We have repeatedly mentioned Malcolm Mclaren one way or another on previous articles like Chiptune, Paris is Burning and more recently Alan Moore’s Fashion Beast. For us, here at The Remains, everything Malcolm said rings true. Malcolm was an entrepreneur, musician, promoter, band manager, designer, writer, and much more…but mostly a visionary, and it was time we dedicated a post to him.
For the Punk movement of the70’s in London he was a GOD! He was the one who encouraged Vivienne Westwood (his girlfriend at the time) in 1971 to join him and open the cradle for his revolution, their own clothing store in London called “Let it Rock” specializing in teddy boy clothes. Malcolm said later that they opened the store for “the sole purpose of smashing the English culture of deception”.
He latter renamed the shop “Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die” but the new style was not successful and he closed the shop, depressed and disillusioned about the future.
In 1975, McLaren reopened and renamed the shop SEX, selling punk and S&M inspired clothing. In December 1976, Sex was renamed “Seditionaries”. In 1980 it was reopened under the name “World’s End”.
They were specializing in rubber and leather fetish gear, selling extraordinary T-shirts and the famous bondage trousers, all while defining punk fashion for a new generation.
Malcolm ventured into music, managing the American “New York dolls” and in 1976 he pulled together a band to go with the clothes in the store, a band that became the wildest punk rock band in history - “The sex pistols”!
According to McLaren “The sex pistols provided the sound — Anarchic, shrill, garage-like to the clothes. It was more important the way they dressed and how they looked”. Punk culture took over and a new fashion era had begun with Malcolm McLaren and Westwood leading the way with clothing that was ripped, safety-pined and distressed in any way possible resembling the aggression that British youth was looking to express!
Malcolm’s influence was best described by music journalist Jon Savage, who wrote “Without Malcolm McLaren there would not have been any British punk. He’s one of the rare individuals who had a huge impact on the cultural and social life of this nation”.
Over the years Malcolm was continuously involved with art (the medium he was
originally trained in), movies (made few documentaries), music (always seemed to have a new “hot” band), and off course fashion, while always seeing the last two intertwined!
Watch below a tribute to the inspirational manager and artist who revolutionized the music business in the 1970s with the Sex Pistols and punk fashion. McLaren died on April 8, 2010.