BLURRED LINES

BLURRED LINES

Two key moments came together at the J W Anderson spring/summer 2016 menswear collection in London this year. For me, at least. It began with the soundtrack, the one piece of vinyl that remains in my possession in middle age and recorded in 1977: the mesmeric spoken word album ‘Private Parts’ by the avant-garde American composer Robert Ashley. Here it was cut and pasted between the opening sighs from Madonna’s ‘Bedtime Story’ and beginning with the oh-so familiar line - to me, at least: ‘He took himself seriously’. It could be describing Anderson himself, or at least his attitude to fashion, or rather menswear, or rather everything that followed on the runway that provided key moment number two: cropped and cuffed trousers, chiselled court shoes with winged ankle straps in the glossy reds and silvers of enamel paint. The term menswear sells short this approach to design but no more so than the outmoded androgyny and unisex. Both have been bandied about to describe the current catwalk trend for blurring the line between male and female fashion.

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THE SUIT IN POLITICS

THE SUIT IN POLITICS

When he dressed in a crisp white suit and set about documenting the 1960s counter culture, Tom Wolfe was said to be using the suit as a mirror to reflect the status of others so that he himself remained a mystery. There has been but one sighting of the white suit in British politics - when it represented the independence of former TV newsreader Martin Bell, during his brief stint as an MP. While the catwalks of fashion week play host to Rick Owens boy frocks with peep-holes for an exposed penis, parliament remains the first and final resting place of the traditional - some might say bland and boring - suit. The choice of colour being one or two shades of grey, rather than fifty. Fashion and politics have always made for strange bedfellows, particularly when it comes to menswear - on both sides of the house.

Whatever the achievements of John Major during his tenure at Downing Street, he is forever cast as the man in the grey suit. Even when it emerged that there had been a extra-marital dalliance with Edwina Currie, no one truly believed that there was anything else to him other than a vest and underpants that were possibly held up by braces. David Lloyd George once said of an MP that crossed the floor that he ‘has sat for so long on the fence that the iron entered his soul’. With Major, it was as though the slate grey of his suits had seeped into his hair, complexion and soul. At least that was the view of his critics, and the team at Spitting Image.

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A BOY GEORGE INTERVIEW

A BOY GEORGE INTERVIEW

Né à Londres il y a cinquante ans, Boy George a connu la gloire comme l'homme avant flamboyant de la Culture Club. Il a obtenu un succès en tant qu'artiste solo et un dj de club, d'être finalement reconnu comme un auteur-compositeur dans son propre droit avec l'acclamé par la critique Taboo scène musicale. Au cours des dernières années, une peine de prison et la toxicomanie lui ont apporté plus de titres de journaux que sa musique. Désormais libre, «propre» et sobre, il a réformé Culture Club pour un album et tournée pour trentième anniversaire du groupe.Culture Club réforment pour un album et une tournée. Pourquoi maintenant?
Comme je l'ai plus je l'ai accepté qu'il y ait une sorte de magie pour être dans un groupe. Autant que j'ai eu du succès en tant qu'artiste solo, il y a quelque chose de spécial à propos de Culture Club et ce qu'elle représente. Il était toujours en suspens pour moi, la façon dont il est tombé en morceaux. Les rares fois où nous avons ensemble et fait des choses qu'il a toujours été un peu à moitié. Je ne suis pas toujours dans le bon état d'esprit. Maintenant, je sens que je suis dans le meilleur état d'esprit, je l'ai jamais été de le faire. 2012 sera le 30e anniversaire. Avant que nous allons jouer à 40.000 personnes en Australie à la veille du Nouvel An. L'idée est d'avoir autant de plaisir avec elle que possible, mais ce qui est mon idée générale de tout ce que je fais en ce moment.

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