The “Queen of Punk” and Vivienne Westwood model, Pamela Rooke was an early and crucial face of the Punk movement in the mid-70s.
Pamela Rooke was born in seaside Seaford, Essex in 1955 as Jordan Mooney. She may not have a name you’re familiar with, but you’ve probably seen her face a fair few times.
Rooke’s impact on the Punk movement as one of the first to model for then-unknown Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren changed the culture of London. Her modelling and conviction for Westwood’s creations was highly regarded in the punk movement.
Rooke once admitted: “the things I wore made people apoplectic,”. Her fearlessness in a time of primitive thinking allowed other like-minded misfits an identity in their fashion. It also created a place to belong at the SEX boutique in Chelsea, London, where the Sex Pistols formed.
Not only was Rooke a model for Westwood’s brand, but she was also a familiar face at the Punk shows. The Sex Pistols would play while she danced on stage, often topless. Her creativity and style led to occasional confrontations, “somebody tried to throw me off the train one day, literally out the door, so British Rail told me to go sit in first class,” she told Dazed Magazine.
It was a bit of a shocker to find out today that Sussex punk gigs will be a little less glamorous in future without the fabulous presence of #Jordan Mooney.. I’ll raise a glass (or two) in the great lady’s honour tonight.. there was simply nobody quite like her – cheers me dear! pic.twitter.com/nsrxuhtWHh
— Captain Sensible (@CaptainSensible) April 4, 2022
Rooke became a manager for an early incarnation of Adam and the Ants and naturally, she ended up performing on stage with that band too. Later, she married bassist, Kevin Rooney. As the Pistols broke up and Westwood would become a household name in high fashion in Paris, Jordan became a veterinary nurse and began breeding Burmese cats.
Due to complications from cholangiocarcinoma, a form of cancer, Pamela Rooke AKA Jordan Mooney passed away on April 3rd, 2022, in the same city she was born.
Pamela Rooke was a catalyst who allowed a movement of freedom and expression to form. Once a legend, always a legend.