To be bad is good.…and to be good is simply boring!

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!

Malcolm’s per­sonal style was a true resem­blance of his per­son­al­ity, eccen­tric, bold  and eclectic.…mixing col­ors, pat­terns and unique cuts and textures.…somewhat Japan­ese inspired.
He lived by his grandmother’s motto:
“To be bad is good.…and to be good is sim­ply bor­ing!”.…..sounds like his grandma was the real vision­ary leader of punk culture!

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.


Sam Buttery Plays Leigh Bowery In Taboo

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In Jan­u­ary 1985 Leigh Bow­ery started the now infa­mous poly-sexual Thurs­day disco club night “Taboo”. Orig­i­nally an under­ground ven­ture, it quickly became London’s Stu­dio 54, only much wilder, extremely more fash­ion­able, and with­out the masses of celebri­ties – although these came flock­ing in later. For every­one step­ping through the doors it was a truly unfor­get­table experience.

Mark Davies wrote a book which later became a stage musi­cal with lyrics by Boy George, and music by George and Kevan Frost.

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Set in an aban­doned Lon­don ware­house, the partly imag­ined story takes place in the loca­tion of what was the city’s most fash­ion­able night­club, the now-legendary Taboo (1985–87) of the title. Boy George is fea­tured as one of the club’s reg­u­lars. The show also focuses on George’s life prior to and after achiev­ing fame.

The show pre­miered in London’s West End at the Venue The­atre on Jan­u­ary 29, 2002. Now in Sep­tem­ber 2012, Direc­tor Christo­pher Ren­shaw revived the show in a “site spe­cific” form in Brix­ton Club­house in South Lon­don. The pro­duc­tion was based on the orig­i­nal show with book by Mark Davies, but included sev­eral changes to the orig­i­nal soryline.

In this revival, Sam But­tery plays iconic 80s per­for­mance artist Leigh Bow­ery in Taboo, the story of bill-topping per­form­ers who defined a gen­er­a­tion, includ­ing Steve Strange from Vis­age, the inde­fin­able phe­nom­e­non that was Leigh Bow­ery, the one-man entre­pre­neur extra­or­di­naire Philip Sal­lon. And then of course, there’s Boy George, trav­el­ling from squat to super-stardom  from rock to rock bot­tom. The show inter­weaves some fan­tas­ti­cal facts of the 80s with a clas­sic love story of ambi­tion, pas­sion and betrayal.

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Watch below a doc­u­men­tary about the FABULOUS Leigh Bow­ery and the orig­i­nal Taboo for your enjoy­ment. Shown dur­ing the spring of 1986 while Leigh Bow­ery was run­ning his infa­mous night­club Taboo, this doc­u­men­tary put Leigh on the map. A witty, provoca­tive and inspir­ing film that includes a Bodymap fash­ion show, rare footage of Taboo, and inter­views with Michael Clark and Lana Pil­lay, this doc­u­men­tary also reminds us what Leigh was like before he met Lucian Freud.


John Waters Introduces ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’

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The Girl Can’t Help It is the gar­ish acme of Cin­e­maS­cope and DeLuxe Color, mon­u­men­tally loud and bla­tantly exploita­tive —a ver­i­ta­ble Parthenon of vul­gar­ity and a supremely unfunny com­edy that is pure eau de Fifty-Six. This satire of Elvis and Mar­i­lyn (or rather, of their clones) shim­mers with radioac­tive pinks and cobalt blues; at once stri­dent and sta­tic, the movie defines the atomic-Wurlitzer chrome– tail­fin Fontainebleau-lobby look. Producer-director-co-writer Frank Tash­lin is one of the very few Hol­ly­wood direc­tors who broke into movies as an ani­ma­tor and, like the Dean Martin–Jerry Lewis come­dies that pre­ceded it, The Girl Can’t Help It is some­thing like a live-action Looney Tune.

Appro­pri­ated by John Waters some 15 years later as the only suit­able way to intro­duce his 300-pound gender-blur Divine in Pink Flamingos.

Grotesque stereo­types col­lide with billboard-sized car­i­ca­tures. This proto Pop Art pathol­ogy might be too painful to con­tem­plate were it not for the exotic life forms flour­ish­ing around its periph­ery. Cli­max­ing with a rock show per­formed for an audi­ence of teenage white zom­bies, The Girl Can’t Help It is pop­u­lated by all man­ner of failed honkers and would-be cool cats—as well as Fats Domino, the Plat­ters, a gospel-shouting Abbey Lin­coln.

