RED OR DEAD
Two young folk (aged 20 and 19) with no design training but with a real love of music and fashion, a can do attitude and with the impetuosity of youth set up a fashion label Red or Dead. Gerardine, whilst being untrained has already spent half a decade making all her clothes and Wayne has spent 6 years clubbing in self customised (and with the aide of a creative Mum) secondhand clothes. From emptying their wardrobes onto Camden Market at the turn of the 80s, to Gerardine getting an order from Macy's New York from her stall in Kensington Market in 1981 to notoriety, shops around the globe, 3 British Fashion Council Awards, Wayne, Gerardine and a wonderfully eclectic and, for the most part untrained club kids created a fashion brand whose anti establishment stance still resonates to this day.
Still the definitive Red or Dead print, the baby in a space helmet appeared on bags, shorts, halter tops and even transparent Dr Marten boots. The Space Baby wedding dress is now in the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Prints are a strong element in all of Red or Dead's collections, and the 'naughty but nice' love heart design is one of Hemingway's favourites.
Hemingway pokes fun at Baden-Powell with a tongue-in-cheek look at the world of dib dib dib.
One of Hemingway’s favourite English eccentrics, Stanley Green would make a daily pilgrimage up and down London’s Oxford Street. Red or Dead’s 1993 collection immortalized Green’s trademark ‘Eat Less Protein’ placard.
Sucky Fucky - This sheaf dress resulted from Hemingway's disgust at tourists who exploit the Far East's sex industry. He saw it was a way of throwing their hypocrisy back in their faces.
With knives and blood on the catwalk, the show caused a storm of controversy and was dubbed 'A Bloody Disgrace' by the British tabloid press.
Not all Red or Dead designs need to carry a message; some are chosen purely for their visual impact. The quirky fish print found its way onto a variety of designs, including a voluminous floaty dress.
Red or Dead taps into the harder edge of popular culture and street style. Hemingway was instrumental in the punk revival and has flirted with the appeal heavy metal in his collections.
The Keyhole Collection - Teaming up with high - security prisoners to produce a collection provoked press criticism, but the system has now become established in the US. Hemingway capitalized on the prison image by using motifs such as arrows and prison numbers, and making stylistic references to utilitarian workwear.
Making the uncool cool, Hemingway explores the mysteries of his old geography teacher's fashion sense with much play on corduroy, tank tops and lurid print shirts.
This surreal image was used as a publicity flyer. Other unlikely shoe-wearers in the series included a table leg and an elephant's foot.
The Watch shoe as sported by teen band Bros, 1987.
Hemingway's impish sense of humour has caused several run-ins with the establishment. These styles had to be pulled from the shops when the various companies accused Red or Dead of undermining their branding.
Check out some of the Red or Dead Memorabilia from back int' day!