Just as London Fashion Week was coming to a close, news came that Britain had lost one of it's most influential fashion figures. Judy Blame, was a larger than life figure in fashion since the early 1980s. He worked as a stylist, jewelry and accessory designer, artist, club-owner--you name it Blame had been involved in it.
He ran away to London at 17 when he decided that he wanted to join the punk movement that was just beginning to emerge on the cultural landscape, an d he remained faithful to the punk ethos to the very end. He turned culture upside down, took a knife, a pair of scissors to it, then refashioned it as something new. He was the master of invention and re-invention, of himself and for many of the artists that came into his view--Bjork, Boy George, Neneh Cherry, Massive Attack.
He worked in with famous designers as a consultant, collaborator and creator, always taking amazing risks and creating things on the spot, usually on a shoe-string budget. He did a lot of mud-larking---digging around in the muddy banks of the river Thames at low tide, to find all kinds of stuff that would get washed up--bones, buttons, ancient coins and the detritus of centuries of a city's life. With this stuff he would create unique jewelry or create one-of-a-kind fashion pieces.
But it's not really about what he did, but rather who he was that is compelling. In a world where conformity is increasingly the norm, where most people follow trends and lack any real individuality, Blame was a singular presence, fully and truly and always himself, never shaped but always shaping the world around him. A true iconoclast, and a real punk, and a life gone far too early.