7 June 2023


Will small budgets create a new creative currency? What fashion can learn from broke but brilliant designers.


Whether you know it or not, you have been influenced by Judy Blame.

When we heard the news that Judy had died, we felt the same way we did when John Peel died, remembering the significance of his loss on people’s faces that said, “Well, we’re all fucked now aren’t we”. Like Peel, Judy fed our souls with subculture. Both protected us from the worst of contemporary culture that so widely get the references wrong in vain attempts to be authentic.

We were also reminded of this quote from Louise Wilson. “A lot of people believe that you don’t need to know the history and that creates newness. I disagree: we should always be informed and the destroy it”.

Which is exactly what Judy did. Like many of our creative heroes, Judy’s brand of creativity came from imagination and also out of necessity.

There has been so much money available for ‘creatives’ to freely indulge in the past but then not destroy it. And now that there isn’t so much money available, the most important currency is creativity, or more specifically, imagination out of necessity.

We have to learn to destroy again.

It takes a special creative talent like Judy to turn buttons and safety pins into an entire cultural movement that transcends nostalgia. Of course, Judy’s legacy is so much more than buttons and safety pins. Our point is that you have to be pretty special to make something as small as a button, into something as big as an entire subculture.

This is where we would list all the things he did, from The House of Beauty and Culture to Buffalo and Wild Boys. But if you are not part of the spoon-fed society, you will want to seek it out for yourself.

We spend hours talking to friends like James Lavelle, who, like Judy, worked hard to create the cultural references that are respected and sadly abused today. Together we acknowledge that it will never be the same again. And for every loss, it feels like we’re culturally fucked even more. But perhaps the loss of big budgets will spark a new creative currency.

Maybe we won’t feel quite so fucked.

Be More Judy.



In 2012, we met and were lucky to work with the last bastion of subculture, Roger Burton. He is the founder and creative heart of the Horse Hospital in London which houses and hosts decades of irreplaceable fashion archives and exhibits. He opened the infamous PX in Covent Garden, styled the movie Quadrophenia, and amongst many other important cultural accomplishments, worked closely with Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren.

“One day in 1978, I got an inquiry that I was really not expecting. An old friend called to say that he had been talking with Vivienne Westwood, and she mentioned that she had really liked the design of PX, and as it had shared a similar aesthetic to her own shop, Seditionaries, she asked if I might be interested in meeting to discuss designing their new World’s End shop at 430 King’s Road. I jumped at the chance, having always been in awe of their maverick stance and unique take on fashion. I had followed their career from the beginning. I had never met anyone like them, and I really got off on their ideas about subverting history through clothing. These were very inspirational times and I was riding high for months on Malcolm’s infectious “anything is possible” attitude”. – Roger Burton.

With one of the largest and most complete collections of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s archives, Roger opened Vive Le Punk, an exhibit at the Horse Hospital in 1993 where he engineered this meeting between Vivienne and Malcolm for the first time since they split. It remains the only time they discussed, (and disagreed about), the legacy they created from nothing.

Vive Le Punk!