Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mr. Trunk Presents Atomage

If you've been wondering why this blog has gone all kinky of late you can blame it on Jonny Trunk.  I've been nagging Jonny for ages to write something for the blog.  Jonny is a very busy chap and he's been busy with all kinds of projects, but being the top bloke he is, he came up trumps to write a short and informative piece on all things rubber and vinyl.  For those that don't know, Jonny runs Trunk Records, a curious record label that specializes in unearthing forgotten and often neglected cultural gems ranging from cult soundtracks, jazz and the odd graphic design book.   This post is about his new book project and here it is in all its slightly kinky and perplexing glory with a few images provided by Jonny.  Over to you Jonny.....

"Now before we continue, I'm not kinky or nuffing. But the first time I saw an Atomage magazine at my friends house I got very excited indeed. I first spotted the magazine in the workshop of artisan leather workers Whittaker Malem. They make clothes for the movies and for Allen Jones sculptures. The magazine caught my eye, the woman in the front was looking the wrong way. After a quick flick through I realised that all of the photos in the magazine were peculiar but in a way I'd find hard to describe. The art direction was paired back, inventive and different. I started investigating this strange little publication more; there were at total of 32 made. The man behind the magazine, John Sutcliffe, was an extraordinary self taught designer with a natural flair for strange fashion and quite a knack with a camera. He started out by making biker suits for lady pillion riders, and by the mid 60s was making bespoke leather wear for a large roster of discerning clients. The A5 sized magazine was published erratically from 1971 (until about 1979) with the idea of selling his designs to a wider audience, but quickly became portal through which strange, fledgling scenes started to congregate. Macintosh clubs, wading, mudlarking and mask wearing all appear in the magazine, mainly through readers writing in and explaining what they were up to. Their stories and associated photography all add to the publications unique madness. But when someone describes their experiences of getting dressed up from head to toe in leather and then covering this all up head to toe in waterproof rubber, then slowly wading out into a river and standing there up to their neck in water for a couple of hours, you can kind of see the odd pleasure this might give you. Now where are my wellies..."
Here is a link to an excerpt of Sutcliffe and friends from Dressing For Pleasure, a film made about Atomage in 1977. It's a brilliant film made by a great director called John Samson.  The film also features a young Malcolm McLaren pre Sex Pistols.

"Dressing For Pleasure" will be published at the end of September by Fuel Publishing.

1 comment:

Paul Bareham said...

Ace, and some fantastic new perspectives for my Autumn wardrobe.