LiveStudio: Judy Blame

published on 14 June 2011

Watch Judy Blame at work on his trademark bricolage accessories live on camera in our studio space.

Watch Judy Blame at work on his trademark bricolage accessories live on camera in our studio space.

Live Stream Q&A

10 JUN 2010. 16:51

Q. How rewarding is your work?
A. Personally...great, so. I love doing it so that's reward enough.

10 JUN 2010. 16:49

Q. Female?
A. Karlie. A badge maker

10 JUN 2010. 16:30

Q. Who's the new kid?
A. Which one? Male or Female?

10 JUN 2010. 16:25

Q. What does that button say? Broken HEARTS mend! Do they? Where do you get inspiration for the badges? I LOVE THEM. I WANT THEM. HOW MUCH?
A. I did that after I split up from my last one and I'm definitely over that now. So broken hearts do mend.
Come to the SHOWstudio Shop in Bruton Place to purchase them or go to the Shop website to enquire/purchase the badges. 
A lot of them are things I've been doing for ages or little artworks from my idea books or just people that I admire. For example, one of the first clowns ever. So basically heroes/slogans are my influences. 

10 JUN 2010. 16:12

Q. What was your funniest fashion moment ?
A. There have been so many! Too many to mention! Read the book when it comes out! 

10 JUN 2010. 16:07

A. I hate being invisible so I don't know what to say. I guess shoplifting would be the only thing to do?

10 JUN 2010. 15:56

Q. Cage fighter or scaffolder ?
A. Hello Hugo...I have to say scaffolder. 

10 JUN 2010. 15:55

Q. What attracted you to the safety pin ?
A. It's just such a genius piece of design and if you use them in volume then you can really make a piece of armour out of it. In my punk phase we used to rip outfits up, throw paint on them and safety pin them back together. I've never got bored with a button or a safety pin.

10 JUN 2010. 15:30

Q. I'm totally in LOVE with your shirt! Can we buy one? Ken, Tokyo
A. It's from Child of the Jago which is on Great Eastern Street in East London, it's Joe Corré and Simon Armitage's store.

10 JUN 2010. 15:29

Q. What was the most difficult job you've had to do? Elliot, Bethnal Green
A. It has got to be some pop-star I didn't want to do in the first place. I can't tell you the Geri Halliwell story as I had to sign a confidentiality agreement. I remember we did this INXS video for two days, brilliant director, quite far out for INXS. The director wanted to shoot overnight so we ended up staying up for two days, we hated the song anyway. The director had organised all these awful people to work on it. We were sooo tired and it was such a relief driving back to London and some poor man walked in front the van and bounced off the windscreen, it was like the video. Great end result but REAL hard work. The only other thing I didn't enjoy was touring America, when you're in a different city each day. I hate touring. 

10 JUN 2010. 15:15

Q. You look amazing. Why have you styled yourself in black and white or was it just for this streaming shoot? Do you always? I love black and white. I'd live in black and white if I could. I don't understand color! - RP, Austria
A. Um I love black and white and it was because I was here and funny you should be from Austria because the suit is Helmut Lang. 

10 JUN 2010. 15:12

Q. What was your first fashion moment? fp
A. Apparently when my mother used to get dressed in the sixties from when I was about 4-11yrs old, I always used to comment on her clothes. I would say "Oh no mother not those shoes with that nail varnish!". Also, I lived in Spain in the sixties and I remember my cousin came on holiday to Spain and she wore a mini skirt and it just caused a riot in Spain as it was still very Catholic and I thought how fabulous that a piece of clothing could cause so much trouble!

10 JUN 2010. 15:11

Q. How do you know when to stop adding things? SW, Boston
A. You just get a feel for it. The neckpiece is coming to an end and the hat is too. When we're at the studio, we'll work in rotation so the pieces develop around the room and at some point you say right it's ready. You actually live with most of them for a few months. Mostly at night I do "my" looking at it. 

