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It's Not Unusual - Photo Exhibition

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
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Photographic tribute to iconic fashion designer
An iconic fashion designer is to be showcased in a new photographic exhibition which celebrates her contribution to Birmingham's fashion scene. This year marks 45 years since Patti Bell and business partner Jane Kahn opened up their famous boutique Kahn and Bell in the city's emerging Gay Quarter. Now, a tribute to Patti and her iconic clothing designs will be the featured in a brand new solo photo exhibition by Birmingham born art photographer Gary Lindsay-Moore. The exhibition is entitled It's Not Unusual in salute to Patti's brief relationship with the singer Tom Jones. It features images of 12 original pieces of clothing designed by Kahn and Bell. The photographs will be exhibited at Birmingham's famous Rag Market, where Patti also had a clothing outlet, from Tuesday 27–Saturday 30 July.

Patti Bell, Miz
Model Miz wearing a pink leopard-print mini dress


Kahn and Bell designed and made extravagant, colourful, outrageous clothing which attracted the early Punk Rockers who flooded the famous boutique. With the onset of the New Romantic scene in the late '70s Kahn and Bell became a dominant fashion force designing handmade clothing for Duran Duran, the music and dance group Shock and even Eurovision winners Bucks Fizz! Gary has been a huge fan of the Kahn and Bell fashion label since first visiting the boutique in the late '70s. Over the last decade, Gary has met Patti on many occasions and more recently collaborated with her on a run of limited edition t-shirts where she produced extra artwork for his Badwonderland project.

Gary Lindsay-Moore
Photographer Gary Lindsay-Moore


Gary said: "I was 17 when I first visited Kahn and Bell. This glamorous lady with huge blonde spiked hair teased high defying gravity, in chains, pins and wearing the highest stiletto's I'd ever seen. Punk and glamour all in one person. London had Vivienne Westwood but Birmingham had Patti Bell who in my mind should have received the same recognition. Now, as we celebrate 45 years since the original Kahn and Bell boutique opened, it seems fitting to recognise her contribution to the city's fashion scene with this photographic exhibition featuring photographs of original pieces from the iconic fashion label." The idea for the exhibition was originally conceived in 2019 but was put on hold due to COVID-19 enabling Gary to recover from a heart operation he had the previous year. It also gave Gary time to persuade Karen to allow him to photograph the pieces using models, some of whom were on the New Romantic scene at the time and already had a connection with the fashion label.

Patti Bell, Orin
Orin wearing a hat which Patti Bell made for Gary Lindsay-Moore's wedding


As part of the 45 years tribute the photographs from the exhibition will be featured in a book specially made for those involved in the project. Prints will be available to purchase after the exhibition. Full contact details are available on the website www.garylindsaymoorephotography.co.uk
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Why? Photographic tribute to iconic Birmingham fashion designer
When: 27 to 30 July
Where: Birmingham Rag Market, 50 Edgbaston St, Birmingham B5 4RB
Cost: Free
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by dpm on 19/07/2021
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