation of the year.

Any Day Now Cover_smaller

And THE LOOK has been granted exclusive access to the new book, which has been written and compiled by Bowie expert Kevin Cann and is out next month.

Any Day Now’s 320-plus pages are crammed with delights both factual and visual, charting Bowie from his birth, background and childhood interests in music, design and art through to his beginnings in local beat groups and eventual world-beating success.

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//In Paddington Street Gardens, central London, 1969. The bag was designed by Alan Mair of The Beatstalkers (and later The Only Ones). Photo: Kenneth Pitt.//

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//Rocking the Keith Relf look with The Manish Boys, 1965. Photo: Bob Solly//

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//With Angie (Angela Barnett) outside Bromley register office on their wedding day, March 20, 1970. The couple wore clothes bought the previous day at Kensington Market. Bowie’s Courrèges belt was a gift from friend Calvin Mark Lee. Photo: Kentish Times.//

As a document of the most important image-maker of our times, it is unparalleled, reflecting Cann’s decades-long absorption in his subject and access to original sources and important material.

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//In Mr Fish mandress on the cover of Curious magazine with Freddie Buretti, May 1971.//

Any Day Now is a must for fans of music and fashion, detailing Bowie’s stylistic development as he moved through r&b and mod via folkie and hippie to glam androgyny, drawing on such touchstones of THE LOOK as John Stephen, Dandie Fashions, Kensington Market, Mr Fish, Freddie Buretti, City Lights Studio and Kansai Yamamoto.

David Bowie. 1968

//At producer Tony Visconti’s apartment in Lexham Gardens, west London, 1968. Photo: Ray Stevenson.//

There is a fascinating foreword written by Kenneth Pitt, who managed Bowie between 1967 and 1970, and contributions from a cast of hundreds, including close friends and fellow musicians.

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//Any Day Now Limited Edition.//

A special limited edition of 475 copies is also being published in hardback, numbered and signed in black cloth-bound clam-shell cases with reproductions of tickets, posters and memorabilia. Each also contains a print of a rare colour photo taken of Bowie in 1967 by Gerald Fearnley (who has signed them).

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//Any Day Now Limited Edition with signed Gerard Fearnley photograph.//

To find out more and order copies of the limited edition, click here.

LaRocka!’s pink leather Wild Child jacket

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Memories of Emma Ridley come flooding back with the current listing of a LaRocka! pink leather”Wild Child” biker jacket on eBay.

LaRocka Wild Child

Demonised as the embodiment of indulged and out-of-control 80s youth, Ridley’s turn in the media spotlight was brief.

These days, it seems she runs a pole dancing school in LA.

LaRocka Wild Child

LaRocka Wild Child - back

View the “Wild Child” jacket on eBay here.

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.

BBC Blast Fashion Festival

BBC Blast Fashion Festival

Participating in last weekend’s BBC  Blast Fashion Festival at the V&A was… a blast.  Along with workshops, makeovers and q&as and interviews with Lou Dalton, Hannah Marshall and Erin O’Connor, I gave a presentation based around The Look: Adventures In Rock & Pop Fashion.

BBC Blast Fashion Festival

BBC Blast Fashion Festival

In this I aimed to join the dots between Elvis in the early 50s, The Beatles, Biba and Granny Takes A Trip in the 60s, through Bowie and McLaren & Westwood in the 70s and 80s and the rise of MTV to the music/fashion link-ups of today, including Liam Gallagher’s Pretty Green, Pixie Lott‘s ranges for Lipsy, and Lily Allen’s new venture Lucy In Disguise.

BBC Blast Fashion Festival

BBC Blast Fashion Festival

It seemed to go down well; I was really impressed with the number of teenagers who knew and owned copies of The Look.

The event also gave me an opportunity to plug faves such as Peggy Noland + Ssion and heartsrevolution. Who’s’s to know whether the audience members will take to heart the “Choose your own revolution” message but those I spoke to afterwards were certainly sussed to the fact that the high street is a dead-end.

<a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=WFPnl8aEPgo">http://youtube.com/watch?v=WFPnl8aEPgo</a>

Madame says…the shop is open!

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Madame Says…, Pippa Brooks’ most excellent blog,  has set up shop.

Featuring Madame’s favourite Oscar Wilde epigram ‘Everything popular is wrong”, the first range comprises a selection of Ts –  tee-shirt, tea-mug and tea-towel.

Visit Madame’s shop here. For our report on the other shop in Pippa’s life – M. Goldstein, run by her partner Nathaniel Lee Jones – go here.

