LONDON — The stylist, jeweler and underground club king Judy Blame has died at 58.
Known as a man of many trades, Blame ran underground clubs in London and later segued into styling where he worked with a range of talents including Boy George, Neneh Cherry, John Galliano and Kim Jones at Louis Vuitton.
He was also known for his outlandish jewelry designs made from artifacts that he dredged up from the mud of the Thames. He was a punk to his core.
Nick Knight described Blame as “always totally unique, always a champion of the underdog, always fiercely antifascist and antiestablishment, always inspiring, always so immensely talented and always 100 percent brilliant. Judy, the world will be a much darker place without you, but your life’s work will continue to shine and to show this world that creativity and art are the highest forms of human achievement.”
“I’m so sorry to lose him,” said Vivienne Westwood. “He was talented and a friend.”
Blame started his career working alongside John Moore from The House of Beauty and Culture and the late photographer Rei Petri.
His work was celebrated by London’s ICA in 2016, with the space presenting his first solo exhibition, a retrospective called “Judy Blame: Never Again” that featured Blame’s jewelry and mixed-media art.
Blame has been credited with launching the careers of Boy George, Neneh Cherry and Björk and during his career collaborated with John Galliano, Rei Kawakubo, Gareth Pugh and Marc Jacobs.
In 2016, he reimagined the boxes and packaging for Jo Malone London, working in London references such as the pearly kings and queens of the East End.
Pam Hogg had dedicated her fall collection to Blame. His nonconformist attitude and do-it-yourself approach to style came through loud and clear in the energetic show at Freemasons’ Hall in London.
“Judy was a natural,” said Pam Hogg. “There was no one like him. Many aspire to the incredible work he created and many may imitate, but he was the real thing, a true creative just being himself. His sense of humor was razor-sharp right to the end, entertaining his closest between laughter and tears. In the last two weeks running up to showtime, his dear friend Neneh Cherry kept me in close contact day and night and through her he knew I was dedicating my show to him and all he has given. He will be sorely missed.”