Saturday, December 24, 2011

walkin' in a retro wonderland

With Christmas just around the corner, I know what I will be asking for - just about everything from The Retrosphere, my favorite new online vintage store. With great extras like 'Trends' and 'Get-the-Look' highlighting great retro style icons, this site is is a full experience - featuring style tips, street-style looks on their blog, and fabulous unique vintage pieces. 
On my style must-haves list are the Belted Chelsea Boots, the Red Flapper Dress with fab fringe, the Vintage Mink Fur Coat (also that top-knot bun the model is rocking!) - I know what I will be ordering with my Christmas money!

Here are some fantastic pictures from the Retrosphere's latest lookbook:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

the 21 club

Today is my twenty-first birthday. So here are twenty things I bet you didn't (or maybe you did, I am quite transparent about certain things) know about me. Why twenty things, and not twenty-one? Check #5.

1. I have been a vegetarian for over a decade. The thing that swayed me into vegetarianism was the cartoon show Brace Face. I saw an episode where Sharon Spitz works at a meatpacking factory, and I've never touched meat since.

2. I don't trust boys who giggle a lot. It's unnatural and I think that it means they are up to something.

3. I compulsively lie all of the time, usually about small things and when it makes my story sound better. And I think admitting that makes me the worst liar of all time... or the best.

4. Besides blogging, I also write for my university newspaper, write poetry, and make experimental short films.

5. I hate odd numbers.

6. My guilty pleasure is watching a marathon of old episodes of "Law and Order: SVU" while eating a scoop of Baskin Robbins' gold medal ribbon ice cream.

7. I don't believe in celebrating my birthday - not in a Jehovah's Witness sort of way, just birthdays always tend to disappoint me so I don't expect much from them.

8. I can quote every line from The Philadelphia Story, Notorious, Help!, A Hard Day's Night, several Andy Hardy movies, Rebel Without a Cause, Almost Famous, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and practically the entire catalogue of films made starring Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe.

9. My favorite authors are Colette, Truman Capote, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Lewis Carroll, Ernest Hemingway, David Sedaris, Chuck Klosterman, and Simon Doonan. But my favorite author of all-time is Virginia Woolf. My favorite poets are Frank O'Hara, Sylvia Plath, Dylan Thomas, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac. And I think Bob Dylan is a damn fine poet as well.

10. I change how I feel and who I want to be about a dozen times a day.

11. My favorite words is 'brilliance,' with 'luminescence' (which I am stealing from Michael Cunningham after hearing him say it when he came to one of my classes a few weeks ago) being a close second.

12. Right now, I really want to look like Sienna Miller's character Nikki in the movie Alfie.

13. I have a personal bucket list - among the first things listed are to move to Paris, visit Morocco, follow a band on tour, cut my hair into a pixie cut, live life like an Audrey Hepburn movie for a year (obviously that would include me dating William Holden ... I haven't quite figured out how that'll work yet).

14. I live an incredibly superficial existence, mostly revolving around the shoes I am lusting after at the moment, the beauty products I've decided I cannot live without, and the movie I am incessantly quoting.

15. I have severe crushes on Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino / Troy from Community) and Keith Richards.

16. I want to live inside of a French New Wave movie (preferably one by Godard, if I can make a choice on the matter).

17. In my dream world, I would just quit school and become a rock star.

18. My favorite book would be a tie between Faithfull by Marianne Faithfull and Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway. A close third would be Infinite Variety, the biography on the Marchesa Luisa Casati.

19. I am a hoarder - I keep all of the makeup I purchase, the magazines I subscribe to, papers I get, and clothes I buy (regardless of if they fit or if I particularly like them or not). Apparently Edie Sedgwick was like this as well, so at least I am in good company.

20. There are so many classes that I want to take (that unfortunately my university doesn't offer): sewing, knitting, French cooking, costume jewelry making, t-shirt printing, pastry making, language classes in Arabic, Hindi, Japanese, Italian and German, etc.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How to be like Bebe Buell

Bebe Buell is one of my favorite girls. I guess it's because I feel like she and I are kind of kindred spirits - we are both vegetarians, both believe in reincarnation, both love Oscar Wilde and Mick Jagger, and both admire the great women who inspire rock music, like Pattie Boyd and Marianne Faithfull. The only difference is that Bebe actually became one of these women as well. To the public, she is known as the mother of Liv Tyler, and, to those more in-the-know, a great muse to some of the biggest names in rock history. But don't sell Bebe short - she's not just a muse to rock'n'rollers, but also a rock star in her own right. Her style is amazing, her demeanor alluring - after all, there's a reason why men from Mick Jagger to Jack Nicholson all flocked to her! I've written about the style similarities between Bebe and young fashionistas like Mischa Barton on the site before, but now is everyone's chance to get a little Bebe in their lives.

