Handbags and gladrags at Goodwood

Designer Wayne Hemingway explains why fashion and style top the bill at his new festival
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Indy Lifestyle Online

"The first gig I ever went to was David Bowie's Aladdin Sane concert in Blackburn in 1973; that was the moment in my youth when I realised I didn't want to do a normal job, I wanted to do something that didn't feel like work. I bought a yellow tank-top from a shop called Clobber the next day and got a haircut. The whole thing went together – music, fashion and style. Then I got into punk, which was a fashion movement before the music came along.

"I've got four kids, aged 24, 23, 19 and 13, and as a family we've always gone to festivals. Increasingly, however, I've found that they've become one-dimensionally music-focused. The last festival I went to I was in a camper van and my kids were camping. It was pissing down, and my eldest said there's got to be something better than this. The place was horrible, with rubbish everywhere. I thought: 'I'm at a cultural event and everything is unkempt'... Music, fashion, design is part of human and sexual attraction. I married someone I met 29 years ago at a club and I asked her to dance because she moved so well and looked fantastic.

"So the Vintage at Goodwood festival is not about harking back. I thought, 'Why can't there be an event where you get fashion, music, film, art and design – all the things that go together? Somewhere you can dress up, and hold it in a glamorous location. Where you can pay for a hotel room if you want. We've asked many of the bands to do something special – they are up for experimentation, as most creative folk are. However, music is just 20 per cent of the event."

Wayne Hemingway spoke to Andrew Johnson

40s

New Look coats in London; 1949 fashion

This shows how well things can be done in austerity – the cut of the clothing, the elegance of the women – which is why the 1940s are so important. They are affordable photos to shoot, making the best out of what's available.

50s

The Man in the White Suit

It's a great film, but the poster is also a great piece of design. It's a great example of the mid-century modern aesthetic – the sharp lines and angularity that sought to make 1950s design different to anything that came before it. The poster is very 1950s, but also timeless and very British.

60s

Seminal: The Beatles' Sgt Pepper album, 1967

The idea of cut and paste and doing things in a non-painterly way was everything art school taught you weren't allowed to do. This album cover helped open art up, and upset people without being offensive.

70s

Roger Daltrey in rock opera Tommy, 1975

Tommy was a major point in youth culture – a film definitely not for your mum and dad. It had a degree of cultural elitism in that it had a style and language that you had to know about. And the idea of a rock opera was at the cutting edge.

80s

Wild boys: Duran Duran in 1981

We'd just come out of punk and now there were these men doing themselves up like women. Men dressed as women to attract women, and it worked. It also got us spat at in the street – but that proved we were making a mark in the world, which is what British youth culture has always done.

Vintage at Goodwood is the brainchild of fashion designer Wayne Hemingway and Lord March, of Goodwood House near Chichester. It's billed as more than a music festival – adding art, film, fashion and design to celebrate five decades of British youth culture over three days next month. Bands lined up to play at the stately pile in West Sussex include the Faces, Buzzcocks, and Peter Hook of Joy Division playing with an orchestra. Dressing up is encouraged. For details visit: www.vintageat goodwood.com

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