I’m so glad I went to see Bruce Weber Shorts yesterday, a lovely hour of cinematic gorgeousness and perfect for a Saturday afternoon. Alas, I had to dash off moments before the end to catch a train to Leeds for a last minute BBC debate on the evils of teen magazines (I had to defend them). Before I left, tripping over my wheelie Globetrotter in a rather non-elegant fashion, I managed to catch the gem that was Teddy Boys of The Edwardian Drape Society, a three-minute movie showing a selection of old timer teddy boys (and girls) still dressing up, quiffing up and generally tearing up the dancefloor. These characters are passionate about their scene as can be witnessed in this old interview with Ritchie Gee who runs the Edwardian Drape Society. What a character!
It’s not often you find out about events like Thursday’s talk at the Horse Hospital. Luckily for me I read about it on Style Bubble just in the nick of time and got my ticket request in fast. Alas, not fast enough as the next day an email pinged back saying the event was massively over-subscribed and entry wasn’t guaranteed, but to turn up anyway and they’d try to accomodate everyone.
We arrived with time to spare, which was good as it afforded us a nice fashion show in the form of the arriving punters. Having expected a pride of pushy fashion students and a few Hoxton hipsters I was happy to see a majority of veteran London dandies and friendly faces from the last forty years of fashion and clubbing. We had quite a lot of fun playing ‘guess who he is’ until the doors opened and we were all ushered in.
The Contemporary Wardrobe at the Horse Hospital in Russell Square is celebrating its thirtieth year as London’s quite astonishing fashion and street-style archive. The event consisted of a very cool fashion show, rare footage of a Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood interview together from 1993 and a talk between journalist Paul Gorman and Contemporary Wardrobe’s owner Roger K Burton. We heard about Burton’s adventures in fashion from his early mod days growing up in the Midlands to outfitting the cast and 300 extras from Quadrophenia, to designing Vivienne Westwood’s World’s End shop.
After the talk, there were drinks and chat as well as lots of photo-taking of the exhibited skinhead, punk, hippie and rocker outfits. I managed to buttonhole Paul Gorman, who gave me the lowdown on the assembled fashion faces who included Mr and Mrs Terry de Havilland, Topman design director Gordon Richardson (how dapper is this man, Phillip Green, please take some styling tips from him!), Soho suitmaker Mark Powell, Max Karie from Shop at Maison Bertaux and Marian Buckley from FUK.
A word about Paul Gorman. If you’re interested in the history of music-influenced street style, I highly recommend his book The Look, Adventures in Rock and Pop Fashion, featuring never-seen-before (by me anyway) photos and insightful interviews with key fashion players. Check out his blog here.
Victor at Melanthos reminded me how excited I am at the imminent arrival of the Joy Division film Control. I’m more of a New Order fan than Joy Division but I can guarantee even if you’re not familiar with their music, the film will be beautifully shot as it’s directed by Anton Corbijn.
Control is actually a biopic about Joy Division’s 23-year old lead singer Ian Curtis who committed suicide on the eve of Joy Division’s first U.S. tour. It’s based on the book Touching From a Distance, by Curtis’ wife, Deborah (which I still haven’t managed to buy).
The release date is 5th October – don’t miss this one.