Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Buttoned Up is part of Penguin's Tube-inspired series of pocket-portable paperbacks, Penguin Lines,  commemorating the 150th birthday of the London Underground. This appropriately smart looking volume, which was conceived and designed by Gert Jonkers & Jop van Bennekom of Fantastic Man magazine, explores "the peculiarity of buttoning up one's shirt, especially in east London".   You can imagine my surprise at being asked to contribute to a book about clothing. I elected to write about "music, masochism and the strict style of mod men". That's their blurb - I'd have probably gone with "violence" rather than masochism. Bits on Performance and on casuals ended up on the cutting room floor, but for the better, leaving a cleaner and sharper line from The Eyes to Hatcham Social via Josef K and The Chords.

Not about clothes, strictly speaking, but style and glamour related: I contributed an essay to Glam: The Performance of Style, the book that accompanies the exhibition currently showing at the Tate Liverpool which looks at the intersection between glam rock and the visual arts. "The Rift of Retro: 1962? Or Twenty Years On?" examines glam's relationship with nostalgia, revivalism, pastiche, etc.  Cutting room floor discardia include Alvin Stardust, Roy Wood, and Pinups / These Foolish Things,  but then I do tend to write at twice the length requested. Judging by the pictures in the catalogue, the exhibition looks really fantastic... I'm frustrated that I won't be able to take a detour to Liverpool on what has ended up a typically hectic homecoming visit.