It was in 1983 that a 13-year-old Alessio Berto – buying a record – discovered two outstanding individuals who changed his outlook and, culturally, opened his mind forever… The rest is life, work, passion, research and of course style.
Come hear this and other stories on 3 December 2019 at Denim Première Vision.
Enjoy an eclectic conversation moderated by Gill Gledhill, Journalist and director of GGHQ Fashion Intelligence – with Alessio Berto, Chris Sullivan and Christos Tolera about “the importance of denim in youth subcultures from Jackson Pollock to James Dean, Peter Blake, mods, rockers, hippies, rockabillies, bikers, Brando and more.”
Chris Sullivan, is, and has been at various times, a DJ, author, nightclub host, pop star, painter, style commentator, fashion show producer, filmmaker, entrepreneur and fashion designer.
He was involved with almost every sartorial subculture from 1972 till 2000 and then started writing about them for the likes of The Independent, The Times, Esquire, The Guardian, and L’Uomo Vogue and was GQ style editor for three years. He is now Associate Lecturer at Central St Martin’s, specializing in journalism and subcultures.
In 1980 he fronted the high-concept Virgin-signed Latin funk band, Blue Rondo A La Turk and launched his own clothing label, Sullivan Suits. He then founded, directed and ran the world-famous Wag Club in London where the likes of Sade, Prince and Lee Perry played live.
As a writer, he worked for The Face in its infancy in 1981, became a Loaded columnist in ‘94 and then GQ style editor. In 2001, he became a full-time freelance journalist filing for among others, The Times. His film script, Anarchy In The UK, is being developed by Hacienda Pictures.
In 1980 at age 18, Christos Tolera joined Chris Sullivan to form the Latin jazz combo Blue Rondo Ala Turk, appearing in many publications including the cover of The Face magazine. Their mutual admiration of style has kept their friendship alive and strong throughout the last 40 years despite the various tangents their lives have taken.
Christos has since forged a career in acting, appearing in many music videos, commercials, short and long films, modelling for the likes of Comme des Garcons, Katherine Hamnett and Yohji Yamamoto, and appearing in publications as diverse as Per Lui, Italian Vogue, Arena, Jocks N Nerds and GQ, not forgetting The Face.
He has appeared in many books documenting style and fashion, such as The New English Dandy, Fashion Forever, The Way We Wore, Self Styled and Made In The UK.
There are others…
His style has evolved to include imperfections, especially in juxtaposing eras and historical context, but Christos would say his main influence all these years have been the Hollywood films of the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. As for style icons, Fred Astaire, George Raft, Gene Kelly and Katherine Hepburn would definitely be in the top ten and maybe Malcolm X.
His main preoccupation though has been as an artist, mainly painting, exhibiting widely and working to commission.
Alessio Berto is a pure talent and, even though he considers himself just a “pattern designer”, over more than two years of collaboration we discovered many skills and an incredible professional attitude in every single project, which is always driven by passion.
For 32 years he worked at the best denim and sportswear companies in Italy…
In the past 7 years, as a consultant with his patterns, he’s been behind many cool brands from luxury trousers to niche denim brands, teaching in design schools and spreading education about pattern cutting.
Everybody remembers his workshop in Milano and also the “rain” DJ set, a performance that, musically, was a preview to the London Vibes a few months in advance.
Style, denim, heritage and more!
With Alessio Berto, Chris Sullivan and Christos Tolera
Moderated by Gill Gledhill, Journalist and director of GGHQ Fashion Intelligence
Tuesday 3 December – 3pm