"Chaos is not the opposite of rhythm but the milieu of all milieus"
Deleuze & Guattari

Saturday, 23 April 2011


Grande dame of customisation and collaboration.

He started as a door whore at Heaven in the 80s before becoming a Buffalo stylist and giving Bjork her grungy look on Debut. He's made accessories for John Galliano at Christian Dior and for Rei Kawakubo at Comme des Garçons, as well as for younger East End designers Gareth Pugh and Louise Gray.

Back in the day he used to collect rubbish from the banks of the Thames to make into jewellery, when the Docklands were free of skyscrapers and full of apocalyptic-looking junkyards and squatted warehouses.

He's had a studio on Kingsland Road since wayy back when, and I interviewed him about ye olde days of Dalston for this thesis I'm writing. He had a twinkle in his eye and a tale or two to tell... which I'm keeping secret for now, but I just wanted to share this touching description he gave of what it was like to know the departed film maker Derek Jarman:

"When I first moved to London I met Derek and for me he was always… that was a kind of college, because what Derek didn’t know about music or literature or visuals wasn’t worth knowing, so for me, Derek really opened up my eyes to all sorts of different forms of culture.

We all used to be in his little Super-8s… Derek would ring up and be like, ‘I’ve found this derelict church, can you come and, you know, hang from the altar for me, we need to make some Super-8.’ – ‘Yeah fine Derek, see you then.’

And also he kind of knew such a mad selection of people. I met so many interesting people through him. He was a great… I’d say he was a teacher really, a lot of young people… through Derek… I mean most of us were all young gay people, there was that, but it was more than that… I mean he introduced me to people who really helped me out… I wasn’t really doing jewellery when I first met Derek and then I started doing it and he was one of the people who said, ‘You’ve got to keep doing it, I love it.’

And he was like, ‘Oh, you must meet Michael Kostiff and you must meet Andrew Logan and you know… it was kind of… he was like a phone book of generosity really. He was such a generous man. I’d end up at tea with Sir Frederick Ashton [the ballet choreographer] and you never would have thought this young funky boy in Vivienne Westwood’s rude t-shirts, having tea with Sir Fred. It was kind of mad."