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The Beautiful And The Good

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“…but it’s on the turn towards something else…
…more slow…
…more focused…
…more reassuring I think…
…more caring and ultimately…
…more profound.

It’s not about the shock of the new.
It’s about the love of the newly familiar.

To show something old in a new way.
To have ideals again.”

These words from the late Malcolm McLaren are the inspiration for the new project from This Is Naive’s Tommy,   The Beautiful And The Good.

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Paul Smith first look exclusive

Cycling enthusiast Paul Smith has granted us a first look exclusive at this new film he has created featuring the Rapha Condor Sharp cycling team training at the Manchester Velodrome…in his “London line” suits.

The film will be released to coincide with the UK’s biggest professional bicycle race, this month’s The Tour of Britain.

Read all about how cycling is inextricably intertwined with Paul’s fashion career in Chapter 27 of THE LOOK.

When The Angry Brigade bombed Biba

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Two years after the most recent flop, Biba’s back again, and owners House Of Fraser have attracted some flak for positioning the label as a High Street brand fronted by Daisy Lowe.

On May 1 1971 Barbara Hulanicki’s third Biba incarnation was subjected to a serious attack, as confirmed by this, Communique 8 of 12 sent by urban guerillas The Angry Brigade and published in underground magazine IT.

The stock room was damaged and 500 people were evacuated though no-one was seriously hurt.

According to Jonathon Green’s mandatory All Dressed Up, The Angry Brigade were responsible for 25 “infernal devices” exploded in this country from 1968 to 1971. This period witnessed 100 more bombings of political targets on the British mainland, the majority of which are still unattributed.

Love Lewis Leathers

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Lewis Leathers rocks.

After less than a year, the LL shop in Whitfield Street – a thoroughfare with fine pedigree after all, where Iggy & The Stooges recorded Raw Power in 1972 and The Clash their debut album five years later – has become a must visit, as you can see from these photos from mainman LL cool D(erek Harris).

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The hyperreal art of Masafumi Kamei

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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.

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

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Ssion: Cody + Peggy = unstoppable

<a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=lW_tXgGrVu0">http://youtube.com/watch?v=lW_tXgGrVu0</a>

The wunderbar Peggy Noland first turned us on to Cody Critcheloe and Ssion in our interview a couple of years back.

Then we picked up with her antics in Germany. A year down the line and she’s firing away on all cylinders. Truly Peggy, Cody and the gang are unstoppable.

Slimane/Bochert 4 British Vogue

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Hedi Slimane photographed Jamie Bochert in NYC in May. You can see the results of the photo-shoot in the current issue of British Vogue.

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For the full photostory visit Slimane’s fashion diary.

Janette Beckman: Archive of Attitude

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Archive of Attitude is the current exhibition from photographer Janette Beckman at LA gallery Project Space.

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On until September 5, the show spans Beckman’s work from the late 70s to the current day and incorporates personal artefacts relating to the areas she has worked in, such as hip-hop and punk.

“The Hip Hop exhibit has my Def Jam jacket (with my name embroidered on the front, circa 1987), The Face 1984 with my Run DMC & Posse photo, a Salt ‘n’ Pepa CD cover I shot around ’87, a Run DMC single with my photo, Adidas sneakers and sweats and my Kangol hat.”

Here are a few of THE LOOK’s favourites from Beckman’s archive:

boy

//Boy, 153 King's Road, London, 1980.//

Christos & Chris

//Chris Sullivan + Christos Tolera, Blue Rondo a la Turk, London, 1982.//

SKA GIRLS Coventry 1980

//Ska girls, Coventry, 1980.//

johnson's 1

//Inside: Phil, stockroom, Robot, King's Road, London, 1980.//

johnson's 5

//Outside: Johnsons, 406 King's Road, London, 1981.//

“The bands and the fans, I loved the music and the styles,” says Beckman, who recently completed a shoot for Schott in Japan in the style of her punk portraits.

These feature a variety of NYC characters shot on location around the city: DJs, dancers, actors, skateboarders, BMX riders, artists and musicians.

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//Chad (actor) NYC 2010.//

ralphy

//Ralphy (BMX) NYC 2010.//

band us royalty

//US Royalty (band) NYC 2010.//

Dister dancer

//Dister (dancer) NYC 2010.//

artist-brian

//Brian (artist) NYC 2010.//

Go see:
Archive of Attitude
Project Space
603 North La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles CA 90036
Telephone +1 323 938 8818

Visit:
http://www.janettebeckman.com/