Between the braces 1981

Blue Rondo a La Turk with their sharp suited style became the talk of the town on 14 November 1981 when “Me and Mr Sanchez” reached the UK singles chart. It was a refreshing antithesis to the New Romantic phase. Chris Sullivan and Christos Tolera appeared on the cover of the The Face magazine wearing colourful suits, cufflinks and ties. The band’s live performances brought adrenaline back into the music scene and a blast of fresh air blew out the ruffles and the lace.

The popular Foundry clothing shop on 12 Ganton Street, London W1 manufactured zoot suits and I designed and printed the ties to go with them. I filled the space between the braces with some bold colourful images of Samurais, Madonna and child and muscle men. With George’s brilliant sense of window dressing and Alison Hays ideal 80’s look the ties sold well.

 But men’s ties are one of the most difficult things to construct. I’d mastered ruffles during the new romantic’s period but ties had a life of their own. If you didn’t cut them out on the cross weave of the fabric, sew them straight and press them with extreme care they would stand out from your neck. Eventually I found a tailor in Newburgh street who had a workshop above the coffee bar opposite the White Horse. He ran my excessively garish printed kipper shapes up into slippery strips that hung in the window of The Foundry.

From Sue Clowes Bio.

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