Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Pattie Chronicles: 1969-1970 Style

Here is what may be the last entry of "the Pattie Chronicles," so I am ending it in style (no pun intended. well, perhaps, maybe that I see it). Here is the last major period of Pattie's style during the sixties, a time I call 'the Sophisticate.'
As Pattie grew older, her style became more mature and she stepped away from the loud ethnic prints of years past. Her wardrobe’s color palette consisted mostly of white, black, grey, cream, navy, and dark red. Instead of Eastern influences, Pattie looked toward the 1920s for inspiration for her style. This is evident in her flapper-esque pincurl & fingerwave hairstyles, dark red lips, thin eyebrows, and liking of beaded details on clothing. Her wardrobe also had romantic Victorian touches, which can be seen in her favorite piece of jewelry during this period – an antique cameo brooch she strung on a black velvet ribbon to make a choker necklace.
The essentials: shearling coat, black felt floppy hat, satin ruched shirt, maxidresses, white pants, black blazers and sweaters, white blazer with piped outlined in navy, high-necked Edwardian-inspired dresses (long sleeves, reached the ankles), long cashmere scarves, strands of pearls or black beads (sometimes a black rosary worn as necklace), white 1920s silk gowns with white feather boas, deep V-neck blouses
Hairstyle: Pattie had grown out her bangs completely at this point, favoring a parted down the middle look. It was during this time she could change her hairdos more because her simple style allowed for experimentation. She would part her hair on the side, down the middle, or not at all by wrapping her mane into a large bun on the top of her head. Pattie also let her hair fall wavy naturally, or curl her hair tightly.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

you say it's your birthday, we're gonna have a good time

Tomorrow (February 25th) would have been George Harrison's 66th birthday. Here at Dolly Girl, we commemorate the life of this great man who did so much for the world -- not just in terms of music, but also how he spread faith and truth throughout the world.

Rest in peace George, you are awfully missed.
Life flows on within you and without you.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

13 most beautiful women (right now)