10 JUN 2010. 15:11

Q. What would you recommend to someone looking to stand out within the fashion industry? How do I build a name for myself? RP, NYC
A. Make sure you know what you're talking about. I'm a great believer in research. When I started out I had no idea so I researched everything from designers to photographers. I keep a record of all the things that have caught my eye, I put them in books, I've got hundreds of them. It's great to be inspired by people but what's the point in repeating it, create something new out of it. Don't go straight for the label, get some experience in it first and understand how hard it is. We were lucky in our day I suppose, you could go out in a fabulous outfit you would be in the papers the next day, now it's harder as there is so much to look at.

10 JUN 2010. 15:10

Q. Do you like contemporary art? ON, paris
A. I love contemporary art. I'm a big fan of the Chapman Brothers. When I buy my art, I have to be able to live with it. I like Tim Noble and Sue Webster. 

10 JUN 2010. 15:10

Q. What was your first big fashion editorial feature?
A. It was for i-D, I can't remember exactly when. It was called stolen property, there was a fabulous model called Jenny Howarth and Mark Le Bon ended up giving her the camera. We used to do i-D and The Face, those were the two I really started off with.

10 JUN 2010. 14:28

Q. What was the hardest handmade order you've ever made?
A. Marc Jacobs asked me to do something for Louis Vuitton which I was thrilled about so I went over to Paris and they showed me this denim. I was going to embellish it with lace and buttons. It was only supposed to be 20 pieces for the stores but it kept creeping up and it was hundreds and hundreds in the end. We had to stagger the delivery over 2 months. They did end up selling it in the stores. 

10 JUN 2010. 14:23

Q. Who has the biggest collection of your jewellery as far as you know?
A. Boy George has about 80 pieces. A young Japanese boy named Kudo has about 120 pieces. I think he worked in a bank, he had a tiny little apartment and it was filled with everything about me. He had a double life. And Stephanie, one of the women who I said was a muse has a lot. 

10 JUN 2010. 14:13

Q. What's your real name? -Carrie xx
A. Bugger Off

10 JUN 2010. 14:07

Q. Will there ever be a Judy Blame home range?? Like the stuff you did with knives and forks??
A. There was a whisper of it at some point. If there was I think I would be really good at curtains or duvets! I'm not the kind of person who would be asked though. It's not a priority at the moment but never say never. 

10 JUN 2010. 13:51

Q. Hi Judy - its good to see you doing your work, I always wondered what you looked like..I used to collect your stories out of The Face when I first began my career in fashion, I was hugely inspired/influenced by the way you created amazing silhouettes with clothes, your style has always been more than just fashion to me. I always consider you to be the first Stylist.. My question is what drives you? do you have an end goal or do you just go with the flow..
A. I go with the flow and I still enjoy doing it. I like waking up everyday and I still enjoy it. With me I do have ups and downs with it, but I work with some great people who inspire me. And yeah, I do picture them in my head, I have 3 editorials at the moment in mind, I'm taking my time. Enjoying people is my drive. 

10 JUN 2010. 12:49

Q. Who are your closest friends professionally?
A. I don't like to fall out with people. Philip Treacy is a good friend of mine. A lot of people I work with I remain friends with plus you have something in common with them. I love Giles Deacon. I'm a people person. In Paris I guess Jean-Paul Gaultier, in London...most of them, I miss Helmut Lang. As long as they're nice.

10 JUN 2010. 12:46

Q. I'm a HUGE Antony Price fan - as anyone at can vouch for - but could you tell us a little bit about the work you did with him - I remember him talking to me about some of the extraordinary 'Sea Queen' sunken treasure headpieces you made for the Camden Palace show - were those pieces for Antony your first 'fashion' pieces? - Alex Fury
A. Yeah it was the first time I made something to go with something else. Antony showed me specific dresses and colours and fabrics, his show was built up on themes. I made the sea queen necklace that looked like a tidal wave coming over her neck and shells. Another section was superhero themed, which I made a huge red collar out of shiny red washing line. I also made a necklace out of a broken chandelier. Apparently Antony still has it all, his shows were very theatrical and he is a genius pattern cutter!

