“As seen in BLITZ” – The British scene in the 80’s
From our library at Underground we pull out BLITZ from the bookshelf. BLITZ was a monthly British magazine, founded by Carey Labovitch and Simon Tesler during their second year at Oxford University in 1980.
At the beginning it was sold in street markets and could not count on a fixed monthly output, until the founders signed a contract with WH Smith for a national distribution.
Until 1991, the year of its closure, many professionals in the fashion industry, including photographers, models, stylists, musicians and artists of various kinds contributed to make BLITZ an internationally renowned magazine.
The style was distinctly pop and artistic and contained the true essence of the 80’s and 90’s decades: bright colors, the first experiments of the game of genres, and the British underground culture.
In the newspaper, every month, there were articles dedicated to emerging talents in the world of fashion and art and, for the time, what would be considered daring photo shootings.
BLITZ explored the new boundaries of fashion and beauty standards that were changing and were breaking down the rules followed up to that moment. In short, it told what happened in the British and international artistic world.
Many of the covers have become legendary thanks to the presence of artists such as Simon Le Bon, George Boy, Morrisey, Andy Warhol, Siouxsie, Madonna, Pete Townshend, Paul Weller, Daniel Day-Lewis, and many others.
Lots of artists immortalized by Peter Moss on the pages of BLITZ, from Vivienne Westwood to Debbie Harry, just to name a few.
There were interviews with people like Eric Bergère (designer at Hermès), Jean Paul Gautier, Vivienne Westwood, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Anna Piaggi, Franco Moschino.
Through those pages you can follow the changes in fashion stereotypes, the idea of masculinity that was going towards a more fluid kind.
The social and political changes expressed through outrageous photo shooting, featuring the brands of the era.
Many photographic contents of BLITZ are kept and exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum and have been collected in a book entitled “As seen in BLITZ – Fashioning ’80s Style” from Iain R. Webb released in 2013.
Today this collection volume is an immense source of inspiration and knowledge of those that were the 80s in the UK.
Words by Federica Diaz Splendiani