The first catwalk show I ever had was in October 1982 at the Pillar hall Olympia. The collection was called Dollymops and Rookies.
The print was a raggedy lace print in bold colours of either orange, green, indigo blue or charcoal grey on crisp white cotton. The colours looked good together when the models came streaming down the catwalk. Each dress had about two yards of fabric across the back waist seam, were cut low and designed to be worn with black lace up ankle boots. For the menswear I designed dungarees printed in wide grey stripes on cotton drill. The t-shirts had harped figureheads from ship fronts on the chest and printed coins around the neckline. The dresses and t-shirts tied in two places; on the upper arm and shoulder. The idea was to show off tattoos in the middle between the two ties. I had a tattoo done on the top of my arm, and not quite conceited enough to expect everyone to have the same done, I had stick-on tattoos made that I stuck on the models arms, backs and chests. Although the colourful lace print gave a real impact on the catwalk and the models extremely beautiful, I thought everything looked a bit squeaky clean and perfect. So I had another show. I rented a pub in the East End and celebrated my 25th birthday. I got friends who were dancers and musicians to wear the collection dance on the bar and pull pints.
Out of all the write-ups I ever had on my collections none have given me such a thrill as having half a page in the New Musical Express. It was called THE EMPERER’S NEW CLOWES by Graham K. Smith. The article was published on November 13th 1982.
“…The presentation itself raised further eyebrows,” wrote Smith, “Although any attempt to leave the “catwalk’-type fashion shows must be applauded.” I loved the pop music hits of the time. Bananarama – Shy Boy, The Belle Stars – The Clapping Song, Dexys Midnight Runners – Come on Eileen, Tears for Fears – Mad World. You couldn’t walk into a pub in those days without a juke box blasting out those songs. But the song I have in my head from that mad night was by The Jam – A Town Called Malice. Best birthday party I ever had.
From Sue Clowes bio.
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