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Rock and pop costume

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1981 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ant, Adam, born 1954 (designer)
    Whiteing, Charles David (costumier)
    Swinden, Yvonne (designer)

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Stuart Leslie Goddard (Adam Ant)

  • Museum number:

    S.140&A to O-1983

  • Gallery location:

    Theatre & Performance, Room 106, case 6, shelf B []

After starting his career in a punk rock band in the late 1970s, and acting in Derek Jarman's punk film Jubilee, Ant's musical and artistic direction changed after hiring Malcolm McLaren in 1980. McLaren's assistance in redefining their image resulted in the piratical theme that became a hallmark of Adam and the Ants, despite McLaren subsequently persuading the rest of the Ants to leave and form a separate band, Bow Wow Wow. After regrouping with a new backing band, Adam and the Ants became one of the most successful British acts of the early 1980s; their image and style of music was at the forefront of the burgeoning New Romantic movement.

Ant advised in the design of all his own costumes, indebted to historical, military and tribal dress, working with stylists and costumiers. This one is perhaps the most widely known of all, having been used for the publicity photographs and promotional video for the single, Prince Charming, and later on tour. There are two shirts, two pairs of breeches, two wigs and two scarves, not identical but in similar styles, all worn in different combinations on tour. The gold and black striped shirt and the dark silver leather breeches were worn for the publicity photographs and in the video.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

1981 (made)

Artist/maker

Ant, Adam, born 1954 (designer)
Whiteing, Charles David (costumier)
Swinden, Yvonne (designer)

Dimensions

Height: 164 cm approx., Width: 59 cm approx., Depth: 25 cm approx., Length: 70 cm Shirt (B), collar to hem, Width: 48 cm Shirt (B), shoulder width, Length: 70 cm Breeches (D), waist to hem, Width: 60 cm Breeches (D), width, Weight: 1.1 kg Packed weight of parts B and D, Circumference: 56.0 cm Wig (L), circumference, Circumference: 56.0 cm Wig (M), circumference

Object history note

This multi-part costume was worn in 1981 by Adam Ant for the publicity photographs and promotional video for the single, Prince Charming, and later on tour. There are two shirts, two pairs of breeches, two wigs and two scarfs, not identical but in similar styles, all worn in different combinations on tour. The gold and black striped shirt (S.140A-1983) and the dark silver leather breeches (S.140C-1983) were worn for the publicity photographs and in the video.

Descriptive line

'Prince Charming' costume worn by Adam Ant, 1981

Labels and date

'Prince Charming' outfit worn by Adam Ant
1981

Adam Ant was the idiosyncratic front man of the British New Wave band Adam and the Ants. He spearheaded its artistic direction and designed all his own costumes. Now iconic, these costumes are indebted to historical, military and tribal dress. The one worn in the video for the 'Prince Charming' single is perhaps the most widely known of all. [60 words]

Wool, satin, furnishing fabric, Lurex, leather and plastic
Jacket made by Dave Whiting

Given by Stuart Leslie Goddard (known as Adam Ant)
Museum no. S.140&A, C, E to K, N, O-1983 []

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Stage costumes; Gender and Sexuality

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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