Showing posts with label Mark Jones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mark Jones. Show all posts

Saturday, 9 April 2011

British Inspiration Awards lunch



On Friday I went to the British Inspiration Awards lunch at The Brewery in Chiswell Street.

The awards have been running for two years.  Last years winners included Lee McQueen, Terence Conran, Elisabeth Murdoch, Nick Park, Glastonbury's Michael Eavis and Beatles producer George Martin.

This years winners included film director Danny Boyle, Charles Saatchi, UK Vogue Editor Alexandra Shulman, architect Zaha Hadid, Michael Grade, ASOS and a special recognition award to Harry Potter author J K Rowling.

As usual I bumped into lots of people I know


Richard Madeley presented the awards.  I've known Richard for years as I worked for his boss at Granada in the nineties


Ed Marshall and John Hassay.  John is a great friend of mine, he makes amazing pop videos and commercials


I love these two - Gail Porter and Saffron from Republica.  I first met Saffron when we booked her band N Joi for a rave in 1990

Actor and presenter, the lovely Charley Boorman

Wall of Sound boss Mark Jones and Gail Porter


I sat next to my old friend Mr Jones, ex of my best mate Mrs Jones.  I told him not to be stupid and let me take a good picture of him.  Here's his reply.  Sorry it's a bit blurred!


The food was exceptionally good, which is unusual for these type of events.  Sadly I forgot to take pictures of the starter and main but we had Roasted beetroot with glazed goats cheese with blood orange jelly followed by Welsh rack of lamb with braised eschalot, fennel, poached potato and thyme jus.  Mark had the veggie option as well as the lamb, which was Pumpkin and spinach polenta muffin with parsnip mash, candied silverskin onions and parmesan crisps.

Caramelised custard tart, lemon curd ice cream and custard macaroon - delicious


No one ate the petit fours so I got two lots, put them in my bag and took them home.  They were amazing - Champagne truffles, rose truffles and some amazing jellies in plain chocolate.

In the evening my friend Daisy came over and we had Bloody Mary's in the garden.  We were supposed to be going to a Birthday drink with John Hassay (above) but we were so late they all decided to come to my house after the pub closed so we ended up having an impromptu party which was brilliant fun and the music was excellent.  I have to download a ton of new stuff to my iPod now, I love getting new music and my friends have amazing taste.


I didn't remember to take any pictures but here's a random one of Giles.  Looks like he's calling for help.  In case you're wondering the blue thing is my friend Frans' daughter's toy cash register.

I am so behind with blogging I'm having to backdate my posts.  I had such a great night/morning on Friday but I was good for nothing on Saturday.

My friends must get tidier as they get older because usually when I have a party the house ends up looking like an episode of Skins!  For once it wasn't too bad which was lucky as The Actor was arriving home from filming on Sunday.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend xxx


Friday, 3 September 2010

Fashion's Most Wanted - Mrs Jones interview




Fee Doran aka Mrs Jones
Designer and Stylist

Fiona Doran was born in Essex in 1967.  A groundbreaking designer and stylist, she has created looks for a host of stars, most famously the iconic white catsuit for Kylie Minogue.

We've been great friends for many years and this is a transcript of an amazingly open and honest interview we did at my house last weekend.  Fee talks about love, life, motherhood and why she loves clothes but hates fashion.   I hope you enjoy it!


When did you know you wanted to be a fashion designer?
I think it's in the blood.  My mum was an arts and crafts teacher and she always made my clothes.  My grandma was a dressmaker and had her own clothes shop after the war.  My dad was a fireman although he should have been an artist as he's so creative. He's great at art and a really talented sculptor.  He's also a brilliant musician, he plays a lot of Cajun music.  It makes me cry when he plays the guitar.

I suppose really I got into making clothes through being so tall.  I was such a tall kid and nothing ever fitted me.  I used to get so pissed off about it I decided to make my own.

I used to bunk off school and make things to go out in.  I came up with some mad little outfits. The first thing was a jade coloured seersucker square which I turned into a all-in-one shorts thing.  I put a big belt on with it and it looked wicked.  I didn't know about seams and crutches and things then and I wore it out on a date.  I spent most of the evening pulling them out!  I couldn't sit down properly.  It was like a beetles bonnet!

Then I started making outfits for all my mates. I've always dressed people up, you know what I'm like.  I dressed my friends up when they went out on dates in little leather skirts and mohair jumpers.

Fee working the Bo Derek look

Was this girls or boys?
No, just girls then, I started dressing boys up later!

What did you do when you left school?
I did all sorts - I was a window dresser, I did some modeling, I was a make-up artist.  I was a total blagger really. I used to say I could do things I couldn't and then I had to make it up as I went along!




Tell me about something you blagged
Oh bloody hell!  I ended up entering a black beauty contest once!  I didn't know it was a black beauty contest at the time.  I'd pretended to this lady that I was a make-up artist so she asked me if I'd like to do all the girls in the contest!

I turned up with my little bag of Rimmel crumbs and of course all the girls were black, some of them were jet black.  I hadn't listened properly and I only had my own make-up.  So, I'm in the corner desperately picking out the darker bronzing balls and trying to crush them into my foundation to get the right colour!  All the while thinking "Fucking hell, they're going to kill me!"

I ended up getting on really well with all the girls and they loved their make-up, even I was surprised.  We had such a laugh they made me enter it too, even though I was white!

I'm surprised they let you enter, didn't they say anything?
No!  It must have been all the fake tan!!



Can you spot her?!

That's hilarious!!  What happened?
I came THIRD!!  How mental is that?!

Tell me about the jobs you did before college
When I wasn't doing some mad thing I'd blagged, I mostly worked in shops and absolutely hated it.  I was bored out of my mind doing shop work, being on your feet all day getting treated like shit.  When you're a teenager and you work in clothes shops you get paid a pittance. I was working in this shop called Beau Baggage in Romford Market.  All the other girls used to talk about was what they were going to cook their boyfriend's for tea.  I thought, "Oh fuck! there must be more to life than this!"

I can't imagine you working in a place like that!
I know!  You should have have seen me then!  Being an Essex girl I had some terrible looks. I looked about forty when I was twenty with all the bronzer and make-up.

I worked in this other shop Uptown Girl in Ilford where a lot of rich Jewish woman shopped. The dresses were nice but very Eighties.  They used to have so many clothes, I realised I could do something with them so I started this little business called Revamp.  I used to take their expensive dresses back to my tiny bedsit with my one bar heater and cut them up, put studs in and customise them.  I used to cut down denim jeans and put tiers of lace in.  I thought I'd invented that but it was quite early Madonna I suppose!  Anyway, they loved it.

That pink lipstick is genius!

Is that when you put on a fashion show?
Yes I did a fashion show at the Ilford Palais.  It was a fashion show with a dinner and dance, £7 a ticket. That was quite a lot back then.  I had all my mates modeling.  We rehearsed all these barn dance routines to Snap's I've Got The Power.  Can you imagine?  It was hilarious.  I came out at the end to The Girl From Ipanema with a big black hat, black flared trousers and a red halter neck floaty top with a huge bunch of red roses which I threw into the audience one by one.  All I could hear was "ouch!", "ouch!!" as the roses hit people.

Afterwards loads of people came backstage and wanted to order things. I didn't expect that to happen!  They were all pinned and bloody sellotaped together!  I was hiding under a table so I didn't have to deal with it.  I couldn't believe people actually wanted to buy the clothes.

When did you study fashion?
I didn't study fashion until I was twenty five, I went to college as a mature student.

How did you end up going to college?
My mum took photos of the Ilford Palais show and without me knowing she took the pictures to a local college and got me an interview with a guy called Ian Hepditch.  He was an odd one with boot polish on his head - a real character!

So I went to see him and I'm sitting there with my bleached perm, pink cowboy boots and rara skirt, all fake tanned up!  I must have looked a sight.  I was showing him pictures of wedding dresses I'd done for more girls covered in fake tan and all these mad clothes I'd made.  I thought he was impressed at first but he just sat there flabbergasted!  Finally he said "I can't believe you've got the nerve to come here and show me this shit!"  I was so embarrassed I didn't know what to do with myself.  Then he said "But you know what, I'm going to take you on because I think you're going to be a right laugh"  I couldn't believe I'd got into college!

The first day was mad.  It was full of all these weird people with turbans on their heads and punk gear on.  I'd never seen gay men before, let alone met any.  Where I was tall and skinny they could probably see that I had potential, once you got the bright pink lipstick off me!  Within a couple of days I completely fell in love with it.  I made friends with the maddest gay guy called Sean O'Hara and my little punk mate Amanda, they were brilliant.  My tutor Ian Hepditch used to completely slate me.  When I made something he'd pick it up and say "This is how NOT to do it"  If someone says something like that you just think, "I'm going to fucking show you!"



