A talk in London this coming Sunday (January 22) aims to fill an important gap in the recorded history of our modern fetish scene — namely the true origins both of kinky clubbing and latex fashion as we know them today.
Presented by the Institute of SM Studies and taking place at the Bishopsgate Institute near Liverpool Street Station, London EC2, the two-hour event will be hosted by Fetishistas editor Tony Mitchell with guest speakers Daniel James and Beverley Glick (then known as music journalist ‘Betty Page’).
All three were original Skin Two club insiders, involved in helping with the club’s launch in January 1983. Daniel was actually co-founder of the club, and his involvement led to his creating the first rubber clothing designs for women that looked good enough to be worn in public as fashion rather than just in the bedroom. This also led to a long and productive photographic partnership between Daniel and the late, great Bob Carlos Clarke.
Beverley and Tony were both journalists on the music paper Sounds at the time. They became involved through their friendship with DJ, club host and record label boss David Claridge — who after initially co-hosting Skin Two, left for a lucrative television career as the man behind Roland Rat.
The three speakers will begin by recalling various cultural milestones in the preceding decade that helped create the conditions for Skin Two’s launch — including some key London clubbing ventures of the New Romantic era.
They’ll endeavour to paint a picture of what it felt like to descend the stairs to Soho basement venue Stallions for the launch of Skin Two on January 31 1983, and to find yourself among a community of like-minded kinksters in a cool club environment for the very first time.
The talk will cover the changeover that occurred after David Claridge left the club and it changed its name to Maitresse. This freed up the Skin Two name for use as the title of a new fanzine-style magazine to be launched by Tim Woodward and Grace Lau about a year after the original club opened.
If there‘s time, the three speakers will give a flavour of what each went on to do beyond their involvement in the original Skin Two club. And if there’s still time after that, they’ll be available for an audience Q&A.
The Start of the Skin Two Club: 3–5pm on Sunday Jan 22 at the Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4QH. Advance tickets £10 plus fee (£11.01 total) from the Eventbrite link below. Tickets on the door: £13.
Sue Scadding in an outtake from flyer shoot for the original Skin Two club
(photo ©1982 Peter Ashworth).
Speakers now (top L-R) …and then (bottom L-R): Daniel James, Beverley Glick (aka ‘Betty Page’), Tony Mitchell
(bottom row photos, left and centre: ©1983 Peter Ashworth); right: Gordon Rondelle).
One of the first latex dresses Daniel James designed was this backlaced Goddess dress, modelled here by Tricia Ronane for Daniel’s Maid In London catalogue.
(image ℅ Daniel James/Maid In London, ©The Bob Carlos Clarke Estate).