Tag Archives: Scarlett Cannon

2018 ➤ Judy Blame dies: cherry-picker of cultural detritus

Judy Blame ,Nicola Tyson,fashion, stylist, photography,

Judy Blame in 1983, photographed by Nicola Tyson

THE VERY DAY THIS WEEK WHEN HM THE QUEEN put a smile on the face of the British fashion industry, by attending London Fashion Week for the first time, also brought the sad news of Judy Blame’s death, aged 58. He (yes, he) was one of those self-taught iconoclasts who was acquiring a luminescent reputation in the electric 1980s when Fashion Week came into being, driven in part by the streetwise youth culture that Shapers of the 80s celebrates.

Blame shared friends with the charismatic Ray Petri whose flair gave kudos to the word “stylist” by injecting attitude and dash into the role of the humble gofer who gathered props and make-up for a photo shoot. This was the generation of creatives who asserted their urban savviness and shifted the word style itself from meaning a suspect and second-rate lure with which marketeers sold their wares. By the end of the decade, style and fashion had become distinct goals in their own right, the first announcing individuality in consumer choice and mainstream media, while fashion confirmed convention.

Blame’s own talents as an image-maker were celebrated in 2016 at an Institute of Contemporary Arts exhibition titled Never Again which displayed his DIY jewellery, objets trouvés, clothing, photomontages, sketchbooks and T-shirts, and gave insights into working with Neneh Cherry and Massive Attack.

➢ Pictures and fulsome tributes to Judy Blame
on our inside page

Born Chris Barnes in 1960, Blame died on 19 February 2018 and the tributes flowed in. Dylan Jones, editor-in-chief of GQ, wrote: “He was an artist, a genuine one, someone who could cherry-pick cultural detritus and then mix it all together to create something new, something lasting.”

Nick Knight, photographer and director of SHOWstudio, wrote: “Always totally unique, always a champion of the underdog, always fiercely anti-fascist and anti-establishment, always inspiring, always so immensely talented and always one hundred % brilliant.”

Scarlett Cannon, Blame’s dearest friend and partner in fronting the Cha-Cha club-night 1981-82, said: “I’m heartbroken but so happy to have had him in my life all these years. He left such a rich heritage of inspiration and touched so many people.”

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Judy Blame with his long-standing friend Scarlett Cannon, and little Maude


➢ So much purpose. So much talent – Tribute by Paul Flynn at Guardian online, 20 Feb 2018

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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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➤ Webb’s flipside of the 80s fashion revolution as seen last night at the ICA

Cover girl: Scarlett Cannon at last night’s book launch . . . and covered in 1985 by photographer David Hiscock, scarfed by Hermès

CLICK ANY PIC TO LAUNCH CAROUSEL:


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❚ LAST NIGHT DIEHARD 80s FASHIONISTAS celebrated the launch of an elegant hardback with far greater ambitions than most coffee-table photobooks. It’s a glorious personal CV posing as one man’s record of five energetic years. It doesn’t quite knock the sensationalist Casanova off his perch as the master memoirist, but Iain R Webb’s chutzpah certainly takes your breath away.

As Seen in BLITZ, Fashioning ’80s Style is among the most unabashed, single-minded, focused works of diarism you are likely to have read. In capturing his output as a fashion journalist, this book aspires to present social history expressed through fashion. He brings a new twist to the well-tried technique of oral history, because the 100+ collaborators who contribute to this book are constantly telling the author how marvellous he is, but in the second-person singular. They are talking to “you”, meaning “me”, the author whose name appears on the cover, Iain R Webb.

Its 272 pages record a series of testimonials: “You pulled so many creative people round you” … “We did it because you asked us to” … “You jump-started my career as a photographer” … “You were one of our earliest supporters” … “You had different ways of shooting things” … “You were doing the opposite of high fashion and glamour” … “You showed me a life that was different” … “You were so beautiful and excitingly aloof” … “I would have done anything you asked” … “You were the person who ––”.

There is no place in Webb’s memoir for Eng Lit’s Unreliable Narrator, or for self-doubt or inner struggle. His worldview is confirmed at every turn. Assertion is all: The 80s – we did it my way. We, the readers, are soon rocking on our heels at the sheer brass-necked cheek of it all!

Having said which, consider the credentials of everyone involved. They amount to a Who’s Who of the fashion shapers of the 80s: Jasper Conran, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Katharine Hamnett, Marc Jacobs, Stephen Jones, Calvin Klein, Barry Kamen, Baillie Walsh, Martine Sitbon, Princess Julia, Nick Knight, David LaChapelle and many more.

Iain R Webb, fashion,photography, books

The author last night: Iain R Webb signing his book with lavish tributes to his former colleagues

We’ve heard enough about George O’Dowd’s tawdry version of events. Finally we have a much-needed corrective view of the youth cultural revolution that fired up the Swinging 80s. As Seen in BLITZ celebrates Webb’s own unique take on the decade of egotism through the pages he produced. We hear the voices of his co-stars – the photographers, designers, models and stylists who supported him as a lynchpin fashion editor – all dissecting the nuances of their subversive visions.