10 JUN 2010. 12:45

Q. How do we contact u to buy some jewellery??
A. Go to Child of the Jago or 123, and if you live in the Far East we're doing something in Hong Kong and Beijing next year. 

10 JUN 2010. 12:23

Q. Favourite city in the whole world?
A. Number one has to be Sao Paulo in Brazil so much to see and do from the gutter to the stars. It's so amazing place. I also like Tokyo, New York, Paris and London. I could never move out of London. In New York it was like being on a fairground ride that I couldn't get off, I missed the work. Paris is too small but I love working there. London suits me because I feel like I can do whatever I want in London. 

10 JUN 2010. 12:22

Q. Have you ever made edible jewellery?
A. No I don't think I have...what's the point. I suppose if I had an advertising job I'd do it.

10 JUN 2010. 12:20

Q. Judy, You've helped me a lot, and really supported me from the very beginning- from even before the beginning... which is something I will of course always be incredibly grateful of. Who was your cheerleader when you started out? Tell me about the beginning!!! Gareth ps- I vote for ideas, not politicians... Amazing!!
A. Who were my kind of cheerleaders?  When I came to London I was lucky enough to meet the film director Derek Jarman, he picked me up in a nightclub but that wasn't it. And he introduced me to a whole section of London I didn't know. He had a library of knowledge that he passed on to me.  He didn't just do it for me, he did it for lots of people. He was amazing.
In fashion, Antony Price. he'd seen me trolling around heaven wearing all sorts of things.  His style was very about glamour.  He wanted me to be part of it all.  He had the faith in me to go 'you can do it.' He kick started me into thinking more seriously about fashion.  Before I met him I thought it was all about going out and creating trouble.  And what I learned from him stayed with me.  
Malcolm Garett, graphics and computers and whatever he does now, he took me under his wing and introduced me to everyone in Manchester.

10 JUN 2010. 12:18

Q. You look beautiful in Neneh's Manchild video- could u tell us about that day?
A. That was a little piece of heaven. It was Jean-Baptiste [Mondino]. And Neneh and her husband pushed for the song to be a single even though the record album didn't want to do it. So we knew to illustrate the song we had to do something very strong. So we invited people to the house. It was when the camera and computer were coming together. Neneh had just had Tyson her baby. Almost all the characters were part of the family. It was a really joyous things to do. The only pain in the ass was the computers cause they were just getting going. It really helped the song. 

10 JUN 2010. 12:13

Q. If you had a race horse what would you call it?
A. Winner. Go win.

10 JUN 2010. 12:11

Q. Favourite model of all time?
A. This is a bit like, a favourite piece of jewellery.  It's hard to answer. Couldn't get better than Naomi or Christy.  That was a particularly exciting time.  They brought other girls up under them, like Kate. I just want all colours to be represented. So long as we have them all, we're great.

10 JUN 2010. 12:11

Q. How do you switch off your accessory designing head and switch on Judy Blame Art director? how do you manage your creative outlets? i find it so hard! Do you ever get so confused its stops the creativity and ideas?
A. I have been confused about it before, but now I think the longer I've done it you learn to turn it off and redirector it.  Art direction an album cover is one thing, making a piece of jewellery is different. When you're art directing you're thinking about a product or a person so your creative vision is focused on that.  I am a big team player.  People don't think this about me. When working on a project I love the model, the makeup team, the teaboy. It's my job to be enthusiastic and get people excited. So no, I don't get confused by it. Not anymore.  

10 JUN 2010. 12:09

Q. Please could you describe what attributes you look most for in the male ear ? F. Poodle from Sao Paolo
A. That's Hugo. I've got a thing about ears. I am not sure that it's a fetish.  They don't have to be big, but ears just kill me. In Brazil all the boys have little ears that curl over.  It's crippling.

