All this week Richard Dawson of Forgotten Future has been guest contributing to Fashion156.com. On Monday I interviewed Richard as we discussed outlaws and officer's uniforms. On Wednesday he talked to us about experimenting with handcrafts.
Noting that no wave is an inherent influence that marks Richard's design aesthetic I asked him what are his 5 favourite manifeststions of no wave.
Below Richard explains his love of this era.
What I like about No Wave is that it's very hard if not impossible to classify. There was a really cool thing happening in New York in the late 70's, a culture that had its home in the gutter, the New York seen in earlier films like Taxi Driver and Midnight Cowboy.
It was an honest and had a raw energy that was pointedly different to the commercialized trendy 'New Wave'. It's a movement and ideology that is completely of its time, in my designs I have referenced its attitude and influences but it's the raw lo-fi approach that I really respond to. A band made up on the day, plays its first gig with lyrics derived from a madman ranting on the subway is not something that one should re-interpret nowadays.
Guerrilla gigs, taking over empty premises for performances and presentations, giving a platform to the unusual and absurd and the 'pop up' phenomenon are ways I would offer to reinterpret the essence of the No Wave, essentially however the personalities and their message to the world and the context of the society they find themselves in are what makes No Wave, 'No Wave'.
Downtown 81 - This is a really cool short film starring the then unknown artist Jean-Michel Basquiat in which he plays a character much like himself, wandering the streets encountering low-life and the notable faces of scene; Debbie Harry, Glen O'Brien (host of the infamous public access shows 'TV Party' later made famous by Warhol) and underground bands like the Plastics.
DNA - DNA were quite a prolific art rock band in the early days of no-wave, I would love to of seen them live at C.B.G.B.'s. The lead singer Arto Lindsay had an individual look which I've referenced in past collections.
Blank City - is an insightful film about the scene and artists from the no-wave era. What's great about this documentary is that it doesn't glamorize the successful people or scold the sell outs, it simply reports on what was happening in that world its both seedy and funny.
Mudd Club - I would love to of been at the 'Mudd Club' opening on Halloween 1978, B-52's performance and readings from William Burroughs. This venue was a hangout for the no wave and new wave underground movements, specializing in music from new and interesting bands.
Rome 78 - This is an interesting and quirky lo-fi costume film, shot during the summer of 78 in by no wave director James Nares with crucial help from the scenes royalty. They make interesting comparisons between the collapse of the Roman Empire and a near bankrupt New York.
Posted by Susan Walsh