As you might expect from a man who has lived as colourful a life as the DJ Fat Tony, there are plenty of stories stored in the vault, a selection of which appear in his just-released memoir I Don’t Take Requests. As well as music, he’s always had a firm foot in with the fashion set - the two worlds do after all go hand in hand.
From becoming friends with the stylist and designer Judy Blame at 15 (It was Blame who came up with the nickname Fat Tony, because he was, at the time just a little bit overweight) and the DJ became friends with Kate Moss after she’d walked her first show for John Galliano. “She used to come into Fred’s which was the members club at the time and I would give her so many Long Island Iced Teas that I’d have to put her under the desk in the office for a nap.” It’s a life filled with more than a few fashion moments, so here are a few of the best with a few of the industry's biggest:
“Trying to persuade Joseph Ettedgui from Joseph why it would be better to have me in drag as Dusty Springfield rather than an actual performer to close his London Fashion Week Joseph Tricot show was quite fun - I mean how do you persuade a middle-aged Moroccan man to let you do that? It was all Michael Roberts' (legendary stylist and now photographer) idea of course. For the finale, we put twelve boys in drag and the male models all came out in stilettos and mini-dresses they couldn’t walk in. Springfield tried to sue us after that."
“Galliano always used to dress me head-to-toe in his looks. Like I do today in Dior, where I go to the store and get every look - I did that with Galliano. I spent about a year and a half walking around Soho like a deranged sailor. I went to Jamaica in head-to-toe Galliano and I’d been there half an hour when it all went back into the suitcase - the deranged sailor look didn’t travel well, I can tell you. He used to come to the brothel I worked in as a receptionist and he made a dress out of a potato sack for Margi who was the prostitute I worked for and she looked incredible. He really is the most incredible designer.”
“At the beginning of her career, Vivienne Westwood went bust so many times. When she came back with the mini-crini and polka dot shirts collection, her store World's End on the King's Road had been closed for two years and she reopened it with no electricity. Her Mum was working there at the time and I popped in and was a bit like ‘I think it’s really great what you’re doing here, re-opening with no electricity’ thinking nothing more of it.
"The next day I was at an opening at the V&A and Vivienne literally pinned me to the wall; ‘You know what Tony, when you left the shop the other day I thought to myself what a rude, condescending little arsehole, I really am going to get him.’ She had me pinned to the wall for 45 minutes giving me one of her Vivienne speeches on how appallingly rude I was - that’s how long it took me to convince her I was being nice... And for once in my life I really was.”
“You should always be careful what slogans you come up with at the height of your club careers, kids, because you never know when they’re going to come back to haunt you. I was booked by Donatella Versace to play a private afterparty in her Milan penthouse a few years ago, it was the show where Jennifer Lopez had come back to model a version of the green print dress she originally wore in 2000. Anyway, in walks Donatella to the party, arm in arm with J-Lo, I’m behind the decks with as much Versace bling on as I can lift, and goes ‘Aiii, Fat Tony! NO K, NO PLAY!!’ I mean, fuck me. How the fuck did she know that?”
“I was in Brazil for AmFar with Cher and I heard a knock on the door and Jean-Paul Gaultier came over and asked to talk to me, that night at two in the morning he came to my room and asked me where the local gay sauna was. I was like; ‘Why are you asking me?!’ He just said I had one of those faces.. When I saw him at breakfast the next morning he looked really glowing and his skin looked dewy and fresh so I’ve no idea if he went or not.”
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