Tag Archives: Paris

➤ A swelle hello from upstart Judith, returning in an explosion of colour

Blitz Kids, David Bowie,Ashes to Ashes , Judith Frankland

Blitz Kids chosen by Bowie to star in his Ashes to Ashes video, 1980: Darla-Jane, Steve, Judith and Elise with Bowie at centre as Major Tom. © EMI

❚ WE ALL REMEMBER DESIGNER Judith Frankland’s nun-like appearance in David Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes video in 1980 alongside Steve Strange who was wearing her infamous black wedding dress. Tomorrow Judith unveils her first women’s collection in eight years at the Holy Biscuit gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne, in a week-long show by a mixed group of women artists. She says her new outfits are designed for “The Woman Who Likes to say Hello!”

Judith Frankland, fashion, Holy Biscuit gallery, Newcastle

Judith’s flyer illustrated by Manny More

They are joyous explosions of colour that, she insists, “come from within my well travelled head” — and here we’re talking the shock tactics of an eternal punkette, whose own looks veer between the immaculate cool of revue star Bea Lillie and the fruitiness of dancer Carmen Miranda. At the height of the Blitz club’s notoriety, Judith’s playful yet tailored outfits adorned Steve Strange as vocalist with Visage to become some of the most distinctive styles of the New Romantics movement. Most memorable was the taffeta jacket with medieval flourishes on the cover for Fade to Grey.

Judith Frankland, Milan, clubbing, Pussy Galore,

Milanese night warrior: Judith during her Pussy Galore hostess era, 1989-96

Where did the last 30 years go for Judith? She has lived more lives than the rest of us ever will, in a whirl of bespoke design partnerships and nightclub promoting from Vancouver to LA to Milan to Paris, fuelled by acerbic wit and a mighty big heart. With such landmark clubs as Pussy Galore and Chocolat City, the Italians branded her one of “i guerrieri della notte” — the warriors of the night.

In the end she returned to Tyneside to look after her ailing mum, and only now has she found the time and energy to return to the fashion fray. Judith’s last business was based in Paris and that’s where she plans to return next year. The new Winter 2011/12 collection is a modest calling card that exploits a secret stash of “school-blazer fabrics” in stripes and vibrant colourways. Judith has suffused uniform wool suitings with a positively romantic glow.

With the left hand, she has been contributing to a smart new blog called The Swelle Life, run by writer-photographer Denise Grayson. Here in her own uninhibited confessional style, Judith pays generous tribute to the inspirational circle of friends she has acquired on her travels.

Judith Frankland, fashion,nun,Sound of Music

Judith’s nun look from 1980, left, echoed in 2011, right. After fashion, her second passion is the film The Sound of Music. “I hate revisiting the past,” she maintains, but for her Swelle Life blog, she couldn’t resist accessorising this vintage German skirt with her own nun’s collar and cuffs. Photographs by Derek Ridgers and Denise Grayson

Judith Frankland, Paris, 2002

From Judith’s 2002 collection while living in Paris: her apartment in rue Montorgueil just by Les Halles converted into a showroom during fashion week

Judith Frankland, Christian Lacroix , fashion

A couture original: When Shapersofthe80s visited Judith’s Old Curiosity Shoppe of a home last summer, she showed off the latest treasure acquired from her local thrift shops, this Lacroix coat, priced 25 pence! Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s

➢ HERE’S HOW JUDITH INTRODUCED HERSELF
AT THE SWELLE LIFE BLOG

I’m an upstart and a woman like many who loves — and in my case lives — fashion and the world that lurks around it, a world I have stepped in and out of all my life. I have an excitable, excruciatingly inquisitive mind; I never stop thinking, plotting and some would say talking! I am not a lover of the term ‘On trend’; I like to say ‘On form’. Micro mini to maxi. If it feels right on the day I’ll wear it — no sheep mentality for me. I mix bargain buys, charity shop finds and my own creations.

 Denise Grayson, Judith Frankland,The Swelle Life, fashion,Winter 2011-12

Judith models her Hello! look for Winter 2011/12: day wear and evening wear giving new life to school-blazer suitings. Jewellery from the designer’s own massive collection. Photographed © by Denise Grayson

London’s Cafe Royal, 1980: Judith’s graduation show from Ravensbourne college of art caused a sensation with a glamorous evocation of the 50s in black and white taffeta, brocade, velvet and satin. Its climax was this black wedding dress worn by Sheila Ming, gloriously crowned by Stephen Jones’s veiled head-dress made of stiffened lace on a metal frame. Blitz club host Steve Strange was later to wear it in David Bowie’s video for Ashes to Ashes. Photographed © by Niall McInerney

