Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

Prepare to feel like your life is very boring. Sorry, but that's how I felt when I went to a talk at the National Portrait Gallery last Thursday evening entitled "Word of Mouth from the Warren Street Squat". Given the setting in a rather proper sort of place, I sort of thought I'd be going along to a rather genteel retelling of the activities of a particularly creative, carefree community which sprung up in Central London nearly a decade before I was born. Indeed, the whole event came about as a result of the Lucian Freud retrospective- attended  by the very prim Duchess Kate when it opened- in which there are several portraits of Leigh Bowery, a key player in the clubbing scene which was a huge part of life for the Warren Street squatters.
The most polite one I could find....Leigh Bowery by Lucian Freud (image from
What actually ensued was an hour and a half long chat amongst many members of that community, including Boy George and milliner Stephen Jones, enlightening the comparatively few of us there who hadn't been around to experience it first hand. The Warren Street Squat was one of many which sprung up in the area around Tottenham Court Road and Euston Road in the late 70s. The squats were inhabited by art students, DJs, musicians and any other 'outcasts' who felt at home in what sounds like the complete, non-stop chaos of the place. Jeffrey Hinton, who did a lot of the talking, recalled a time of 'no rent, no internet and no mobile phones' which gave them the 'freedom of not dealing with real life'. In turn, this led to a 'falling apart culture' which was only exacerbated by the unstable minority Labour government and the highest unemployment figures since the war.

Boy George with Leigh Bowery (image from
The lovely Princess Julia, who was on stage talking with Jeffrey Hinton
When they broke into the disused townhouse on Warren St and wired up the electricity in 1978, there began the coming together of creative minds who would eventually become some of the biggest cultural influencers of the 80s- Leigh Bowery, Michael Clark,  Bodymap designers Stevie Stewart and David Holah, Princess Julia... I could go on. I loved that so many of these people and their friends were at the event on Thursday night so rather than being a bland history lesson, the room frequently roared with debate about what really happened in the stories being told. Boy George discovered for the first time that the house actually had a working phone that he could have used. Some were disgruntled to discover that others had been to Mark Le Bon's squat a few streets away for baths (it was the only place with hot water). What made me feel boring is that wherever I was living, the bath and phone would be my first priority. It's hard to imagine being so consumed with other preoccupations that I could possibly not hunt out these facilities as a matter of urgency. It seemed that visits to drink out of date beer at  Pink Panther or nipping to the roof to delve into the bucket of poppers they kept there were more pressing.

Kim Bowen, Jeremy Healy and Stephen Jones outside the Warren St squat (image from

Trojan and Leigh Bowery. An image from the insightful article which Princess Julia wrote about the NPG talk for iD
This scene is still inspiring creatives today.... During the talk a photo popped up of a clubber in full blue face paint. It looks to me like Meadham Kirchhoff almost certainly saw this picture and used it as make-up inspiration for their AW12 show.

Bodymap (image from

Meadham Kirchhoff make-up AW12 (image from

Jeffrey Hinton's scratch videos were big highlights of the night. A lot of the footage came from the time after the squat had been closed down and all its inhabitants rehoused in smaller flats on council estates. Nevertheless, I think they gave a pretty good taster of the hedonism, sexual freedom and creativity which pervaded the scene. Hinton had become obsessed by tapes at a young age, when he would record himself then edit the tape by cutting it up and sellotaping back together different segments. Princess Julia, who seems totally brilliant, remembered how he would do a new one each week to show at Taboo, Bowery's club night. The videos were grim and vile and hilarious and beautiful in equal measure- some segments show Hinton filming his friends as they dance and snog and masturbate and banter. Spliced in with these equivalents of family footage are Hinton's genius mixes of mainstream media, clips from TV shows, adverts and even a Tupperware (the plastic tubs which every good housewife/Mother/ practical person has stowed in a kitchen cupboard) party, with scenes from horror films and underground sources which lampoon the original material. It's a whole different way of looking at the world and sells the club scene as a complete, alternative lifestyle rather than something we do on a Friday or Saturday night. 
One of Hinton's videos.... Be warned, it's pretty gruesome!

The talk ended on kind of odd note when Hinton mentioned he would be reading out the names of some of those who had been big parts of the scene but who are no longer around, many of them succumbing to AIDS related illnesses or drug and alcohol problems. There was a shouting match between two audience members who had clearly both been some part of the culture- where one questioned whether their lifestyles had been overly childish and irresponsible, the other was fuming that that subject had to be brought up at all. While the deaths of people like Bowery do cast a shadow, the fact that Hinton, Princess Julia and many more are still alive, successful and just as creative today does show that it was an experience you could live through.

I just need one question answering, does anyone know who this fab furry animal bedecked audience member is? All anyone could tell me was his name was Thierry...

April 23rd Vintage Fashion Parade: Get The Look: Goldie Hawn

In her famous role on Laugh In in the late 1960s to early 70s, Goldie Hawn proved herself a giggly and irreverent comic star. She is also a 1960s IT girl for her cute sunny blonde looks.

