NEW ROMANTIC ESSAY

“All forms of madness, bizarre habits, awkwardness in society, general clumsiness, are justified in the person who creates good art.” (A quote from Rooftop Soliloquy, 2016).

Bowery came to London just as the New Romantic movement was flouting in the early 80’s and quickly became one of its influential figures.

He gained his popularity for just going out and the 80’s was said to have the most party monsters.

Bowery made his sexuality in such a way that, expressed his aesthetics. He used his body as an artistic media especially when he posed naked and modeled for Lucian Freud, he broke the boundaries of fashion with his costumes, masquerades, his body in  the most diverse social ground. The concept of ugliness and beauty blending together was one way or the other employed by him and he crossed the border of social standardization. The result of it which we now find as art figure and in various areas of creativity.

Bowery’s dream was to be a fashion designer but he couldn’t fit in to it and that made him stated “Fashion, where all girls have clear skin, blue eyes, blonde-blown wavy hair and a size 10 figure… STINKS” –( Leigh Bowery). He found out that fashion was being positioned  in a certain way. This made him use his own body in expressing his creative abilities which was more of a DIY kind of inventions. He had few friends who were obsessed with his creations.  Boy George was one of the friends he made outfits for.

Charles Atlas, was one of Bowery’s close friends who recognised his exclusive life in a fascinating and attractively made documentary “ The Legend of Leigh Bowery”  . All of Bowery’s numerous looks are in it, including his often stomach-turning performances, as well as his insatiable sexual appetite. He had cruise every “cottage” (public toilet) in London in his daytime drag, which made him  look a bit like a serial killer (albeit sporting very obvious wigs). Atlas doesn’t stint, either, from showing Bowery’s famed perversity and “evil” side. (His idea of a good time was throwing a dinner party for six people who hated each other’s guts.) Indeed, it was after seeing this film that Rosie O’Donnell became seriously interested in bringing his life to the public as producer of Taboo, with Boy George as Bowery, a show which indeed captures much of his world.

He was a promoter of a night life. He met most of his friends at the Taboo Night Club.

Bowery finally transformed as a musician with his band Minty, before  his sudden death of AIDS complications on New Year’s Eve 1994. He had kept his HIV situation as a secret,  he disclosed it to only one of his friends.

Belinky, B. (2016) Four things you never knew about Leigh Bowery, Dazed. Available at: http://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/24888/1/four-things-you-never-knew-about-leigh-bowery (Accessed: 20 January 2017).

Bowery influenced numerous artists, photographers and designers; some of which are: Lucian Freud,  Fergus Greer,Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galiano, Gareth Pugh  and Charles Jeffery,

Artist Lucien Freud discovered him through his workers . They must have told him about how creative he was and how he was an art piece.  Considering how he  uses himself as a piece of canvas and paints his face and lips is an exciting art piece. Lucien Freud’s  sitting painting of him was a masterpiece and it was said to have been a breakthrough for Bowery said a friend and a muse of Bowery ( Fergus Greer.)

Lucian Freud, 'Leigh Bowery' 1991

Tate. (2017). Leigh Bowery, Lucian Freud 1991 | Tate. [online] Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/freud-leigh-bowery-t06834 [Accessed 20 Jan. 2017].

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Fergus Greer was a photographer who photographed most of Bowery’s work. He used Bowery as his muse.

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Artist details Fergus Greer – artist, news & exhibitions – photography-now.com (2010) Photography-now.com. Available at: http://www.photography-now.com/institution/artist/loftgalerie/fergus-greer (Accessed: 20 January 2017).

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER

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ALEXANDER McQUEEN

He  went to see his band Minty before their Soho residency was shut down for it’s atrocity. His 2009 Fall/Winter collection

I have chosen McQueen’s collection because of the black -painted lips. Leigh Bowery seem to have employ this lip painting and comical masks.

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Vogue.it. (2017). Sfilata Alexander McQueen Parigi – Collezioni Autunno Inverno 2009/2010 – Vogue. [online] Available at: http://www.vogue.it/sfilate/sfilata/ai-09-10-collezioni/alexander-mcqueen/2 [Accessed 20 Jan. 2017].

MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA

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POPSUGAR Fashion. (2009). Fashion, Shopping & Style | Paris Fashion Week: Maison Martin Margiela Spring 2009 | POPSUGAR Fashion. [online] Available at: http://www.popsugar.com/fashion/photo-gallery/2120226/image/2120251/Paris-Fashion-Week-Maison-Martin-Margiela-Spring-2009 [Accessed 2 Feb. 2017].
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POPSUGAR Fashion. (2009). Fashion, Shopping & Style | Paris Fashion Week: Maison Martin Margiela Spring 2009 | POPSUGAR Fashion. [online] Available at: http://www.popsugar.com/fashion/photo-gallery/2120226/image/2120251/Paris-Fashion-Week-Maison-Martin-Margiela-Spring-2009 [Accessed 2 Feb. 2017].

