Website design: John Mendelsohn
Anna Chen photographed by Bob Carlos Clarke.
This picture was our private joke. Bob said it was of me on the Hackney estate where I then lived, being shouted at by my mother. I was in my teens, an early punk, and the family was having, uh, "problems".
I was a fan of Vivienne Westwood and her shop, "Sex", where we punks used to hang out and drool over the clothes. I'd mentioned to Vivienne that I saw myself in a catsuit - a sort of carapace reflecting my alienation - and she said she would design one for me. So I saved up my Saturday job money and she had one made for me at a very reasonable price, I might add, considering how much her clothes go for now. She also had a pair of thigh-high leather stilletto boots made to complete the outfit. I loved it!
I wore that catsuit everywhere, even down the local supermarket. It was my second skin, my armour, my blue blanket.
Bob loved it too and photographed a series of pictures of me wearing it. The photo above eventually adorned an album cover - Vicious But Fair by Roger Chapman's Streetwalkers..
Sadly, it now lies disintegrating at the top of my wardrobe, the PVC perishing with time. I've had others since then, but none thrilled me like my first, my best, my beloved catsuit.
(c) Anna Chen - Photo by Bob Carlos Clarke