So why is the company background of alternative clothing brand, Jed Phoenix of London, different from the norm?
Jed Phoenix modeled for designers
Jed's training in fashion is a little unconventional. In 1994, after just over a year doing a Social Science degree, Jed Phoenix found an alternative, more practical way to explore the Sexualities in Society option that she'd be studying. Whilst walking into Brixton one afternoon, Jed was spotted by a fashion student from Central St. Martin's who wanted a tall bald woman to model for him at London Fashion Week. A few months later, Jed Phoenix met the corsetiere Velda Lauder and a whole new side of London life opened up.
In 1996, Jed travelled to Nuremburg, Germany to model for SAM Sylvan and Velda Lauder. The highly acclaimed international techno band, Lab 4, provided the live music to SAM's fashion performance, which also involved Lucifire angle grinding a huge metal appendage worn by Allen TG as Jed Phoenix held him still!
Modeling at nightclubs
Weirdomaniacs, hosted by TuTu, was upstairs at Garage, one of the many popular nights at Heaven, London's premier alternative subculture nightspot. Dubbed as "a night of a thousand skinny bones", Weirdomaniacs was the perfect location for Jed Phoenix to collaborate with Anarchy Tank, Perverse Skirts, and Other Cat to put on a "Freak Death" fashion performance, with Jed wearing a pair of one-off black PVC trousers with red PVC straps, red DM boots that she customised and a hoover pipe top made by Other Cat. Weirdomaniacs was reviewed in Thud magazine, and Scene Update in 1997.
The London fetish subculture in the '90s was very accepting of the alternative and diverse. With Torture Garden emerging in 1990, Madonna's Sex book released in 1992, and Operation Spanner's effects running throughout most of the decade, there was a renewed interest and awareness in fetishism. TG provided a space for a wide range of individuals on the alternative subculture scene to dress up, dance and play, and Jed Phoenix found herself on stage many times at this cutting edge London club, modelling for various fetish designers, such as Velda Lauder, Demask, SAM Sylvan, and E-Garbs.
Jed Phoenix printed in magazines and books
Lucifire and Jed were two of the alternative models featured in Ritual magazine issue 6, wearing clothes by SAM Sylvan for a Sub Girls shoot around the time that the film Tank Girl went on general release in the UK.
Three books relating to alternative subculture were published in 1997, and Jed Phoenix features in all three. “Torture Garden – From Bodyshocks to Cybersex” edited by David Woods; “The Chameleon Body” by Nicholas Sinclair; and “The Customised Body“ by Ted Polemus and Housk Randall.
Alternative professional photography
Jed Phoenix was photographed by Tim Flach in a rather precarious shoot which involved a lizard on Jed's head. This image turned up all over the Paris and Toronto metro system, and in the windows of the High Street printers Kall Kwik up and down the country!
Jed Phoenix in films and videos
1997 was quite a seminal year. Despite some of the men involved in the Spanner case losing their appeal in the European Court of Human Rights, there was much positive activity as far as fetishism's media representation was concerned. "Preaching To The Perverted", staring Guinevere Turner, Christien Anholt and Tom Bell, and directed by Stuart Urban, went on general release in UK cinemas. Jed Phoenix got a part as a featured extra. Highlights included going to Kwik Save in a limo (with "Bow B4 Me" number plates) with the two leading ladies, Guin Turner and Julie Graham, dressed to the nines, to get essential supplies for the cast and crew; being offered the opportunity to lie down for the day in the "chapel scene"; and, of course, being part of a controversial but cult British movie that was aired on the BBC on April 23rd a few years later!
Jed Phoenix was also invited to be a 'cyberdyke' in Hans Schreirl's transgendered/sci-fi/horror and alternative subculture feature film, Dandy Dust which was released in 1998.
In 1998, Jed featured as a punkette flapper girl in the original video of Divine Comedy's "I've been to a Marvellous Party".
Club kid and Party Monster
A few hours after a music video shoot, Jed Phoenix travelled to Soho's Monster, a club hosted by TuTu, where Jed was one of the club kids. The concept of the club was based on the colourful and extravagant New York clubs that were promoted by Michael Alig. Monster was visited by many celebs, including, on that Marvellous Party music video day, Siouxsie Sioux and Budgie of The Banshees and The Creatures fame. What a perfect night to be introduced to one of your heroines! In 2003, "Party Monster" - a film about the rise and fall of Michael Alig and his subsequent conviction for the murder of his roommate and drug dealer, Angel Melendez - was released, and Angel appears in one scene wearing one of Jed's original 'Obscure Labels' white T-shirts with a 'bender' pin on panel and white detachable sleeves.
Jed's T-shirt company 'Obscure Labels'
In 1999, and after spending 8 months writing a business plan, Jed Phoenix secured funding from The Prince's Trust to set up Obscure Labels, a small business that designed, printed and sold T-shirts. Jed took a stall in The Electric Ballroom market every Sunday for 5 years and there she built a varied customer base, introduced and tested new designs, and gained both confidence and business contacts. Since then, Jed has expanded the range of garments and rebranded the business as Jed Phoenix of London. Check out the full range of products available in the Jed Phoenix of London shop.
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