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What?! Reads: As Seen in Blitz – Fashioning ’80s Style

 | Category: Fashion, What to read

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‘As Seen in Blitz – Fashioning ’80s Style’ is this years key publication highlighting ’80s style and culture. Featuring a wealth of text and images lifted directly from Blitz magazine, this publication celebrates the pioneering 80s magazine.

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This interesting and visually arresting book is written by Iain R.Webb, the fashion editor of Blitz from 1982 – 1987, with his images exploring the ideas of transformation, beauty, glamour and sex. The publication spans over 100 Blitz fashion stories, each with their own unique story and subversive fashion. The most interesting aspect that is highlighted throughout the pages, is the interesting time in which these images were taken. It was after punk, yet before the digital era, along with the birth of the new romantics. It’s an interesting amalgamation of subcultures and style that follows.

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The interesting aspect of viewing this book, is to see exactly how cyclical fashion is, with publications such as Blitz and The Face, paving the way for fashion editorials we see today. Numerous editorials featured within these pages, could easily look as though they were lifted from a cool East-End publication today.

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The images that are featured are lifted directly from the publication over the years, along with original tear sheets and archive imagery. The images themselves have a distinct edge yet timeless quality to them. They vary from the pure controversial, to the gender pushing and questioning, to the pure experimental and edgy. It’s impressive to see a publication’s full fashion editorial history compiled together. Not only is a wonder to appreciate, it’s also a source of inspiration.

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Although the editorials are wonderful to look through and constantly feel inspired by, it’s the original interviews with the key designers right there in the middle of this scene, along with a vast amount of new original material. Iain R.Webb has gathered the memories of those involved into a gripping oral history of an under-documented time.

There is an all star list of characters and contributors including: Leigh Bowery, Amanda Cazalet, Boy George, Princess Julia, Nick Knight, David LaChapelle, Paul Morley and Anna Piaggi. Featured designers include Bodymap, Judy Blame, Dean Bright, Comme Des Garçons, Jasper Conran, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Katharine Hamnett, Hermès, Pam Hogg, Marc Jacobs, Stephen Jones, Calvin Klein, Andrew Logan, Issey Miyake, Franco Moschino, Rifat Ozbek, Antony Price and Vivienne Westwood.

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The book is a truly informative and introspective look into an era of fashion that was bold, strong and experimental told through the eyes of a publication such as Blitz that paved the way.

To celebrate the launch of the book, the ICA in London will be hosting a series of special events 18-19 May 2013. Over the weekend there will be a pop up show in the ICA theatre curated by the author and a series of talks with special guests and film screenings. Below is the listings information.

Listings information:
A weekend with BLITZ magazine: 18 – 19 May 2013
Gallery opening hours: Tues – Sun 11am – 6pm, except Thurs, 11am – 9pm. Closed Mon.
http://www.ica.org.uk | Twitter @icalondon | http://www.facebook.com/icalondon
Book online http://www.ica.org.uk Call Box Office +44 (0)20 7930 3647
Textphone +44 (0)20 7839 0737
Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH

‘As Seen in Blitz – Fashioning ’80s Style’ by Iain R.Webb is published through ACC Editions and available from http://www.accpublishinggroup.com

by David Mahoney | Online Editor | david.mahoney@what-mag.co.uk

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