Okay, so I am stealing this idea from Andy Warhol's series of films entitled "The 13 most beautiful..." (which is okay because he stole it from the "13 Most Wanted" police releases). Every so often I will post an entry of the 13 actresses/singers/models/socialites/et cetera that are captivating me/causing me to be overcome with bitter jealousy at the moment. Here is the first installment...
  1. Catherine Deneuve - she has been called one of the most beautiful women who has ever lived, with good justification. With the trademark of playing emotionally aloof ice maidens, Catherine Deneuve has carved a place for herself in film history as a goddess-like creature in films such as "Belle de Jour" and Roman Polanski's "Repulsion."
  2. Faye Dunaway - the cheekbones. It was all about the cheekbones for me after I first saw "Bonnie and Clyde." I just wanted to be Faye in this movie. I even cut my ribcage-length blonde hair into a bobbed look inspired by Bonnie. Sadly, this look didn't take on me. Neither did the berets, sweater sets, pencil skirts, or fedoras I tried to rock in order to get her B&C look. My sad attempts taught me a valuable lesson that it is sometimes better to admire a certain look from afar than to try it out on yourself.
  3. Jean Seberg - No other person has made me want to drop out of school, shack up with a fugitive, chop all my hair off, or become a street merchant than Jean Seberg did in "À Bout de Souffle." All of Jean's films have had this effect on me. Her life story has the same magnetic draw. She was a precious gamine - tough and knowing while still naive and vulnerable.
  4. Pattie Boyd - I have made no secret my love for Pattie Boyd. I think I have said all there is to say about rock's all-time muse. Maybe my borderline-creepy "Pattie Chronicles" (basically saying how to be Pattie Boyd) just wasn't enough for ya. In any case, she was a MUST on the list. As pathetic as it may be, just the thought of her and George Harrison when they were married just makes me goosepimply all over. Too perfect.
  5. Twiggy - Yeah, yeah, yeah she was the face of a generation. Long long legs, huge dollface eyes, pale blonde hair. Okay Twiggy, we get it, you are freaking gorgeous. Damn it.
  6. Sharon Tate - One part femme fatale, one part free spirit, Sharon Tate was a part-time actress and full-time flower child. The wifey of my love Roman Polanski, Sharon is almost painfully gorgeous at times. Beneath her flighty blonde persona that she displayed in "Valley of the Dolls" and "Don't Make Waves," there was a sadness and knowingness in her eyes that was lovely to watch onscreen. Even without the knowledge of her gruesome and unfortunate end, you want to give Sharon a hug whenever she is onscreen.
  7. Marilyn Monroe - Marilyn was the first star that really captured my attention. I guess you could say that after one viewing of her in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," I was hooked on classic films. I used to imitate her swivelly walk, her girlish laugh, and routinely begged my mother to allow me to lighten my hair. It is unfortunate that today she is known more for her romantic and barbitual exploits than her strong acting career. I find her devastatingly gorgeous. Her "Last Sitting" with Bert Stern is one of the most gorgeous and almost tragic photoshoots I have ever viewed.
  8. Peggy Lipton - She slept with Elvis. She slept with Paul McCartney. She married Quincy Jones. I admit that I don't know much about Peggy Lipton, but I know enough to think she's incredibly accomplished. Among her many accomplishments: several Golden Globes for her role in the Mod Squad, a role in Twin Peaks (mmm...Kyle MacLachlan) and appearances in Jane Fonda workout videos.
  9. Marianne Faithfull - Please direct yourself to my entry on Ms. Faithfull. Along with once being called "the best body in rock'n'roll" she also has one of the best life stories.
  10. Grace Kelly - Grace Kelly lived a truly fairytale life. The daughter of a wealthy Philadephian, Grace had a successful career as the archetypal Hitchcock heroine and Academy Award-winning actress before marrying Prince Rainier of Monaco. However charmed her life seemed, recent biographies have revealed bouts of depression, dissatisfaction, insecurity, and anxiousness that plagued the Princess through her short life. But with her grace and regard, she never let the world (who was constantly watching) know her deeper problems.
  11. Mia Farrow - Vidal Sassoon's most famous customer, Mia Farrow has lived a quirky life to say the least. From her romances with Frank Sinatra and Woody Allen, this former pixie posterchild has proved she is still the naive child or sorts she was forty years ago.
  12. Brigitte Bardot - Yes, God did create woman. Brigitte Bardot is exhibit A. You could be the straightest of straight a girl and still be attracted to her. It's possible, I should know.
  13. Edie Sedgwick - As Lou Reed wrote, Edie was a femme fatale. She may very well be Warhol's most famous superstar, starring in many of his underground films for a period of time in the mid-sixties. Her films at the Factory showed her mostly just playing herself, but, as Ciao Manhattan showed, Edie did have genuine acting talent.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Maybe we should just bring Chris Hansen in right now...

Disclaimer: I am not supporting the Jonas Brothers’ music. It’s not good…at all. I think the kid who sings and straightens his hair might be a smidgeon tone deaf. But I like the little one Nick. He’s got this real great Jim Morrison curly hair and pretty cool style (for a kid who wears girl jeans). If I had to chose one JoBro (as they are apparently called) to have, I would chose him. Alas, this can never happen. Ignoring the fact that I am not a Disney groupie and would never subject myself to one of their concerts, but in the hypothetical situation that I were to succeed in meeting and/or seducing Nick, I would most certainly go to jail due to our age difference. But this will never happen because this kid took a freaking abstinence pledge that he will never have sex until his wedding night. He must be having the most un-fun time as a rockstar ever. He’s got every girl (including Kim “I'm bringing booty back” Kardashian) crushing on him, but he doesn’t do anything with them. Can you imagine Paul McCartney telling girls back in 1964, “Oh, you want to have sex with me? Oh you, too? Well that’s all very sweet, but I’m going to have to say no to that. Would you like to play a game of Scrabble instead maybe?” No because Paul was normal and had sex with the tons of girls that wanted to have sex with him. Is it weird that I find Paul’s behavior the more acceptable of the two?
I am using the McCartney comparison because I am also dreadfully tired of the Jonas Brothers (oh, apparently they dropped the ‘the’…so I guess its just Jonas Brothers) being called “the most wholesome band since the Beatles.” Number one, aside from the very fact that their music is nothing alike, the Beatles and Jonas Brothers as people really ARE nothing alike. I would never call the Beatles “wholesome” just as I could never imagine these Jonas kids dropping acid or writing songs about lighting the apartment of a one-night-stand on fire. They write songs about instant messaging and unrequited crushes. Maybe Bob Dylan just needs to give them some weed like he did with the fab four in order to give ‘em some rockstar cred.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

why don't you take a good look at yourself and describe what you see, and baby, baby, baby, do you like it?

