Shop & Exhibition Launch: Mark Powell/A Celebration of Style – Cool London Through the Photographer’s Lens
2 Marshall Street, London. W1F 9BD
Exhibition runs 17th June 2010 – 17th July 2010
By Guy Sangster Adams
In some ways it seems extraordinary that Mark Powell’s new shop, which launched on 17th June 2010 at 2 Marshall Street, Soho, London, is his first shop in 20 years. Such is the dash that he and his suits have cut in those intervening two decades, from the streets of Soho, of which he has become an always immaculately attired intrinsic part, to his client list that includes internationally famous actors, rock stars, and models, such as George Clooney, Harrison Ford, Keira Knightly, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Bryan Ferry, George Michael, Paul Weller, Bianca Jagger, Naomi Campbell, fashion labels with which he has collaborated, including Michiko Koshino, Mulberry, PPQ, and his own Mark Powell Autograph range for Marks and Spencer, and the films for which he has designed costumes, like Absolute Beginners, Shopping, Gangster No.1, Pimp, that to have had such success without a shop front is surprising.
Powell’s first shop, Powell & Co, which he opened in 1984 in Archer Street, Soho, when he was just 24 years old, and his suits which re-interpreted influences from his East End childhood, including the style of the Krays (for whom he later made suits), and earlier looks such as the 1950’s Neo-Edwardian, and 1930’s mobsters, have subsequently being recognised by The Savile Row Bespoke Association as, “the missing link between Tommy Nutter and the New Generation Savile Row tailors of the early 1990s.”
In light of all the above, it is very fitting that the opening of Powell’s new shop should also include in the basement gallery the exhibition, A Celebration of Style: Cool London Through the Photographer’s Lens. Curated by Sandra Higgins, the exhibition features fantastic photographs by the host of photographers that Powell has worked with since opening his first shop. The works on show, all of which are for sale with 10% of the proceeds going to Powell’s chosen charity, Great Ormond Street Hospital, include Barry Lategan’s iconic 1966 shot of Twiggy, Iain McKell’s 1982 photograph of Madonna for the cover of Number One magazine, which was the first cover shot she ever did and which has never before been printed for sale, and his trilogy of photographs of Kate Moss, taken last year for V Magazine, which have never previously been for sale as an edition. Other photographs on show are Romano Cagnoni’s Mary Quant at work in her Chelsea studio, John Stoddart’s Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, Bruce Fleming’s Jimi Hendrix, Derrick Santini’s Lily Allen, and Patrizio Di Renzo’s photograph of the writer, broadcaster, and Soho habitué, Dan Farson.