The coolest pres­ence ever recorded by a Hol­ly­wood cam­era may be Lit­tle Richard, first seen stand­ing entranced before a piano—as if won­der­ing whether to pul­ver­ize or incin­er­ate it.

In Alba­nia, is any­thing so bad it’s good?” “Lit­tle Richard was “…the King of Rock ‘n Roll, and the Queen of Rock ‘n Roll.“
Here, our beloved Pope of Trash intro­duces Frank Tashlin’s gem­stone for every­one to enjoy.…

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TV Party: The Sublimely Intolerable Show

Glenn O’Brien’s TV Party blew the dust out of New Yorker’s air ducts for four odd years from 1978 to 1982. The hour-long live, unscripted show took advan­tage of New York’s early-ish cable access world — a world man­dated by a deal that cable net­works could have their lit­tle monop­o­lies as long as the pub­lic was granted free access to a cer­tain per­cent­age of air­time. It’s a deal still going on all across Amer­ica today, and after watch­ing a lit­tle TV Party, you’d be a damn fool not to get involved. You see, TV can be fun, and you can make it! As for TV Party — essen­tially a show­case for what O’Brien and friends thought of as cool — it’s not for every­one. But those who like bizarro tele­vi­sion, the down­town New York scene of the day, or cult movies and TV with a cap­i­tal C (Liq­uid Sky or Robin Byrd’s porno talk-show, for instance) will get a seri­ous kick from this exper­i­ment in ‘social­ist TV’ — the TV show that’s a party, but it could also be a polit­i­cal party.

The Sub­limely Intol­er­a­ble Show aired Jan­u­ary 8th 1979, with O’Brien (writer, Warhol-ite and once New Wave gad­about) loosely hold­ing the reins — flog­ging the horse or let­ting it stum­ble down rocky inclines, how­ever he, his guests, audi­ence or callers saw fit. Aired in black and white, the night’s guests included Comp­ton Mad­dox and John Moses play­ing weird gui­tar tunes, Klaus Nomi singing opera, and Andy Sher­noff cov­er­ing the Beach Boys, (backed by Tish and Snooky of Manic Panic fame). Down­town direc­tor Eric Mitchell plays a clip of his movie Kid­napped while plug­ging the New Cin­ema The­ater, direc­tor David Sil­ver and Kate Simon do ‘White Peo­ple Talk About Reg­gae,’ and finally Deb­bie Harry, Chris Stein (also of Blondie and later offi­cial co-host of TV Party) and Richard Sohl help O’Brien with the viewer call-in seg­ment while pass­ing a joint.

Accord­ing to O’Brien’s TV Party web­site, David Let­ter­man once told Paul Scha­ef­fer on air that “TV Party is the great­est TV show any­where, ever,” and for those of us now corn-fed on the GMOs that are Two and a Half Men and their ilk, it’s hard to argue. The show thrives on O’Brien’s heart­felt dif­fi­dence (hard to man­age, true) and an anything-can-happen dan­ger­ous­ness that’s impos­si­ble to fake. It appears effort­less because in many ways it was, semi-professionals aided and abet­ted, and total ama­teurs did lit­tle things like; oper­ate cam­eras and run sound. In fact the first five or ten min­utes of Sub­limely Intol­er­a­ble have no sound at all, noth­ing but ran­dom pops (as peo­ple scurry to fix the prob­lem) and (also accord­ing to the TV Party web­site) Jean-Michel Basquiat typ­ing super-graphics like “Oh no! No sound! Fuck!” Top-notch scen­ester enter­tain­ment makes up for defi­cien­cies O’Brien encour­aged. Mad­dox and Moses’s pre-ironic ironic num­bers bub­ble dan­ger­ously, with O’Brien and Deb­bie Harry et al danc­ing in lab coats. Klaus Nomi’s unearthly soprano aria and equally alien demeanor are stun­ning and bizarre. Sher­noff is cool enough — while point­ing out how even the most insipid Beach Boys song comes with a super-sharp chord pro­gres­sion — and direc­tor Mitchell seems baf­fled and is baffling.