She loved a hood even back then

Did you find it hard after working?
Oh God, yes!  I had to move back home so it was really hard moving back in at twenty five with my mum and step-dad, sleeping in the spare room, it was awful.  It didn't matter in the end because I absolutely loved college and had the best year.  Ian Hepditch turned out to be amazing.  At first I tried to fit in and be weird, but it soon clicked that I had to be myself.  My humour became my trademark.




What did you do for your show?
Well... when I was a kid I had to be Alice in Wonderland in the school play.  My mum made the outfit, a little gingham dress.  There was a small Alice and she had to eat a bit of biscuit or have a drink to get bigger and then the curtains opened and I'm stood there.  Everyone just roared with laughter!  My mum was heartbroken.  You know when something really gets to you?  I could feel myself burning up with embarrassment.  I'm stood there really tall dressed as Alice with everyone laughing at me.  It sort of scarred me a bit.  So I did my show on Alice in Wonderland to get over that.


Ahhh! That's awful!  Did it work?
It did.  I thought, this time I am coming out properly!  My show was called Alice Exploits Wonderland.  Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum were black transvestite twins, The Mad Hatter was the maddest guy in the college who couldn't stop leaping about and blowing his whistle.  Under his hat he had loads of foam things that flew out.  All the models were completely drunk.  I'd been saving up these empty Pink Lady bottles for the show and I'd forgotten them all, so my step dad went back to find them and couldn't.  So he just went to the off licence and bought ten full bottles, which of course we all drank before the show started.  The white rabbit had this little pink gingham suit on with a zip where his tail popped out.  It was really colourful and really mental.  The music was a house tune with The Magic Roundabout on.  We were having such a laugh they couldn't get us off the catwalk.

Alice Exploits Wonderland show



Your show was picked as the best in your college wasn't it?
Yeah!  I was really happy!  There was this teacher I got on well with called Elaine Foster, she was fantastic.  All the other women teachers looked like lesbians, dressed in Jean Muir with big necklaces on!  They never used to get my stuff, they used to say "But has it got hanger appeal?"  I used to think, "Well you're not going  to wear it on a hanger are you?!"  Elaine really got me and loved the clothes I made.  She had organised a big fashion show in Russia.  She chose her favourite show from each college and I was picked from mine.

It was the most brilliant experience to go on this Russia trip, we all had to go on a coach.  It sounds glamorous and it sort of was to start with but then the loos broke and we had no food so all we had to eat was digestive biscuits!  That's when I met Christos Tolera and Mark Powell the tailor, we got on great and they were a lot of fun.

Photography by Kate Garner
Christos Tolera

Who else went?
There was Andrew Logan - Mr Alternative Miss World, Oswald Boateng, Paul Fish the hairdresser - I didn't know who they all were at the time but they were all so lovely.

I stayed in touch with Mark Powell after that.  A while later Mark rang me and said he had this work room I could rent at his place.  It was in Soho above Duffer of St George.  When he was fitting someone for a suit he used to get me to come into his room and measure people's inside legs and stuff.  He thought that was really funny.  All sorts of interesting people used to come in.  One day it was Bryan Ferry.

Photography by Chris Clunn
Mark Powell

Brilliant, you measured Bryan's Ferry's inside leg, anything else?
[Laughing]  No, I made him a cummerbund and measured his inside leg... but that was it, sadly!!

Mark Powell  was really sweet to me, he used to take me out to lots of good places.  Sometimes I would come to work in the morning and think "Why is this dress damp?"  I did wonder about him for a while, but then I found out that he'd been dressing women up in my gear, so I took it as a compliment.  In the end I just couldn't afford the rent to stay there.


Did you want to go anywhere else after college?
I went to St Martin's to have a look round.  Everyone just seemed to be posing in corridors, no one seemed to be doing any work.  As I was older, I didn't have time for all that.  I went to another college in Rochester instead.  I only went there because I thought the bloke doing the entrances was really hot!  All I wanted to do was learn to pattern cut properly, which I did.  It was great to be able to do arty things all day long for two years.  I was in my element.

One day I was at there and I saw this guy walk in and I thought "Fucking hell!  Who's this trotting around the place looking like Keith Richards!"  Our eyes met across the dinner hut.  We ended up having a mad little roll around in the snow, it was very romantic.  He was a photographer called Saul Fletcher.  We went out with each other for two or three years.

Saul

We got this place together and we used to do a lot of shoots.  I think I spent more time at college in the photography department than the fashion department.  I was always in there styling people's bits and pieces, modeling or doing the make-up.  We had a brilliant time.

Saul


Fee and Saul

When we left college we took the pictures we done to The Face and they were were like "Where's this from, where's that from?" I told them the clothes were from Oxfam and they couldn't believe it.  They explained the clothes in their shoots had to come from designers.  A month later I saw an almost identical shoot by Ellen von Unwerth.  I couldn't believe how harsh it was that people would use your ideas.  I was naive back then.

Photography by Saul Fletcher



What happened to Saul?
Soon after we left college he started working for the photographer David Sims.  He was really hot then, well he still is!  David was going out with Emma Balfour the Australian model and Saul loved hanging out with all that crowd.  I was always a bit funny, I didn't want them all to think I was trying to be their friend so I could further myself.  A group of us went to Reading festival.  All the girls wanted to go off and look at horses.  I wasn't interested in horses so I ended up drinking with the boys in their tent.  They all had girlfriends that were starving because they wanted to turn them into high paid models... I was having none of it!

In the end Saul was really into his career and so was I, but I wasn't going to go his route nor him mine.  So sadly that was that.

Photography by David Sims
Emma Balfour, The Face, 1993

Is that when you got a stall at Portobello?
First of all I was in Kensington Market.  I was right in the basement where all the mystic people and all the joss sticks were.  I was tucked right round the corner.  I hardly made any money and luckily in those days you could bunk the trains, but I really loved it.

Kensington Market, London W8.  It's now a giant Whole Foods

One day I was sitting there doing the crossword and I looked up and there was Jean Paul Gaultier.  Suddenly some colour or something must have caught his eye and he came over he said *adopts French accent* "Is this your stuff?"  I had all these designs on mannekins.  He said "This stuff is amazing!"  He picked up this I'd found this top in a charity shop -  it was made of baby pink perforated rubber with cone boobs, a really old vintage piece.  He said "One day you'll be very famous."  I was so gobsmacked I didn't even know what to say about the price of the top.  I so wanted him to have it, all I could say in a little squeaky voice was "Tenner."




What did you sell?
Well I'd got this bedsit in Brixton.  I'd go to all the charity shops and find vintage pieces and buy all sorts of bits of fabric to make things.  My room was tiny, you could just fit a bed and a rail in there.  I had a sewing machine at the end of my bed.  I used to make stuff all week.  I'd sit in that room for days smoking joints and making things to sell on the stall.  Then at the weekend I'd get on the train in my platform heels with my rail on my back and walk down to the tube to go to Portobello.  Some days I'd go and it would be pissing down with rain and I'd make no money at all.  It was the most depressing thing going home again, getting the rail up three flights of stairs on my own.  I didn't know anyone then.

It was brilliant experience because you quickly learn what sells, how to deal with people and you're outside and free.  On a good week I'd make £300 or something.  After a little while  I made friends with this other stallholder Trisha, she was crackers but great.  We started going out all night after that. Trisha used to pick me up and drive me to Portobello in her van.  One day all my clothes flew out the back doors. Of course I'd put my stuff in last.  They were all spread over the motorway!

Portobello Market, W11

How did you start making clothes for bands?
I was at Portobello one summer doing the stall with Justin from Product 250.  Loads of people used to come and buy stuff, Sinead O'Connor, Bjork.  I never knew who anyone was then.  One day Stella McCartney came with this posh girl called Madeleine who really loved everything, she was so enthusiastic.  She phoned me and invited me round to her house.  I was a bit nervous so I took a mate of mine Marcus Piggott (from photography duo Mert and Marcus) with me because he always got on with everyone.  I was nervous so I got a bit stoned and a bit drunk before we left.

I met her boyfriend, he was this mad little character with a blonde wedge.  I got on brilliantly with him.  I was telling him all these funny stories about sellotaping my gerbil to the record player and God knows what else.  He was cracking up laughing.  He started showing me things I'd never seen before, really blowing my brain with all these amazing photography books and fashion books he had. Coming from Essex I'd never been introduced to things like that. I'd been sitting in my bedroom listening to Loose Ends and Soul music!  It opened up a whole new world.

He asked me what I would make for him and I said a little pink mod suit.  He said "I love it, you must meet the rest of the band."  I still had no idea who he was.  When we came out Marcus told me it was Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran.

Nick Rhodes and Madeleine Farley

I had to go back a few days later to meet the rest of the band.  I thought I'd better get myself back in the same state I was in the first time, so I'm smoking joints and glugging Bailey's out of the bottle!  I met Nick and we went to this house in Battersea.  There were loads of people outside.  I said jokingly "Who are that lot?  Your fan club?!"  He said "Yeah they are actually."

