In the early 1980s Blame’s non-conformist attitude and a desire to distinguish himself within the London club scene motivated him to produce jewellery. His modest resources shaped his DIY approach and led him to incorporate found objects as a foundation for making his adornments; early creations questioned established material hierarchies and were testimony to the harsh realities of industrial and economic decline. It was during this period that he encountered a range of creative individuals including Derek Jarman, Anthony Price, John Maybury and Leigh Bowery who championed his inventive approach to making fashion accessories.
In 1985 Blame helped John Moore to set up The House of Beauty and Culture in Dalston, London, a craft collective of like-minded artists including Fiona Skinner, Dave Baby, Fiona Bowen, John Flett, Peter Foster, Mark Lebon, Alan Macdonald & Fritz Solomon (Fric & Frack), Richard Torry and Christopher Nemeth. This collective experience proved to be the first of many important collaborations as a consultant with various designers including John Galliano, Rifat Ozbek, Rei Kawakubo at Comme des Garçons, Gareth Pugh, Marc Jacobs and Kim Jones at Louis Vuitton. - (ICA)
Punk and fashion icon Judy Blame has died at age 58. His style, which featured bottlecaps, safety pins, badges, toy soldiers, and other found items, helped define the look of the '80s and '90s, and he became an in-demand art director and image consultant, working with Boy George, Neneh Cherry, Kylie Minogue, Massive Attack and Bjork. Judy, your influence lives on. Rest in peace.
London's ICA held a Judy Blame retrospective in 2016. Watch an interview with him from that, and read tributes from Boy George, UNKLE, and Goldie, below.