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Judy Blame (1960–2018)

Chris Barnes, the punk fashion legend who rechristened himself Judy Blame after running away to London when he was seventeen years old, has died, reports Alice Newbold of Vogue UK.

In true punk style, Blame made something from nothing, crafting jewelry from trash scavenged from the polluted River Thames. He was the cofounder, with John Moore, of the House of Beauty and Culture in Dalston, a gathering place for artists such as photographer Mark Lebon, fashion designer Christopher Nemeth, and musician Richard Torry. Blame was a key figure in London’s New Romantic scene and hosted a night at the storied gay London nightclub, Heaven, where he dallied and posed with some of London’s finest, among them Leigh Bowery and Steve Strange.

Blame shaped the look and feel of iconic British fashion magazines The Face, BLITZ, and i-D as a stylist and art director. He was also a consultant and collaborator with numerous fashion designers, including Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, Gareth Pugh, John Galliano, and Marc Jacobs and Kim Jones at Louis Vuitton. At the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, Blame had his first major solo exhibition, titled “Judy Blame: Never Again” (2016), a retrospective of the artist’s jewelry, collages, notebooks, clothing, fashion editorials, and miscellaneous objects.

“Punk rock—that was my training,” Blame once said to Ted Stansfield of Another Man. “Whatever I’ve done, I’ve had to pick it up and work it out for myself. And because I wasn’t trained, I haven’t got that baggage. Training can hold you back.”

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