Very funny.  He must have been amazed you didn't know who they were!  He probably liked it!
[Laughing]  He must have thought it was bizarre!  At that point Duran Duran were doing all these covers.  You know when people start playing and singing at you?  I got a really bad case of the giggles where I'd smoked myself silly and had the Baileys.  They did Perfect Day by Lou Reed and Grandmaster Flash's White Lines.  I couldn't believe they were covering those songs.

They needed outfits for two videos.  For Perfect Day I said I'd make them whatever they wanted and for White Lines make it much more slick.  The reason they'd got me in was they wanted to lose their Eighties rich boy image and be roughed up a bit.

I asked them what they wanted to wear.  Simon Le Bon said his kid had this gold plastic sword and he wanted a suit made in exactly the same colour gold plastic.  John Taylor said he fancied a sexy, silky tracksuit.  I did him a really wicked pink satin tracksuit with stripes up the sides and a logo with Fee embroidered on, it was really cool and he loved it.  I did the pink mod suit for Nick Rhodes.  Simon looked bloody awful in his because of course it was made of gold plastic!  It all moved all wrong and everything!   Although I have to say the White Lines video was pretty good.

Duran Duran with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five

I became like their mum in the end, they'd be phoning me up asking what they were going to wear to this interview or this do or whatever.  I used to get all sorts of bits from Portobello for John Taylor and Yasmin Le Bon.  John couldn't just trot around Portobello market, he'd get mobbed.  He loved me finding him all these special and unusual things.

After the gold plastic suit pallaver, I learnt that you can't always give people exactly what they ask for because often they'll look stupid.  You have to listen to what they have to say and then do your own interpretation of it.  It was my first video and I'd really got thrown in at the deep end.

Photography by Ellen von Unwerth

Great experience though!
Definitely.  I did another shoot with them with Ellen von Unwerth.  I turned up with my few bits and she's got a stylist there with rails and rails of stuff.  Ellen was quite abrupt and to the point but she liked my clothes.  The other stylist ended up getting sent home so I dressed them in everything for the shoot.

What happened after Duran Duran
Who's that guy in the programme about the building site?  I did him and his backing singers!  The Geordie...

Err... Jimmy Nail?
Yeah that's him!  [Laughing]  You think because I've done someone like Duran Duran that something brilliant is going to happen and it's all going to take off, but once people discover their own little secret they're not likely to want to pass it on, they like to keep you to themselves.

Then you moved to East London
Yes I was going out with Justin Piggott (Marcus's brother).  Justin was a total inspiration to me, he opened my mind to so much.  Music like Neil Young and Leonard Cohen.  We were always listening to different music.  We were on a mission to find this record by Milton Wright called Keep It Up.  We found it in the end, it's a beautiful song.  Justin is one of those people who can describe things and you can see them.

Justin

Before we'd lived in really small flats in West London.  Justin was doing furniture and I was doing clothes.  We were both trying to work in these tiny spaces.  Justin knew that Old Street was cheap and the area was coming up, so me and Justin and his friend Louie got this decrepid old warehouse place on Holywell Lane.  Mental things used happen there.  Apparently they've cordoned it all off now as they found a graveyard there!  Every week was a mad party, someone would always end up in hospital!  Louis and Justin built loads of stuff in that place and really transformed it - little hut bedrooms on mezzanines, all sorts, they made it really wicked.

I love Justin, he's great
I loved him dearly.  He was brilliant and I had an amazing, amazing time with him.

Justin

I lived in French Place and you lived right opposite me in that warehouse block in New Inn Yard  on the corner of Shoreditch High Street
That's right, there was me, the fashion designer Marcus Constable, Pablo Flack (now owner of Bistrotheque), JJ Hudson (Dr Noki), Darren Gander (designer and ex-Giles's atelier) and Carl Baldwin.  It was because of Marcus I started DJing.  Pablo was working at the Bricklayers Arms then, when it was still an old man's pub.  It didn't even open at weekends then... but we changed all that!

How did you start DJing?
Marcus told me he had got this DJ job at the Bricklayers, he said he was to scared to do it.  I was like "You lucky bastard, don't be scared!!  I'll do it with you, I've got loads of records, Shannon's Let The Music Play and all sorts!"

So on the night I'd got all my records together, scratched all the old yoghurt off where I'd dropped a pot of yoghurt on them when I was sixteen!  Got my outfit sorted... then Marcus phoned and said "Fee I can't do it"  So I marched round there on my own with my big heels and something uncomfortable on, I looked good but it was uncomfortable!  Vanity over comfort every time back then.

What did you play?
I played Nina Simone - Got my Arms Got my legs, Stranglers - Peaches, Run DMC... any old mad stuff that would get people going.  There was no one around in Shoreditch then was there?  Justin and all his mates came along.  I had no clue how to mix or anything!  I could put the needle on but I had no idea what the thing in the middle (the mixer) was!  I just used to shout "Buttons!!!"  and someone would come flying out from behind the bar and help me.  It went really well and Pablo asked me to come back the next week.

The Bricklayers was just getting adopted by the fashion crowd then, before anyone else knew where Shoreditch was
Yeah definitely.  The next time I played it was starting to get busy in the pub; You were there, Giles (Deacon), Frans Burrows, Nathan Wilkins, Luella (Bartley) and Katie Grand.  Tons of people came out of the woodwork.  Everyone was up dancing on tables, it was fantastic.  I couldn't believe it.  I'd had the best night, loads of free drinks and I was getting paid for it!!  I was so excited.  I got really into it and started going out buying new records every week after that.

Fee at the Bricklayers in a Bet Lynch number



Frans Burrows and Giles



Frans and Giles


Frans and Giles at an after party at someone's flat in Shoreditch

By then Justin and I had started living apart.  It was all getting too mad with all the parties every night.  We ended up fighting but I'm sure that burial ground didn't help!  Then I got that little flat in Great Eastern Street




The one with all the goats heads and stuff on the wall
Yeah!  I did it up all mad. I loved that flat though, it was a great little place.  I was peking duck (at her peak) I was thirty years old, I'd found myself and I was really happy.

That's when I found this album that changed my life by Redbone.  I was looking around this charity shop and there were all these mad records and outfits that looked like they'd belonged to the same person.  I swear it was a witch that had died or something because in the same shop I found that hooded dress I used to wear, do you remember?

Of course I remember it! The purple one, I loved it
Yes, it was like a dark purple hooded cape style dress that zipped right up the front.


So, I get back to my flat, put the Redbone record on, put the hooded dress on.  The music started it was like this Red Indian funk tune.  Something weird happened, this wave sort of came over me, like something magical happening.  I thought, I really like the person who owned this.  It did something to me.

How did you get your DJ name?
I went round to see my friend Steph, this photographer, she did tarot cards.  She did my cards the same night and one fell out under my chair.  We both looked at each other and knew there was something special about that card.  When she picked it up it was a picture of a woman in a purple robe, it was the High Priestess.  So that became my name. "The High Priestess of Funk"  It was one of those really mad moments.


I went off to the Bricklayers and DJ'd wearing the hooded dress and it all went properly off in there, it was absolutely mental!  And they put my money up again.

Independent on Sunday Magazine, December 1997

Your DJing really took off then didn't it?
Yes big time.  People who used to come in kept asking me to DJ at all these other parties all over the place, loads of different clubs in London and abroad.  I was alright here in London, a good looking bird in a mad outfit, I could get away with not being able to mix but they took it much more seriously in other countries.


Do you have any funny stories you can tell me?
Oooh loads... One party at Subterranea I was asked to do was completely mad.  I wanted something to calm my nerves, so my friend ended up giving me a tab of acid.  That was a big mistake!  As you know, I couldn't work the buttons on the decks anyway!  Well I got there and there was just this huge THING of buttons!  I'm tripping and I have no idea how to operate it!!  I had to introduce the band and it turned out to be Eve and Kira, the rock band that lived downstairs from us in Shoreditch.




The hippies?
Yeah!  They'd moved into the warehouse downstairs and sort of made friends with us.  I'd lent them a load of my clothes.  They left and took all the clothes with them without paying for anything.  Then here they are all dressed up in all my stuff on stage!!  So I introduced them and I shouted out that they were wearing all my clothes and they hadn't paid for them!  I didn't know what to do after that little outburst, so I staged dived off the DJ booth in my hooded gown.  I landed on top of all these small Japanese people and squashed them!  I had to make quick exit after that!

How did you find DJing abroad?
I played at the Berlin Love Festival with Tim Love Lee, that was fantastic.   It's tougher than people think being a DJ!   There's a lot of travelling, dragging your records about all over the place wearing heels, sorting out something good to wear, going out drinking all the time with your mates and a lot of staying up all night, it all gets a bit hectic!  It's a lot of hard work!

Fee and Tim Love Lee



Tim, Fee and a friend

How was Berlin?
Playing was fantastic!  I was off my fucking trolley.  It ended up in mentalness on God knows what drugs with me locked in a room thinking I was Anne Frank or something!  [Cracking up laughing]  I lived on a box of Toffifee's for about three days!!

That time I missed my flight home as well.  I was always getting in a pickle.  It was exhausting, really fucking exhausting this High Priestess role I'd developed!  I even got a German accent sometimes when I put the hood on the robe up!  It was madness.  I was always getting into trouble so I decided it was time to go back to being plain old DJ Fee.


How did it start with Giles (Deacon)?
I'd known him for a while, he used to come down when I played in Shoreditch and we were always all at parties in each other warehouse flats weren't we?  There was something happening every night of the week back then.

Lulu (Kennedy from Fashion East) had just taken on the Truman Brewery building which was completely empty at the time.  We used to run riot in there, it was such a huge building.  We had a different office space nearly every week, me and Giles were rattling around in there.  Then we'd get up on the roof and just stand there looking at the views all across London.

Photography by Lee Jenkins
Giles Deacon

Giles and I started doing our label together, Doran Deacon.  I was like the disco dolly and he was the mad professor.  We were a very good double act.  We were so creative but we didn't really have any business sense at the time, or make any money.  There's only so long you can stretch it out for before thinking "I can't spend any more money on leather and fabric and making all these mad outfits while I'm starving."

I loved the clothes you did, I remember running around in the multi coloured fur
Ah yes!  That was amazing.  We did a show in Copenhagen which was absolutely brilliant and a lot of fun.  Then we went our separate ways.

Doran Deacon multi-coloured fur coat with tails

You were doing your own club night East Meets West at the time too
Yes we had a night at 333 Club in Old Street.  It was great!!  Doing East Meets West was perfect for me, it gave me the opportunity to dress up and wear the stuff that I'd made, while playing great records and having fun.  I was in my element.  Friend's bands would play and I'd make all their outfits too.  I was actually doing what I really wanted to do.

I made this purple leather tracksuit for Jolene Reynolds who was in the band Windscale.  She looked stunning in it but she couldn't get her leg up to get on the stage it was so tight.  We had to lift her onto the stage!

Windscale

I used to DJ all night on my own at first but it all got a bit tiring, so I started getting some DJ friends to come and play as well - Jon Carter, Derek Dahlarge, Tim Love Lee, Dan Peppe who was called Agent Dan, Milo Speedwagon, Moonpup - the mad one with curly hair that played tunes with surround sound that sounded like helicopters were going to land on you!  We used a lot of DJ's from the record label Wall of Sound.

333 Old Street

Is that how you met Mark Jones?
I'd met Mark (Wall of Sound MD) before a festival and I remember thinking "Cor!  Who's that?"  He came running up to me and pushed me through this door, then didn't say anything.  I thought "he's not very nice and he's really rude"  He'd obviously heard about the East Meets West night through all his DJ's playing there.

Mark Jones and Derek Dahlarge

One night he turned up at the 333 Club straight from a wedding, he was wearing a suit and he looked really good.  We ended up chatting and went to another party together afterwards on the roof of the Truman Brewery.  Mark and me were going up and down in the lift and every time the doors opened people who knew us were looking really shocked that something was happening between us!

I ended up going back to Mark's flat with him.  He said it was somewhere posh like Holland Park, but it wasn't, it was in Shepherds Bush.  He had this flat that was totally painted white, everything in it was white.  It was SO bright, it was too much!  He started putting on the worst records ever.  I thought he was taking the piss!  You know that sort of music you get in those snow globes?  It was like that!  I couldn't believe it.  I thought we'd better go to bed QUICK!!

I woke up in the morning a bit loved up, and remembered I'd been booked to do a video shoot so I had to get myself together.  When I got to the shoot there was this girl there, somehow the conversation got onto the club night, then Mark's name came up!  She said she was obsessed with him!  How mad is that!  I'd just got out of his bed... I didn't tell her that though!

Fee and Mr Jones

So you started seeing Mark after that
Yeah, it just took off from there.  We had such a brilliant time together.  We were out all the time - lots of Wall of Sound parties and club nights, it was so much fun.  I'd gone from bedsit-world to being dragged out all over the place and taken out to all these nice restaurants for dinner.  It was wicked, I loved it!

Then you got your studio above the Red Lion in Hoxton Street
Ahh, yes.  I really loved working from there.  I was doing loads of commissions then.  All the fashion "in-crowd" used to come up, all the girls about town.  People used to turn up from the pub with loads of drinks every night and stuff when I was trying to work, distracting me.  Some of the fashion lot would come and see me and go "What's it like being the next McQueen?"  It frightened the life out of me!  When people start saying things like that you really start feeling the pressure!

Everyone was going mad for your stuff then
They were... Then I found out I was pregnant!!!  It was a total shock to the system.

I carried on working.  I was getting bigger and bigger.  It was hard getting up and down those little rickety stairs in the end!   I was so pregnant at one point I could hardly fit behind a sewing machine!





All clothes and styling by Mrs Jones

You were making clothes for lots of bands then weren't you?
Me and Giles had done a leather tracksuit for Stuart Price (Les Rythmes Digitales, Zoot Woman and now Madonna's Musical Director) we put LED lights on it all down the sides.  It was a great idea but a real pain to get right.  It lit up for a couple of minutes and looked amazing.  Then the bloody lights blew up just before he went on stage!

Doran Deacon navy leather tracksuit

How did you end up making something for Madonna?
The stylist Charlotte Stockdale had met Stuart and loved his tracksuit, she was doing Madonna at the time.  She called and said would I do a three-quarter length tracksuit for Madonna - the same as Stuart's - navy blue with cream piping.  Madonna absolutely loved it and wore it.  She wanted to keep it, I didn't really understand this thing of making something and giving it away for nothing then.  I'd rather give it to a friend, not someone who could afford to buy it.  So I'd asked for the money for the leather I'd bought to make it, which I thought was fair enough, but apparently Madonna was really insulted by that.

Mental isn't it?  What did you do?
I asked for it back.  I ended up selling it as "Madonna's tracksuit" in the Pineal Eye in Soho.

I remember your stuff in the Pineal Eye, how did that go?
This is why I hate fashion!  The staff in there were all wearing my clothes, they used to go out all night in them and then just hang them back up!

I went in there one day, I was really pregnant by then.  I looked like a big lesbian trucker!  I was trying to get down the stairs and one of the staff in there was glaring at me.  He was wearing one of my yellow tracksuit tops with the perforated leather and one of my black leather visors.  He's glaring at me, like I shouldn't be in there!  Cheeky fucker!!  I said to him "Get all my stuff in a bag NOW!!  I'm out of here"  I couldn't stand that fashion snobbery, looking down on me because I was pregnant and they all thought they were so fucking cool. They'd lost half of my clothes as it was!









Photography by Deirdre O'Callaghan
Mrs Jones shoot for Sleaze Nation magazine

Then you sort of disappeared and moved to West London
Yes, after I got pregnant all the adulation sort of dropped off.  Lots of people in Shoreditch were like "When are you going to get back on the scene?"  We were the ones that started the scene!  Old Street suddenly became the hip place to be.  One thing I hate is being in "the place to be."  I'd rather be there at the start of it, then get out.  There were tourists turning up with maps and stuff!  It was all getting too trendy.

I had to go off and have the baby, it all seemed so alien to me as I never thought I'd have one.  I moved to Kensal Green with Mark.  It was the most miserable, horrible time.  Some people enjoy their pregnancy but I didn't, I felt like a fat pod.  I absolutely hated it.  I sobbed for the majority of it.  Mark was out at work all day and out seeing bands most evenings.  I just did up our house.  I had to try and get my creativeness out somewhere!  But I suppose really I was nesting.

Do you think you got pregnant at the wrong time?
Yes, for my career I did as it was really taking off, but I was thirty two and I thought if I don't do it now I might never do it.

For all the mentalness that went on, and no matter what had happened the night before, Mark was always up and out of the door for work at 9am every day.  He was passionate about his career and he made things happen.  I thought if I'm going to create another human being, he'd be a good person to do it with.  I thought hopefully it will have my artistic side and his head for business.  I knew I could have a nanny and I'd be able to get back to designing and I think Mark really wanted a baby.


How was George's birth?
Oh my God!  It was horrific!!  I wouldn't let us go to a posh hospital, being a stubborn inverted snob. I had George at St Marys in Paddington which was pretty grim.

Mark was super mental that day, flapping about all over the place. HE ended up doing all my gas and air!!  I gave birth with no pain relief at all!  They told me afterwards that I'd been sucking on an empty bottle!  I remember I had Mark in a headlock one side and a young boy student nurse under the other arm squeezing them to death.  The pain was too much for me to take and I had some sort of out of body experience, like I was watching it all from the ceiling.  Then I had a vision that God was gay!!  I screamed that out over and over again until George popped out!

When he was handed to me I'd never felt any thing like it before.  Love crept over me from my toes upwards and by the time it hit my heart thought I might explode.  I looked at his little eyes looking back at me and I knew he felt it too.  We stayed like that for ages, transfixed by each other.

Fee says "When George was tiny he looked like Phil Collins!"


You found it really hard coping with a baby didn't you?
Oh I did... Well, I was completely fucking miserable, I probably had post natal depression without recognising it.

I had a baby that wouldn't stop crying, he had colic and had to sleep sitting up.  My eye's were out on stalks I was SO tired!!  I'm saying to Mark "Can't we just throw it out the window, pretend it fell or something?!"  I know that sounds so awful now!

The thing is people aren't honest about what it's like when you have a baby.  You're so tired and it is so fucking hard!  I know when they're born you fall in love instantly.  You fall in love so much it hurts.  It's like your own little arm or leg.  You feel everything it feels... but it doesn't make it any easier.

I can imagine!  At least you had a nanny later on
Yes after a while we got a nanny.  She was so lovely, a big New Zealand girl.  Mark was all for getting a model round or someone who was interested in fashion, but I was having none of it.  I saw her and thought, if I was a baby I'd want to lie in her lap, she was so lovely and kind.






Your first job after having George was working with Matthew Williamson
I got a job as his consultant through Hazel Robinson who used to help me out sewing my wares in Shoreditch.  Working there was like being with a small child in the Emperors new clothes. Matthew's a harmless enough little person but the way he works and the way I work are realms apart.  I love to revel in mess and he's a total clean freak.  I'd go into the studio and just by putting my bag down I'd make it untidy!

He'd be sitting behind his highly polished, big glass desk deliberating who was cool enough to be coming to his shows.  His mother would come in with his lunch on a tray saying "Here you go Matthew.  Here's your soup and here's your Crunchie" and lay it all down in front of him.  I'd be rolling my eyes behind the screened off corner I'd been put in  ("Just to hide the mess, dear").  [Laughing] I don't mean to be horrible, they were quite sweet really.

I was just like Edward Scissorhands on Matthew's clothes.  I couldn't believe how straight it all was, it was like Marks and Spencer's or something!  It needed to be made more sexy.  The good bits of the Candy Girl show were mostly me with a bit of Hazel Robinson thrown in.












Polaroids from two of Matthew's shows

When I left, Matthew kept on making my spray painted t shirts without telling me.  There was no mention of my name, which was out of order.  I ended up ringing his mum up and telling her where he could stick his Crunchie!!"

Black Twang wearing a Mrs Jones spray painted T shirts

Tell me about the surprise holiday Mark took you on
George was six months old and Mark said he'd booked us a holiday so why don't I make myself a new dress.  I'd been up in my workroom making all these black rock dresses.  He kept going on about me making myself a "really nice dress" but I didn't know what he was on about.  He asked me to make him an outfit for the "holiday."  I did him a linen shirt and linen trousers that crossed over with little splits up the sides and twisted seams, they looked great on him.

So we're off  to the Virgin Islands... We finally get to the airport and I've got the right fucking hump.  Apparently Mark was originally going to make a big anouncement on the plane, you know what he's like with making a big scene out of everything.  But I was in such a bad mood and we were always late, I've never got on a plane with him without a big mad rush and having to run through the airport like a lunatic.  Forget having a look at the Duty Free or anything like that.  It was the first time I'd left the baby and I was hormonal as fuck.

While we were on the plane Mark gave me this little present - a book on knots.  I thought he was trying to give me something creative to do with my work and it might come in handy one day.  But it was a play on words - tie the knot - It totally went over my head!

When we got to the Island he broke it to me that he'd planned a surprise wedding!!  I thought "How could he do this to me?" Being a designer!  I didn't have a dress or anything!  We ended up going to this shop to have a look around.  It was all mad African beaded dresses and Seventies suits!

I had to try and work something out from what I'd brought with me.  I had a white vintage nightie that I'd bought in Portobello and a shawl.  I got a load of flowers and made a headpiece with all ribbons coming down Wicker Man style.  It wasn't great though, I still had a big ankle on me from being pregnant and the dress wasn't long enough.  So I was pulling the dress around all the time.  I was a bit disturbed about the whole dress situation to be honest.


It was just me and Mark on the beach with a steel band playing Killing Me Softly.  I was so emotional at that point, I sobbed the whole way through it.  It was quite a shock as I'd never really thought about getting married, but I was in love with him and it was amazing that he'd gone and organised the whole thing as a surprise for me.

After the ceremony, we went off on this boat and it, it was really romantic.  Then it turned out the captain only knew Phil Spector!!  So that was my wedding night fucked!  Mark is the biggest Phil Spector fan ever, so he was loving being regaled with all these stories.  So there's me eating my lobster on my own on my wedding night!!

That's hilarious!  You must have had a good holiday though?
Ahh... yeah we did.  It was a really lovely time, a wedding and a honeymoon all in one,  it was our time alone together.

I do remember I spent ages trying to rescue baby turtles and insisting we swam them back out to see.  I was really missing George I think.

We also got into playing a lot of pool on that holiday. We played our last game of decider pool before we were whisked back to reality.  The boat was waiting below to take us to the airport, so the pressures was on.  We made a deal that whoever won this game would be in charge of the relationship forever!


That's a bit full on!  Who won?
Obviously I won didn't I!  I called upon the High Priestess and she came through for me.  Mark was hopping mad!  He was like Ren and Stimpy all in one, it was so funny.

Then we came back and had a big lunch at The Ivy for our friends that lasted all afternoon.  People were coming in for their dinner and we were still in there.  Then a proper party at Tokyo Joe's for all our friends and family.  You were there of course!

It was loads of fun and Tokyo Joe was really bonkers!
Yes, it was a such a laugh that night!  Everyone went a bit mad on the free cocktails!

We all had so much fun and so many mad nights out then
It was hilarious.  We used to spend pretty much every weekend together. I think Mark felt like he had two wives with me and you!!  The lucky bastard!!

Me and Mrs Jones, 2001

You used to come round to my house to get ready and we'd do our hair and make-up
Yeah, getting all our outfits sorted.  I'd style you in my clothes.  We had some great times, then afterwards we used to have a suite at the Sanderson Hotel and have a little after party with our friends and whoever interesting was around.

There were some mad parties in there, I'm surprised we got away with it!
Putting all the young boys in dresses!  They loved it!

Boys in dresses.  Luca Cazal in Mrs Jones



You had a lot of good times with Mark.  All I remember is us laughing the whole time when we were together
We did have some absolutely brilliant and mental times.  In the end we were two mad people that came together that created a really beautiful human being.  It  was hard being on my own so much, as Mark had Wall of Sound and worked a lot.  It was great to get a babysitter at weekends when we could, and let our hair down.



I took these pictures at Sizzla, Wall of Sound's club night which was sponsored by Rizla



Fee and Stuart Price at Glastonbury







Glastonbury





Tell me how you started working with Kylie
For years I'd styled Stuart Price as Zoot Woman and all his other guises.  Stuart had so many things going on.  For LRD (Les Rythmes Digitales) I made them these leather jumpsuits.  Stuart had a baby blue one and Jo Reynolds had a baby pink one.  I'd assumed I'd be doing the next video for Zoot Woman but Mark said that the director was going to sort a stylist out.  I was so pissed off that someone could sideline me because I'd had a baby.  That's why I called my label Mrs Jones.  I wanted to make it cool to be married and have a kid AND a career.

Photography by Rankin
Zoot Woman



Mark  said I had to have to have a meeting with all the people working on the video to try and sort it out.  All these trendy bastards turned up with huge shoulder pads.  I could barely get them through the door!  My workroom at the time was the spare room at home.  I had them all sitting on the floor.  William Baker (Kylie's stylist) was there but I didn't know who he was then.  I recognised the woman.  She looked a bit like Helena Bonham-Carter.  It turned out to be Dawn Shadforth the director, we'd been at college together.  We ended up getting on well and decided we'd all work together on it.


When the day of the Zoot Woman shoot came I had my own room with about three dresses hanging up that I'd made especially for it, One being a hooded mini dress.  William's room was absolutely jam packed with all sorts of designer stuff.  As soon as they put my dresses on the models, everyone agreed that was the look they wanted.  We ended up going off on a mental creative spurt making dresses out of bin liners of course I had to take it further with plastic forks and all sorts. I ended up hitting it off with William.  He said he worked with Kylie and said she would love my clothes.



How did the catsuit come about?
I'd already designed the catsuit in black.  It came from a news article I'd read about all these arab ladies wearing sexy gear under their burkha's.  I don't know whether it's true but that's where the idea came from.  And also a lot of the inspiration was the High Priestess number.


Of course because we debuted that look out in Brighton one weekend
Yes it was the same top as the Kylie catsuit with matching trousers that blousoned out and went tight from the knee down.  You had white and I had black with high heeled boots.  Two six foot birds in heels running around Brighton in those!!

We must have stood out so much!
Do you remember those guys in the chip shop, they were craning their necks so much to get a look at us they fell out the door and decked it on the pavement!

Yes that was an absolutely hilarious weekend! 
Let's talk about how you met Kylie
William (Baker) had told me that Kylie's stage clothes had already been made but could I do something with the dancers.  I did these black leather tracksuits, hoods and visors.  I wanted them to be SO brilliant that Kylie would want me to make her something!

My evil plan worked... A few weeks later Kylie came round.  I had her holding George, bouncing him up and down on her knee, I was giving her tea and biscuits and all that.  I got out the sample of the black catsuit, obviously it was too big for her as she's tiny.  I put it on her and bunched it up at the back and held it.  I put her in a pair of my size eight heels too.  Even though it was the wrong size we could both see straight away that it was going to look brilliant!!

I went round and did loads of fittings at her house.  Kylie played me Can't Get You Out Of My Head and I got goose bumps immediately, which is always a good sign.  The best colours on videos I find are black, white or red, strong graphic colours and the catsuit in white looked amazing on her with red lipstick.  There was a whole to do about whether to have the hood up or down!  The whole point of it was to have the hood up and Dawn (Shadforth, the director) agreed straight away that it had to be UP!  I was over the moon with the way Kylie looked in it.

What about when we saw the Kylie video for the first time!
Oh my God!!  We'd come in from a party and it came on Saturday morning TV.  We went absolutely mental jumping around your bedroom.






Kylie exhibition at the V&A

You made quite a lot for Kylie didn't you?
Yes I did.  For a long time I made Kylie's clothes for videos and some of the stage outfits, but there was no credit and no mention of my name, but gradually word started getting around.












George had a catsuit too!
George saw me making the catsuit and he had to have one.  There was this documentary about Kylie and I said George had inspired me.  George was watching it and they showed a picture of him in the catsuit.  That must have done his head in!  He was always in my workroom.  Pulling things out, lying around in bits of fabric, getting Marmite all over it!  He was always trying to dress up.  You remember what he was like!


Yes, Mark would come in with QPR football boots and shirts for him
Yeah and George would want to wear stilettoes and dresses!  He wasn't interested in football, he wasn't interested in train sets no matter how much anyone tried to make him.  He would choose dolls and shiny things that he wanted me to buy him.  I didn't know what to do about it at the time but he'd go mental if I tried to show him something different.

Daddy's box at QPR.  They really tried to like football





George modeling for the Purple Haze collection


Purple Haze collection


Luca Cazal wearing some of the Purple Haze collection

And you worked in Wall of Sound's other studio with Banksy
Banksy had the studio in Acklam Road.  He'd done that monkey face picture of the Queen and was being looked for by the Police who kept coming round.

Banksy's monkey queen

Wall of Sound used it as storage for the records and Banksy used to design all their artwork so he got free studio space.  Mark did the same deal with me, I made the clothes for the bands and I had studio space too.

Me and Banksy got on great.  He used to come and hang out with me at night when I was working, before he went off to do his spraying.  There were Banksy pictures all over the walls.  I'd stay in there for hours, get some Jack Daniels in and just make things.  I'd run around the studio on my own flying around with pieces of fabric, trying all sorts of looks out in the mirror.

One of the many Banksy's on the studio walls

I did your PR for a while back then
Yes I loved it - you got me some brilliant press!  The best press I ever got!

I loved wearing your clothes. I used to barely wear anything else
You've always looked amazing in my clothes.


Me wearing Mrs Jones Harley Davidson dress with leather collar, 2001



You know how to put a look together that's dramatic, sexy and showstopping.  Some of them are bizarre but they're also flattering.  You never show off the bad bits and there's always a cool element in there
The secret is intrigue, don't show too much.   Just show the back or the arms, shoulders, collarbone but nothing too blatantly obvious.  I've never had a perfect body.  I'm a proper woman.  I'm a bit pear shaped. Some gay men have this idealistic view of a woman trying to squeeze them into shapes that don't work.  I like to make clothes that are comfortable but sexy.  Don't forget I'm a dirty great Essex bird, so there's sometimes a bit of that in my ensembles!

Mrs Jones for Fred Perry



Tell me about your show for Fashion East
Ohhh!  Me and Mark and weren't getting on at that point.  You used to always be giving us marriage guidance but you weren't around then.

No, we lost touch for a while, I'm so glad we're back together now!
Ahh!  So am I!!

Fashion East had offered me five grand to do a show and I jumped at the chance.  I was supposed to do ten looks and I did about forty.  At the show I was sitting on the bloke with the clipboard, shouting at the models " Go!! Go!!!  Quick!!"  Lots of mates were in it; Zoe Ball, Sarah Cox, Eva McBride, Jo Reynolds.  Eva and Jo were glaring at each other because they'd both been out with Stuart (Price).  I'd been up for three days, I'd spun myself out so much I could barely see.  The music was the track you introduced me to that we loved Closer by Nine Inch Nails - the video was amazing - there was that bit where it all kicked with this great beat.  It was that mixed in with Wicker Man.

What was the inspiration for that show?
I'd taken peyote and I had this mad flash that I was at some country feté and all these black dreadlocked Morris dancers came in to Mark Morrison's Return of the Mac.  I had this vision of doing something like that with rasta colours.  It was like a country look mixed with reggae.  I called it Folkfarian.

Mrs Jones Folkfarian Collection SS02


























It went really well didn't it
Yes and really gave me my confidence in myself back.  Mark came backstage after the show and he looked at me, and I saw a look in his eyes that he knew it was over.  He knew he'd lost me.

Ohhh dear!!
I know... It often happens when you start doing your own thing and getting somewhere... Sometimes it makes the man weaker.

Hmmm, it's a shame though, what happened?
We split up for a little while and Mark moved round the corner.  After a bit we became friends again and as things do... we started having a laugh again... and one thing led to another.  The next thing I knew he'd moved back in again.



It was a shame as we got on better living apart. Within a couple of months it was right back to where it was before.  Him out every night and me at home with George.

Oh dear, it's a tough one...
Now let's talk about about Goldfrapp
I did two videos from the Black Cherry album.  Alison was difficult but she was brilliant in the sense that she allowed my imagination to run wild.  She was into fairytales and she had these dogs that were like wolves, so I did her as Red Riding Hood, but a sexy version.

Photography by Polly Borland
Alison Goldrapp



I'd done these My Little Pony girls and Alison decide she wanted a tail too.  But she wanted one that stuck right up in the air and went back down again.  I'm no model maker but I had this idea of making her tails using a strap-on!  I put it on backwards... It worked though!

Silver Rizla launch outfits by Mrs Jones





What about The Darkness?
Oh God!!

I can't bear them.  His bloody voice!  It makes me feel sick!
The Darkness... What a knob!  Although I've heard since that he's sorry for the way he acted.  Sometime's it's not the artist, it's the people around them puffing their ego's up!

I did all these drawings for them, catsuits, feathers and mad stuff, I thought they'd be great to style at the time.  I lent them a ton of gear which ended up getting trashed.  I saw them at Glastonbury and they'd got all my outfits made up, but really badly, sort of Woolworths style!

Zoe and Fee at Sara Cox and Jon Carter's wedding, 2001

I did make them one thing - Zoe Ball was doing her radio show then and she did a call out for all The Darkness fans to send their knickers in.  Courtney Love sent a pair in, really cool fringed ones!  Zoe and Sara popped a few pairs in - I put a few of my old grey G strings in!  [Laughing].  Anyway, I made a pair of trousers out of all these fans knickers!  By now they'd got big and didn't want to pay for them!  So I kept them as well.

Did you wash them first?
No!  that's not the point.  You want a bit of crutch on your leg if your a rock star, don't you? [Laughing]  No actually me and my assistants went through them all with rubber gloves on and cut the crutches out and sewed them all together patchwork style.


Ana Matronic in Mrs Jones



How did you end up styling the Scissor Sisters?
Mark had played me Comfortably Numb and I absolutely loved it.  I was like "What IS THIS?!!"  Then we went to Barcelona to the Sonar Festival, it was about three in the morning, all our lot were there and the Scissors came on stage.  They were brilliant but they looked shocking.  All weird American clothes and really bad wigs!  But they sounded great.

Afterwards we got taken up to the VIP and introduced to all the bands.  I was trying to make this other miserable boy band laugh.  I had a pair of drumsticks up my nose!  I looked round and the Scissors had walked in.  I must have looked like a nutter, but it was too late, I had to style it out!  I went up to them and said I'd love to dress them.  I said, "I know you probably think I'm mental but here's my card, give me a call."

Mark and Fee at the Sonar Festival, Barcelona

A few months later I got a call from their record company Polydor asking me to come in for a meeting.  I took the knicker trousers along with me and they absolutely loved them, and the story behind it.

At that point the Scissors had no money, not even Top Shop would lend them anything.  So I made everything out of nothing.  I used all sorts of bits and bobs I had.  It was a really lovely style because it was totally original.  I made them all individual stuff.  They were really up for it, trying new looks.

One of them was a bit funny, he had OCD so I used to have to lay it all out and pretend I hadn't touched it.  I don't know how he thought I'd managed to make it without touching it!  Or how it had magically appeared there!


Photography by Karen McBride



Photography by Karen McBride


Photography by Karen McBride

I took them right under my wing.  They were Ana's boys.  You had to get on with her, which luckily I did.  Eventually they got bigger and bigger and got more picky, especially the boys.  I'd end up at festivals with them in the middle of the night sewing them an outfit in my nightie because they'd changed their minds.  All my assistants would be in tears.

Most of the time going to festivals was brilliant with them.  I'd be keeping them all going, flying around at night with stilt walkers.  They needed to have some fun!  I went everywhere with them, New York, I did all the videos.  I was like Nanny McPhee when they needed me I'd be there and when they didn't I'd be tapping my stick!!



Fee and Ana

You went through a bad time for a while didn't you.  Can we talk about George?
I was at home on my own with my little boy, who wanted to wear dresses.  I found it quite depressing, it was a really tough time.

He went through this phase of wearing girls clothes  I didn't dress him like that.  People must have thought I was dressing him like that because I wanted a girl, but he was diagnosed with GID (Gender Identity Disorder).  It's a really lonely thing, but because it's in your head it's really hard to deal with.  For example If you have a child in a wheelchair people can see there is something wrong. We just stayed at home because it was so hard to explain it to people.  I'd be hiding dolls prams when we were out in shops and stuff!

The mad thing is I'd spent a lifetime putting men in dresses!  It was like it backfired on me! Both my father and husband were accusing me of "Making him gay".  They were very bad times.

Photography by Deirdre O'Callaghan
George in his angel wings


George at T in the Park

Thankfully he's coming out of that now and is much more confident.  I knew there was nothing I could do about it and I thought "Well if that's what he wants to do, thankfully he's come to the right place" It's just very sad and lonely for both mother and child.

These days he's like a different kid.  He's so happy and dead funny.  I'm sure that's partly down to me just letting him get on with it and not making an issue.  He's always been very creative and I think it's important to support your child in whatever they're into, within reason of course.

He's really got his own look now.  I think he'll be a designer or a stylist, he's really talented
He's amazing.  He's like my little guru!  He blows me away with the looks he puts together.  He's developed his own style and he's giving all the girlies make overs now!


That's great, but it must have been really hard for you at the time
The icing on the cake was I found out that Mark was having an affair.  And worse still it was with a rave DJ!!

Oh God! what did you do?
I changed the locks immediately and when he came round I ended punching him and knocking him out cold in the street!  [Cracks up laughing].  Then we spent four years in court arguing over the Banksy's!  And sorting out the divorce.

Bloody hell!  You couldn't make it up!  
I know!  I had to spend a lot of time with George, he needed his mum, and what happened with Mark knocked the stuffing out of me.  I'd lost my studio so I was back at home working in the loft.  I got depressed and lost my confidence.  I almost became a bit agoraphobic.


That's awful.  Did you manage to work?
Yes, but not as much.  Andy Soup was absolutely brilliant, I'd met him through doing the Scissors video" Laura" .  He was always getting me music videos, lots of bands that didn't  always make it big, they were always really low budget, but it was always tons of fun and the work really kept me going.

I saw the video for Put A Donk On It the other day, I thought it was really funny! I laughed all the way through
They were hilarious!  They were calling me their fairy godmother.  We went up to Manchester to make it, where they're from.  All the neighbours came in off the estate and I had them all dressed in old Scissor Sisters gear and Mark's Cazal sunglasses! 



How did you get your studio you have now aka The Mrs Jones Emporium?
My friend Snowy worked at a company called Espionage.  They used to run the magazine Sleaze Nation.  Sleaze always supported my clothes.  Espionage offered to represent me and I worked with this girl Lucy who was fabulous.

What happened with The Killers?
They called up and wanted me to style them.  It was great having an agent because they sorted everything out for me.

The Killers told me their inspirations and what they were into - things like tigers, disco balls, deserts, colours they liked and I had to come up with something from that.  That's when I made Brandon's jacket with the feather shoulders. They flew me to New York and I did the album cover and the video.

I was always trying to get the atmosphere right on shoots, people get it so wrong.  They must have thought "Who this mad old bag!"  They had a leopardskin set and a palm tree set for the video.  It didn't look right so I got involved... I was dragging bits from the leopardskin set into the palm tree set, getting wind machines on and styling it all, taking over!  They agreed it was much better though!

I made them loads of stuff.  A lot of their fans still call up and want me to make them jackets like Brandon's.  Now you go round the shops and everything's got feathers on and things hanging off the shoulders, which proves that music really does influence fashion.

The Killers

Did Espionage get you Oxfam?
Yes!  Snowy got it for me.  It was the perfect thing for me to do.  John at Espionage took me up and showed me the top floor of their building which was empty and the roof garden, and I loved it so much.  I could visualise exactly what it could look like.  They let me use it while the contract went on.

I went up North for the meeting with Oxfam and they showed me round their massive warehouse.  I really wanted to help them and sort their brand out.  There was no money in it but I felt I was doing something really worthwhile.  I got so into it.  I did up the Oxfam shop in Camden.  I stayed up all night loads of times on my own papering the walls with pages out of books, covering furniture, I painted the floor in black and white squares.  I did a forty piece collection, photo shoots and videos.  We took it to a lot of festivals, we had a tent styling people.  It just felt so good doing it.

Fee at Oxfam's warehouse

Did you think you'd have to leave the studio when Oxfam finished?
I did yes, it was really sad.  Then one day John came up and said "Fee you're brilliant.  We really want to do something permanent with you."  I was so touched, I just burst out crying.  I thought, finally, someone believes in me.  Then another mad one - Me and Mrs Jones suddenly came on the radio and we all ended up crying!  I thought what a lovely man John was that he could cry too.  That was the start of this next little episode of my life, it's really exciting.

Oxfam

That's brilliant!  He saw how good you are
It's an amazing opportunity!  He gave me the studio, money to do it up how I wanted, bought me computers, paid for the website, got my old assistant Lizzie back in.  I couldn't be happier that someone's done all that for me!

I'm SO pleased for you, you really deserve it!

So who's wearing your clothes at the moment?
Florence Welch from Florence and the Machine, Rhianna, Paloma Faith, Kirsty Almeida and Bat for Lashes.

Kirsty Almeida




Rhianna




Paloma Faith

That's a pretty impressive list.  Onwards and upwards!  You're brilliant and The Mrs Jones Emporium is amazing!



Q and A

How would you describe your style?
Oooh!  I'd say craft rock!  Rock 'n' Roll with a bit of craft thrown in with it!  When I was a kid I was a different thing every week - Mod, New Romantic, Skinhead... In the end I just mixed elements from each look up. I love to mix styles up.  I've always loved hip hop, rock,  funk and soul. I hate the word eclectic.  So I'd say it's just a right old mish mash, but with a sense of humour.   I like clothes that are a talking point!


Who are your style icons
Grace Jones and Blondie.  I love strong women.  Then a bit of Suzy Quattro, Run DMC, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

Photography by Andy Warhol

Which persons wardrobe would you most like to own?
Yours!!  or Georges!

Do you have any health tips?
Me?!!  Fucking hell!  Look at me!  Like I'm going to give out health tips.  [Cracks up laughing]  Don't do what I did!!  That's my health tip.

Do you exercise?
I go swimming quite a bit, I love swimming.  I take Betty the dog to parks in the kids seat that's still attached to my bike, she loves it her little ears flapping about, while I'm wheezing along...  And there's five flights of stairs in my studio, thats enough for me.

Betty the miniature wire haired poodle.  She had to have a little punk, mohican stripe, because people kept treading on her with their stilettoes where she'd be invisible on the black rugs in the studio.

Is there anything about your body you dislike?
All of it!  No not really.  I like my hands.  I like my shoulders.  I've always had footballers legs.  Every woman has a bit she doesn't like.  I've always liked myself.  I've always made myself and everyone else around me laugh.  There could be a room full of models and I'll come in and take the place over with my sense of humour.

That is absolutely true! You're hilarious! 
OK more girly questions!

Which products do you use?
Eve Lom, which you introduced me to, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, I love lots of the stuff they make.  I  just don't get a lot of time for pampering.

Which make-up do you like?
I love Dior, Chanel and MAC, the quality and the depth of colour is brilliant.


Who does your hair?
Victoria Saunders at the Drama Parlour in the Mrs Jones Emporium.  She's a fantastic hairdresser.

What's your current favourite outfit?
Those silk satin trousers I got in Spain with the peacock feathers.  But then my studio is like one big walk-in wardrobe!

What are your favourite vintage pieces you own?
I've got this coat with fur on it and with tails hanging off it.  You feel a right bastard wearing it, but it's amazing. I'm wearing it on the Wall of Sound album cover.  I have this beautiful black Art Nouveau kimono which I keep adding to and embroidering bits on.  It's a work in progress.


Who are your favourite designers?
John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Lee McQueen was amazing.  What he did was so fantastic you may as well just give up, it was so mindblowing.

What are your favourite high street shops?
I used to like Top Shop, I think the accessories are still really good.  Zara's alright.  You know what it's like being tall.  There's no volume in anything.  I'd have to buy two of something, take it apart and put it back together to get it right.

What's your best bargain?
It has to be the purple High Priestess robe which was £4.99.  The power of the hood!!

What are your favourite shoes?
I love Terry de Havilland's stuff.  He's great and he and his wife Liz are legends.

Liz and Terry de Havilland

He made some gorgeous silver and gold boots for Brandon from the Killers.  They were the fucking bomb!  Brandon couldn't walk in them, he was like Bambi on ice.  So now they're mine and I love them!  Terry makes loads of stuff I really love.




What are your favourite sunglasses?
There are so many but you lose them or break them or sit on them don't you?  I had these blue Paul Smith ones with little silver guitars on the sides but I've lost them.  I had some great Gucci ones but George sat on them in the park.  But Cazals are my all time favourites.

What's in your handbag?
Dog biscuits, dog chews, dog food for later, George's chocolate, bits of old spliff and fag droppings, lipstick stuck on everything, face powder that's burst.  Put your hand in there at your peril!

Who or what have been the greatest influences on your life?
My dad with the comedy and his humour.  I've had the best times with my dad.  He's my hero.  My mum making me clothes and my dolls clothes.  I used to get so excited I'd be hyperventillating until they were finished.  Loads of people have influenced me -  You!  So I'd say Christina Lindsay, Tiff McGuinness.  All the men - Saul, Justin, Mark and now George is my main little person.  He inspires me no end.

Fee and her dad


Fee and her mum, Greece, late 1970's

What irritates you?
People at festivals in those jester hats!  I can't bear them.  I like a bit of madness, but that's just wrong!  Vile football tops in cheap, nasty fabric.  Fashion fakers.  Emperors new clothes.

Which famous person have you had a crush on?
The first one was Roger Daltrey in Tommy.  I like Phil Daniels in Quadrophenia, I like his jaw!  I've never really fancied famous people though.

Roger Daltrey

What qualities do you look for in a man?
Humour.  Good shoes.  Hair - but that's less important these days!  I like them to be tall if possible.  They've got to be funny, they've got to be able to dance and they've got to be into music.  I'm not that fussy really.  As long as they're breathing!  [Cracks up laughing]

Phil Daniels in Quadrophenia

What are your eating habits like?
They've never been great,  I love meat and chocolate.  Not together though.  I try and eat vegetables but I don't really like them.

If you had to have one last meal what would it be?
Lobster with some beautiful pasta, prawns in garlic and I love crispy duck with pancakes and what I call orgasm sauce! (Plum sauce to you and I).

What are your favourite restaurants?
Galicia in Portobello.  The Clash used to eat in there back in the day.  You go upstairs and the ceiling's so low it's like being in a dolls house but the food is amazing.  The Blue Elephant in Fulham do fabulous Thai food.  You walk over little rivers full of Koi Carp in, it's really lovely.

The Blue Elephant

What are your secret London addresses?
The fabric shops in Shepherd's Bush.  I always see great stuff there!  I know everyone will think that's weird.  I see things that other people would ignore.  There's a tiny, weeny jewellery shop off the side of Shepherds Bush market that I love.  It's a brilliant little secret shop, even I have a job finding it.  They sell all sorts of mad things like huge fossil rings, really incredible stuff and you can't believe the prices.

There's a brilliant place in Dalston called J T Batchelor's in Culford Mews - they do every kind of stud you can imagine and fantastic leather.  Portobello Market.  A place called Barnet Lawson in Little Portland Street that's full of haberdashery treasures.

What's your philosophy?
Treat others how you want to be treated.  Stay true to yourself and keep believing in yourself.  And no matter what happens you have to have the ability  to turn it into a funny story.  Being able to laugh at the madness of life is so important.

What are your guilty pleasures?
Big Brother and really dodgy horror films.

What are your favourite books?
Being dyslexic it takes me so long to read a book so it has to grip me.  The first book that really made me laugh was Adrian Mole.  Measuring his willy and all that!  The others would be Perfume by Patrick Suskind and The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks.


Which magazines do you read?
I don't read the words, I only buy them for the pictures and if I'm doing a mood board.  LOVE and POP are good for images and W.  I used to like Spoon.  Anything with good, big pictures in it.

What are your favourite albums?
Redbone by Redbone.  The copy I have has got a big fat totem pole on the front of it and a Red Indian looking guy on the back with long hair and mocassins on.  It's great!!  There are so many.  I love Nice Up The Dance, it's a dirty ragga compilation album and every track on it's brilliant.  There lots of singles... William's Blood by Grace Jones, Murder That Sound by The Infadels, Bakerman by Laid Back, Computer Love by Zapp.

What are your favourite TV shows?
Big Brother -  I love watching people in a house slowly going mad!  Nighty Night was my favourite and I absolutely love Come Dine With Me.


What were the last good films you watched?
A Japanese film called The Host, it's got very dark humour.  I cannot recommend it enough.  And Ma Vien Rose was really beautiful, a French film about a little boy who wears dresses - very sad but beautiful.


Who are your favourite photographers?
Ellen von Unwerth, Helmut Newton, Deidre O'Callaghan - she did an incredible book on tramps.  She's done some brilliant work with me.  David LaChappelle there's tons of others but you know what I'm like about knowing their names!

Photography by Deirdre O'Callaghan
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds


Photography by Deirdre O'Callaghan

Who are your favourite models?
Anyone who's not Russian and starving.  I can't stand these blank looking models.  I'd rather see someone when they're peaking and they've got that look in their eye.  I prefer characters.  Out of the supermodels I loved Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington and I like Agyness Deyn.  For boys I like Luca Cazal who was my muse for a long time.

Luca Cazal in Mrs Jones

What makes you laugh?
You do!  Anything a bit twisted and mental.  People falling over.  I like anything raw and honest.  I make myself laugh!

What makes you cry?
Absolutely anything.  Anything to do with animals or children getting hurt.  You get worse as you get older I think.

Who would play you in the movie of your life?
Russell Brand!  Or Noel Fielding, we have similar taste in clothes!


What's been your proudest moment?
George.  I'm so proud of him for what he's come through.  I'm proud of myself for never selling out and never asking anyone for anything.  And when me and you saw the Kylie video for the first time.

Photography by Stephanie Smith
George on his "Blackcurrant."  Just like daddy

Who would you have at your dream dinner party, living or dead?
Bob Marley, My grandma, My dad, Russell Brand, Mark Powell, Julia Davis from Nighty Night, Kathy Burke, you, me and George.  You don't want anyone too full-on taking over, getting drunk and breaking things!  I'm happy with that list.  That would be a great party.

If you could be anywhere on earth, where would you be and who would be with you?
I'm really happy here with you.  With George and Betty tucked up safe in bed.  I love being here, your house is the most relaxing place ever, with all the luxury and the cream.  We have such a laugh, we could lie around here for days in our own little world, rolling about with laughter.  There's nothing better.

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WATCH THIS...


A new showreel is being done to include all the latest videos - but this one is brilliant!

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The Mrs Jones Emporium

Is open to everyone.  Come in and be styled by Mrs Jones, browse some amazing (and affordable) clothes and accessories and you can have your hair done by the wonderful stylist Victoria in the Drama Parlour.  It's a one-stop shop.

Mrs Jones is also available for styling and commissions made to order.



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A little selection from the current lookbook




















Lookbook photographed by Drew Cox


For all enquiries please call Christina @ Mrs Jones
on 07525 152270 or email christina@mrsj.co.uk


With very special thanks to
Fee Doran
Lizzie Burns
Victoria Saunders

And special thanks to the following photographers
Ellen von  Unwerth
Deirdre O'Callaghan
Drew Cox
Karen McBride
Kate Garner
Lee Jenkins
Polly Borland
Rankin
Saul Fletcher
Stephanie Smith