Culture: Visual Arts

We’re Not Here To Sell Clothes: The Making Of BLITZ Fashion

BLITZ #34, September 1985, Photographer: David Hiscock

The ICA will be marking the launch of a new book focusing on the counter-culture style of the 1980s with a series of events this May.

BLITZ: Fashioning ’80s Style, by Iain R. Webb, includes a wealth of stunning visuals, text and interviews celebrating the pages of the influential magazine BLITZ.

Along with The Face and i-D, BLITZ was one of the new style magazines emerging at the start of the 1980s that would go on to define the era.

This was a period of enormous change: post punk before the digital age and at the dawn of a hedonistic club scene that saw the birth of the New Romantics.

Iain. R. Webb was BLITZ’s fashion editor from 1982 – 1987 and his images played a key role in ┬ámanipulating fashion to explore ideas of transformation, beauty, glamour and sex.

Webb’s book contains a large cast of characters and contributors from this highly influential period, including Leigh Bowery, Boy George, Princess Julia, Dean Bright, Jean Paul Gaultier and many others.

On Saturday 18 May, The ICA will be holding a talk entitled ‘We’re Not Here To Sell Clothes: The Making of BLITZ Fashion’. From models and make-up artists to designers and photographers, each speaker will offer their particular BLITZ experience.

The talk will be chaired by journalist Hywel Davies and the panel will include Barry Kamen, BLITZ’s ‘poster-boy’, Stevie Stewart and David Holah of Bodymap, and make-up artist Louise Constad, among others.

Later in the day there will be a panel discussion that will explore the influence of BLITZ on magazines of the 1990s and a special film screening of ‘Liquid Sky’, which tells the story of a pleasure-seeking alien who lands in downtown New York and gets caught up in a world of casual sex and heroin abuse by insinuating itself into the lives of androgynous hipsters.

We’re Not Here To Sell Clothes: The Making of BLITZ Fashion

18 – 19 May

Institute of Contemporary Arts
The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH

Words: Alex Hopkins

Jump to comments
Scroll Top