"Jane Holzer is the most contemporary girl I know" - Diana Vreeland
Arguably Andy Warhol’s first and most famous of Factory it-girls during the sixties (for a time, at least), Baby Jane Holzer certainly cemented her place in sixties fashion and pop culture history. She came before Edie, before Nico, before Viva, becoming Warhol’s first ‘superstar.’ Calling her the true it-girl of the ‘60s, fashion designer Halston described her as “the latest, the greatest, the most avant-garde.” Using terms like ‘super marvelous’ and ‘switched-on,’ Jane was one of those rare girls during the sixties whose personality was just as whimsical and electric as her innate sense of style.
The daughter of a real estate tycoon, she was born Jane Brookenfeld on October 23, 1940 in Palm Beach, Florida, where she spent most her early life. She attended the Cherry Lawn School in Connecticut before graduating to study at the Finch Junior College in New York City. By her senior year, Jane was spending more time out dancing at night clubs than studying in the library, so she was asked to leave Finch, much to her pleasure.
After college, Jane began modeling and in 1963 her career really took off when David Bailey took her (and several others, including Jean Shrimpton) under his wing. She began partying with the Rolling Stones, and, at twenty-two, she married Park Avenue real estate heir Leonard Holzer and settled down in a comfortable career as a famous model and Upper East Side wife. She kept her career as “I just didn’t want to be a housewife. I wanted to be a star. I mean, it sure beat going to Bloomingdale’s every day.”
She was nicknamed ‘Baby Jane’ Holzer by WWD columnist Carol Bjorkman after the Bette Davis-Joan Crawford vehicle “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” which had recently been released. Neither Holzer nor Bjorkman had seen the film, but when Holzer was informed what kind of movie it was, she said she “wanted to die” over her nickname. Holzer laments, “I became famous for nothing. Just because I had the bucks and could buy clothes, the press picked up on anything I said. It was ridiculous.”
Holzer was introduced to Warhol in 1963 outside of Manhattan’s Bloomingdale’s. Captivated by her mix of lion’s mane long blonde hair and short minidresses straight from Carnaby Street, Warhol immediately invited her to participate in his newest film, “Soap Opera.” Holzer also took an instant liking to Warhol, buying several of his flower paintings to hang up around her Park Avenue home. She once commented that Warhol loved that she hung his portraits from a corner, making the piece diamond-shaped.
Baby Jane’s first film at the Factory was “Soap Opera,” which also featured Sam Green and Jerry Benjamin. Her ‘screen test’ with Warhol is infamous – Warhol advised her first “not to blink,” then continued to film her unwrapping a piece a gum and brushing her teeth. After “Soap Opera” came “Batman Dracula,” a film she described as being “hysterically funny,” “Kiss,” “Thirteen Most Beautiful Women in the World,” and a film Jane only remembered by her “eating a banana.” In addition to the films at the Factory, Baby Jane appeared in the Edie Sedgwick-starring film “Ciao Manhattan” as Charla. Holzer often looks on the shooting of that film unfavorably, recalling the late hours due to Sedgwick’s prolonged absences and the number of people on set who were shooting speed behind the scenes. Jane summed up her experiences on “Ciao” as “the fun was over for me.” After that, she had a career on Broadway and briefly enjoyed a career as a pop star before turning to real estate investments, producing films, and becoming owner of ice cream parlor in Florida called Sweet Baby Jane’s.
Weary of the drug-induced craziness of the Factory, Jane kept away from that scene “between Edie’s arrival and when Andy got shot.” She was replaced as Warhol’s main partner-in-crime in 1965 by Edie Sedgwick (who was then, in turn, replaced by the likes of International Velvet and Brigid Berlin), but she remained a close friend of Warhol’s for the next two decades, until Warhol’s death in 1987. Though Edie said she didn’t know she was replacing the “Girl of the Year 1964,” saying “In fact, I’d never even heard of her, I hardly ever read the papers,” Jane was undeniably hurt. “I would be a liar if I said I wasn’t jealous of Edie. She was very beautiful” admitted Holzer.
Baby Jane’s look encapsulates a distinct period in sixties fashion. Described once as “postbeatnik, prehippie” Holzer’s style was that lovely mixture of Brit mod sleekness, Parisian haute couture, and New York frivolity. Fashion savior Diana Vreeland (who often featured Jane in Vogue editorials) once said about her, “she was a blaze of golden glory and she rose like a rocket.” A reporter once described her as: “she is gorgeous in the most outrageous way. Her hair rises up from her head in a huge hairy corona, a huge tan mane around a narrow face and two eyes opened—swock!—like umbrellas, with all that hair flowing down …looking like some kind of queen bee for all flaming little buds everywhere." Baby Jane’s influence in the fashion world lives on. John Galliano named her the inspiration of his fall collection for Christian Dior in 2006, calling upon her signature big, teased hair and stylishly restrained ladylike clothes with an edge. (Jane appears at around 27 seconds)

