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The disco icon to follow in footsteps of Patti Smith, Yoko Ono and Nick Cave as curator of the London music festival, saying, Its about time, dont you think?!

Grace Jones is to curate the 2020 edition of Meltdown, the nine-day festival taking place at Londons Southbank Centre.

Year after year, the festival continues to spread its colourful wings, allowing its curators to bring together an array of diverse talent not seen anywhere else, Jones said in a press release. Its about time I was asked to curate Meltdown darling, dont you think?!

Bengi nsal, Southbanks head of contemporary music, said: Grace Jones is unlike anybody else. She was the first artist who made me feel that I could express myself, be whatever I wanted to be, and not be afraid of what the world might say.

Jones has performed at previous editions of the festival, as part of Jarvis Cockers 2007 lineup, and the following year with Massive Attack. Her lineup for the festival will be announced in the new year.

Meltdown was founded in 1993, initially as a classical music-focused festival. It soon widened its remit, making curators of artists including Nick Cave and Scott Walker. Jones is only the sixth woman to curate the festival in its history, following Laurie Anderson, Patti Smith, Anohni, Yoko Ono and MIA.

The next Meltdown will take place 12-21 June. Jones, who is 71, released her last album, Hurricane, in 2008, and published the autobiography Ill Never Write My Memoirs in 2015.

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The model, singer and subject of a new film on Trump, not being allowed to hit people and why she misses Concorde

A singer, songwriter, actor and model, Grace Jones was born in Jamaica in 1948. She was brought up by her grandmother and violent step-grandfather and moved to Syracuse, New York, to join her parents when she was 13. In the 80s, she had several hits, including Pull Up to the Bumper, My Jamaican Guy and Slave to the Rhythm, which combined reggae, funk and new wave. She appeared as Bond villain in A View to a Kill in 1985. She had a long-term relationship with photographer Jean-Paul Goude and they have a son, Paolo. Jones is currently finishing off her 11th studio album and has a documentary coming out about her called Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, directed by Sophie Fiennes.

How did you and Sophie Fiennes get along making this documentary?
We hit it off right away; we have the same amount of siblings in our family and weve both always been competitive. Shes like a sister in another life. I like that she just gets it done. It was easy having her around.

In the documentary, you say that you got your creative side from your mum and your religious strength from your dad…
I dont remember a lot of what I say. Sometimes I feel like, Did I say that? Things jump out of my mouth! I got a lot of things from both my parents. My mum [Marjorie Jones, who died very recently] was very fashion, she was like a supermodel, very thin, very tall. She made a lot of her clothes; we still have her sewing patterns from Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent from the 50s, fabulous. And also she was very big into athletics. In Jamaica, sport is a big part of our lives. My dad was a mystery man to me when I was young [he lived in New York, she lived in Jamaica]. But I remember, my God, he could grow anything. Even in upstate New York in the winter, his roses were the biggest roses on the block. And Im sure I got my music from my mums dad, who was a pianist and toured with Nat King Cole in Miami. I conjure up these spirits.

Your step-grandfather, Mas P, beat you what do you think about that today?
Oh, I think it was awful! I believe that he thought he was doing the right thing. He would try and back me up in a corner and say: Why dont you preach the gospel, become a missionary, a pastor, a nun? And it was all of us, not just me, my brothers as well. Read the Bible, get beaten.

How much are you in control of your work?
I am totally in control of my work. I dont mean I do it on my own I love to work with other people but I choose who I work with. Or they choose me, but I like them, so its fine. When you collaborate, you have to let that person do their thing, otherwise you dont learn anything.

What do you think of President Trump?
Oh please, grow up! Thats all I can say to him. He makes a big deal of sportspeople taking a knee but he doesnt make a big deal of the KKK marching with fire. He calls them fine people. He hasnt shown us his taxes; how can he make a plan for tax if hes hiding his taxes from us? I believe that every presidential candidate should see a psychiatrist before theyre allowed to stand. I truly believe he has brought a whole dark cloud over the world. Climate, immigration, everything We are in a dark period.

