If you were young in the 1980’s, you might remember articles in teen magazines where they came across people in the street, who had their own unique style, photographed them and asked where they got their clothes. I had a secret dream that I would be spotted in my dull Midlands hometown, recognised as an obvious style icon by my old man’s jacket, trilby hat, skintight stripy jeans and black and purple hair, to be featured in the likes of iD, Just 17 or Smash Hits. In my fevered teenage imagination, this would obviously have led to me getting my dream job as a journalist and photographer for The Face Magazine and spending my days with edgy musicians and cool bohemians. Alas, as I lived somewhere where no self-respecting teen magazine journalist would dream of looking for the style influencers of the future (or as I actually looked a bit of an arse – see photograph), it never happened, and so I find myself in Glastonbury instead.
Glastonbury is not short of style icons, it’s just that the rest of the world hasn’t caught up with us yet, so I thought I’d feature a few of them. I’ve added people in the order in which I photographed them, I didn’t seek them out specifically, I just spotted them and thought it would be fun to include them. I know there will be lots of people you’ll think I should have put in the post, so I might make this style icons post one of a series – that is providing you give me feedback so I know you’ve enjoyed it. If any of these looks catch on… remember you saw it here, on Normal For Glastonbury, first!
Ted The Viking
Ted The Viking
Occupation: Viking (specialities slaying and pillaging)
Clothes: When I ask where he got his distinctive wardrobe Ted tells me that ‘The God’s provided”. He made the jacket himself – well, that is he cut the arms off an old jacket, the jeans were from a charity shop, boots from eBay, tunic from Etsy and his hat came from Glastonbury market.
Ted also sports some interesting jewellery – his Dad’s ring, his engagement ring, and a genuine bronze age bracelet from an auction.
Occupation: Physics teacher (or as he prefers ‘daytime wizard’) and Glastonbury Town Crier
Clothes: Town Crier’s outfit supplied by Glastonbury Town Council and made to measure by local seamstress Cath Jenkins, David’s own shoes from Clark’s, the buckles were £4.99 from Amazon – they used to be on a strap but kept getting stuck in the clutch pedal so he had them sewn on. David is very pleased with his homemade scroll made from dowel, clock finials and a screen printed cloth. The handbell was a present from David’s wife to replace the bell the council bell provided which was a ‘bit small’.
PinK-allie of Maharanees Palace
PinK-allie of Maharanees Palace
Age – as old as time
Occupation – queen, and purveyor of Glastonbury couture at her shop Maharanees Palace in Benedict Street.
Clothes: pink dress from Maharanees Palace, waistcoat made by Kat from Bedlam Boutique in Glastonbury, Gloves by local designer ‘Janice Made This’, necklace by Vivienne of Lorien, ring by Julian the Jeweller in the High St, Boots from ‘Look at My Lovely Shoes’ (now closed). Hair by Mimi of Wedmore, nails by Jay Chapman in Wells. Bag by Dan from Ancestors Artisans, Horn and belt from the Stag Man on the Glastonbury Wytches Market. Mexican pompoms & Egyptian belt from Maharanees Palace.
Occupation: Credit manager at Clark’s until April 30th, Bard of Glastonbury
Clothes: “Mother in law wanted me to be a banker so she gave me £500 to buy a suit, so I went on eBay and bought four”. Shoes bought with a discount from Clark’s outlet £27. Tie from charity shop. Shirt (“it’s a good make”) eBay £4. Tie pin present from sister, cufflinks graduation present, Hugo Boss watch was a bargain from Clark’s village. Underwear by Tesco, “I heard a rumour Glastonbury Tesco no longer stock undies. don’t know if it’s true”
Clothes: “Dress was a gift from a friend who bought it at Bedlam – it was white with brown details but the brown dye ran into the white when I washed it, so I dyed it green. The slightly military style jacket is unique, handmade by one of the faeries that comes to the Faery Ball each year, she told me this year it is one of her favourites and she wishes she had kept it for herself, I told her she can’t have it back. The scarf was bought today because I am freezing – Nationwide got us to do some poems for their opening and had us standing out in the cold for far too long, so I went and got the biggest scarf I could find from the Shaw Trust charity shop, it reaches the floor and I can wrap it around my neck 3 times. The flowers are from San Francisco, you know the song right? As a British tourist, I had to wear flowers in my hair, wearing them now reminds me of the wonderful adventure we had there. You might not be able to see the earrings in the picture, but I will mention them, because I love them. They are a chain mail link design – and were given to me by a young girl who came to a talk about the White Spring we did in Pantheacon in San Jose, she put them in m hands at the end of the talk and disappeared – I saw her later and found out that she is 22 years old, she lives in her car travelling around America making chainmail armour, clothing and jewellery to cover her travelling costs. She dreams of coming to Glastonbury and would like to make enough chainmail to raise the funds needed to get here. The boots are boring I got them from Sainsbury’s in a sale for £25 quid, I have trouble finding boots that are elegant and comfortable, these ones just about do the job.”
Occupation charity shop worker and small business owner – Mrs Pink Designs.
Clothes: “Dress charity shop in Cornwall on holiday, Jeans made by me – ‘Mrs Pink Designs’, my motto is ‘Recycle, remake, relove’, waistcoat from charity shop – used to be beige so I dyed it. Shoes bought online. Hair and nails by me – I used to be a hairdresser, Jewellery from my husband, I’m a goth in winter, and a hippy in summer”.
I was spoilt for choice finding subjects for this article, I guess we’re pretty used to people wearing unusual or exceptional clothes here, to the point that we don’t think anything of it. A few years ago I arrived home and my housemate told me I’d had a visitor, I quizzed him for details and all he could remember was it was a man and he was carrying a box. Shortly afterwards the visitor reappeared, he was wearing a full-length black bishop’s cassock, a Victorian top hat, brothel creepers and sporting a blue quiff and eyeliner. And he was still carrying a box. Either my housemate was exceptionally unobservant or his outfit was too ‘Normal for Glastonbury’ to be memorable.
Here’s a reminder of what people were wearing in Glastonbury in the 80’s. Thanks to Kim Von Coels for this wonderful picture taken outside her Mum, Isi’s, shop ‘Isis’ in the High Street.
One trend we’ve always been ahead of in Glastonbury is the trend for ethical fashion, there’s growing awareness of the need to buy ethically made clothing, quality items that will last, repair rather than chuck away, and buy secondhand or swap. Apparently, it’s fashion revolution week this week, there’s an article in Positive News about it here.
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