Monday, February 9, 2009

i know this love of mine will never die

Let me first start by saying that I’m not some girl that has creepy fetishes. That being said, I am dedicating this post to the unexplainable sexiness of Paul McCartney’s moustache. During the magical year of 1967, the Beatles all grew moustaches to outfit their Sgt. Pepper theme. While all four boys looked attractive with this look, Paul stands out the most in my mind. I guess I really noticed this when I first watched the promo videos for “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever.”
There is nothing visibly superior per se about Paul’s moustache; they all were pretty much rocking the Brawny towel guy/ borderline pornstache look, but for some reason I am physically attracted to Paul so much more whilst her had his ‘stache. I don't really know why -- maybe its because the 'stache (as I will continue to refer to it as) gave him that immediate "I'm-not-a-fucking-choirboy-so-stop-saying-I-look-like-one" air and he became instantly more mature and less innocent-looking. Also, he became visibly more badass during this time -- taking LSD, wearing really great 'hip' (I suppose one would say...) suits, rocking paisley and whatnot.
Alas, as the story goes, all good things must come to an end -- Paul was the first to shave off his moustache after the Sgt. Pepper publicity finished, whereas John kept his for a few more months, Ringo and George keeping their for a few more years. When Paul re-grew his during the mid-70s Wings years, it just wasn't the same. Perhaps it was because the moment had passed and the stars were no longer aligned or some malarkey like that, or perhaps it was because in addition to a moustache, Paul also had a mullet.
Yes, I think that's why it didn't work as well.

I think you know what I mean:

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Pattie Chronicles: 1968 Style

For the early part of 1968, Pattie rocked the “Ashram chic” look. “We just wore very simple outfits,” Pattie said in 2006 about the clothing in India. “The kurta, which is a long skirt, with long pajama trousers. We hardly went out of the ashram because we were too busy meditating, so tailors would be brought in and the same kurta-and-pajama look would be made again and again. I used to send frantic postcards from India to the Beatles’ management, asking them to buy me a pair of shoes or a dress that I’d seen in a magazine because none of these things were within my grasp. I’d suddenly imagine something I wanted, such as a pair of clear plastic high-heeled shoes, or I’d send Ossie Clark a card asking him to make me a silk bikini — ridiculous things like that. Our dress was so simplified, I thought it would be nice to wear a bikini or high heels for a change.”

