Celebrating the ‘retirement renaissance’ with Selfridges’ Bright Old Things

Bruno Wizard and Stephen Jones

This month I’m looking forward to a second viewing of The Heart Of Bruno Wizard, a truly heartwarming documentary about one of London’s unsung creative spirits. 64-year-old Bruno Wizard is a one off and his story is a colourful one. (The story of how the film came about is pretty cool too, you can read it here.)

Bruno was a resident of the legendary Warren Street squat (look out for fellow squatters, Stephen Jones and Marilyn in the film) whose bands The Rejects and The Homosexuals performed perfect three minute punk songs and never sold out – unlike some of their contemporaries. Bruno seems to have umpteen lives as the film narrates his many ups and downs throughout the decades. We arrive at the present day in which his spirit is unbroken, his mind as lucid as ever and his character charming but always unpredictable.

The film is out on DVD this month which you can now buy at Selfridges. Because Bruno is part of Selfridges’ excellent Bright Old Things campaign in which it’s tipping its annual Bright Young Things programme on its head to celebrate those who may be older in age, but are as bold and pioneering as ever.

Bruno Wizard Bright Old things Selfridges Window

Bruno Wizard’s ‘Bright Old Things’ window at Selfridges

‘Older’ creatives are in the news right now thanks to that Joan Didion Celine ad campaign, but it’s not about token oldies contrary to what some think. I see it as an appreciation of enduring talent and a curious outlook. As we know with fine art, artists don’t retire, they keep on going. As is the case with Selfridges’ other Bright Old Things, among them Molly Parkin (ex Nova fashion editor, now painter), Sue Kreitzman (cookery-writer-turned-artist) and street style favourite Nick Wooster (who has designed a menswear collection with Lardini on sale at Selfridges). A certain Roger Miles, aka Middle Aged Dad of The Womens Room Blog fame is also featured, read more here

All fourteen of Selfridges’ Bright Old Things have created a window demonstrating their new creative direction, unveiled at a launch last week. (Quite the hoot with Molly Parkin reading out her brilliantly naughty poetry.) Bruno’s polyvore tendencies are symbolised in a punk octopus, vividly displayed in dayglo colours with video footage embedded in his heart. I think kids will love it. As they will Sue Kreitzman’s bejewelled doll-fest and Molly Parkin’s delightfully chaotic artist studio. Meanwhile, in the dedicated pop-up space you can buy special pieces including notebooks, tote bags, miniature Molly Parkin paintings and Tatty Devine’s necklaces for Sue Kreitzman. If you’re a product design-head, do check out Robert Roope’s Black Eyewear and Den Wood’s custom-made leather chairs


Molly Parkin's 'Bright Old Things' window

Molly Parkin’s ‘Bright Old Things’ window

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Molly Parkin reading her poem at the Bright Old Things launch

Molly Parkin reading her poem at the Bright Old Things launch

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Roger Miles' window for Selfridges Bright Old Things

Roger Miles’ RESONATE GENERATE window

Sue Kreitzman's bejewelled dolls installation

Sue Kreitzman’s bejewelled dolls installation

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WORDS AND IMAGES: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl