22
Jan
2010

Love For Sale at Machine A

When I discovered that renowned music stylist, artist and creative director of the House of Blue Eyes label was having a mammoth clear out of his accumulated collection, I was intrigued as to what had triggered this very brave decision. 

From the perspective of a devoted hoarder, my obligatory ‘bag for eBay’ sits stationary in my flat and frequently incurrs a deficit where I do well to put one thing in, but then whilst rummaging convince myself that those two items lurking at the bottom are bound to be wearable again. I can’t imagine giving about a fifth of my prized belongings the push, yet this is exactly what Johnny Blue Eyes is doing. 

Love For Sale, hosted at Soho boutique and gallery Machine A, provides a unique experience where all are welcome to browse the sale and exhibition of Johnny’s extensive collection of clothes, accessories and art that is up for the taking.

What strikes me about the event is the familiarity and personable nature that coincides with this. All correspondence with Johnny before the event is very personal and full of the love that he’s constantly on about. I feel that to interview him in the usual formulated way would do our meeting an injustice, and that documenting the meeting would seem a bit contrived.

I am glad that I made this decision as I feel like I’ve been invited for a meeting with an old friend. It is immediately clear why love is such a dominant feature in material for the event. He is instantly lovable as he is so gushing about everyone and everything around him. Immediately I am transported from the dreary Soho street to what could quite easily be Johnny’s home by the attention and affection that he has for the people and belongings in his surroundings. It is a microcosm of madness that is Johnny’s world.

First, he swirls me in to view the huge array of clothes. The basement of Machine A has been transformed into a treasure trove of all things fabulous. Johnny immediately points out a vintage 1970s grey leather cat suit that has been worn by Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters. There are various gold ensembles and the most amazing variety of killer platforms that you could feast your eyes upon.

There are rails of affordable pieces (many are priced around £20-£30) that are seasoned with the occasional designer gem. I am prized away against my will from the couture feast by an ever-excitable Johnny showing me his tea set which is the definitive of twee. Out of his suitcase comes cute sugar jars from Japan, the most adorable of which has a cross-stitched ‘Love’ as its centrepiece. It looks as if it was made for this show; combining Love and kitsch seems to be the flavour of this surreal experience.

There is no need to worry about awkward silences as Johnny talks in a constant flow about his love for music and fashion: ‘I want to pass on my gorgeous things so that others can appreciate them and use them to look gorgeous. I’m at a stage in my life when I feel that it’s time that I can let go of some of these things’, he explains.

If you would like to grab a piece by the man who’s styled Beth Ditto, Lovefoxx and Klaxons, among many others, nip into Machine A before January 30.

Machine A
60 Berwick Street
Soho
W1F 8SU

www.johnnyblueeyes.com

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