The whole momentum of post-punk street style during the decade’s dawn, 1980-83, is what drew the eyes of the world’s fashion industries back to Britain and put London Fashion Week on the agenda of every serious commentator twice a year.

While studying fashion design at St Martin’s, Webb was at the centre of London’s nightlife crowd at the now-legendary club called the Blitz – very much one of the 20 key Blitz Kids, as the media tagged them. He rightly claims: “At the dawn of a hedonistic club scene that saw the birth of the New Romantics … on the pages of Blitz, The Face and i-D, a new breed of young iconoclasts hoped to inspire revolution.” These were three new magazines, soon dubbed “style bibles”, which gave journalistic expression to the fertile innovations in UK pop culture and defined the era.

Blitz was a desultory magazine, almost entirely devoid of character in its early years. It was launched in 1980 with a title that its owner says seemed “catchy”, utterly oblivious to the pivotal club-night of the same name and the precocious youth-quake putting London back at the centre of the pop universe. It took until about 1983 for Webb to recognise the gap in the market for radical and purposeful fashion journalism and to infiltrate Blitz, the magazine.

Iain R Webb, As Seen in BLITZ, fashion, books, photography

Webb’s ICA launch: the author sets the style for the evening. After Godot, out of skip? I stand corrected: After Wild Boys, out of Burroughs

Webb beavered his way up to becoming its fashion editor from Feb 1985 to August 1987 and was often given 20 pages a month to be filled with his “singular vision if they were to be taken seriously”. Webb’s USP was an “ongoing love/hate relationship with the fashion industry. It was not about selling a look, it was about saying something”. He expressed his ethos on a T-shirt in a 1986 photo shoot: “We’re Not Here to Sell Clothes”. When he was headhunted to join the London Evening Standard in 1987, his shoes at Blitz were filled by Kim Bowen, Queen Bee of the Blitz Kids, herself the wildest child in the club.

Webb’s purpose, he writes, “has always been to inspire or provoke, engage or enrage” and his images “manipulated fashion to explore ideas of transformation, beauty, glamour and sex”. His book brims with attitude and evidence that the fashion world did indeed tilt slightly on its axis during the 80s – as eye-witness accounts confirm in entertaining archive interviews.

How does an author cap all this? At his launch party last night at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, the savviest fashion editor of his day sported an awkward grey suit, and a battered pair of lucky suede shoes, every inch Beckett’s absurd tramps waiting for Godot, looking to all the world as if he’d spent the night in a skip. Anti-fashion to a T. Who’d have thought Webb had once held plumb posts at Harpers & Queen, The Times and Elle? And won the Fashion Journalist of The Year Award in both 1995 and 1996. And remains Professor of Fashion at the RCA and Central Saint Martins!

Iain R Webb, As Seen in BLITZ, fashion, books, photography

As Seen in BLITZ, 1986: classic Hermès scarves redeployed as boxer shorts and tailored jacket. Model Barry Kamen says says the female model’s attitude is so Webb, so BLITZ

❚ THIS BEAUTIFUL PHOTOBOOK, As Seen in BLITZ, precipitates a weekend of events at London’s ICA. Today there is a pop-up show in the ICA Theatre curated by the author Iain R Webb to display his own highly confessional memorabilia, plus a series of talks with special guests, film screenings.

In the darkened theatre only the 80s ephemera are visible as you enter: an array of toplit boxes on tables, containing notebooks, diary pages, sketches and name-droppy correspondence. These relics of a career lie in plain wooden showcases – “vitrines” would be an overstatement – more like pauper’s coffins. They amount to a novel kind of runway show of “my creations”. On one sheet of paper, Webb outlines his vision as fashion editor of Blitz, explaining London’s appeal: “The young English inherit a fight-back spirit, whilst the old fall sleepily into a heritage of traditional and quality goods … Of late the two have begun to merge, and the results have ensured the envy of the rest of the world.” Another note identifies the icing on a girl’s wardrobe as “an abundance of dishevelled accessorising – 1985 is a time to be ALIVE”.

➢ Webb’s As Seen in BLITZ discounted from £35 to £21

➢ The Victoria & Albert Museum exhibition Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s runs from July 10, 2013 to Feb 16, 2014

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➤ Webb lays bare the subversive story of British fashion in the 80s

Scarlett Cannon ,Iain R Webb, books,As Seen In Blitz, Fashion, 1980s,Style,Blitz Kids

80s club host Scarlett Cannon wears Hermes on the cover of Iain R Webb’s new book: “One of the things I love most about this photograph is that David just drew around Scarlett and darkened the background with a pencil to make her stand out more.” (Photograph by David Hiscock. Make-up, William Faulkner)

❚ FINALLY A BOOK ABOUT THE 80s without George O’Dowd’s face on the cover! Here comes the other version of the Swinging London of 30 years ago, created by the fashionistas, rather than the music entrepreneurs, and the face of Cha-Cha club host Scarlett on the cover defines another version of events exactly. It comes just in time to chime with the V&A’s second landmark exhibition this year. From July 10, following the Bowie extravaganza, comes Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s, which includes a display of denim jackets commissioned in 1986 by Blitz magazine from key London-based designers. Who better to sort the Who’s from the Who Nots than one of the seminal clubland Blitz Kids, Iain R Webb.

