Painter, singer, actor, model, interior designer, club promoter: Christos Tolera has played an extensive list of roles. Homecoming, a new exhibition at tailor Mark Powell's Soho store, sees Tolera demonstrate his skill as a photographer.
Tolera's career was galvanised by the legendary Blitz nightclub in Covent Garden, which incubated the New Romantic scene. He soon became co-frontman for the short-lived new wave band Blue Rondo à la Turk, and a model for Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons and Jean Paul Gaultier.
Tolera was especially well-known for his own dandyish fashion sense. Reflecting on this period, Boy George described Tolera as "wet-lipped, dark and especially handsome."
More recently, Tolera has been focusing on his career as an artist, in both painting and photography. Homecoming's title refers to his return, after a 35-year absence, to the borough of Hackney.
Raised in a Dalston council estate, Tolera remembered the borough as a neglected, crime-ridden place. On moving back to the area, he found himself astonishing by how much things had changed. During nocturnal walks, he started photographing the "jewels" he stumbled across by the streets - especially roses, long a feature of his painting practice.
Describing the display, Tolera states: "The image of Hackney by night had been transformed in my mind from an imaginary urban despair to a tangible sense of hope and beauty in the face of adversity. It's not just a story of Hackney, but also of London, and of coming home."
More than 20 archival giclee prints will be available to purchase at the store, in limited editions of five.
Himself an east Londoner with dandyish inclinations, Mark Powell began his career at the King's Road shop Robot. He opened his first Soho shop in 1984. Musical customers have included Mick Jagger, Brian Ferry, Paul Weller, Kevin Rowland, George Michael, Goldie and Mel B.