Bananarama look again: ‘The clothes have been fitted with rooster wire – and completely extraordinary’

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Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward of Bananarama in a shot of them taken in 1992, in which they are wearing dresses that really exaggerate the female shape, and recreating the same shot in 2022

Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward in 1992 and 2022. Later {photograph}: Pål Hansen. Styling: Andie Redman. Hair: Alex Worth; Make-up: Kim Darnell, each at Frank Company. Archive {photograph}: Mike Owen. Styling: Roland Mouret

Bristolians Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward have been the founding members of Bananarama. From teen punks to membership children and mainstream pop mainstays, the childhood buddies, together with Siobhan Fahey, went on to turn out to be probably the most profitable woman bands of all time with hits similar to Venus, Love within the First Diploma and Robert De Niro’s Waiting. In addition to holding the file for essentially the most worldwide hits for an all-female group, they’re famend for his or her shifting lineup: Fahey left in 1988 and Jacquie O’Sullivan took her place till 1991, and Dallin and Woodward relaunched as a duo the next yr. Their twelfth album, Masquerade, is launched on 22 July.

Keren

This {photograph} was an vital second for us. We have been on set for Movin On’, our first hit as a duo. The designer Roland Mouret was our artwork director and it was his concept to decorate us in these outfits – they have been fitted with rooster wire and completely extraordinary. I bear in mind him saying that I had “a low waist” and questioning what to make of it. Did I’ve quick legs? Was it an insult or a praise? It’s humorous how issues like that follow you.

We’d had a profitable profession with Siobhan and Jacquie, and whereas we at all times received on with them, there was a way of freedom in it lastly being simply us. You would say it was a very long time coming. Since college, we’ve at all times been one another’s sounding board.

I can bear in mind seeing Sara for the primary time throughout the playground. She had this magnificent thick, wavy hair that was tied up in a ponytail, whereas mine simply hung lank round my ears. I used to be envious, but additionally drawn to her. I believed: “I wish to play with this woman.” So we began hanging out at lunch and joined the choir collectively. We have been mischievous, too, a bit of bit cheeky. Doing foolish stuff like throwing paint out of the window on to the youthful children. As we grew to become youngsters, it wasn’t actually about getting drunk – we needed to see bands, experiment with trend and go clubbing. On the finish of the night time, one in every of our dads would at all times come to choose us up.

After we have been 18, the world was our oyster: we moved from Bristol to a YWCA in London, after which stayed in Paul Cook dinner of the Intercourse Pistols’ place for some time on Denmark Avenue. It was a little bit of a hovel. There have been no correct amenities – we’d must boil an egg in a kettle, and the roof was at all times leaking – but it surely was simply so implausible to be within the West Finish. It’s when this all began. Paul prompt we do backing vocals for his band with Steve Jones, and mentioned: “Why don’t you make a demo?” That was it. Proper place, proper time, thank goodness. In any other case I’d nonetheless be working within the monetary world doing pensions.

My core reminiscences of the 80s with Sara are simply how a lot we laughed. We had some ridiculous dance routines, and I wouldn’t have launched into it if it wasn’t enjoyable. I can’t even comprehend doing this with somebody who wasn’t my finest buddy. Clearly when issues went flawed we’d have a moan, however we’ve by no means actually fallen out. Our personalities simply work nicely with one another – Sara’s fairly impatient; I’m fairly laid-back – but it surely’s a relationship that provides and offers because it grows, a bit like a wedding.

Folks have mentioned we’re a bit intimidating. They see us transferring as one being: twice the ability. It’s unusual to me, as I feel we’re fairly regular. We have been most likely a bit shy once we began out and I feel folks assumed that was us being surly. However we simply don’t have airs and graces. We’re not stage college varieties. Even now, once we’ve received to do social media movies, rustling up faux enthusiasm doesn’t work for us. We’re actually into timekeeping, although. All the time the primary to reach.

Once I misplaced my dad and mom, Sara was there to place her arm round me. I get fairly emotional interested by it, because it means so much to have somebody who’s been there since childhood. Nobody else can perceive every little thing I’ve been via, what we’ve completed collectively. There’s no topic we will’t speak about. It’s very particular – and in some ways I’m the happiest I’ve been. Lastly we’ve received nothing to show.

Sara

I largely bear in mind Roland Mouret on this shoot. Each woman within the room was like: “Wow! Take a look at this attractive Frenchman.” They have been all in love with him. We have been on a excessive on the time – Movin’ On was an enormous hit for us and we hadn’t actually acknowledged the pertinence of the monitor identify. Siobhan had simply left and the file firm was nervous about shedding the ability of three: “Three seems good in photos!” they mentioned. We thought that was type of irrelevant.

Keren grew up two streets away from me, so we have been at all times conscious of one another. She had poker-straight hair tied up with stripy hair bands, and at all times had these sensible quick skirts her mum made her. Her nickname was Leaping Jelly Beans. Our friendship actually took off once we have been 11. Keren and I might pool our Saturday cash so we might purchase data, and we’d study each phrase and the backing vocals to Stevie Marvel and Roxy Music songs.

Punk was a pivotal second for our friendship, too. We have been 13 and looking for our personal id. We thought we have been actually wild, going to see Era X and the Ramones, particularly as a result of we technically weren’t sufficiently old to get into the venues. As soon as we received trapped in a crowd whereas pogoing and ended up on the ground. It was fairly embarrassing.

We’d additionally spend a variety of time strolling up and down Kings Highway gawping at these hardcore punks with their spiky hair and mohair jumpers, whereas Keren and I have been in our little ties and shirts and plastic sandals. After we received older we began going to golf equipment and assembly folks like Boy George – creatives with the same outlook to us. We performed netball with Sade at weekends after which would head off to the Wag Membership, the place we’d hang around with Spandau Ballet, Fats Tony and Jonathan Ross. Everybody made their very own garments. In fairly a couple of of our movies we’re in selfmade outfits. They weren’t very flattering.

There have been instances we went in numerous instructions: Keren moved to Cornwall within the early 90s, so I discovered a brand new circle of buddies. She would nonetheless come as much as London so much to exit and to work, but it surely was an enormous change. It didn’t have an effect on our friendship, although – we simply noticed barely much less of one another. The great thing about understanding her for thus lengthy is that distance doesn’t actually matter.

Keren went via so much when her dad and mom died across the similar time, and two of our good buddies died – one in every of them George Michael. It was a tough interval, however we sorted one another. Folks would possibly suppose we’re robust; we’re really fairly delicate.

Today Keren is sort of eager for us to take off to France in a campervan, do a vacation collectively – she’s needed it for years. I’d choose a spa, however I don’t thoughts. As long as we will cease off at a bathe in some unspecified time in the future. That’s one other key issue of our friendship: compromise.

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