Her Laugh In role made her famous for her teeny bikinis and body paint, baby dolls, flower power prints, ultra-mini skirts and other outgoing 60s styles.

Find sartorially bold and bright clothing and accessories this week, in honor of Goldie.

60s 70s Vintage MOD Micro Mini Dress Hot Pants available at Mags Rags. 

1960s A-Line Flare Mini Shift Dress in Fabulous Floral Print offered by Flannery Crane

A fantastic example of a "Goldie" dress.  It is part of the permanant collection belonging to Kickshaw Productions and is not for sale.

You can find more fabulous vintage items from more sellers at the VINTAGE FASHION GUILD WEEKLY FASHION PARADE!

VFG Etsy Treasury ~ Bright and Beautiful Vintage!

'Bright and Beautiful Vintage!' by MagsRagsVintage

Color is everywhere in fashion right now, and that includes vintage. Enjoy these vibrant selections from Vintage Fashion Guild sellers.

70s Vintage Young E...

Vintage 1980s Multi...

Fun 80's Multi ...

80s vintage turquoi...

ON SALE Vintage 80s...

Vintage Red Floppy ...

Vintage 30s 40s Bak...

VTG 70s 80s Swedish...

Vintage 1960s 60s P...

70s Babydoll Crop T...

Huge Mondrian Inspi...

RARE Vintage Vera 1...

70s Bill Tice Gypsy...

Vintage late 1950s ...

Vintage 1980s Escad...


Treasury tool by Red Row Studio

Fresh Vintage from the VFG - April 26th - May 2nd

Here are some wonderful fresh vintage items from some of our Vintage Fashion Guild members for you to see this week!

 Here is a beautiful two piece Mexican top and skirt ensemble from Vintage Devotion on eBay

Here are some fab MOD stretch stirrup pants in a great orange color from Gilo49 on eBay

and this amazing pair of Stretch Stiletto Silver GoGo Boots from Viva Vintage Clothing

If you would like to see more fresh vintage please come into our forums to take a peek
VFG Fresh Vintage


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

Happy Friday Fashion People. I'm afraid today is a somewhat condensed version of our news round-up after we were caught up in this afternoon's drama on Tottenham Court Road.

Our main story this week involves American jeweller (and CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund Award runner-up) Pamela Love, Chanel and a particularly astute law student...
Pamela Love's gem encrusted bangles....
And the Chanel version  (images from
Back in March, Julie Zerbo wrote a blog post pointing out the uncanny similarity between a bangle shown during the Chanel AW12 show and a design by Pamela Love. Zerbo highlighted her blog post to Fashionista. They picked up the story and, ta dah, within 24 hours Chanel had pledged not to produce the bracelet 'out of respect for the concerns raised'. This seems to us like a pretty major development in the ongoing saga of copying. We see it day in, day out. It's perhaps particularly unfair to young designers who have their ideas ripped off by massive companies who go on to make mega money while the young designer continues to struggle through establishing their business (AND receive no credit). Zerbo's Fashion Law blog could be the fashion industry's future vanguard against these happenings- and how amazing that she is just a 25 year-old student- Go Julie!

Alistair Carr (image from
Not much more than a year after his appointment, Alistair Carr has left Pringle. The brand, which shows at LFW, apparently plans to reduce its presence with smaller presentations. The current in-house designers will  now lead the label's creative direction.

Giles Deacon, designer of the year (image from
FEAL is sending good wishes and massive, well deserved congratulation to Giles Deacon who was awarded Designer of the Year award at the World Fashion Awards in Moscow earlier this week. His sumptuously medieval AW12 show was a fashion week highlight for me. The mythical brocade and burnt out ballgowns were standouts.

Natalia Vodianova on the cusp of scoffing an eclair! (
Natalia Vodianova sparked controversy at the Vogue Festival last week when she stood up for skinny models. 'C'mon guys, you know it's better to be skinny than to be fat' she said, before going on to point out how much the NHS is spending on increasing levels of obesity. Although Vodianova's comments shouldn't detract from the very troubling issue of too-skinny models, I do think she has a point about putting society's problems into context.
Coco looking cute in clothes (image from
Ever so cute and in-demand model Coco Rocha has condemned Elle Brazil this week after they apparently photoshopped away part of a body suit she was wearing in a cover shoot for the magazine. This meant that they breached the terms of her contract which has strict nudity clauses. As Coco's not happy, we won't be reproducing the picture here.

Donatella with her late brother Gianni (image from
After dabbling with a presentation back in January, Donatella Versace will hold two full-on couture shows at the Ritz in Paris on July 1st, just before the hotel closes for renovations. Donatella said:

"It is with tremendous emotion that I return to the Ritz where I shared so many special moments with my brother. The closing of the Ritz Paris for two years represents the end of an era but also the beginning of a new one, so to be able to show Atelier Versace there one last time will be a memorable milestone."

