The Blitz Kids created Stevie Stewart and David Holah
Stevie Stewart and David Holah birthed BodyMap
The Blitz Kids devoured Bodymap
Stewart and Holah were prodigees of the New Romantic movement, reinventing British fashion and turning the establishment on its head by morphing the sillhouette and sexuality of the body with unconventional shapes and subverting the ideals of fashion
Dress Historian Kevin Almond illustrates the controversy of BodyMaps designs which , on paper sounds quite vile.
"Holah's and Stewart's stretch clothes often had pieces of fabric in unexpected places, so that the emphasis was transferred from one place to another. In this case, they have borrowed the skirt-like apron from a pair of Seditionaries bondage trousers in an attempt to both hide and draw attention to a man's crotch."
The initiatives are intruiging , I adore body mortification so love the idea of altering the emphasis of a garment. The hips (below right) are now nearer to the knees , the torso is stretched and the feet look engorged . It is a hall of mirrors of fashion .
BodyMap share the New Romantics fascination with sex and sexuality. Shock became fashions adrenaline. Why not create a crotch orientated masterpiece?
The names of BodyMaps collections display their eccentricity and sense of humour.
I would Like to write small illustrated books using them as titles.
Barbie Takes a Trip
Querelle Meets Olive Oil
The Cat in the Hat Takes a Rumble with the Techno Fish
I'm dying to know whether these were the concepts of the collections or just names the were christened with .
These collection names could easily have been names of modern day club nights where east end kids try to re-imagine the days of the New Romantics. They are innovative and intriguing. People aren't intrigued by a collection called "spring/summer 86". However this isn't a case of style without substance as the artistry behind the garments live up to their psychedelic names.
Stewart and Holah were print geniuses, using the layering, clashing and combining of prints to re-illustrate the human form and distort the size and proportion of the body. Stretch fabrics and unexpected holes were used to explore parts of the body peviously thought to be unnatractive, unpleasant an innapropriate.
BodyMap revelled in the innappropriate
New Romantic icons such as Boy George, Leigh Bowrey and the dancer Michael Clark all walked the BodyMap catwalks and wore their designs. They presented them in outrageous and creative ways turning catwalk shows into celebrations of fashion that was more like performance art.
The New Romantics had morphed into a huge creative partership where fashion played off performance and music reacted to fashion, there were no divisions or restrictions between each outlet. You can see in the magazine image above that BodyMap designed with performance in mind. The pieces were so directional and expressive that they speak to me as more costume pieces than everyday fashion. The stripes and cutaway shapes exaggerate and celebrate the bodies movement . I am a huge fan of the unitard! It lends itself to theatrical mishaps and memories of Audrey Hepburn's interpretive dance in Funny Face.
punk Body Map rocks "Half World" collection. Catwalk show cut with video. Sublime!
The clothes and music used in this short film are not the only components of the New Romantics montage. The direction of the video is deliberate in its bohemian spirit, expressing the glamorous rebellion of the New Romantics. It is narcissistic but fabulous. The urban street and the catwalk become one setting , metaphorically framing the new origins of fashion as that which is created in the streets and clubs where we live our lives. Even the formality of the catwalk is undermined by the random invasion of models where self expression reigns over poise.
Menswear and womenswear are as one in both the show and Bodymap's designs reflecting the freedom of sexuality and liberation that fashion brought to the new romantics; the wild creatures in the street have been transformed into fantasies by their extravagant costumes
Queen of print Belle Sauvage
Morbidity. Melodrama. and a couple of E's
Is this David Bowie? Has this smurf hooded creation been lifted from the head of a BodyMap follower from 25 years before? Infact no its the gravity defiant cheekbones of Leonor Scherrer adorned with a bold and garishly elegant design from Belle Sauvage, a label where layered digital prints, bold cuts and striking silhouettes come together to create a look that is unmistakeably the "new" new romantic.
Gone are the cliché ruffled fop shirts and Adam Ant jackets - these are now a part of the dressing up drawer under the bed. The contemporary new romantic builds theatrical drama with intelligently married prints and the combination of angular rigidity and cocooning, draping shapes. And of course the energy confidence to challenge even Steve Strange.
Large, sculptural hats were adored by the New Romantics. costume, glamour and shock theatre were the crucial ingredients of their unique fashion.
In the Belle Sauvage Autumn Winter 11 collection the same lust for millenrey is mirrored. The gloss of the leather of the hat and the dress suggests fetish and sexuality when worn with lace sheath dress underneath. The design is as flirtatious and dangerous as the subculture was, enhancing the dark, gothic underlay of the new romantics.
Autumn Winter 11 Show invitation is an image of the signature print of the collection
ive reverted into a childlike state trying to decipher how many individual layers combine to make this print as a whole
Tres Complex. There's a clear connection between how BodyMap layer a number of prints to morph the shape of the body and the way Belle Sauvage achieve this but in just one print. One Fabric. One design.
progression through technology .
This jumpsuit is morphing in just one garment rather than 3000 layers. It is clean cut and contemporary without losing any presence. There is incredible movement in it even when the body is still which is created by the variety of sizes of the shapes in the print . It's all a trick of the eye . A hall of digital mirrors.These smothering sillhouettes could have been taken straight from the 1980's
Belle Sauvage Robot Print. It is spectacularly layered in shape and colour but it is so intricate that it is not immediately obvious. The layering creates the illusion of movement, almost like a hologram. It is futuristic but the jewel-like colours and visual effect suggests something about the past. Luxury and electro combine.
Belle Sauvage Autumn/ Winter 2011 video. London Fashion Week
Belle Sauvage are unmistakedgly channeling all kinds of new romantic references in this superbly garish film despite it being so obviously futuristic , portraying a fantasy world where digital prints morph into backdrops and set design as well as the fashion.
How is this film a homage to the New Romantics
The hair is overwhelming and seems to live as though independent from the body. A crimper has definitely been involved
Make up is literally painted on. Bold, yet alluring
The villain of the piece has the demeanour of a crossdresser . And is definitely channeling boy george and Ali Baba.
The big hair lady is actually a man. Allejandro Gocast
To me it is a film made in 1986 and set in a fantastial version of the future, where the world looks like the crystal maze and the pet shop boys are the soundtrak to everything. The opening of the film is beautifully sombre, imagining the darker, more romantic side of the subultre. The landscape is a futuristic image of a pre-raphelite landscape, a pathetic fallacy of the disaster that is to come. The fashion mirrors the mood with draped dark prints and icy, gothic jewellry lavishly adorned by the forlorn figures in the snow.
The digital prints are sublime, precious jewels spliced with reptiles and vile 80's power jewellery.
They layer, interact and even move in similar ways to that they work on the body, and have enrgy even when static.
Also, J'adore the embellishment of the hats. Spikes, tassles and jewels have lustre and danger.
Before John Galliano was a naughty boy he was the New Romantic genius
Galliano brought a rebellion to fashion. Not an aggressive, violent or political rebellion but a rebellion against this punky rebellious image. Flamboyant and fantastical New Romantic designs brought the pleasure back to fashion.
It seems like Marie Antoinette endoreses Galliano's perfume.