Friday, April 29, 2011


After years of top-flight work as a fashion photographer, menswear/accessories designer, and publisher of Men's File magazine, Nick Clements has been spending nights and weekends working on his Master's Degree at the Royal College of Art, in London.
Nick Clements holding court
'Revival' is Nick's thesis/exhibition, a study of the 'vintage lifestyle' subculture in England and Europe, which incorporates much of Nick's photography used for Men's File, and other photo projects he's pursued in England, France, America, Italy and Africa, plus examples of the clothing line he's developed, based around classic/traditional/functional patterns and fabrics.

An imaginary American fraternity, Ivy House, is among Nick's theatrical devices for 're-enactment'; art-directing photo shoots with period props, buildings, vehicles, and clothes, provided by the models themselves at times, with a loose narrative thread, and roles for the photo subjects.  Examples of Nick's technique can be seen in every issue of Men's File, which give the magazine a unique quasi-historic pictorial flavor and charm. 
One of Nick's work jackets, hand-decorated by an artist with a ball-point pen.
I have the privilege to write for Nick in his magazine (the back-page column, 'What is a Man?'), and hold the quality of his work in highest esteem.  If the depth of his guest list is any indication, I'm not alone in my opinion.  Men's File is one of the most interesting print rags on the rack, and Nick Clements' peculiar perspective is much of the reason why.  The next issue goes to press at the end of June...but if you're in London anytime very soon, stop by the RCA and see the show!
A few young bucks of the exceedingly well-period-dressed crowd, possibly from Ivy House...
A pair of Harleys; fabulous patina'd Knucklehead and Sporty custom
Candidate for organ rejection; Smiths chronometric speedo on H-D
Nice Norton Dominator café racer
Serious Vincent Series D 'naked' Black Prince
Designer Mark Eley of Eley Kishimoto, publisher Gary Inman of Sideburn, journalist Mick Duckworth
She rode in on a Triumph, and tried out the Lewis Leathers Bullet
The fraternity flag of Ivy House
Vincent Prat of the Southsiders came all the way from Toulouse
Nick Ashley's Cheney Triumph
One of Nick's photos on show
Bamford design duo Karen Leck and Poppy Dover
Royal Enfield bicycle frame lug details
Gallerist Richard Gauntlett gets the skinny


mp said...

argh, I live minutes away. I left the smoke to avoid the royal madness, Wish I'd gone to this now!

Sideburn Magazine said...

Nice to see you there, Paul.
I don't know who A is, but thinking he was the only person riding in London in the 1980s is somewhat delusional. Or does he mean the only people whose name he/she can drop? GI

The 9/16ths said...

Great show and nice to meet you. T.

macfly said...

Sideburn & 23Bricks, I have no idea what part of what was sent as a private message to Paul was or wasn't posted since it has now been deleted. Obviously at least a part of that private message to him must have been posted, so I will clarify what was said.

I simply wrote to him (via this software because there is no easy to find email link on the site) to say how happy I was to see the acceptance and celebration of motorcycling and its culture in the fashion world in London.

In the late 80's and early 90's I worked as a fashion photographer, mostly for Vogue & The Face, and at that time nobody else I came across in that world was into bikes, with the exception of Nick Ashly, who married my local MP's daughter (I grew up in Beaulieu in the New Forest) and Daniel Day Lewis who I photographed. That isn't name dropping, that is simply the only two people I came across in and through fashion during that time who rode bikes, that's all.

I had loads of friends into bikes, and spent a lot of time at race tracks all across Europe with them, as well as doing all kinds of bike events, but never with anyone from within the world of fashion. My father, David Strathcarron, was also an avid motorcyclist and motor journalist who rode bikes every day of his life, he even rode to his final lunch, and did a great deal to try to protect and promote motorcycling in the both the press and the Parliament.

So my post was simply saying how happy I was to see such a great celebration of motorcycling in London, and also I don't believe it was signed anonymous, I signed it with both my name and url, and also mentioned how much I was looking forward to meeting Paul at the Quail in two weekends time.

It is good to know one can't use this software to get a personal message across, and if I may suggest to the site admin that an email link would be a handy addition to the site.

Andrew Macpherson

The Vintagent said...

Andrew, terribly sorry about an accidental posting of a private message. I did delete it as soon as I noted the error. Sorry everyone else for a misunderstanding...

I've put my email link back on the masthead - it came off when I sold The Vintagent to LVMH on April Fool's day...

Anonymous said...

I see that you have photos of bikes belonging to - Sharpeye, Lone Prezidentz, Black Widows, Dirty White Walls, most fabricated by Tosh @ Bell!

Anonymous said...

Love Nick's work and his Men's File magazine. He has a unique and excellent eye.

Paul, a serape in London, really?


The Vintagent said...

Haha, where else, Jared? Just bringing a little Cali culture to England...

Anonymous said...

JFC on a skateboard; so this is what it's come too.

Good site gone wrong,tinkerbelle prices follow tinker belle vogues. Complete with inhouse b*tch fights.


bye, bye.

The Vintagent said...

Brave "Anonymous", I humbly invite you along next time to voice your opinion to any of the riders present; you will likely receive an answer in a compact package, swiftly delivered to your mail slot.
Don't let a few fashionistas, designers, writers, artists, and queers scare you away from a good party.
And, the prices of 50s/60s classic bikes are dropping...

Adrian Manktelow said...

I saw that H-D with the Smiths speedo in Hastings, East Sussex yesterday – it must get around

Dan Black said...

Paul, I was away on the day but with your fantastic coverage I can see all the highlights.
You are a young god.

Vespamore said...

Went to Nick's superb 'Revival' exhibition last Thursday too.

My '69 Vespa Sprint Veloce was the token scoot there. Not that I minded; I was more than happy photographing the assembled Triumphs, Nortons, Vincents & Harleys there. See link below to 35mm film shots I took there...

klooz said...

I appreciate the raffishness of the panhead and its patina, but surely you would be arrested in any Euro country for riding with no mufflers?

klooz said...

Err, I meant knucklehead with straight pipes that is.

Anonymous said...


yeah, me again.


matt machine said...

thanks for the great post paul....all those weird comments didnt spoil a thing.