Lulu Kennedy, founder of Fashion East (

Huge congrats to Lulu Kennedy who has been appointed Editor at Large of the gorgeous 
LOVE magazine

Opening Ceremony will be launching a pop-up store to coincide with... wait for it.... the 
Olympic opening ceremonies. Brilliant
 Another sad demise, this week it's Betsey Johnson which has filed for bankruptcy.

Tinie Tempah (image from
Loving this interview with super suave Tinie Tempah. Favourite line? 'I'm not sure what I'm there for really, I guess they are pimping me out' (on his partaking in the Menswear 2012 committee for the BFC

It's the Met Gala next week which will see the launch of the museum's Prada/ Schiaparelli exhibition. Everyone from Vogue will apparently be wearing pink in homage to Elsa Sciaparelli's favourite colour. It seems Rihanna and Claire Danes got the memo early...
Claire Danes in Narciso Rodriguez (from

Rihanna in Vivienne Westwood- a lovely change from her normal look (from
Finally, video of the week is Jospehine de la Baume and her brother Alex talking about their new band Singtank for Their music sounds like perfect weekend listening...


Posted by Melanie Fashion Editor at Large

I had the pleasure of meeting up with the NewYork based designer Joseph Altuzarra this afternoon at Browns where he was doing a trunk show and meeting customers and members of the press. 
Me and Mr A

Still only 28 years old,  Joseph is currently on the kind of awesome - and it has to be said pretty mental - upward trajectory which only happens to one designer every few years. Joseph (never Joe) is the current recipient of the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund and won $300,000 last year to grow his four year old business. He is also, much to his chagrin, a bit of a fashion IT boy. Well, you've gotta love a designer who poses draped over a chair in one of his own snakeskin dresses, right?  

Hawt! Joseph Altuzarra shot for W Magazine

Don't let his chair work or penchant for wearing dresses give you the idea that he is a good time boy; Mr Altuzarra is certainly no intellectual lightweight and he is a worker, obsessed with his craft and constantly pushing personal boundaries with his work.  When I ask if he is happy being in the public eye, he admits "I don't want to be 'the hot designer' because that means one day the limelight will move onto someone else. I want a slow and steady progression. Look," he says leaning closer, "doing press is part of the job, but to be honest my favourite place to be is at home with my boyfriend [Seth a property dude)]and my [Schnauzer] dog Bean, watching TV.  Joseph used his prize money extremely wisely. Both his parents are investment bankers, so he knew exactly what to do, which was to move to larger offices and hire a production manager. Smart. 

That he spent the first 18 years of his life in Paris with his Chinese American mother and French father proved the starting point for today's conversation, which swiftly took us from French parochialism onto the inspiration behind his accomplished and trend-setting Autumn/Winter 2012 collection, one of my personal highlights of New York Fashion Week. 

Joseph Altuzarra Autumn Fall/Winter 2012 
One of the best everyday fashion looks for the forthcoming Autumn, hands down.


"The starting point for me was looking at the way France is evolving as a nation. I think there are a lot of problems relating to national identity emerging as a result of the elections. French style, for example, is heavily influenced by North Africa and Asia, but actual French society is obstinately French. I guess they are focusing too much on immigration, instead of looking at integration. In the UK and USA I see 
integration. This whole idea of integration fascinated me, which reminded me of a cartoon character from my childhood called Corto Maltese. He is an iconic figure in French culture, a quintessentially French sailor who travels the world to brings back new ideas." 

As you can see Corto Maltese also likes a pea-coat, which happens to be one of the key motifs of Altuzarra's new collection. 

Corto Maltese 


"When I am designing I try to take the best of the European and American sensibilities. There are great ideas on both sides of the pond. The design process for me involves pushing ideas through to their ultimate conclusion. Pushing the fashion hard, you know?  I guess, though, ultimately I always start with the idea of desirability. The idea of 'If I were a woman what would I want to wear right now?'   


"A pea coat, buttoned up and looking strict"

"Cargo pants tucked into a knee boot."

"I loved the white sweater with the fringing and coins"

"The Indian tiered dress. This a good example of taking it to the max. We pushed it with the cut and controlled drape of this dress, then just kept pushing it further and further. We pushed shape, fabric, embroidery and print. We got there. That's where the opulence in my collection came from. I've pushed things before like our cone breast cups, and these did not work at retail, but have been popular with the press. So in the end it became a strong brand statement. You've got to push, even if you end up at a dead end. " 

"My cheongsam inspired dress with the white cravat and thigh split; I love the controlled elegance of it."

With that, the IT designer whose greatest fear is being an IT designer, leaps up to meet two customers who have booked in to see him. Tonight he is off out for dinner with his good friend and London based designer Erdem.


 Jersey panelled skater Dress £895

Chunky cotton knit lime Jumper £540

Techno Nylon jacket £1515 

With thanks to Zoe and Sarah at Zoe Communications & Browns