Bebe's Wardrobe: 
  • Message tees of famous bands, authors, and magazines (a reproduction of the famed Oscar Wilde tee is available on Worn Free, as is a tee for BeBop Cafe
  • A floral, ruffly kimono wrap top, as worn in Playboy Magazine
  • Cream-colored fur coat with a suede tie at the waist and huge fluffy collar - so luxe that it puts Penny Lane's Mongolian lamb fur trim to shame!
  • Strapless dresses, often with empire waists, in a variety of colors (black, red, burnt orange - to name a few) and patterns 
  • Overalls with short legs in denim and khaki, at least one with a paisley trim 
  • High-waisted flared jeans (worn with a fitted tank top)
  • White satin military jacket with gold embroidery and blue jewels - such a statement in itself that Bebe didn't need to wear anything underneath! 
  • Lace bustier/corset tops (red with black lace overlay) - worn backstage at concerts and to clubs
  • Leopard leotards
  • Knee-length full circle skirts with loud patterns 
  • Dresses with fluttery butterfly sleeves
  • A good leather motorcycle jacket - an essential for hanging out with all of those badass rock'n'rollers
  • A crazy-cool minidress with newspaper-style print all over it
  • Tons of white eyelet, ruffles, and crocheted items for that beautiful innocent look that Bebe rocked so well 
Her Accessories:
  • Silk top hats
  • Stylish berets (black, a red crocheted one with yellow and black patterns) 
  • Fishnets with thick seams at the back
  • Gloves - black lace ones and a white pair with black polka dots 
  • Flowers in her hair, pushed behind her ears - sometimes behind both ears!
  • A bottle of Chanel No. 5, never any other perfume. Once, according to Rebel Heart, Mick Jagger gave her "a large bottle of Shalimar perfume" which she refused to wear and referred to as "floozy juice." Which is kind of amazing. 

  • Hanging out with rock'n'roll elite
  • Inspiring music and movies - she was the basis for the character Penny Lane in Almost Famous, and has inspired songs by Elvis Costello, Prince, and Chester French (who wrote a song called "Bebe Buell") 
  • Writing books and songs
  • Being any number of these things: a Playboy Playmate, a fashion model, a rock star, a mother, a grandmother
  • Being a "Creem Dream" - for which she still is, according to the lyrics to "Money Machine"

Friends and Lovers:
Bebe is an extremely popular girl, so here is just a sampling of who she has been associated with over the years... 
  • David Bowie, and his former wifey Angela
  • Andy Warhol
  • Salvador Dali, about whom she has said, "his moustache was greasy" 
  • Iggy Pop
  • Nico
  • Rod Stewart
  • Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin 
  • Eric Clapton
  • Patti Smith
  • Elvis Costello
  • Todd Rundgren
  • Debbie Harry
  • Steven Tyler and Aerosmith 
  • The Rolling Stones, particularly Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Ronnie Wood
  • Stiv Bators - the duo was named Creem Magazine's Couple of the Year in 1980
  • Coyote Shivers
  • Jim Wallerstein
  • Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty
  • Kate Moss
  • Pamela Des Barres (a conversation between the two women is featured in Des Barres' book Let's Spend the Night Together)
  • Cyrinda Foxe
  • Lori Maddox and Sable Starr - "They were really sweet girls, they'd meet you at the airport and run up to you to tell you how fabulous you were" 
  • Joey Ramone
  • Liz Derringer
  • Ritchie Blackmore
  • Cameron Crowe, who based his most legendary 'band-aide' on Bebe
  • Max's Kansas City in New York City 
  • CBGBs in New York City
  • The "Riot House" on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles
  • Tramps on Jermyn Street in London

