Thursday, 28 July 2011


One of the most exciting developments in London's underground over the last few years is both the emergence of fledgling label LONG CLOTHING and the re-emergence of classic London label, BOY. The former, with its B&W T-Shirts and hoodies boasting iconic and irreverent geometric graphics, has breathed fresh air into a stale scene. Rather like the latter's effect some generations before. So it's no surprise that the two labels have formed an alliance that has resulted joint collections, designs and now, the launch of the official BOY website.

Recently London's End End has seen the rise of a style I've dubbed 'Modern Noir' which seems to marry the stylings of 1930s/Bauhaus (design) with 1980s/Bauhaus (the band). A key element of this look has been the geometric (and triangle-heavy!) graphics utilised by such labels as LONG.

 LONG T Shirt for BOY

1930s Bauhaus influenced BOY TV advert

Although launching as a Punk label in the 70s, it was in the 1980s that BOY became an international ambassador for cutting edge London style with it's use of  bold, often cheekily imperial, graphic imagery. The New Romantic kids had moved on, and along with Ray Petri's Buffalo movement, they embraced a super-fresh look that screamed 'POWER!': playfully toying with brazen sexuality and bold, almost Olympian, imagery...all set to an Acid House & New Beat soundtrack. 

Now, having laid low for about a decade, BOY have recently begun their return, operating out of the  shop/borderline squat christened 'SICK' in the depths of Redchurch Street, Shoreditch. It was there where I had a long chat with label founder Stephane Raynor. He recounted the early days sparring with Westwood on the King's Road, dressing Spandau Ballet, opening the first boutique in Ibiza, the chaos of the late 80s when every pop star worth their salt literally begged for BOY clothes and the small matter of declining an offer of a very large sum for the label by one Philip Green of Top Shop...

With the distinctive BOY logo once again appearing in ever more pop videos and fashion shoots, it appears that the return of the BOY empire and it's ensuing chaos is now inevitable, about time too!    

Fonteyn DJ's at the Official launch of at Cafe De Paris, London, July 29 

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Miami Vice Decor.

So, it was only a matter of time before I broached my love of the 1980s cop series. Set in Art Deco heaven (aka Miami), director Michael Mann had a stylistic vision that was ruthlessly pursued on the show. My least favourite colours in the world are 1) BROWN and 2) ORANGE, and during this period Mann officially banned these and any other 'earth tones' from ever appearing anywhere on screen. Instead a 'Pastel Noir' aesthetic was upheld at all times, resulting in totally iconic settings like the home of an evil video artist in this 1987 episode 'Death and The Lady'.

Mann's signature logo here totally evokes 1950s Atomic Age style (another of my favourite design eras), but with the neon factor slightly raised. The villain's apartment, with it's Salmon Pink Deco-inspired chair & chaise (possibly by Memphis Design) and abstract rug, is seen here from above in both day & night shots and from afar with various neon lights highlighting separate areas.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Domino (1988)

I've been trying to find this 1988 Italian Noir movie for years. I've finally tracked it down and although it leaves a bit to be desired on the plotline front, it looks amazing. It was directed by Ivana Massetti, an Italian director of pop videos & commercials...and it shows. It features the statuesque Brigette Nielsen who plays a video director living in a dark Art Deco apartment with a bejeweled tortoise and a black mannequin 'bodyguard'. 

This scene depicts her awesome apartment:

Some key stills: