Throwback Grooves: Blue Logan at the Grand Bar
What happens when a much sought-after fashion illustrator from London decides to host a DJ night at the Soho Grand? Fashion, idiosyncratic tunes, and a finger-on-the-pulse sense of cultural zeitgeist apparently. Cult favorite fashion fixture Blue Logan—best known for his soulfully yet simplistic fashion sketchery—is at the sonic helm of Thursday nights at the Soho Grand, bringing an old fashioned aesthetic to the Manhattanites sick of the same synth-pop “it” band. Blue, who prefers spinning tracks from the 1960s and before, is part of a slow music trend, which pays homage to the aural confections of a bygone era. We recently caught up with this artist-cum-DJ to discuss his sonic sensibility, the fashion set, and his uber-popular weekly residency at the Soho Grand.
Can you tell us a little about your background and how you began doing your famous fashion sketches that have gained a cult following?
I grew up in London with a father who was a sculptor, a milliner mother, and a family of eccentrics. My uncle founded an event called the Alternative Miss World, which still runs to this day and has just had a movie made about it which is now in cinemas. So it was a very colorful start and I suppose slipping into the world of fashion tents and soirees came quite naturally. Initially, I just went to shows and felt completed to draw because I thought it was something to do. It was only when I’d done a few that I honed in on something that interested me and I saw potential and the response.
What is it about runway shows that inspire your signature sketches? Do you illustrate anything else as well?
I think we all know that fashion isn’t just made by designers. The people sitting and watching the show are also very much part of it all and seeing them all there doing their thing is quite a show in itself. I wanted to try and make images that reflected not just the dress but the gaze, which falls upon it as well. What are some of your favorite New York haunts and what is it about them that makes them stand out for you?I love my little bar round the corner from my house, Clandestino. It’s good to have a local—a place to know everyone and feel comfortable. I also love 169 Bar—it’s wacky as hell but makes a nice change from the models and bottles crap. It’s very special.
Can you tell us a little about your uber-popular DJ night at the Soho Grand? What might someone expect from the party?
Well, I’m doing something a bit different and playing music from before the ’60s. I have come to Soho Grand so many times and I think it’s such a classic and stylish place, usually filled with rather elegant folks and lovely tall waitresses. I wondered why there wasn’t already a night of music suited for that vibe. I love oldies and I like digging out rarities and forgotten old crackers and putting out something chic.
You play a mélange of tunes that vary from the 1920s to the 1950s. Did you originally get into this era of music? What genres can we expect from your night? How has the crowd at your DJ night responded to your musical selection?
Oh they love it! I mean, I’m sure some wonder where the hip-hop is or the electro-pop, but there’s a constant friendly face wandering over to ask what I’m playing and perhaps have a chat about some record. My friends in London used to do a night at the Cafe Royal with a similar spirit. There was always a right array of dandy fellas there and it had a magical burlesque feel but with a sense of humor.