rebel girl you are the queen of my world

Reasons I Wish I Could Be Marianne Faithfull:
  1. She dated Mick Jagger.
  2. She began dating him only after sleeping with him and two other Stones (Keith and Brian). Being able to swing that is pretty badass.
  3. Her voice. It is equally as gorgeous nowadays, with its deep and husky sound, as it did when she sang lighter and folksier when she was first starting out.
  4. Bob Dylan once wrote a poem for her in order to impress her, but she turned him down. Marianne is cool enough to not want to have sex with Bob Dylan.
  5. Not only an incredible singer, but Marianne is also an awesome actress who was in one of my favorite over-the-top beautiful films “Marie Antoinette.”
  6. Today, she is just as beautiful as she was forty years ago. Not beautiful in that nipped/tucked, trimmed and pinned way that some older women are, but she looks beautiful at the age she is. Perhaps the definition of aging gracefully.
  7. Related to the guy who created the word ‘masochism.’ Dirty.
  8. She has been best friends with my other role model Anita Pallenberg for over forty years. Anita & Marianne = BIFFLES FOR LIFE!
  9. She could rock a fur rug like no other.
  10. Her autobiography, “Faithfull,” is seriously one of the best I’ve read. She has a great dry sense of humor and doesn’t romanticize her life growing up. And honestly who else could end their life’s story with cooking tips?
Reasons I’m A Little Bit Glad I’m not:
  1. The hepatitis C. I wouldn’t like having anything in common with Pam Anderson.
  2. The homelessness. I freak out when I’m relegated to the pullout couch when on vacations.
  3. Attending an all-girls school and having a Catholic upbringing, which I already do. But Marianne attended school in the fifties, which I imagine to be much worse than it is nowadays. Today I’d like to think of the nuns as being somewhat liberated. Those nuns back in the fifties could beat your forehead with a ruler and call it their daily lesson plan.
  4. The drug addictions. I have seen the effects that cocaine and heroin has had on former friends, and I doubt that I would ever be able to pull through and recover.
  5. Having people believe rumors that Mick Jagger ate a Mars Bar from your lady bits. C’mon, at least be a Milky Way, the candy bar of the social elite.
  6. Having a child at eighteen. That would be me having a baby… like right now. I wouldn’t be able to handle that. I am too ill-equipped to like even conceive of having sex with people, let alone produce their spawn.

you thought i was on a roll, react to the chemicals, and you've got a wish that was made of solid gold

"Slumdog Millionaire" is one of the most devastingly gorgeous films I have seen this year. Set and filmed entirely in India, the film defies the typical standards of Indian cinema -- who for the most part represent India as a highly stylized, colorful, rich country where everyone is well-dressed and tends to break out in song -- to show the slums of Mumbai (where over 60% of residents live) and the lives of people from there.
"Slumdog" tells the story of Jamal Malik, an 18-year-old boy from the Juhu slums of Mumbai who manages to appear on the Indian version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire." The film covers his successful appearance on the show, intersplicing it with the many tragedies he endured during his life. He exceeds many peoples expectations as to how far he would get on the show, causing the show's host and police officer's to suspect he is cheating.
The film is the classic tale in the style of "Oliver Twist" or "Of Human Bondage" of a hardworking orphan who tries to make something out of his life despite the many setbacks he faces. At the core "Slumdog" is a love story, a rags-to-riches tale about a kid who spends his life just trying to get the girl.

Friday, February 6, 2009

louise brooks, louise brooks, you got her hair, you got her looks, lulu wants, lulu gets, burning eyes, skintight dress

My favorite silent film star (and inspiration for Katie Holmes's really ill-fitting haircut last year) Louise Brooks is what I consider to be the archetypal example of a flapper. Born Mary Louise Brooks in midwestern Cherryvale, Kansas in 1906, "Brooksie" (as her family friends called her) began studying dance at a young age before turning professional in 1922 and moving to New York. After dancing with different companies, Brooks joined the famous Ziegfeld Follies before pursuing a career in film.
She first made a splash onscreen as the vampy Marie in Howard Hawks's "A Girl in Every Port" in 1928. She followed up that film with "Beggars for Life" (also 1928) where she portrayed Nancy, an abused country girl who is on-the-run. Both these films established Louise Brooks as a talented actress, the latter film often being described the best film of her career. Other notable films include: "Diary of a Lost Girl," "Prix de Beauté," "Rolled Stockings," and "The Canary Murder Case." Arguably her most famous role was as Lulu in "Pandora's Box" (1929), a role that bore remarkable similarities to her own life. Despite her popularity and talent, Louise had a strong dislike of anything to do with Hollywood, so she would make only 24 films throughout her life. She eventually left America for Europe, appearing in German films with great reception, though she still felt foreign cinema was influenced by the repressive rules of the Hollywood system. She ended her acting career at its peak in 1938; her remaining years were spent travelling, writing, painting, and reading.
Gradually, as her interest in acting waned, her own status as a legitimate actress was eclipsed by her role as a fashion icon and personality. She became best-known for her signature bob haircut, a page boy-ish look that epitomized the flapper. She considered herself a "modern" woman, sexually liberated and independent. She refused to accept the oppressed position for women in society, often causing controversy due to her independent nature.