During those fertile years in the re-energising of the capital’s youth culture through nightlife, when he shared a flat with fellow St Martin’s design students Fiona Dealey and Stephen Jones, Webb says his peers were “cultured clubbers – our aim was to push the parameters and explore the ideals of glamour, imagery, sexuality and taste. We were determined to challenge the status quo and maybe even change the world, even if ‘just for one day’.”

Iain R Webb,Blitz Kid, fashion, journalism

Webb: from Blitz Club to The Times

Having studied fashion at St Martin’s, Webb says he “fell into writing” and went on to become fashion editor of Blitz magazine, the Evening Standard, Harpers & Queen, The Times and Elle.

This week his new book, As Seen In Blitz: Fashioning 80s Style, went off to the printers, to be published in April by ACC (272 pages, £27.30 pre-order price). With previously-unseen archive content and much oral history from key designers, it chronicles the fashion pages Webb created for Blitz magazine 1982–87, after the New Romantics fad had died the death. Webb’s subversive images gave free rein to the imagination and involved a global cast of designers including Comme Des Garcons, Jasper Conran, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Katharine Hamnett, Hermes, Pam Hogg, Marc Jacobs.

Blitz magazine,fashion,style,1980s, London, pop music

Blitz December 1986: Dead Trendy fashion special. Martine Houghton photographed by Gill Campbell. Make-up, Gregory Davis. Hair, Rick Haylor

Webb says: “The book has over 100 contributors – designers and photographers from the Bodymappers to Nick Knight, and loads of models, make-up and hair peoploids in between.”

At its launch in 1980, Blitz magazine posed little threat to the fondly remembered Face magazine, which majored on music and style. Blitz wandered a disparate social world of its own well to the west of the Soho trendsetters – but eventually, under the influence of Webb, photographer Knight and other cool arbiters of taste, it gradually clicked into the Swinging London groove that saw the UK capital become a crucial stopover for the world’s media and buyers during the biannual round of international fashion shows.

Webb himself went on to win the Fashion Journalist of The Year Award in 1995 and 1996. Today he consults for the Fashion Museum in Bath and is a visiting professor at Central Saint Martins, LCF and the RCA.

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2011 ➤ i-D Now reveals trade secrets and catches up with Scarlett from Cha-Cha

i-D NOW, pop-up exhibition ,Red Gallery ,photography, fashion,style,

i-D NOW: a pop-up exhibition at the Red Gallery in Hoxton

❚ THE ORIGINAL FASHION AND STYLE BIBLE, i-D, has decided to celebrate its 31st birthday with i-D NOW. This is a pop-up exhibition of historic covers, plus interactive events featuring industry-leaders, in conjunction with the Taschen anthology, i-D Covers 1980–2010, which was published last year. The event aims to give a behind-the-scenes look at how some of those covers and their hallmark winks were created.

Scarlett Cannon ,Helen Carey ,i-D magazine, i-D Now, exhibition

Straight-up from i-D issue 003: Scarlett Cannon and Helen Carey photographed by Thomas Degen

Details are being announced tantalisingly via Twitter but known tasters include past i-D fashion editor and broadcaster Caryn Franklin leading a discussion about fashion.

There’s a musical treat from boilerroom.tv and photographer Billy Ballard is staging a couple of Beauty Now shoots while i-D makeup expert Lucy Bridge does the styling. Other contributions will come from i-D family members including Terry Jones, Richard Buckley, Pat McGrath, Nick Knight, Simon Foxton and Edward Enninful.

i-D magazine,Scarlett Cannon,Head to Toe Guide,1982

i-D issue 008: Scarlett photographed by Thomas Degen

Coincidentally, by way of promoting the pop-up, i-D Online catches up with a couple of style-setters who first appeared together in a straight-up shot for the magazine’s third issue back in 1981. This was the height of the Pose Age when Scarlett Cannon and her startling haircut fronted the ultra-hip Cha-Cha club and she subsequently became the cover girl on i-D’s eighth issue.

Helen Carey with her own unique hairplay worked with designer Martin Degville in Kensington Market, where she was pictured here by Shapersofthe80s. They’re still up for striking a pose 30 years on, during which time Scarlett tells me she been “in full-blown glamorous gardening mode” as a garden tutor and food-growing consultant, among other things. For i-D she talks about her friend Helen’s business Vintage Vacations, which offers holiday retreats in classic silver American trailers.

➢ Read Scarlett’s piece Take A Vintage Vacation at i-D Online

➢ i-D NOW is a pop-up exhibition at London’s Red Gallery, 3 Rivington Street, EC2A 3DT (Sep 1–18, 11am–8pm, closed Sundays). For minute-by-minute updates visit #iDNOW on Twitter

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