Writer Paul Gorman explores the history of the Face magazine.
Launched by NME editor and Smash Hits creator Nick Logan in 1980, The Face became an icon of “style culture,” the benchmark for the latest trends in art, design, fashion, photography, film, and music being defined by a thriving youth culture.
The Story of The Face tracks the exciting highs and calamitous lows of the life of the magazine in two parts. Part one focuses on the rise of the magazine in the 1980s, highlighting its striking visual identity—embodied by Neville Brody’s era-defining graphic designs, Nick Knight’s dramatic fashion photography, and the “Buffalo” styling of Ray Petr— and its unflinching approach to journalism. Contributors included a host of writers who subsequently made their impact in the wider world, from Julie Burchill, Robert Elms, Tony Parsons, and James Truman to Jon Savage, Richard Benson, and Sheryl Garratt
‘I don’t know what London’s coming to – the higher the buildings, the lower the morals.’ NOËL COWARD
In the same vein as his best-selling Beautiful Idiots and Brilliant Lunatics, Rob Baker’s High Buildings, Low Morals is a captivating and enticing insight into the strange and fabulous characters who inhabited an intoxicating, glamorous and sometimes dangerous London now lost forever.
Coward himself appears now and then amongst the tales of West End showgirls, gangsters, dubious politicians, Soho porn-barons and beautiful Mayfair actresses and debutantes addicted to excess. Baker unearths the connection between the sexually voracious Duchess of Argyll, her headless polaroids and Mussolini; the sad death of Billie Carleton amongst the opium orgies and cocaine parties during the aftermath of the First World War; the hidden truth of the charming bisexual Lord Boothby and his friend Ronnie Kray; the scandal of the electrifying Tallulah Bankhead and the Eton schoolboys; the hilarious OZ trial, John Lennon and the downfall of the ‘Dirty Squad’; the link between U-boat 35, James Bond and the IRA Balcombe Street Gang; Soho, Italian fascists and the rise and fall of Jessie Matthews; and Graham Greene’s wartime search for food and love amongst shattered shards of glass during one extraordinary night of the Blitz.
From the giddy heights of New Labour’s landslide victory in 1997 to the shock result of the 2017 snap election, these are the frank and funny memoirs of one bewildered Labour activist who tried to carry on as usual long after politics had stopped making sense.