How is it being a grandmother?
Its the best. Her name is Athena, shes eight and shes so gifted. She plays classical piano without looking at the keys, shes an amazing dancer and she paints and sings. I love combing her hair. She has the kind of hair where, if you put it in a braid and leave it for two days, it starts dreading like a Rasta, so I comb it with the TangleTeezer.

What does old age mean to you?
Oh God, I never use those words. I just call it wisdom. Time is like a space capsule We are in space, not time. I spend a lot of time in the sea. And Im a sky stalker, I look at the sky, look out. I would love to go into outerspace.

You have said you love to travel. How long do you stay in one place?
In Jamaica, I try to stay one month without moving. I use it as my base in the winter. I want to do a theatre in Jamaica. Im happy not travelling as much as I used to. Travelling is a pain in the ass since 9/11. I used to love it when it was easy, with Concorde. I enjoy being on the plane but not being patted down between the legs and then asked for a selfie. You cant say anything to anyone in the airport. I used to just hit people, but they would call the police now The last trip I took, I had a manicure the day before and it set off a big alert, like it was some kind of chemical weapon. The more I go through that, the moreIdont want to travel, unless yousend me a private plane. But I do have a flying outfit. Its an Issey Miyake utility pilot suit, with all thezips everything stays in thepockets, my credit card, passport, money. Then I put on my leather flying hat and pick up my purse and thats it. Whatever I dont have I dont need.

Maybe you should just drive everywhere
I can drive. But I have no patience with bad drivers so its better that I dont. I honk my horn, I swear. So I drive at night when there is nobody on the road. I need a flying car.

What do you think about fashion and modelling these days?
Im glad Im not doing it now. Id probably be dead. Everybodys so skinny. Size zero is like the walking dead. Not sexy at all. When I modelled, I would normally be a model size six, eight, though my shoulders are wide, its hard to make them fit into things. Now I cant get into model sizes, because theyre really small. When it comes to fashion, Im loyal. I love Issey Miyake, Alaa, Kenzo, Philip Treacy. Im going to open a foundation in my moms name, teaching sewing and creating fashion.

What annoys you about modern life?
How it is round the wrong way. Like, I wait with my son for an Uber. He says: We have to walk to the car, hes not gonna wait for us. And I say: Im not walking to the cab! The cab comes to us! But he wants us to go because the customer is rated. The customer is rated? Excuse me! The world is inside out and upside down! And my son is like: Mom, mom, mom, please just walk to the cab. And I say: No. I feel like Gloria Swanson in SunsetBoulevard.

Grace Jones & Friends Live will be in cinemas nationwide for one nightonlyon 25 October and Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami will be in cinemas from 27 October

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Music and fashion have always gone hand in hand. A new book explores the myth and meaning of looks made famous by artists such as Bjrk, MIA and Jennifer Lopez

Bjrk: Debut, album, 1993

Bjorks Debut

Judy Blame is a legend of street-derived DIY styling. In partnership with music video director Mondino, he created the now-classic cover portrait for Bjrks acclaimed first album, Debut.

Blame had requested that Bjrk simply bring her favourite clothes from her own wardrobe for the Paris shoot. However, when the airline lost her luggage (she walked into my hotel room carrying just a model of a boat, a little satin Martin Margiela dress and a big pair of boots) they changed plan and headed to Margielas showroom.

Shed talked a lot about the fact the album was quite techno but she wanted to look like a little animal, so I just yanked that little furry jumper off Martins rail. Then [the French make-up artist] Topolino came in and put those two sequins under her eyes and that was it the full stop! recalls Blame. And so pop musics inimitable cyber pixie was born: a crystal-clear synergy of quiet vulnerability and extrovert determination.

