1978 ➤ To the edge and back with the lovely Julia

❚ PRINCESS JULIA IS A NATIONAL TREASURE. After three decades, she remains one of the UK’s coolest dance deejays, music editor at i-D and co-runs The P.i.X fanzine. She is as beautiful and immaculately attired as she was in the Swinging 80s. In those days Julia Fodor turned heads as the star sales assistant in PX, Helen Robinson’s inspirational New Romantic clothes shop in Covent Garden.

Nouvelle vague, Feb 1980: Julia outside PX, designer Helen Robinson’s home of New Romantic fashion. Photographed © by Martin Brading

Stunningly coiffed in a beehive hairdo, she could have stepped out of a French nouvelle vague movie – until she opened her mouth. “’Ello dahhlin’,” she greeted you, in broad Eliza Doolittle Cockney.

Once Steve Strange had put Julia in the cloakroom at the Blitz in 1979, her unique style ensured her a place at the centre of all the press coverage the club provoked, as well as in the Visage video for Fade to Grey. As one of the few true Blitz Kids, Julia never ventured into public without her Look.

This month, Julia began a photo-blog called The World of Princess Julia to record her nightlife activities in London and abroad – for her deejay residency at Queen in Paris, she has enjoyed being delivered to work by cross-Channel helicopter. Her first blog post introduces us to her life of what some might call notoriety. Here’s a taste, in Julia’s own words…

A lot of tinsel, that’s London, we love
our veneer, we love our sleaze

❚ I’M EIGHTEEN, ’78, [Covent Garden is] still boarded up ready for gentrification, coming down soon though. I work in a shop – PX. There’s a rehearsal space downstairs, band music bleeds up, Chrissie’s down there with her Pretenders, she tells me all about it. One day Michael Jackson came by, another time some local kids locked us in for a laugh, it was Cameron McVey and his mates.

I had a “look” then, one of many. I hobbled around in tight, tight skirts and high, high heels from Seditionaries. I took speed and learnt to smoke. I had a good beehive. What’s his name, Paul [Smith] from up north moved into Floral Street, Paul Howie and Lynne Franks had jumpers in Long Acre. There was nothing else round there then shop wise.

We had Bowie on, we played Kraftwerk, we kept a lookout for new music, new makeup, the future, futuristic. Dance moves, soul static robot. Berlin, film-noir. London ’79, cross-dressing melting vista of possibilities. No money, poverty breeds creativity, that’s what they say. Nevertheless perhaps it’s true, especially in London where people seem to gravitate towards seeking out an identity more vital than the one they’ve left behind. I did the same, left north London and headed uptown, central, on the Piccadilly line. London’s built on ley-lines, heard someone say that somewhere, I think it’s true because there’s certain energy here in London…

PX moves into Endell Street in Feb 1980: New Romantic satin gowns, Fauntleroy collars – and Julia. Photographed © by Martin Brading

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One response to “1978 ➤ To the edge and back with the lovely Julia

  1. I remember my friends and i used to go in the first shop in james street, ducking your head to get in the door, my favourite stuff was the space age collection, amongst other bits I had some electric blue pegs with yellow piping and a black padded shoulder t shirt with a yellow flash… wore them to death , wish i had them now.
    Wasnt so keen on the second shop, of course we all wore a few frills here and there, but the space age stuff was more my bag, it evoked the 50s and sci fi which i loved.

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