Maison Martin Margiela

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Maison Martin Margiela

CHARLES JEFFERY

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Pinterest. (2017). Charles Jeffrey. [online] Available at: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/452189618816387452/ [Accessed 20 Jan. 2017].

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Dazed. (2016). Charles Jeffrey | Dazed. [online] Available at: http://www.dazeddigital.com/tag/charles-jeffrey [Accessed 20 Jan. 2017].

AMANDA LEPORE

“The human body is the best work of art.”Amanda being the world’s most famous transsexual and sparkling feature on the New York scene, has been at the cutting edge of culture since the club kid era, violating and inventing the rules for fashion, music, marketing, and gender.

In the early ‘90s, Amanda went on to work at Patricia Field’s makeup counter while finding her constantly changing face the most marketable object in town, it was used to promote Heatherette, M.A.C., Swatch, Smart Car, Perrier, Pop Water and Sergio K, just to name a few trendy brands, including her own limited edition fragrance by Art ware Editions.

Her obsessive dabbling in plastic surgeries, liquid silicone injections, eye lifts, and breast implants are calculated to make her the world’s most beautiful lab experiment.

Amanda Lepore on The Insider 2006  said in an interview by Paula Froelich that, she had lost count of the number of plastic surgeries she had done.

She was asked how much her cosmetic work has cost in total, the busty blonde failed to provide an answer, she just stated: ‘There is a reason I am labelled ‘The Most Expensive Body On Earth’. Her dream as a child was to become a star and she has really achieved her goal. She said the reason why the transgender worked for her was because:

  •  She taught she was a girl as a kid
  • . She had girly features and that really helped her to do the sex change

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This body is assumed to be “the most expensive body on earth”.

“Meet five people with a dream, and a wardrobe from hell” (The time New York’s early-90’s club kids met Joan Rivers, 2016).

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When you set your eyes on a club kid, it leaves you with so many questions and this is how far fashion has gotten at this time and age. The freedom of going crazy was the order of the day for the night life people. Joan Rivers interviewed the characters of the club Kids in an episode of The Joan Rivers Show in May 1993.

Amanda was asked as to whether she works or not and she replied “I don’t have time to work” She sleeps during the day, and go out to the club in the night and that is where she gets her money. She dresses to get the attention of the people visiting the club. She was a club promoter.

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SUBCULTURES

SUBCULTURE

It is a set of people with distinct behaviours and beliefs within a larger CULTURE. The essence of subculture is what distinguishes itself from its social group.That is the awareness of Style,Differences in style, Clothing, Music or other interests.

I am looking into different subcultures like:

HIPPIES

PUNK

TEDDY BOYS

SKINHEAD

NEW ROMANTICS

HIPPIES

HIPPSIES:  It started in the mid 1960’s.They were dissatisfied with the world their parents has created.It started in America but later spread and turn the whole world down living their mark forever. They wanted peace and not war.

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They wanted to be close to nature which was reflected in types of clothing they wore such as cotton, denim and leather.

They were the first to reject synthetic materials for organics . There  was no formal relationships between them,they shared everything: they could have sex with WHOEVER, WHENEVER, and WHEREVER. Nudity and homosexuality was common among them.

The Hippies  had a distinct appearance which was controversial.

Governor Ronald referred to them as“fellows whose dresses were like Tarzan,has hair like Jane and smells like Cheeta” because of their long hair,long beard and their way of dressing. The long hair was part of their statement. They referred to their long hair as “letting your free flag fly”

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The Hippies were very colourful. They wore colourful clothing and jewelries which was influenced by Asian and African traditions.

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CLOTHING

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HAIR STYLE

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PUNK

The Punk Subculture is  the centre of Rock Music which includes diverse array of fashion, idiologies  and forms of expression which consist of dance,literature, film and visual art.

The characteristics of the Punks is by the anti-establishment of  their views and the promotion of the individual freedom.

The centre of Punk Subculture is on aggressive genre of rock music called PUNK ROCK.

It was usually played by small bands, electric guitarists and drummers.

Punks point of view were authoritarianism, DIY ethics, non-conformity, direct action and not selling out.

Punks features a wide range of fashion in terms of personalizing their old clothing including offensive (T-shirts,leather jackets, Dr. Martens boots), hairstyles( bright colors, spiked, Mohawks), cosmetics, body modification, tattoos and jewellery .

