Tag Archives: Club to Catwalk

➤ Dress UP while Sullivan selects sounds from the 80s at the V&A’s Friday Late

Claire Wilcox ,Chris Sullivan,Club to Catwalk, fashion , 1980s,V&A,exhibition,,London

At the V&A’s opening party for the Club to Catwalk exhibition, Chris Sullivan and its curator Claire Wilcox © Photographed by Shapersofthe80s

❚ EX-ST MARTIN’S AND WAG CLUB HOST Chris Sullivan says: “I’ll be deejay at the V&A again for next Friday’s free event. I’ll be doing a typical 80s club set from Kraftwerk to house with hip hop, rockabilly and mutant disco, to seminal electro and rare groove. It’s an evening of all sorts of shenanigans to do with the Club to Catwalk exhibition.”

The monthly Friday Late on October 25 at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum is inspired by the current exhibition Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s, which celebrates the creativity and theatricality of the capital’s dynamic fashion and club scenes. Assistant curator Kate Bethune is running a busy programme of free events, including art and design workshops, art installations, expert talks, performances and deejay sets throughout the gallery.

Club to Catwalk, exhibition, London, Fashion,1980s, V&ADIY fashionistas will discover how to make their own Scarlett Dress (named after Scarlett Cannon, 80s Cha-Cha club hostess and now “key identity” for the exhibition, seen at left) by downloading the dress pattern from the V&A’s website. An example of the toile is being displayed in the Sackler Centre on Friday evening.

Kate reports: “Our free Friday Lates tend to attract upwards of 4,000 visitors and our Club to Catwalk exhibition, London Fashion in the 1980s, continues to prove extremely popular and is averaging 5,000 visitors a week.”

➢ Back to the 80s at the V&A, October 25, 18:30–22:00

Christos Tolera,Axiom, Chris Sullivan, zootsuits, fashion, 1980s, V&A,

Clubbing style 1981: Sullivan’s zootsuits currently pictured in the V&A’s Club to Catwalk 80s fashion exhibition, here strutting the Axiom collective’s runway at Club for Heroes back in the day. Modelled by Solomon Mansoor and Christos Tolera, photographed by © Shapersothe80s

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➤ The original Wag sets the scene for Club to Catwalk at the V&A

Wag club, Soho, clubbing , Swinging 80s, Chris Sullivan ,Ollie O’Donnell

The Wag, for 19 years the coolest nightspot in Soho: its suave doorman Winston is flanked by co-hosts Chris Sullivan and Ollie O’Donnell. © Shapersofthe80s

➢ The July issue of High Life magazine celebrates the launch next week of the Club to Catwalk exhibition in the V&A fashion gallery – Longtime Wag club host Chris Sullivan recalls the unbridled creativity, outrageous abandon and downright cheek of London in the 80s …

It was 27 April 1985 and the opening party for the second floor of the Wag Club – the nightspot I founded and ran in Soho – was in full, unrestrained swing. Fuelled by the unlimited free bar, the place was totally off the hook, the crowd dressed to the nines in their own inimitable fashion – pirates, preachers, punks and picture-postcard peaches – throwing themselves about with Bacchanalian abandon to a soundtrack as arcane and varied as they were.

Club to Catwalk, exhibition, London, Fashion,1980s, V&A High jinks indeed, yet looking around I realised that we as a group had come of age, were taken seriously and that this moment was ours. George Michael danced next to Siobhan of Bananarama overlooking Sade who nodded to the music in front of Suggs and Martin Kemp. Over the way, John Galliano camped it up alongside Leigh Bowery, Judy Blame, Boy George and one of the scene’s most innovative dressers and designers, Stephen Linard, while behind them stood Steve Strange and Princess Julia chatting to Vivienne Westwood… / Continued at High Life

➢ Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s runs at the Victoria & Albert Museum, July 10–Feb 16, 2014. Featuring more than 85 outfits, it showcases new looks from the decade’s most experimental designers and some remarkable photography from back in the day

on video: five shapers still going strong

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1980 ➤ Club to Catwalk: when fashion became an arena for all the arts

V&A ,fashion,Club to Catwalk , BodyMap, Scarlett Cannon, Monica Curtin,

Monica Curtin’s 1985 pic of Scarlett Cannon as “key identity” for the V&A Club to Catwalk show… Outfit by BodyMap’s AW 1984 collection, Cat in the hat takes a rumble with a techno fish. Stylist John Derry-Bunce. Background painting Simon Josebury. Hair and makeup Jalle Bakke

◼ “FASHION???” SCOFFED THE FASHION EDITOR of a leading women’s magazine who shared my flat in 1980, after meeting one of the more ornamental Blitz Kids over our breakfast table. “Those aren’t even clothes!” Yet within five years she was as keen as every other editor to be featuring BodyMap, Galliano, Jones, Auburn, Hogg, Hamnett, Bernstock Speirs et al. Scroll forward 30 years and London’s world-beating decorative arts museum, the V&A, weighs in with a necessary exhibition reappraising the UK’s style revolution of the 80s. What’s coming under scrutiny in its dedicated fashion galleries are the unique silhouettes of that extravagant shape-shifting decade and the clubland forces that moulded them. Only two weeks to go before Club to Catwalk, London Fashion in the 1980s, and there’s one crucial tipping point at its heart: the moment fashion became style.