Lady Gaga: meat dress, MTV awards, 2010

Gagas meat dress. Photograph: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Surreal, subversive and typically Gaga, the infamous meat dress (painstakingly crafted from real slices of meat) that she wore to the MTV music awards in Los Angeles in 2010 divided commentators: was it an artistic statement with a feminist agenda (women as meat) or anti-fashion dig at the sensation-hungry fashion and music industries? Franc Fernandez, who was originally commissioned to create a meat purse, developed the idea into a into a full-blown dress, and drafted in the family butcher to bring it to life.

Grace Jones: Nightclubbing, album, 1981

Nightclubbing, 1981.

Grace Jones collaborated with French art director, filmmaker and then lover Jean-Paul Goude to create performances, album art and music videos that propelled her semi-surreal image into the stratosphere. The cover for the album Nightclubbing (1981) boasts the image Goude believes most truthfully crystallises his overall vision of her a fearless modern hero, with extreme, subversive beauty. Jones boasts a sharply structured flat-top, a black, square-shouldered Armani suit (later retouched to look more extreme) and a torso so sculpted that the decolletage-cum-breastbone could be male or female. Her skin is inky black (Goude painted it black then overlaid it with blue powder to deepen the look) her lips dark red countered by the sleek stick of a white cigarette.

It was about extremity, playing on her masculinity. Grace simplified to the maximum, says Goude.

Jennifer Lopez: Get Right video, 2005

Jennifer Lopez, Get Right.

While Jennifer Lopezs persona was inarguably built on sexually charged charisma, stylist Andrea Lieberman, who put Lopez in a deep-plunge Versace dress for the Grammy Awards in 2000, said it was about reclaiming ownership over that sensuality. The Get Right video is a vision of sports luxury way before the term athleisure was coined in 2014. Together, they constructed an identity so popular that Lopez kickstarted global trends such as the Juicy Couture velour tracksuit (Im Real, 2001) and the Manolo Blahnik, Timberland-style stiletto boots (Jenny from the Block, 2002), inspiring a whole generation of emerging female hip-hop artists.

MIA: 2009 Grammy awards

M.I.A, Grammy awards 2009. Photograph: John Shearer/WireImage

One of anti-fashion stylist Anastasia Maranos most significant relationships has been her work with the outspoken British-Sri-Lankan songwriter, rapper and general creative agitator MIA. The pair worked together on a series of stage shows and festival performances, including her appearance at the 2009 Grammy awards when nine months pregnant. It was a headline-grabbing moment thanks to a bodycon Henry Holland monochrome mesh minidress with strategically placed polka dots. Echoing heavily pregnant Neneh Cherrys appearance on Top of the Pops two decades earlier, MIA accessorised it with hotpants and beefed-up Reebok trainers, unapologetically subverting the conventional mother-to-be stereotype.

It was a really special moment in her life, says Marano. She had a major song, Paper Planes, a album and a baby. The dress was actually a very sexy dress to start with; she wanted to look more like an artpiece.

Roxy Music: For Your Pleasure, album, 1973

Roxy Music For Your Pleasure

After redefining the suit in the suavest, slinkiest form for public appearances, couturier Antony Price next collaborated on Roxy Musics artwork. One of their most notable album covers is For Your Pleasure featuring Amanda Lear, stalwart of the 1970s club scene, model-muse to Salvador Dal and friend of Bryan Ferry. Sheathed in black latex and holding a panther on a leash, Lear poses in film noir meets art provocateur Allen Jones style. The enigmatic Lear was a fitting symbol for a band who were carving out a niche as pops perfect artefact.

While these images were sometimes criticised for bordering on the chauvinistic, the designs coincided with the emergence of the first international supermodels, glamazons with heavenly bodies, formidable characters and the aura of a stratospherically unattainable lifestyle, and cemented the bands legacy.

This is an edited extract from Fashion + Music by Katie Baron (Laurence King, 30). To buy a copy for 24.60 (inc free p&p), visit

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