10 JUN 2010. 12:07

Q. You're one of the very few designers now that doesn't sell your work commercially or have a 'New Gen' or another Topshop sponsorship- how do you survive in London?
A. I go through waves of it, at the moment I'm kind of catching my breath because I haven't stopped in 30 years. I'll be doing something with Child of the Jago and NOKI who is opening a shop next month. I'm not greedy and I don't need loads of money, what I do is not to have a fat bank account. I do it because I like doing it. 

10 JUN 2010. 12:07

Q. Which music artist would you most like to art direct that you haven't already?
A. I've been quite lucky on that. I've done Bjork a couple times.  It'd probably have to be a woman, because I prefer working with woman. Someone like a Mary J Blige or Missy Elliot.

10 JUN 2010. 12:05

Q. Where is TOM?!
A. You tell me!

10 JUN 2010. 12:01

Q. Are you bored of London's fashion bullshit?
A. I think some of it is really overrated and the thing I really miss about it is the kind of camaraderie.  When I first started doing things everyone was helping themselves out. Now, it's all so behind closed doors. We have to go back to - England's really good at crafted, eccentric things - we need to get back to that. And stop caring about your media profile and shitty tear-sheets.

10 JUN 2010. 11:57

Q. who on the London club scene inspires you now?
A. They've all got a bloody hard act to follow after Leigh Bowery. I love Princess Julia. I've known her forever. I love MC Kinky. She's got a great look. I like them all.  They all look like dolls with razor blades. At least they are all making a visual effort again.

10 JUN 2010. 11:55Q. do you have that tenner you owe me? mind you don't prick yourself. love PA x
Richard.  You cheeky sod.

10 JUN 2010. 11:50

Q. Which photographer do you think brings out the best in you as a stylist?
A. A lot of photographers. Mondino and I rocked it when I first started. If I want more arty then I'd say Juergen Teller. I'd cut my arm off to work with Nick Knight. 

10 JUN 2010. 11:49

Q. Which current fashion magazines do you rate?
A. Well I like the POP and the LOVE thing that are going on. They actually feature things that aren't just fashion related.  I always buy National Geographic. Italian and French Vogue. I can't be bother with British Vogue unless Nick's got a shoot in it.  Dazed and Another. I enjoy both of those.

10 JUN 2010. 11:49

Q. What's your favourite piece of jewellery you ever designed?
A. Two pieces when I started and didn't have a clue. I took these huge black beads and made these huge straps and covered the chest in this huge black beads.  
I took this string and dyed it and dyed it and dyed it. It looked like something out of Dr. Who and that it was growing and growing but it was really just string.

10 JUN 2010. 11:49

Q. Are you political? Do you vote?
A. No. I wasn't political really, but i've got really strong views on things.  I am a humanist. I don't know it that makes me political or not.  I vote for ideas, not politicians. It's become a scandal. 

10 JUN 2010. 11:48

Q. What do you want your last meal to be if you are on a death row?
A. Dozen Oyster and a few langoustine, those big prawn things.  It'd have to be a big hearty thing, so I'd go with something Brazilian. Or a Caribbean thing. And a big bowl of ice cream from home.

10 JUN 2010. 11:45

Q. Who does Judy, blame?
A. I don't like to waste my time on blame. I suppose I just look in the mirror. There are enough bitches in the fashion industry without me joining in.

10 JUN 2010. 11:37

Q. Hi Judy, I was lucky enough to meet you years ago as I was a student of Mark Lebon's, you are such an inspiration creatively and personally. I listened to your story and advice and have never forgotten them, I know you have had your good times, bad times, copiers and personal mountains to overcome, plus recent triumphs professionally, So I suppose my question is over your oh so beautiful life when was your highest point and when has been your lowest? keep up the good work!
A. Well, it's all been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. One of my favourite times was when I ran away from home and it was 1977. I came to London and didn't really know anyone. So I went to Manchester and it really had it's own scene up there.  I was really happy.  There was freedom there.  Everyone was being creative.  
By the time I got back to London, it was totally romantic and I got used to Fashion.  Punk through to new romantic was a really great time.  It was all about dressing up and meeting new people. The lowest point, was when I was idiot enough to become a heroin addict during my career.  It didn't stop me working but I was unhappy and it shielded that.  It was stupid. I wouldn't advise it to anyone.

