This collection, ‘The Only Performance’, is a hymn to underground London, the very darkest parts of it.
My initial reference point was the film ‘Performance*’, a film I have watched more times than I can count. In fact the collection title itself was taken from a quote in the film by the character Turner (played by Mick Jagger) – “the only performance that really makes, that makes it all the way, is madness”.
My narrative for the collection reflects many of the key themes from the film – a London underworld inhabited by gangsters, fallen rock stars and creatures of the night; Characters that push the boundaries of masculinity, decadence and bad behaviour to the very limit. I was also looking at the work of artists such as George Bellows, Robert Mapplethorpe and Brassai, referencing the writings of the Marquis De Sade and characters such as Mick Jagger, James Fox and the Kray twins.
Alongside my visual research, I also knew from very early on that I wanted this to be a collection about the metal it was made from – a celebration of the very gold itself. The collection sees what is essentially a pyramid ‘stud’ shape that I then manipulated, stretched, twisted, draped and curved in many different guises across the designs.
These cufflinks took the simple, but powerful, shape of the elongated stud – which then flows and moulds itself through the shirt cuff. They reflect the strong, architectural lines of the collection – but also retain a sense of vitality and volume with the curves that flow between the studs.
* Dir. Donald Cammell/Nicholas Roeg. 1970