Let’s hand over to fashion guru Iain R Webb, one of the central figures who defined his generation and whose impressive book As Seen in Blitz was published last month. Here’s a taste of the mighty personal essay he has written for the summer issue of the V&A Magazine…

V&A Magazine summer issue: the 80s deconstructed by Iain R Webb

V&A Magazine summer issue: the 80s deconstructed by Iain R Webb

Webb writes: “ The 1980s were all about being photographed. We dressed as if every day were a photo shoot and every night a party (it usually was). But there was another revolution happening.

The advent of the stylist who approached fashion as an artistic construct was something new. Alongside the contributors to BLITZ, The Face and i-D (Ray Petri, Judy Blame, Caroline Baker, Helen Roberts, Beth Summers, Simon Foxton, Mitzi Lorenz, Maxine Siwan and Caryn Franklin among them) were two thought-provoking arbiters whose importance is often overlooked. Michael Roberts at Tatler and Amanda Grieve at Harper’s and Queen added a subversive edge to their respective glossy titles. Roberts poking fun at old-school mores while Grieve (later Harlech) befriended St Martin’s graduate John Galliano and helped create the romantic whirlwind that shaped fashion for decades to follow.

Club to Catwalk, exhibition, London, Fashion,1980s, V&AThe images produced by all these stylists merged fashion and art, questioned the accepted ideals of beauty and social status and enjoyed a sense of experimentation. Their vanguard imagery often highlighted specific issues such as the superficiality of fashion and consumerism with humour.

“At that time there was a group of stylists who were as creative as the designers, if not more so,” remembers PR Lynne Franks, who represented BodyMap, Katharine Hamnett and Wendy Dagworthy. “It prompted the question: What came first, the styling or the clothes? It was very spontaneous, like playing dress-up.”

Stefano Tonchi, editor of W magazine, then editor of Westuff, an alternative style periodical published in Florence, says: “Fashion was no longer fashionable. Style was used to describe many areas of the creative arts that came together. It made for a new category. Music dictated a lot of the emerging trends and there was experimentation in both photography and graphic design, but fashion was where these exciting changes were most evident. Think of the BodyMap fashion shows, they weren’t just about the clothes but involved music, graphic design and theatre… ”


➢ Revolt into Style Revisited: continued at Webb’s blog

V&A ,fashion,Club to Catwalk , BodyMap, Scarlett Cannon, Monica Curtin,

Showing in Club to Catwalk: Cotton dress by Willy Brown, 1980… Fallen Angel suit
 by John Galliano,
1985. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

➢ Elsewhere at Shapers of the 80s: Eight for ’84 –
BodyMap flavour of the season topping the labels international buyers tip for success

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➤ Linard’s twist on classic Levi – add the kitchen sink

➢ Blitz magazine recalled on the V&A blog:

The Blitz designer collection of Levis denim jackets celebrates some of the most talented and creative designers working out of London in 1986 and it has been 27 years since London’s V&A museum last displayed them. These unique jackets were commissioned by the 80s style magazine Blitz in 1986 and customised by a host of top designers, including John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood, Bernstock Speirs and Paul Smith. In quirky twists on the classic Levis denim number, the 21 jackets, of which the V&A owns nine, push the boundaries of the term ‘customisation’. Onetime Blitz Kid Stephen Linard experimented by attaching a leather backpack and cutlery to his…

Blitz Kids, Stephen Linard, fashion,exhibition, Club to Catwalk ,V&A,,

Sketch on paper, Stephen Linard, Great Britain, 1986. Museum no. AAD/19972/34 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Stephen Linard

Seven of the nine jackets in the V&A’s collection will be on display in the summer exhibition Club to Catwalk, London Fashion in the 1980s (opening July 10), in addition to a loan of Zandra Rhodes’s jacket, which has been recently reunited with the group, and a Stephen Jones hat that was customised as part of the same project. The jackets will be displayed alongside many of their original sketches and a video wall which will show footage of the 1986 fashion gala… / Continued online

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