When I was trying to describe Judy Blame to a friend, the best way I could summarise his talents was as a sort of ‘punk mad hatter’. He was customising clothing and accessories before it was a thing. He made something out of nothing. His signature punk aesthetic was instantly recognisable. His passing marks the end of an era, and I just wanted to pay tribute to one of fashion’s greats…
Blame earned his stripes in London’s 80s club scene with the likes of Boy George, Leigh Bowery and Buffalo’s Ray Petri, where he came to prominence through his punk aesthetic and became known for his original jewellery, fashioned from chains and bones sourced from the Thames (amazing, right?). In ’85 he set up The House of Beauty and Culture in Dalston with John Moore, a ‘craft collective’ with like-minded artists.
Throughout his career he collaborated with and consulted for the likes of John Galliano, Gareth Pugh and Marc Jacobs and helped style Boy George, Björk and his closest friend Neneh Cherry. Even if you think you don’t know Judy Blame, you will know his work. He wasn’t a traditional designer, a stylist, a brand. He made people think outside the box, he was disruptive in the fashion world, and that always leads to exciting things.
He was a creator, a punk iconoclast. He was truly an artist.
“After years of troublemaking, drug-taking and experimenting with every part of my life, it seems the most radical thing you can do today is to care for yourself and other people!”