Pictures I took during my visit to the Museum of London(Punk exhibition in October)

Photographed by me @ Museum of Londonp-tshirt

Photographed by me @ Punk exhibition Museum of London

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A picture I took during my visit to the Museum of London(Punk exhibition in October)

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SHEILA  ROCK: From Punk to the English sea @Chelsea’s space in October 2016.

Photographed by me when I visited the exhibition at Chelsea.

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PUNK’S pose for a priest

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TEDDY BOY

The TEDDY BOY Movement began in Britain in the early 1950s.

 TEDDY BOY SUBCULTURE: They tried to be opposite of their parents. They were working class who found money in their pockets.

There were new sounds and style which came from America but they had their own take on them and made it their own.

They dressed sharply in Edwardian drape jacket  with peacock hair. They were the only youth subculture which cared about their looks; they were dressed in uniforms.

Their way of dressing was different from the previous generation.

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Major event which brought the Teddy boy out nationally on BBC in May 1970.

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Teds in Edwardian drape jacket…

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Teddy Boy hair style….. The PEACOCK HAIR

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By Philomena Sarpong

Creepers wedge heel was popularised by the TEDS after thesecond world war

SKINHEAD

SKINHEADS: It was a mixture of different subcultures like MOD, PUNK and TEDDY BOYS.They were among the young people of the working class.

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Their music was REGGAE ;there was new sounds from Jamaican Rude Boys who had migrated to England. Their sounds became inspirational for many MOD Skinhead genres.

Out of PUNK scene was new Skinhead fronted genre “Oi” It mixed with the Punk rock music and British Skinhead.

The Maytals – Louie Louie

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Jamaican Rude Boys ; Ska.

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The Skinhead subculture was a mixture of white and black. Their language was fighting.

Their shaved skulls and their boots were the talk of the town. They terrifying , they were wild and scary , each gang had different things about them.

The Levit jeans was the most important thing for them, denim jackets, the 505’s, Band  T-shirt, Dr.Marten’s, or paratrooper, jackets, Fred Perry Shirt, Ben Sherman shirts and sleeveless V-neck sweaters and Stone washed denim jackets were their main clothes. The Skinheads also wore blaces.

NEW ROMANTICS

New Romantics which was also called the BLITZ KIDS, and a variety of names was a pop cultural movement in the UK. It began as a night club scene around 1979 and developing around 1981 in London and  Birmingham at night clubs like Billy’s and the Blitz, and fashion boutiques such as PX in London and Kahn and Bell in Birmingham. It later spread to the major cities in the UK. It was characterised flamboyant and eccentric fashion.

Their make -up was over the top and exaggerated .

 

The New Romantic Look…

Each and everyone of the looks were perfect and different. I like the pirate hat with the feathers.

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Members of Spandau Ballet

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Michael Alig and Club Kids

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Michael Alig and Club Kids

THE NEW WAVE BAND

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By Philomena Sarpong

British song writer David Bowie with his dramatic make-up. 

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I tried David Bowie’s look and did a collage it on New Romantic girls… The collage worked perfectly well..

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This image was captured from a magazine during my visit to the Barbican Gallery. I made my way to the library and found this image. I had watched the New Romantic video on YouTube.  I heard the woman saying the cross on her forehead with hair is her own her.I was fascinated about it .I tried to experiment that on fabric. The outcome was not bad but I think because it was my first time.

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By Philomena Sarpong

Leigh Bowery with his dramatic make up. The New Romantic people I have looked at are all creative. I tried one of Leigh Bowery’s look, It did not come as it was in the picture but at least I had tried.

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By Philomena Sarpong

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By Philomena Sarpong

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By Philomena Sarpong

Contemporary New Romantic look

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OUTFIT BUILDING

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thumbnail_img_20170109_014917By Philomena Sarpong

What I like about the New Romantics was that everyone’s style was unique to the creator. I think people were not copying peoples’ style because you want to be seen differently.

Watching the video, I came across a lot of creative ideas which I experiment some of them that interested me.

FRED PERRY SUBCULTURE

The Fred Perry subculture was about how the youth were relief after the second world war.

 TEDDY BOY SUBCULTURE: They tried to be opposite of their parents. They were working class who found money in their pockets.

There were new sounds and style which came from America but they had their own take on them and made it their own.

They dressed sharply in Edwardian drape jacket  with peacock hair. They were the only youth subculture which cared about their looks; they were dressed in uniforms.

Their way of dressing was different from the previous generation.

SHOP REPORT

BEYOND RETRO

When I entered the store, I was surprised because I didn’t really know much about it.

I realised that is a house of vintage clothes. This store was the one on SOHO..Seeing the stuff they’ve got there , I remembered going to one in DALSTON some time ago.