10 JUN 2010. 11:30

Q. You look very brown...Have you been away?
A. Nope, it's my blood circulation pills, and that it's been so sunny in London these past few weeks.  Standing outside at the studio having a fag from time to time gives me a little colour.

10 JUN 2010. 11:30

Q. Do you have plans to do a book?
A. I really do, because a lot of the things I've done have never been published, we have a publisher interested. I want it to illustrate the backstage of it, two books in one of all the tatt and one of the pictures. And then a sleazy kiss and tell biography.

10 JUN 2010. 11:28

Q. If you had to work in one colour forever what would you pick??
A. Ooo.  I'd have to say black. With white in brackets. Pink would just give me a headache. 

10 JUN 2010. 11:24

Q. Who is your favourite jeweller?
A. Tom Binns. He probably wouldn't say the same thing about me, but I think he is brilliant. One of Charles James' first big supports, Amilla St. Rodgers. I love a bit of classic Chanel, the guy that makes the cuffs. Shaun Leane is absolutely amazing.

10 JUN 2010. 11:21

Q. Do you have a muse and if so, who?
A. I think every designer and artist wants to have someone around them 
Scarlett Napoleon Bordello was my u person to style.  I used to make jewellery for her. She came up with The Blame.  Now, Stephanie Nash is the most stylish person in London. I love making things for her. And while I wouldn't call them muses, I've got quite a lot of godchildren who inspire me. I love the way they look at things.  When they come to the studio it's like they are in a candy shop. And I adore watching them play with my materials.

10 JUN 2010. 11:05

Q. Judy, do you normally listen to music when you work? what sort?
A. Yep. I do.  I listen to music quite a bit. If I am on my own, I listen to Radio 4 or News of the world. I am a big Anthony and the Johnsons fan, soul music in general gets me. And I love a bit of Gospel. It's really an eclectic mix; it's whatever grabs me.

10 JUN 2010. 11:04

Q. Is anyone else coming to help you? it seems like you've a big day in front of you.
A. My assistant is coming.  But he's late and Carly is coming too to help make badges.  

10 JUN 2010. 11:01

Q. What's on your tee?
A. It's one of the computer things on the front.  When all the photographs became so retouched that people stopped looking human in it, this shirt was a way for me to take a dig at that.  

9 JUN 2010. 20:38

A. What, in the morning? To come here? I can either fiddle about and take hours. Or can be super quick. But I am a big accessory fan. You can save hours with accessories. And money. That's how I got started actually, putting big accessories on clothes. 

9 JUN 2010. 18:41

Q. Please just pass on my love, I haven't seen him for almost twenty years, and I'm so happy to see him looking so great!! Andrew Macpherson, LA. USA.
A. Gosh. That's sweet. That's going back a bit. We used to have the same agent.  He used to take the most amazing photographs with Amanda Harlech when she was working with Galliano.  

5 JUN 2010. 20:55

Q. What are the intentions of your designs and creations.
A. I supposed to keep enjoying making it and finding new ways and new tricks to put things together.  I haven't got a master plan, it's quite organic the way I let it come at me.

5 JUN 2010. 20:53

Q. What is your design process like?
A. I wouldn't say it was a process. You have to be inspired by something. I don't really draw or design and then try and make it, i just make the thing. Each piece has its own process i suppose. If it's styling, it depends on the person and what you think they'd look believable in. Research is key, I keep my eyes and ears open at all times.

5 JUN 2010. 20:41

Q. Hi Judy, how are you ??? When are you coming to São Paulo ? missing ya.... xxxx Ciro
A. Desperate to be there before the end of the year. I am still alive.

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