you don't look different but you have changed

Because I am pathetic and occasionally stalk to look at girls far more beautiful than I, I came across this beautiful editorial from Numero Korea. The website describes the shoot's style as "soft and ethereal. With heavy bangs, retro styling and vintage style photography, [Suvi] Koponen calls to mind classic 60s era chanteuses like France Gall and Marianne Faithfull." I think their description is rather correct, the model's thick fringe and envious clothing is remniscent of Marianne, while the peroxide swept hair and kohl eyes is very trademark of France Gall's look. Even though Suvi Koponen is lightyears prettier than me, I enjoy looking at this shoot because it shows a (somewhat) realistic way to have the sixties in mind while still being modern.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

so why on earth should i moan, 'cause when i get you alone, you know i feel okay

Just like I do with Pop Tarts, I go through cyclical obsessions with the Velvet Underground where I just listen to them nonstop. Currently I am going through one such cycle -- listening to "The Velvet Underground and Nico" to an almost obnoxious extent. Normally I wouldn't complain, but an incident at school today really just set me off. I was driving with a classmate of mine who I'm working with on a project (we were going to pick up supplies) and I had the album case laying in my car. She picked it up and -- laughing, mind you -- says "Oh cool I got a bag from Urban with this banana thingy on it too. I didn't know someone used it on their CD."
Okay, let me just list off my grievances:
1) She called the cover a "banana thingy." No, it's just a banana, clearly. No "thingies." Banana.
2) I hate when people refer to Urban Outfitters as 'Urban.' Blech.
3) She thought some random band just decided to use the "banana thingy." No hon, the sole purpose for the "banana thingy" to be designed was for this cover.
So in order to make this entry have some sense, I will try to draw some connections between what happened to me today and just some general annoyances. I guess the thing that that bugs me about this album is that it is so known by even those who have never heard any Velvet songs. Maybe that is obnoxious of me, but I really don't like when people claim knowledge over a subject that they just read a blip about in Rolling Stone or something. I guess this is because music is like this strangely personal thing to me -- I listen to music that I have this genuine connection/admiration/attraction to and I'm basically a five-year-old because I don't like to share that feeling with people, especially with people who don't really care about it anyways. To me, listening to music is the sort of personal connection one can get from writing in a diary. And just like a diary, I don't really like throwing my musical tastes into public forum. Not because I am ashamed (I passed the brief Hoku-and-Avril stage of my life many years ago). Maybe that's bad of me and I should be less possessive (especially over things that happened like thirty years before I was born), but I really couldn't help the urge to strangle the girl in my car today.
I'm not going to deny it -- the album (and Velvet Underground itself) is genius and very influential. I really like how they could pull off doing an album of songs that are basically of different genre types (compare the soft "Femme Fatale" to its proceeding track "Venus in Furs") without making it sound random and shotty. But where is the line between something being influential and something being over-exposed? I'm not saying that this album is at the point of being commonplace yet, but I do worry when a teenage girl cannot distinguish the difference between a mass consumer product and the original art it ripped it off from.

seventeen, a beauty queen, she made a ride that caused a scene

Easily and undisputedly the first and only supermodel, Leslie "Twiggy" Hornby brought the skinny look back in a big way in the late 1960s. She naturally had a boyish waif figure, but soon after Twiggy burst onto the scene in 1966 at sixteen years old, she had legions of girls dieting their ways to look like her. Her look -- a mod look that combined her boyish cropped haircut with her feminine features (played up with her signature Twiggy lashes) -- caused a sensation; her reedish thin body has remained the ideal for over the past forty years. By 1967, Mattel had released a Barbie doll in her likeness, and she had her own magazine (dubbed "Her Mod, Mod Teen World"), line of false lashes, lunch boxes, sweaters, tights, purses, and even a board game created after her famous look. By 1970, "the Twig" was moving past modelling, developing a respectable career in television, film, and theatre. She earned two Golden Globes for her portrayal in 1971's "The Boy Friend," and has garnered critical raves for her performances in "Pygmalion, " "Cinderella," and "My One and Only" over the years. Nowadays she is Leslie Lawson, and -- though she models from time to time -- she is content in a more relaxed life than that of her's during the sixties. She looks wonderful at 59 years old, her same gamine figure and light blonde hair, though she (sadly) no longer stencils fake lashes underneath her eyes.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Good Read - The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again)

