An Audience with Princess Julia at The Glory
Prolific DJ, model, writer, club kid, beauty of the blitz. Princess Julia invites you to join her for a chat and celebratory reminiscence of London’s glorious counter-culture: past, present & future
‘Princess Julia has been out every night for the past 34 years’
Tim Banks, The Gentlewoman
Princess Julia would never boast to having seen ‘it all’ but she certainly has seen more than most! Whether it was the raucous Punk scene in the mid 70’s, the hedonistic club culture and wildly experimental gender bending extravagance of the 80’s, the rave scene of the 90’s, or behind the decks today; Princess Julia remains the beautifully charming constant in a colourful sea of change.
Now sat a top a fluffy throne surrounded by giant white pom pom clouds, the original club Queen and first lady of the fashion scene is opening up. Sharing a snippet of her fascinating history and unpublished memoirs, in a theatrical spoken word piece every Monday this month at the Glory.
Forever relevant, brilliantly unpolished, sharp witted and candid; as always Julia’s stories, infectious charm and uncontrived cool is a privilege to be around. Making ‘An Audience With Princess Julia’ a boozy delight from start to finish for friends, admirers, and those discovering her for the first time.
A sheer impossibility that two shows will ever be the same, you might as well pull up a chair and book in for as many Monday’s you can, before it’s too late!
Can you describe a bit what people can expect to see or learn?
PRINCESS JULIA: Well it’s a counter cultural timeline starting in the early 70’s and ending up in the late 80’s. Sounds serious doesn’t it? But this is a personal story with a theatrical twist! Jonny Woo is directing so there’s a few cameo’s in there, one from Jonny himself and an interpretive performance from Jacqui Potato. I’m often asked ‚how do the current times compare to then?’ So this is in part a response to that question…
Where did the name Princess Julia come from?
It came from my days of working as a cashier lady at The Wag club in the early 80’s when the manager always called me Princess, which I think he called everyone Princess tbh. Later when I was working as a DJ at The Daisy Chain in the late 80’s we thought it would be amusing to make up ‚tag’ names… mine was Miss Princess Julia, the name stuck! I went on to DJ under that name from that moment on throughout the 90’s, 00’s to the present day!
How did you first come to meet Steve Strange?
I met him in the Punk days, he was always loitering around dressed head to foot in Seditionaires (Malcolm Mclaren & Vivienne Westwood’s shop). We often wondered how he could afford those clothes, I even heard he sold speed! LOL! I met up with him after the punk scene dissipated…
You were one of the most iconic figures of the Blitz. What was your style, or a favourite piece in your wardrobe going out at that time?
We were all iconic down at the Blitz! Well in our own minds anyway! But yeah, well firstly makeup was very important, I wanted an almost mask like effect. I love old films so I subconsciously referenced some of that style, Edith Head, she styled a lot of old 40’s films and and had great style herself. But I didn’t want to look retro so I often switched it up, a girl called Claire Thom sometimes made things for me. Willy Brown was a favourite designer as well.
Was there anyone in particular then? Now whose style you admire or who was inspiring you?
I’m always inspired by the way people put their own stamp on personal style. Whether it’s for performance or creating a day to day look that represents something about who you are. Back in the day I admired Jordan, the shopgirl at SEX and Seditionaires, Siouxsie Sioux, Poly Styrene, Luciania Martinez, Gerlinde Costiff. Look at all the fabulous people around today, Angel Rose, Reba Maybury, Felicity Hayward, Emily Rose England…
What initially excited you most about the club scene? What do you love about the club scene today?
I think I liked the escapist idea with being in clubland, it’s a thing that still remains with me to this day.
Your debut in Visage’s mega hit ‚Fade to Grey’ helped launch your modelling career. Was there a particular style or designers shows you liked doing more over the others? Runway? Salons? Shoots?
Ha ha ha ! Well I only did a bit of modelling then, I was considered err.. ‚exotic’ how hilarious! I was too short to do catwalk, so I mostly did shoots and they always seemed to be full of artistic integrity. I still do a bit of modelling now, I’m with IMG models on the specials list.
You’re involved a lot in the fashion scene today…
I sometimes write about various shows or help designers with descriptions of their forthcoming collections. I contribute to iD magazine with an array of subjects as well. I love wearing fashion too, for ‚An Audience With Princess Julia’, I wear Ed Marler and Ryan Lo. I feel very lucky to be able to wear their clothes, they are both very talented designers. I do go to some shows over London Fashion Week and I also go to our menswear shows as well. Oh yeah and I do a bit of painting now and again, this season some of my watercolours are on Peter Jensen’s AW’ 2015 collection.
You’ve had an incredibly successful career as a DJ. One of the first places you had a residency at was the legendary Kinky Gerlinky. What were some of the craziest outfits you saw?
Oh, yes I really do still love a spot of DJing, Kinky Gerlinky was a fave club to DJ at, everyone made the monthly effort and went completely overboard. I really admire the work of Leigh Bowery who ran the legendary night Taboo and always came to Kinky Gerlinky.
You’ve played a lot around the world, do you have a place, or city whose crowds you like playing for more?
I love visiting clubs and parties around the world to DJ. I always love London though.
What are your favourite tracks to play at the minute?
Oh, not sure I have any particular faves, I just love it when I’ve got a happy dancefloor and people are enjoying themselves!
If there was only one album you could ever play again, what would it be?
Blimey that would be tough as my tastes are so eclectic!
Lastly, Where do you go in London to feel creative? to relax? to go wild?
I’m one of those people that will go anywhere and make the most of it, I love what they’re doing at The Glory. But you know name a club, bar or event and I’ve had a good time there!
An Audience With Princess Julia
On Now til 30 November
Very Limited via TicketWeb
Words by Tracy Kawalik and Julia Fodor
Photos by Tracy Kawalik and Courtesy of The Glory