‘BodyMap was a movement.’
Stevie Stewart and David Holah’s 10-year BodyMap adventure is an unlikely story of 1980s London, style as performance, hedonistic times, the inevitable comedown, and a fashion legacy that’s never felt so modern.
By Tim Blanks
Photographs and video by Oliver Hadlee Pearch
Styling by Vanessa Reid
Everyone knows that Katharine Hamnett was wearing her ‘58% DON’T WANT PERSHING’ T-shirt when she met Margaret Thatcher at 10 Downing Street in 1984. No one knows that BodyMap’s David Holah met the PM at a similar event sporting a fuzzy racoon hand puppet on one hand; an unfazed Thatcher shook the designer’s other hand.
The BodyMap saga is full of similarly vivid, playful, anarchic details that posterity has consigned to a cultish twilight. That’s not right. In the 1980s, the rise and fall of David Holah and Stevie Stewart defined the way the world saw British fashion: the Brightest Young Things, brought down by Big Bad Business. But if the form of the saga was a cliché, the content was anything but. More than three decades on, BodyMap still has the capacity to dazzle – and touch. That’s because, at its heart, it was a love story, so intense was the connection that Holah and Stewart shared. They still do.
Get a copy of System No. 12 to dive into the world of BodyMap with with a 35+ pages portfolio of rarely seen archive pieces photographed by Oliver Hadlee Pearch and styled by Vanessa Reid, with an in-depth conversation between Tim Blanks, Stevie Stewart and David Holah. Click to buy.