Ashes to Ashes, video, Judith Frankland, David Bowie, fashion, Blitz Kids

On the beach at Hastings filming Ashes to Ashes: Judith (right) in the ecclesiastical habit Bowie had seen her in at the Blitz, with Steve Strange (second left) in Judith’s black wedding dress he’d also worn that night (head-dress by Stephen Jones). Elise and Darla-Jane wear their own outfits. What with the shingle and the quicksand and Steve trying to outrun the bulldozer, Judith says the wedding dress was completely destroyed. © EMI

➢ An Eclectic Mix of Arts & Design runs April 8–15 at the Holy Biscuit gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne. Join Judith for a chat at the preview this Friday 6–8pm. Others showing are Tutu Benson, Anne Johnson, Helen Moss, Sheelagh Peace, Susan Stanton, Jill Stephen

➢ Update — Judith’s new collection for Winter 2011–12 reviewed

FRONT PAGE

2010 ➤ What a tear-jerker! McLaren mashes up his own musical ‘Requiem to Myself’

LISTEN TO MCLAREN’S REQUIEM
EXCLUSIVELY AT SHAPERS OF THE 80S

Hitchcock , Vertigo, The Mekons,

Romance and anguish: James Stewart and Kim Novak in the psycho-drama Vertigo (top), and the post-punk Mekons

◼︎ TWO UNEXPECTED RECENT VIDEOS have acquired poignant new life in the wake of Malcolm McLaren’s death, Svengali of punk that he was. Few people could have guessed that the soundtrack to one of last month’s Paris ready-to-wear fashion shows [in the video above] would be McLaren’s final creative achievement.

It was completed after his diagnosis of cancer and possibly in acceptance of his own mortality.

What seduces the listener is the overwhelming melancholy McLaren evokes, in what suddenly amounts to a Requiem to Myself. It was commissioned by Dries Van Noten – to set a deliberately discomfiting mood for his runway show amid the gilded opulence of the Hôtel de Ville in Paris on March 3.

After McLaren’s funeral, his partner Young Kim described the piece to Shapers of the 80s as “quintessential Malcolm McLaren – an entirely original and powerful, elegant but punk collage”. She gave us permission to run the full 13-minute mash-up in clean mp3 format, featuring the Vertigo theme, Mekons, Roxy, Raincoats and Burundi Beat.

➢ CLICK HERE for the full McLaren/Dries Van Noten soundtrack and background report on its creation on our inside page

➢ The Raincoats perform The Raincoats for Don’t Look Back in London, May 20, 2010, at The Scala in London

➢ More at Shapersofthe80s: Svengali of Pistols and punk remembered by those who knew him

++++++++++++

McLaren on how to fail brilliantly
in this ‘karaoke world’

◼︎ “THIS WORLD WE LIVE IN TODAY is no more than a karaoke world, an ersatz society, which provides us with only the opportunity to revel in our stupidity… A karaoke world is one in which life is lived by proxy.” So said Malcolm McLaren last October, only days before he discovered he was unwell. He was presenting a keynote speech to 1,000 delegates in London at the Handheld Learning Conference 2009 about the future of learning and education.

➢ Details from the Learning Conference also on our inside page

FRONT PAGE

1982 ➤ Never a week without a fashion show

Eye-candy: PX swimwear opens the show. Picture © by Shapersofthe80s

In April 1982, Steve Strange orchestrated the first serious sortie by a wave of young London designers to the Mecca of the established fashion world, Paris. An act of folly – or a marker for international success? Either way, this show sounded the last rites for the New Romantics…

Click here to read on

➢ Video of the Paris show and its and rehearsals provided footage for the videos promoting Visage’s tracks The Dancer and The Steps from their eponymous UK Top Ten album of 1980. Sadly, these videos have recently been removed from YouTube, but the opening seconds of the Fade to Grey video show Strange arriving at Le Palace for the show:

FRONT PAGE

1983 ➤ Showdown for Worlds End, Vivienne and Malcolm

The creator of this website, Shapers of the 80s, was photographing the runway in Paris on the day the King and Queen of Outrage realised the end was nigh. His backstage interviews provided scoops for the London Evening Standard and subsequently for The Face magazine, “style bible” of the 80s. Again and again, the emerging stars of the new decade observed that he was “always there”…

First published in the Evening Standard, Nov 4, 1983

First published in the Evening Standard, Nov 4, 1983

An Evening Standard exclusive breaks the news of an acrimonious power struggle that threatens to split the infamous couple who unleashed the punk revolution. Malcolm McLaren, manager of the pioneering punk-rock group the Sex Pistols, and Vivienne Westwood, the eccentric designer who clothed them, became King and Queen of Outrage overnight in 1976. Today they are daggers-drawn in a battle royal for control of their company, Worlds End, which has become the hottest name in avant-garde style.
➢➢ Click here to read on

FRONT PAGE