White Peo­ple Talk About Reg­gae rides a dan­ger­ous edge; the audi­ence mocks, Simon and Sil­ver seem defen­sive talk­ing about the ‘music of uplift­ment,’ and then a joint starts mak­ing the rounds. The joint stays for the ‘viewer call-in’ seg­ment which always closed the show. It’s emblem­atic of the off-the-rails genius of the show. Sure, the tech­no­log­i­cal aspects are junk, and per­for­mances or inter­views hit-or-miss, but let­ting uncen­sored live callers on the air is pure gold. O’Brien and crew are unas­sum­ing in their great­ness — they’re the cool kids at school who’ll actu­ally accept you (even though you know you’re a total geek) just because they’re self-secure — shin­ing as they wade through call after call ques­tion­ing their sex­ual prac­tices and eth­nic­ity. This stuff is not for the eas­ily offended, but it’s a tes­ta­ment to the power of a slick hand will­ing to let the chips fall wherever.

The first 10% of this show sums up what we don’t get on TV any­more. Tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ties. TV Party was live and impro­vised, and this meant casual dis­as­ter. This early episode gets off to an artis­ti­cally ago­niz­ing start–the sound per­son is late, over­dos­ing on drugs or both. Or it was the bro­ken down equip­ment. Once the sound kicks in the show gets lively. Comp­ton Mad­dux, a droll singer song­writer, is backed up by Deb­bie Harry and Glenn; the unique futur­ist soprano Klaus Nomi does one of his post-modern arias; Adny Sher­noff, of the Dic­ta­tors, plays the Beach Boys’ “Be True to Your School” backed up by pom pom girls Tish and Snooky, the Manic Panic design­ers. Down­town leg­end direc­tor Eric Mitchell announces the open­ing of the now famous New Cin­ema the­ater and shows a clip from his film “Kid­napped” with Arto Lind­say, Dun­can Smith and Anya Phillips. Brit direc­tor David Sil­ver and pho­tog­ra­pher Kate Simon do the “white peo­ple talk about reg­gae” seg­ment. Blondie’s Chris Stein and Deb­bie Harry and the Patti Smith Group’s Richard Sohl drop in to smoke a reefer and take calls from all the cra­zies in cable land. Chris explains all this isn’t chaos, it’s art.


Simply Divine Cut-Out Doll Book


Ken­neth Anger’s Lucifer Jacket

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Designed by La Boca, the Lucifer Jacket is a homage to the satin jacket fea­tured in Ken­neth Anger’s 1972 film Lucifer Ris­ing, and will only be pro­duced as a very lim­ited edi­tion (less than 100) avail­able from today at Six­pack France online store.

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Izabela Kaczmarek-Szurek’s Extreme Knitting

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Izabela Kaczmarek-Szurek is a Polish-born graphic designer whose work ranges from poster art to illus­tra­tion to tex­tile design. How­ever, it’s her knit­ting illus­tra­tion (we think she may have invented this) project enti­tled ‘Extreme Knit­ting Cal­en­dar’ that has us mak­ing faces of awe.

She explains: ‘This cal­en­dar present an idea to knit­ting your favourite idol. This is my sub­jec­tive selec­tion of famous peo­ple. For these illus­tra­tions, I took 3rd place in the famous graphic com­pe­ti­tion “GRAFFEX”, orga­nized by pol­ish lifestyle mag­a­zine EXKLUSIV.’


FriendsWithYou

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Miami based art col­lab­o­ra­tive FriendsWith­You was cre­ated with one basic con­cept in mind; to become Friends With You!

Their work, which ranges from fine art and per­for­mance pieces at major cul­tural events to play­grounds, toys, inter­ac­tive prod­ucts, and apparel, appeals to every demo­graphic with a pos­i­tive mes­sage of magic, luck, and friendship—essentially spread­ing a happy cul­tural virus to all facets of mod­ern living.

Com­bin­ing solid graphic dis­ci­plines with a mas­tery of pro­duc­tion meth­ods rang­ing from metal cast­ing to print mak­ing, FriendsWithYou’s oeu­vre is var­ied and adven­tur­ous. Since their ini­tial col­lab­o­ra­tion in 2002, Sam Bork­son and Arturo San­doval III have devel­oped FriendsWith­You into a fully estab­lished multi-disciplinary cre­ative stu­dio capa­ble of pro­duc­ing every­thing from fine art to ini­tial strate­gies and con­cepts, prod­ucts pack­ag­ing, POS, print ele­ments, full motion media (i.e. live-action, ani­ma­tion, stop-motion, etc.), and events.