I will relate the leather jackets to the ROKERS’ .This is because they were using leather jackets when riding their bikes.

The colourful jacket can also be HIPPIES.

I also saw old skate board which is for SKATERS subculture. I didn’t get the chance to speak to any body but I realised it was a second-cloth shop where you can find looks of different subcultures.

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URBAN OUTFITTERS

URBAN OUTFITTERS to me is more of  a mixture of HIPPIE and SKIN HEAD. Their jackets is hip pop and the trousers are shin head but I think they have put them together to create a different look.

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It is not a big shop but the clothes in there are expensive. I manage to get pictures in such a restricted environment  so I didn’t really get it the way I wanted it . I asked one of the guys who works there about the price of the blouse embellished with beads and sequins. I was surprise of the price.

It appears to me also as their clothes are androgynous.

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When I got to ACNE, the warm welcome the first woman I met gave me was something I had never had through out my visit to the stores. This gave me the opportunity to ask her question about their store and their collections.

The first image with the brown jacket  with hanging trouser is a SKIN HEAD look.

The blue suit with white shirt to me is a TEDDY BOY look. They wanted identifiable look . Looking at this classic suit, you can easily see a TEDDY BOY in that.

The checked shirt and the suit underneath is MOD and the black and white leather jacketis a SKIN HEAD.

I enjoyed my visit to ACNE.

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ANTHROPOLOGIE

The pieces I saw in this store appear more of a MOD look. The clothes look simple but when I check the prices is quiet a bit.I see these clothes a normal wear but when I touched the fabric, I realised that its quality was different from the cheep fabric I see on the market. One thing I saw was they use quality fabrics in their garment construction.

anthropologieBURBERRY

The dress on Burbeery’s  window is quite simple but unique.It is a MOD look. The floral print gives the dress with cross body bag  chic look.

The black  women’s jacket with silver button is got an edge to it. The bags were unique and a bit pricey but it is more of Ready-to-wear.

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STELLA McCARTNEY

Stella’s display is more of  MOD in my opinion because all of her dresses are for a modern woman who doesn’t want to be over-dressed. All the pieces are unique and clean. I like the way she goes about with her detailing, keeping it minimal.

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SELFRIDGES

I am always inspired when ever I go to Selfridges because there are loads of inspiration going on around there . I do not go there to see ordinary designs but I go there to see striking designs which will arouse my passion in the fashion world.

My favourite design is the geometric inspired jacket by ISSEY MIYAKE’S. It fascinates me when I see three dimensional (3D)  constructed garments .

I chose Loewe even though it has nothing to do with the subcultures but I had not heard the name before.

I found the display of the bomber jackets with floral embroidery and the buggy trousers  HIPPIE. It’s got hip-pop vibe to to it.

The hanging trousers will be related to SHIN HEAD .

SIMONE ROCHA’S intricate design is underneath the left hand side which features a pop up black jacket.  It is exaggerated at the neck with the sleeve coming out from the sides.

The floral designs around the black is got a MOD look  but in it’s high end version. They were modernised  and classy but I think it is a bit too much for an ordinary outing.

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DOVER STREET MARKET

When I got to Dover Street Market, I was looking for something which was modern and fashionable. I realised that COMME DE GARCON’S designs were futuristic. It interests me for the fact that it pops out like a fan. They are not everyday wear, It seems to me like a show piece.

The blue and white jumper is HIPPIE to me due it’s over size nature. It’s got raw edges  and that makes it suitable for hipsters.  I  enjoyed my visit there because I saw intricate designs from other emerging designer like SIMONE ROCHA.

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ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

McQueen’s designs has always inspired me so I was  privileged to see his Store. I did not only see,  felt  and touched but I learned so many things while I was there.

 I  asked one ladies who works there to see if I could take pictures, but she said I could only take it from outside.I was a bit disappointed but I still managed to get images of designs which were appealing to me.

One thing about McQueen’s work is, they are unique and unusual. Considering the floating gown, it is embellished with sequins flowers and beads. It is made to take the shape of  the wearer’s body and it’s a bit exaggerating at the bottom. It is perfect for red carpet.

The black coat embellished  and embroidered with gem.The design on the coat features unusual shapes , lips and lipsticks with matching cloche bags.

It is androgynous because it’s got this  masculine  and feminine vibe to it.

The denim is been designed by embroidery and sequins with opposite colours but it blends so well. In my opinion the denims is in connection with the HIPPIE  because it is a bit youthful.

I will relate the black suit with chains to GOTH subculture  of the colour and the high neck. David Bowie would wear it and that of the lips and lipsticks coat.

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