This pretty little lady is quite simply the longest surviving female club kid who’s still very much active on the scene today. More than likely unbeknown to herself, her exotic looks, big dark eyes and mannerism strangely bring to mind a ’50s Italian film star named Gina Lollobrigida.
Presumably unlike the other girls who grew up on her Wood Green council estate, she was never interested in getting married and raising a family. She had grander designs on metamorphosing into a social butterfly and collecting pollen, so to speak, from as many blooms as possible. That way, she’d hopefully get known within on-trend circles and would be afforded a pampered life of fancy launches, peppered with everlasting media exposure and photo opportunities – a substantial chunk of which, lest we forget, would later originate from me.
First step up the proverbial social ladder: getting a job as a shop assistant at PX, Covent Garden’s hip boutique of the late ’70s. Conveniently, Steve Strange worked there too and he seized the opportunity to get her on board the burgeoning Blitz bandwagon by posting her at the club’s front door, armed with the guest list clipboard. He was too busy himself holding a mirror up to the punters, asking “would you let you in?”, to see to a guest list – joke! He also famously roped her in for Visage’s oft-seen début VT for Fade To Grey, but only just to lip-synch the two words … devenir gris that Rusty’s then-girlfriend from Belgium had recorded.
From then on, Julia’s dream clearly became reality as she proved to be ubiquitous at apparently every avant-garde club and happening party “known to mankind”. Needless to say, practical opening-of-a-toilet-seat jokes went viral behind the scene, but that obviously never deterred her.
Whatever she got up to virtually every night at those functions seemed immaterial. What mattered was her presence. Somehow, looking pretty amply sufficed for scenesters to feel that she added a certain cachet to the place, provided that she could play down her notorious cockney sparrow demeanour. Be it as The Blitz’s door whore, The Wag’s front-of-house cashier, Taboo’s cloakroom attendant and as a host, performer or DJ in countless other dives, she quite simply bit at every disco bait.
There is no doubt that nobody could possibly survive that exceptional amount of time on the scene without possessing some sort of aptitude. Call it staying power, resilience or mere tenacity, La Julia seems to have it in spades. When the average clubbers’ lifespan usually clocks up 2 to 3 years before they finally throw in the apron, hers has lasted since the word dot. I reckon The Guinness Book of Records ought to take note, should they decide to no longer look upon such activities as utterly insignificant.
Remarkably, the self-appointed “princess” possesses an inherent ability to keep her gaggle of fans and sycophants interested in more or less whatever it is she turns her attention to. However, that doesn’t quite absolves her manifest and rather curious penchant for having a finger in every pie. Generally, if playing your trump card – whatever it may be – is a good thing, being by all accounts oblivious of your own limitations inevitably smacks of desperation. You’ve got to give it to her though for continually getting the jobs, even if that may require a fair leap of faith from the people involved.
So, how does she do it and, more importantly, what can possibly motivate this rather perplexing character? Does she constantly live in fear of missing out? Is she trying to prove something? What does she have for breakfast?!?
One concrete talent of hers is that she managed to preserve her image in rather pristine order over the decades. She did – at least most of the time – make a conscious effort to “beautify herself”, as she puts it. That could surely warrant some sort of certificate or medal, couldn’t it?
I would wholeheartedly wrap things up with something along the lines of “may she flutter her wings in clubland for a good while longer” if there was any indication that she’d finally decide to slow down or even drop out of the scene. No need for that, the word on the street is that she’ll still inevitably be in attendance when the cows come home … naturally always at the right time and in the right place.
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