Hav­ing con­sis­tently gen­er­ated inno­v­a­tive and award-winning work, FriendsWith­You have been invited to par­tic­i­pate in some of the World’s most respected art hap­pen­ings includ­ing Art Basel, Comi­con, and Pic­to­plasma, and both shown in and been col­lected by numer­ous inter­na­tional gal­leries and museums.

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This ani­mated short is an explo­ration into the clouds; a sweet, visual sound­scape that takes the viewer through a per­sonal jour­ney into the sky. Sing, dance and relax as you fol­low a cast of clouds and rain­drops through an entranc­ing adven­ture you’ll wish to take over and over again.

The pur­pose of the piece is to tran­scend the viewer to a peace­ful and joy­ous state. Clouds singing and per­form­ing their duties in a joy­ful man­ner show us that every­thing in our world has a role and a purpose.

FriendsWith­You host a Phar­rell show among the huge inflat­able sculp­tures of Rain­bow City, a land pop­u­lated by crea­tures of their invention.


Lucy McRae — Body architect

Lucy McRae is an Aus­tralian artist, designer and com­pul­sive inquisi­tor. Over time, she has fused her train­ing as a clas­si­cal bal­le­rina with an inher­ent fas­ci­na­tion with the body, and forged a unique pro­fes­sion: Body Architect.

McRae, based in Ams­ter­dam, takes the human body as her can­vas. Each project inhab­its an artis­tic realm that strad­dles the worlds of sculp­ture, archi­tec­ture, sci­ence, and fash­ion design, manip­u­lat­ing the body’s nat­ural struc­ture to invent novel anatom­i­cal forms.

Her works are mes­mer­iz­ing – liv­ing sub­jects coated, injected and bathed with other-worldly embell­ish­ments to cre­ate new bod­ies of exquis­ite imper­fec­tion. They are imbued with a haunt­ing vis­ceral real­ism that has become her cre­ative insignia.

Trained as a pro­fes­sional bal­le­rina through her child­hood and ado­les­cence, she grad­u­ated from inte­rior design at RMIT Mel­bourne. Lucy was brought into work at Philips Design in the far future design research pro­gramme. She is a TED fel­low and has worked with Nick Knight, Aesop, Johan Renck, Robyn, Bart Hess, Amer­i­can Vogue and AnOther Mag­a­zine. She has exhib­ited at Cen­tre Pom­pi­dou, Palais de Tokyo and has run mas­ter classes at RMIT.

…Chan­nel­ing the ani­mal king­dom, to cre­ate a com­plex dis­play rit­ual. The human form begins to dis­tend, grow fur, sprout gills, sig­nal­ing a new cycle of evo­lu­tion…

Where does the term “body archi­tect” come from? I made it up to get hired for a job. I remem­ber stand­ing in the HR office being faced with the ques­tion “What are you?”. Waft­ing my hands in the air, scram­bling for a descrip­tion that pack­aged my back­ground in bal­let, archi­tec­ture and fash­ion I plainly said, “I’m not just one thing, I’m a hybrid”. He ges­tured towards a white board with a matrix of job descrip­tions and explained he needed my job title in order to hire me, I left with­out the job. I called the my soon-to-be boss and said “Didn’t get the job, as I don’t know what I am.” He said “Go back and tell them you are a body archi­tect”. I returned to HR the fol­low­ing week, knocked on the door and said “I am a body archi­tect”… “Okay”, he said “Sign here, you start next week”.

What is the human body to you?I don’t really think of it as sep­a­rate thing. Nat­u­rally it is a start­ing point for me – the bal­let train­ing, the archi­tec­tural back­ground cre­ated this vor­tex towards the body. The body is like the core, and I build lay­ers and con­cepts on top of that.

Mor­phē SHORT FILM FOR AESOP

Aus­tralian skin­care brand Aēsop com­mis­sioned McRae to con­ceive Mor­phē; a short film that play­fully presages a shared col­li­sion between sci­ence and beauty. At the edge of this world, a painstak­ing Sci­en­tist employs an assort­ment of liq­uids and weird con­trap­tions to min­is­ter arcane beauty treat­ments to a sleep­ing Muse.