Cool facts: 
  • She fell in love with Oscar Wilde after seeing a photo of him at age eight
  • She became a vegetarian being in the meatpacking district as a teen while on acid. "Back in those days, there were cows going by on hooks. And if you're tripping on good acid and you see that, you'll never touch meat again." 
  • She always knew she wanted to be a singer. In Rebel Heart she admits, "In my deepest heart, what I wanted most was to be a rock and roll singer. In my thoughts and journals, that's what I expressed. And I was conscious of that, but I never had the courage to tell people." 
  • Her favorite designers are Anna Sui, Calvin Klein, and Marc Jacobs
  • She believes in reincarnation, calling it "the life of the soul." 
  • She calls leopard her favorite color 
Pearls of Wisdom:
  • "I knew that I had some destiny as a servant of the arts, but I also knew that I was an artist myself." 
  • "Life is a precious gift, and, as Oscar Wilde said, 'Life is what you make it.' It's been a bumpy ride, with highs and lows, love and loss, pain and growth. The one thing I've learned is that it is never too late to change, evolve, or take charge. You're never too old to rock - or to do anything, for that matter."
  • "Groupies are girls who hang around and just want to have sex with rock stars. It's really kind of a gross tag. Band aides and people like that are there because they love the music. I think women have a right to an affinity and a love for music just as much as men do." 
  • "Muse is such a beautiful word. It just sounds nicer. It's a lot more romantic." - on her preference for the term 'muse' over 'groupie'
  • "My secret desires were locked up inside of me. I didn't dare tell anybody what I really wanted to be. All I knew was that I wanted to be somebody. That somebody resembled Anita Pallenberg, Pattie Boyd, Jane Fonda, Brigitte Bardot, and Janis Joplin! Or at least resembled their essence. I don't know if the word star was embedded in my mind ... I always had fantasies of being some kind of artist. A performer, a "somebody." But I was afraid that people would laugh at me because I wanted to be famous." 
  • "Fashion has always been a huge part of pop culture and music. The British Invasion really affected the way I look at clothes. I like the 'anything goes' attitude of some of the musical greats, the way they can take a street look and make it unique." 
  • "Black will always be the universal color of rock'n'roll." 
  • "Music represented freedom, inspiration, rebellion. The British bands brought a whole new generation of British girls into the limelight - Marianne Faithfull, Chrissie Shrimpton, Julie Christie, Pattie Boyd, Linda Keith, Anita Pallenberg, and Hayley Mills, among others. The majority of my friends hated these competitors for their heroes' attention, but I was as infatuated with them as I was with the boys in the bands." 

Friday, December 9, 2011

it's been too long since we took the time

Rest in peace John Lennon 
(October 9, 1940 - December 8, 1980) 

There are no words that I can say to make sense of such a loss. 

Title from: "(Just Like) Starting Over" (John Lennon)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

let's take the road before us and sing a chorus or two

Hello all! I am passing on a link to a great new holiday single "Sleigh Ride" from fellow Texan and retro-lover Sarah Elizabeth Foster. 

Sarah Elizabeth is great - she is a fellow Texan (originally from Houston) and has her own record label, Youthquake Records - how retro 60s fabulous is that name?! For the holiday season, she is releasing her own version of the Christmas classic "Sleigh Ride." The song has such a full sound with tons of strings and horns to accompany Sarah Elizabeth. She told me that the arrangement of the song was inspired by Franรงoise Hardy's tune "Comment te dire adieu" (one of my faves) with a great trumpet arrangement along with the vocals. In Sarah Elizabeth's other songs, it is clear that loving influence has been taken from such fabby artists as Dusty Springfield, Nancy Sinatra and the Supremes. 
The vibe of the song is super sixties with a fantastically fresh modern edge. The trumpet was played by Miki Hirose, with strings arranged by Daniel Barnidge and Joe Beaty, who have previously worked with such artists as Sting. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

once upon a time you dressed so fine

"I'll have to put more earrings on. I bet that someone could analyze me and tell my condition by my earrings." 

I am a student of the Edie Sedgwick school of accessories - or, more appropriately, excessories. Maybe it's the Texan in me, but when it comes to jewelry, the bigger the better and the more the better. One of my style trademarks is my penchant for wearing large chandelier earrings, but to be honest my my love for big ole earrings doesn't even come close to the shoulder-dusters that Edie rocked. It is because of Edie that big dangly earrings because trendy in the Sixties and have stayed a style mainstay for half a century. The loud, large earrings are the perfect juxtaposition against Edie's otherwise minimalist style - imagine back in the day when you could see the real live whiplash girl-child bobbing down the streets of New York City in a black leotard, opaque black tights and swinging silver pieces hanging off her ears, shown off to perfection due to her cropped peroxide hair.
Due to the grace of the retro fashion gods, owning earrings like Edie's infamous shoulder-dusters is possible. Glittery chandelier earrings are everywhere - from Neimans to Forever 21, you can find a pair to channel that Sedgwick style. I own several pairs of earrings designed by Steve Sasco, the jewelry designer for the Edie biopic Factory Girl. He recreated many of the styles that Edie wore for Sienna Miller to rock in the film, offering on his site an entire Factory Girl Collection. I own the 'Famous Butterfly Earring' in silver, as well as the 'Life Magazine Earring' with jet finish. I definitely recommend that you check out this collection - I have been a fan of it for years. It's been my little secret for dressing a little more like Edie.

Title: from "Like a Rolling Stone" (Bob Dylan)

Friday, December 2, 2011

a notice

I am ashamed by the little amount of posting that I've done these last few weeks. I wish I could say that I had an awesome excuse - I am publishing my first book! I have been vacationing in Ibiza! I was chosen as Woody's newest muse and he's been studying me to craft his latest screenplay around my unparalleled wit! - but no, the sad truth is that I am lazy. Lazy and busy. It's a paradoxical truth for a university student to be both bogged down with work and to not do anything with their time. 
But things are going to change! I am working on several new posts that should be up in the next few days for your reading pleasure. 
So please excuse my current lameness - I am working to overcome it.