Outted - Fashion boy


I've been outted.

It's all true - I studied Fashion Design at Harrow College of Higher Education (or as it's now known University of Westminster) the same place that the Emanuel's - David & Elisabeth of Diana's wedding dress fame.

I should say that I preceeded this with a foundation art course at Manchester's Polytechnic, the same year of Madonna's first ever UK gig... it just happened to be in the Hacienda during my Freshers week. I would like to say I was there but that would be a lie - the year was 1984. Manchester had, at the time, the biggest population of students in Europe - I loved it (there were bad moments too) - I moved around a lot, staying in Didsbury, closer to town in Fallowfield then back out to Stretford. My memories consist of the lecturing common room opening with wafts of pot smoke being picked up by the shafts of sunlight coming through vast windows. Every now and then a buzz of activity - which could be excused for creativity; it would consist of taking a running jump at a vast canvas with a bucket of paint in one hand - never considering for a moment the floor or the surrounding works that were benefitting from large splodges of blue oil paint.

The fashion focus came in the last term - it was just that the fine art mob were so up there own backsides... which was my leaning, plus I also was considering: "how the hell do I make any money painting stuff I like?" The fashion crowd were the party animals having a ball and hey I'd already started mucking about making and sewing up wierd and wonderful outfits - job done; clearly that was my future!

I don't remember applying to many places to study fashion, just that I wanted to be in London - game on.

I met some great people there - Jacquie Smith, we made stuff for our rail in Camden, Adam Lawrence, who incidently I was at Manchester poly with - now a very sought after photographer and then there was Dave Mackenzie, we hung out with the same crowd back in Edinburgh; Dave was studying film and photography, I remember him asking me and my girlfriend to be in one of his shorts. He can now be found directing Hollywood movies - he'll be at EIFF (Edinburgh International Film Festival) with his film Spread, staring Ashton Kutcher later this month.

Why this ramble... it's true to say I've been out of touch with my fashion side for a while, so when I mentioned that I'd helped a couple of girl friends pick their wedding dresses and that I studied 19th Century French Lingerie as research for a show... the comments followed "but you've been married twice!" "Nah, I mean you look so conservative".

I had to let the cat out of the bag - you can't hide for long in social media - your background soon catches up with you.

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