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Rocky Horror star reveals who really ‘invented punk’

Patricia Quinn, who played Magenta in cult movie, says costume designer was behind radical fashion

02 December, 2017

Rocky Horror Picture Show stars Richard O’Brien and Patricia Quinn

MUCH has been made of the fact it is 40 years since the Sex Pistols took to the stage of the 100 Club in Oxford Street and thrilled/sickened the world with their brand of I-don’t-care music and ripped up everything that had been done before.

Rushing alongside Sid, Johnny, and the rest in the public eye was, of course, Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, rightly feted as pioneers of the punk aesthetic.

But were they truly the first, the real, innovators of the global face-smack punk fashion delivered?

Perhaps not, according to actress Patricia Quinn, who played Magenta in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and therefore had a fair amount of influence on the period’s styles herself.

She recalled to Diary how she was doing a three-week run of the show at the Royal Court with Tim Curry and Richard O’Brien – the first time The Rocky Horror Show had been seen anywhere – and the costume designer Sue Blane had some ideas of how she wanted the whole thing to look.

“Sue invented punk,” states Patricia.

“Vivienne and Malcolm were sitting about together up the King’s Road then, while Sue was doing amazing things with costume design.

“I always say punk was hers.”

Perhaps it is time for this incredible designer, who had so much to do with the success of Rocky Horror and went on to design for the English National Opera and major film studios, is celebrated a little more for her influence on British design.

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