He's a man of few words. But they're good ones...
Judy Blame is something of a legend in the fashion world. As an iconic stylist, accessories designer and magazine contributor Blame is the now the newest icon to team up with iconic fragrance house Jo Malone London. The collaboration will see four designs for Jo Malone London’s iconic presentation boxes, inspired by London’s Pearly Kings and Queens and Blame’s love of customisation (read: buttons). So, we nabbed five sought after minutes with him to well, just chat.
Marie Claire: How did you come to fashion or did fashion come to you?
Judy Blame: I was attracted to it. I was more interested in personal style than fashion.
MC: What were your earliest influences?
JB: Spanish art and bull fighting, punk rock and Paris Haute Couture.
MC: What was it like being in London as a 17 year old?
JB: I ran away at the end of the summer of 1977 to find myself. I wasn’t really thinking about fashion at the time, just the way I looked. I spent most of the money I had saved at Seditionaries’ where Vivienne sold me my first pair of bondage trousers, a ‘Tit’ muslin and ‘Destroy ‘ t-shirt. This was my armour; the rest of my wardrobe was hand-made. And off I went!
MC:What was it like growing up in punk Britain and does it still influence your work?
JB: I enjoyed every minute. It was about the attitude, not the image…. It always crops up.
MC: How do you think London fashion has changed – and is it as original as it used to be in your opinion?
JB: London has always had originality, even today. It is the best place to experiment; it gives you the freedom to invent something new.
MC: When you were working for ID/The Face in the early days what was your goal? Was it to inspire, to disrupt, and to create?
JB: All three. Terry Jones & Nick Logan went for the young street trends and gave you the platform to show-off!
MC: What were the best moments of working for those magazines?
JB: Too many to mention!
MC: What were the best lessons you learned working for those magazines?
JB: It gave you camaraderie, teamwork & communication. We weren’t selling a product we were selling ourselves.
MC:Who is one of the most stylish people in your opinion?
JB: Amanda Harlech has always been so inspiring.
MC: What new designers do you think are really doing great things?
JB: I think Gareth Pugh is very powerful. Also I love what Ed Marler & Charles Jeffrey are doing. Toogood Unisexwear are my kind of craft.
MC: Who do the Pearly Kings and Queens inspire you?
JB: The whole history has a certain charm and I love a good customised outfit. Buttons rule!
MC: Can you tell us about your finished designs for Jo Malone London?
JB: Jo Malone London asked me to modernise a traditional English look. London Style – the right combination of Character, Craft & Charity. I immediately thought of the pearly aesthetic and it was something that had influenced me for a long time. All the symbols I used mean something in the pearly language. For example, the anchor means hope. The horseshoe means luck. The crown is for royalty. The heart means charity. Doves are peace.
It fitted the brief perfectly.
MC: You work with everyday objects, what attracts you to them?
JB: Their ready availability and endless variety.
MC: Do you think there are any characteristics that are unique to British design?
JB: We are given the time to experiment. We have a respect for tradition but we don’t mind mucking about with it either.
MC: If you have one message to pass on to the world about creating your own individual style – what would it be?
JB: Be yourself!
The Judy Blame for Jo Malone London box designs can be paired with 100ml cologne of your choice, available from 1 June exclusively at Selfridges.