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A dedicated home for music memorabilia, exploring the past, present and future of music archives. Find your own piece of the story.

Bikers. Photo courtesy of Contemporary Waredrobe

‘I’ve dressed Blondie & Villanelle’

Responsible for dressing the most influential British icons of the stage, TV and screen – from Quadrophenia to David Bowie and the Rolling Stones – Burton has built a 20 thousand strong collection of vintage street fashion, wearing many metaphorical hats over his career as costume designer, stylist, author, shop owner, former Leicester mod, and founder of his own hire archive, The Contemporary Wardrobe, housed in the former Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury since 1993.

If you don’t understand the past, you can’t create the future. I’ve always abided by that in some way. It’s important to understand the past and I did it through collecting. That’s what I do.

A definitive resource for clothing and design in the UK, the collection charts the best in the history of street style, spanning the range of British youth subcultures from the war onwards. Anyone whose anyone has flocked to Burton, his pieces appearing on a myriad of cultural icons; most recently Villanelle in Killing Eve, Harry Styles and Margaret Atwood.

“When you look at the garments, they’re a real patchwork of coded messages to the outside world,” says Burton, who counts music as a defining thread woven throughout his work, the two intrinsically linked. Here, we asked Burton to share moments from his career defined by music, exclusively for MAG_BTM.