Wednesday, June 23, 2010

i'm a barbie girl, in a barbie world

I am an E! addict, I love to spend the day keeping up with the Kardashians and Chelsea Handler on the network. My former favorite show was The Girls Next Door. When it was on the air, I loved watching the three very different girls - Holly, Bridget, and Kendra - navigating their lives in the Playboy Mansion. Always amusing to me was the conflict between Hef's (then) main squeeze Holly and his former paramour Barbi Benton. Holly seemed threatened every time she was in the presence of Barbi, which I think Barbi relished and expected. She knew that she was a part of the Playboy dynasty during a very crucial period for the magazine and the Hefner brand.
Barbi was the girlfriend of Hugh Hefner during the early 1970s, when Playboy was the ultimate embodiment of the swingin' sophisticated bachelor. It was during this time that Hefner had expanded the Playboy brand to clubs, merchandise, and essentially a whole lifestyle. He hosted the Playboy After Dark program and hobnobbed with celebrities like Ringo Starr and Roman Polanski. Barbi was only 20 years old when she met the 44-year-old magazine owner. When Barbi declined a date with Hefner because she had never been out with someone over 25, Hefner infamously replied, "Neither have I."
Though never a Playmate, Barbi appeared on several covers and in pictorials throughout her years with Hef. After their breakup, they remained good friends, cementing her role as a Playboy princess through and through.
Barbi is obviously quite pretty, with Jane Birkin bangs and her charmingly sweet smile. Her style evokes the innocence of the late 60s and early 70s that is seen with Britt Ekland, Birkin, and others.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

look at me, who am i supposed to be? who am i supposed to be?

I return to the blogosphere well-rested and well-shopped after a spontaneous road trip to visit some of America's greatest vintage shops I've always wanted to go to. The excursion freshest in my mind is New Orleans, as it was the last place we visited.
First we went to Lili Vintage Boutique, an adorable store full of pastel prom dresses, silk nightgowns, and feather pillbox hats. I scored a great Armani poet's blouse with puffy sleeves and a high collar for $43, as well as a paisley mu-mu style dress that was probably stolen from Mrs. Roper's closet.

Next we ventured over to Retroactive, probably one of the most overwhelming store I've ever visited. Every inch of the store is covered with clothes, sculptures, and gadgets that you never knew you always wanted. If you ever desired a rhinestone and marabou feather headdress and four watchman devices, but you never knew where to look, I invite you to visit this store. I bought an autographed Debbie Harry-Pat Benatar poster that mashes up their faces, and a gold leopard print sweater.
The morning after I shopped 'till I dropped, we went to Brennan's, a very well-known restaurant famed for its delicious breakfast desserts. While visiting the washroom, I made friends with the attendant, a kind 82-year-old woman who told the restaurant patrons how to ward off negative spirits. As I spoke to her, she turned to another woman in the restroom lounge, and said, "She looks just like Hayley Mills, don't she?"
I've never been likened to this former Disney princess before, but I was intrigued. I've been told I looked like everyone from Jessica Simpson, Katherine Heigl, Linda McCartney, Quinn from Glee, Christie Brinkley ... basically any gal with blonde hair and a toothy smile. The Brennan's lady got me thinking about Ms. Mills and her four-decade career. From her start as Walt Disney's go-to girl during the early 1960's to her iconic portrayal of Miss Bliss (forever changing Saturday morning television), Hayley Mills was one of the first child actors to successfully transform herself into a legitimate grown-up actress. Her inclusion in John E. Green's legendary book Birds of Britain solidified Hayley's role in the Dolly Rocker Girl universe.

Image sources for Lili and Retroactive