As Seen in Blitz: Fashioning 80s Style
During its run Blitz magazine showcased some of the best things about Britain’s turbulent 1980s – outlandish, sumptuous fashion; gender-play; transformation and great editorial design.
Its mode was excess and glamour, with its its subversive content created by a circus of the brightest contributors, boasting the likes of Leigh Bowery, Madonna, Daniel Day-Lewis, Pam Hogg, Issey Miyake, Andrew Logan, Vivienne Westwood and Comme Des Garçons across its glossy pages.
Blitz dealt in decadence but with a knowing, stylish touch, using fashion as a conduit through which to explore – and challenge – inherited ideas about beauty, sex and aesthetics.
Now, a new book is being published, As Seen in BLITZ: Fashioning ’80s Style, showing highlights from the years 1982 – 87, when Iain R. Webb was the magazine’s fashion editor.
It features images, tear sheets and archive content, as well as interviews with the photographers, models and designers that helped make the magazine happen.
Launching with, naturally, a glittering party tomorrow at the ICA, the book has been designed by Bath-based consultancy Northbank and penned by Webb.
‘The book’s design is led by the striking series of fashion stories (more than100) with the layout and typography a contemporary take on some of the ideas used in the magazine itself’, says Northbank design director Simon Cryer.
Throughout the strange cultural unease of the 1980s, Blitz proved that there was still a cast of creatives that found celebration and beauty in the strange, the iconoclastic and the hedonistic.
‘Like the lightening in its name, it struck us in 1980 and kept us spellbound the whole decade’ says fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier.
‘ “Too fast to live, too young to die”, that is Blitz for me. Every month we would run to the news stand to be BLITZed with irreverent, glamourous, chic and iconic images. Blitz was Iain R. Webb’s brainchild that corresponded perfectly to the era.’
As Seen in BLITZ: Fashioning ’80s Style, is published on 17 May by Antique Collectors’ Club priced £35.This weekend the ICA will host the A Weekend with Blitz Magazine series of events. For more information visit the ICA website