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Poseur History
By Jim O'Connor
I was living in New York in 1976, designing and making clothing, and extremely dissatisfied with both the garment industry and with fashion journalism.

One of the things I'd always wanted to do was to put together my own clothing/fashion magazine. I experimented with updated versions of various graphic presentations which I had played with since the early sixties. This time I allowed the format to be inspired by the English punk fanzines which I had heard mention of.

This is the front cover of my "fan-zine", which I called Poseur. It came together over a period of quite a few months in 1976 and 1977. It was also my first actual adoption of the word "poseur", and it came about like this:-

I had been reading some accounts of the punk scene as written by various journalists whom I call "voyeurs". These invisible writers all dissmissed the kids who were at punk events as being no more than "poseurs". They said that the kids had got the idea of punk all wrong when they dressed up and posed. This voyeur viewpoint was saying that it is phony and pretentious to be interested in one's own clothing and appearance.

However, it seemed obvious to me that these "poseurs" were my kindred spirit and that they knew, as well as I knew, that it is quite the reverse! - One of the basic points of punk was that in fact it is great fun to dress up and pose.

I've enjoyed dressing up and putting on a pose for as long as I can remember. Being in the company of others who are wearing interesting clothing has always been desirable to me. Having good music is important for a nice atmosphere when I venture into public places, but the main purpose of any public gathering is to see and be seen.

So I realized that the word poseur fitted me well, and now I had a name for my main passion in life.