This incredibly funny and incredibly Warhol book, released in 1975, is more like a collection of quotations that just happen to relate to whatever the chapter is dedicated to as opposed to an actual memoir or story. But the brilliance of this book is that Warhol offers his succinctly ironic opinions on a number of topics (love, fame, fortune, sex, food, beauty, work, art, success, death), which in turn reveal a little more about this mysterious man. At times he seems to possess a naïve outlook of the world, at others he seems in on some dirty joke that none of us understand. For much of the book, he retains his stylishly aloof, über-cool attitude, only occasionally revealing to us his darker inner thoughts. Numerous times he refers to his 1968 shooting by Valerie Solanas, discussing his emotional and physical scars and his newfound awareness of his own mortality. It’s when he discusses this (either directly or indirectly) does Warhol offer startling real insights on the human condition. He describes his embarrassment of death and in terms of human perception, “it’s not what you are that counts, it’s what they think you are.” He discusses pop culture and celebrity in terms that make involvement or obsession with it seem understandable and beautiful. Throughout the book, Warhol includes fragmented conversations (most with Brigid Berlin) and short biographies of other people (written using aliases), such as the story of his former friend Edie Sedgwick, who he dubbed “Taxi.” This particular part of the book is especially revealing because as much as Warhol publicly denied being close at all with Sedgwick, in his writing of her, he says their relationship “was probably close to a certain kind of love.”
Even though his ideas and life seemed out-there for many conservatives, Warhol is just about as symbolically American as the Coca-Cola, Campbell’s soup, baseball, and Hollywood stars he made his career out of. As influential and masterful as his films and paintings, Warhol’s “Philosophy” of life may be one of his greatest achievements.

who could hang a name on you? when you change with every new day, still i'm gonna miss you

Here's an interesting tidbit I learned today: one-time "actress" and fashion "icon" Mischa Barton has recently designed a clothing/accessories line. Let me just start by saying that at one point in my life I worshipped the ground Miss Barton walked. She was incredibly gorgeous and wore beautiful clothing, so I was more than willing to overlook her acting limits on "The O.C." But then her character died (and the show soon followed), and my admiration of Mischa fell to the waste side as I discovered the genius of her contemporaries like Jenny Lewis and Alexa Chung. Honestly the last time I saw her was a few years ago, and I sort of felt bad for my fallen idol. She had bleached-blonde hair, wore a Fleetwood Mac shirt, high-waisted jeans, and a hippie headband --- items that in theory are perfect and should look incredible on her, but for some reason didn't work. Her hair looked so stripped and fried that it might break off, her denim was ill-fitting and came off looking something akin to Mom Jeans, and honestly the Fleetwood Mac tee made her look like she was saying “Hey, aren’t I cool and retro? I listen to bands like Fleetwood Mac, not that contemporary crap… See? ‘Cause I’m wearing their tee shirt.” Her seventies-inspired vibe looked artificial and forced, the complete opposite from how natural and jealousy-inducing Mischa's style was a few years before.
I have no clue what her designs look like --- maybe they are ingenious, inspired, lust-worthy, but for some reason I doubt it. Its not because I don’t think that Miss Mischa has it in her, but it seems like nearly all celebrity clothing lines do not truly translate their style (cough, cough Kate Moss for Topshop cough, cough), rather what the person thinks consumers will buy. But one thing that piqued my interest is that Mischa described her line as being inspired by Anita Pallenberg and Marianne Faithfull, which is pretty awesome, but she also described them as being "really cool women from the seventies" which kind of deterrs from my appreciation of Barton's inspirations. Maybe I'm just a baby or something, but these two fabulous women were doing stuff before AND after the seventies -- in fact, Pallenberg and Faithfull were really iconic during the sixties. And Faithfull was a bit more preoccupied with coke and not having a home to be caught up in fashion during the seventies, so unless Barton favors the rough-and-tumble street urchin look over the psychedelic bird looks of Faithfull during the sixties, I think she needs to look a little further into the lives of these two women besides the brief references to them made in every few issues of 'Vogue.' Alas, in remembrance of a look I once loved, in this post we celebrate Mischa Barton’s look in its prime (even if it is a product of Rachel Zoe).