1979 WAS THE BEST YEAR EVER. THAT, OF COURSE, IS A FACT. BUT ACTUALLY IT WAS AN EVEN BETTER YEAR THAN WE PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT. THAT IS BECAUSE WE WERE NOT PREVIOUSLY AWARE OF PERRY OGDEN'S ETON COLLEGE SCHOOL MAGAZINE... LIPSTICK.
Wow! Every year, to mark the high holiday of 4th June, Eton College permitted the publication of an independently produced magazine. In 1979, the photographer and filmmaker Perry Ogden was eighteen and in his final year at Eton. Having been brought up in London, with an eye for photography and fashion, Ogden, and his school friend Rory Phillips, submitted a proposal for a magazine inspired by Ritz
. The school said yes!
Joe Strummer shot by Perry Ogden. If you think Strummer looks cool, check out this photograph of Perry Ogden c1981 at the top of our Visual Data page. And how about Ogden's co-editor Rory Phillips (now a barrister) as photographed in An Eton Schoolboy Album
Bailey photographed by Ogden. Bailey kept the Etonian waiting an hour for his interview and on hearing the first question: 'How did you get into photography?' told Ogden to fuck off if that was the best he could do. Ogden did do a lot better - see much more of Lipstick on this link. It is completely, utterly wonderful.
On Eton headed notepaper, Ogden wrote to his hero Francis Bacon requesting an interview. Bacon did not reply. Undeterred, Ogden followed the old adage: if at first you don't succeed, try, try... Andy Warhol. Not only did he interview Warhol and photograph Warhol but he also spent what turned out to be Oscar's night at Studio 54! Ogden also wrote to David Bailey, Diana Rigg, Joe Strummer and most incredibly, Diana Vreeland, and even more incredibly, they all said yes!
'Make the change from Eton Blue to Midnight Blue'
. Midnight Blue was a Fiorucci inspired boutique on the Fulham Road whose unique selling point was that they were open until midnight Monday to Saturday. Midnight! Try finding any store in London open past 9pm now.
One of the school's rules of publication was that the magazine should not make more than £25 in profit. Not a problem you'd think. Not unless you sold the back cover to Sotheby's and full page adverts to Olympus, Kickers and Lotus! Ogden flew himself to New York Brewster's MIllions
style in an attempt not to make too much profit!