“Visiting us is like visiting a cultural hub; it’s not simply a place for purchasing.”
Rough trade co-president Stephen Godfroy in The Guardian’s story on the opening of Rough Trade Records in New York
[Image: New York Times]
“What we were doing back then, was rewriting the rules of being white and working class. We knew exactly what it meant to dance to black music in the era of the National Front and the racist standup comedian. Ours was a rebellion against pub culture, shit music and leery sexist nightclubs. Our weapon was obscure vinyl, made by black kids nobody had ever heard of.”
Paul Mason’s recollections of the Northern Soul scene are a must-read on Vice.com
David Bowie Is at the V&A was a brilliant trip down memory lane as well as a peek into the brain of the enigma that is Bowie. However much we see of him, do we really feel like we know the man? Apparently, he kept an archive of everything he had ever done from his early youth.
Every song lyric, sketch, photo, sleeve design was carefully stored for…what? He didn’t know at his early age that he would become an icon of his time, but I guess the ambition was there.
Looking at the vitrines curated by a cast of London creatives at the ICA Off-Site project, ‘A Journey Through London Subculture – 1980s to now’, it’s clear that a lot of people have also kept the ephemeral fragments that sum up their artistic journey. From flyers to Polaroids, to scratchy notes and stickers, what to some looks like old junk, is of intrinsic value, especially in the digital age of cloud storage. (When was the last time you printed out your iPhone photos?) Continue reading
“Your jeans would wear out in the crotch area – and we’re wearing very low rise, low waisted jeans – so you’d put the patches right where you want the girls to look. It was all stratgetically done. It was all done so that a girl would walk into a room and couldn’t help but look there. In retrospect, I now know that is what I was doing. At the time you’d say, “No, I’m just mending these jeans because they’re torn or they’re ripped.” But somehow they were always torn and ripped in the exact right place.”
Nile Rodgers on the mating rituals of 70s fashion, GQ
Who doesn’t love a good, heartwarming music documentary? If you enjoyed Searching for Sugarman, you must look out for The Heart Of Bruno Wizard. I caught a screening at the East End Film Festival and am impatiently waiting for distribution news so I can see it again.
Bruno is one of those people that I’ve seen out and about and chatted to over the years but never quite understood what he does. The Heart Of Bruno Wizard is his story, told by first-time director Elisabeth Rasmussen. Of course, this isn’t really a music documentary at all but a heartfelt portrait of an artist. We follow his story from punk provocateur (he called his band The Homosxuals ‘to keep the record companies away’ – brilliant!) to artist, political activist and displaced Londoner. Cheesy as it sounds, The heart of Bruno does indeed come across. He’s an old school poet for the people in the same mould as Joe Strummer who never sold out and still carries his message in whatever art medium he can, to whoever will listen.
There are some excellent talking heads featured in the film, including fellow Warren Street squatters Stephen Jones and Marilyn. The music and archive home movie footage are fantastic too. You can get a taste in the trailer here…
Beauty snippets: Boys in blusher, Marc Cain X Uslu Airlines, the problem with product placement, summer scents, YSL Forever Light Creator
BOYS IN BLUSHER (AND EYELINER AND LIPPY)
The big beauty buzz for me during the last few weeks has been around men’s beauty and grooming. With the news of Tom Ford’s imminent grooming line (due this autumn) and Marc Jacobs Beauty’s unisex products (coming to a Sephora near you soon), it seems men’s luxury makeup is tipping into the mainstream. Pushing things further, Hedi Slimane’s models at Saint Laurent wore full-on eyeliner and lipstick for the SS14 shows in Paris. If anyone understands youth culture it’s Slimane so I’m keen to see if the cool young indie set take this aesthetic to its natural conclusion. Having grown up on Nick Rhodes, Adam Ant and David Sylvian, I hope they do. Continue reading
The Pet Shop Boys have made a bangin’ house track for the millennial generation (I think we’re calling this EDM now, yeah?) and it’s brilliant. And they’ve used amateur footage from the raves themselves for the video.
According to the press release, the song and video (by filmmaker and photographer Joost Vandeburg) are a tribute to the way British youth in the late ’80s ‘found its own freedom with a new culture epitomised by dance music and raves’. It seems we can’t stop looking back at past times of freedom and innovation which prevents us innovating in the now. Part of the problem is that we can’t get enough of the vast mine of original material being shared online, some of it never seen before. I’m guilty as charged, I love discovering and sharing ancient pictures and footage, but I think that’s OK, I’ve done my bit of innovating. But for younger people, it’s time to step away from the nostalgic nineties, get out there, get physical and create, without endlessly looking to the past.
I don’t know anything about this film other than it’s a documentary by Phil Strongman and the trailer has just gone up on Youtube. It features Vivienne Westwood, Adam Ant, Tracey Emin, Boy George and a host of other McLaren associates. I’m slightly obsessed by the hugely influential punk provocateur so this will be a big must-see for me. If you have any more info, do tell…
District MTV, the fashion and style arm of MTV asked me to compile a playlist of my hip-hop favourites for its Midweek Mixtape feature. So naturally I went for the old school greats – I mean, who doesn’t love a bit of Schoolly D, Eric B and Roxanne Shante…?
Read the feature on District MTV here
This Patti Smith video has been doing the rounds this week but I don’t think the advice is only suited to the young. Anyone can benefit from Patti’s wise and wonderful words. Please pay it forward and share this video with your daughters, mothers, sisters, brothers and friends!