Muse and Punk icon by Vivienne Westwood and the Sex Pistols
Pamela Rooke, who became famous as Jordan Mooney – or simply Jordan – has died at the age of 66. With her goes one of the last living symbol of authentic English punk.
It all started in the late 1970s in King’s Road, London. Jordan is the sales clerk of the most irreverent and outrageous store in the city “Sex”, by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood.
The store attracts musicians, artists and creatives of what will be the future English Punk scene, including the group around which everything will revolve as a planet, the “Sex Pistols”.
The most alternative photographers who frequented the store immortalized Vivenne, Malcolm and Pamela intent on wearing the most audacious and irreverent latex clothes ever seen in London; those photos have become precious testimonies of a brief but intense era.
The English Punk scene at the end of the 70s was pulsating and lively: it broke all the observant rules of UK respectability, it didn’t learn anything from the past. It repudiated it and mocked it completely.
Punk grows naturally, like a spontaneous plant that branches out and sprouts carnivorous flowers.
Even Jordan Mooney is a carnivorous flower that grows in the Punk forest: her attitudes are unpredictable, disrespectful, outrageous. She became Westwood’s favorite model and the inspiring muse of the Sex Pistols
Together with her friends Johnny Rotten, Soo Catwoman and Siouxsie Sioux, Jordan Mooney is considered the creator of London’s Punk style; she can be said to have contributed to the fame of Westwood’s Sex Store, to the fame of the Sex Pistols and to have constitutively increased her image as a Punk icon.
Her exaggerated makeup, bold sense of style and attitude helped to coagulate the Punk aesthetic and dress it up in leather, latex, rubber and “cut” fabrics, nudity and provocative style; Jordan embodies the Sex aesthetic.
Rooke becomes a friend of the Sex Pistols: she attends concerts, goes on stage in provocative poses and scenes, and the audience begins to notice her, to talk about her; aware of her worth, McLaren urged her to make trouble wherever the Pistols played.
One of the biggest cultural contributions to the scene came when she participated as the lead in Derek Jarman’s film “Jubilee,” as a Punk girl named Amyl Nitrate.
Long before the Punk scene became Mainstream, Jordan and her friends were rewriting the book of non-rules, forging an identity that the rest of the world would follow: at just 19 years old, she left the house in black tulle skirts that left no room for imagination, or only in latex panties and thigh-high stockings, attracting verbal and – sometimes – even physical violence.