Thursday, February 6, 2020

Face It

from The Face no.7, November 1980

(via Nothing Else On)

New Romo = Roxy Redux

The photos are good - elegance as a frozen pose is a far more achievable goal (and to become a photograph, a still of motionless perfection is the great desire motoring the whole subculture really isn't it? C.f. vogueing).

But when you see video footage of that scene back in the day - people moving about, in their costumes, creakily - then the artifice starts to feel a little jerry-built - an underlying crapness detectable between the joins, which is oddly touching, making it more endearing in retrospective than it seemed at the time. A collective superiority complex propped up on shaky foundations.

from The Face, December 1980

Also (from November 1980), Jon Savage on Bowie circa Scary Monsters


and from the February 1981 issue, Julie Burchill on New Romantics as replay of Glam

more from the Feb 81 issue

from March 1981 issue

from April 1981issue


Despite following and propagating the anti-rockist doxa of the day, The Face had an odd soft spot for fifties rock 'n ' roll - because the rockabilly look was so stylized, and sanctioned by time, like Blue Note jazz, taking its place in a perennial pantheon of retro-chic.  Robert Elms for instance would wax lyrical about Robert Gordon - as empty-shell a period pasticheur as you could find - largely (one couldn't help thinking) because of his chiseled profile and perfectly sculpted quiff.


bonus beats - The Face celebrated its 100th issue in late 1988 with a bumper edition

at Melody Maker where we considered style bibles to be our ideological foes, comrade Stubbs took the piss in the comedy pages, while comrade Oldfield did the sober critique in the 'film / TV / books / media' section

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