Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Groupie Guide: Style Must-Haves

My love for groupies and rock star girlfriends is well documented on this blog. From my love affair with Pattie Boyd that started it all, to my fascination with Bebe Buell and gals like Sable, Lori, and Miss Pamela, my admiration and appreciation for the style and free-spirited attitudes of these women never ceases. Looking at the styles of these great muses, one can see that these women really created the trends that we all love from the sixties and seventies. Pattie, who rocked Mary Quant shift dresses as fiercely as those Ossie Clark maxidresses; Miss Pamela in her feather boas and lace skirts and glitter and stars adorning her face; Sable, who knew exactly how to work those long gams of hers by wearing tiny hot pants and sky-high platforms. These items have all become style mainstays.

I have received many requests - via email and in life - for my list of style must-haves for any self-respecting groupie or rock star girlfriend. Because of this continued interest in groupies and girlfriends, I have created The Groupie Guide, a how-to look at all things groupie that I will update with style tips, beauty tricks, and advice on how to be 'with the band' from actual groupies.

A lot of people think that in order to create a groovy groupie look, they have to invest in scouring through vintage stores for a special archived piece. While I would never dare knock vintage, I think that purchasing clothes from labels - especially fledging designers and local vendors - is just as rewarding as finding those mint condition suede Biba heels (a major score of mine from the last few weeks). The clothing and accessories that I suggest are pieces that I either own or am planning on owning very soon, once I get a little more moolah for the summer. I have nothing but the utmost adoration for these items, and they are pieces that I - and I'm sure my fellow groupie gals - would wear.

Groupie Style Must-Haves:

1. A perfectly Penny Lane coat
Remember that embroidered coat with Mongolian lamb fur trim that Kate Hudson wears all throughout Almost Famous? Of course you do. There are countless threads on the internet dedicated to girls who are looking wear to find a coat like that of their own, plus countless more articles by sewing/designing enthusiasts who offer there tips on how to make a Penny-approved coat of your own. Well, I can't sew to save my life, so I rely on more talented hands to make the coat for me. That's why I purchased the UNIF 'Bridget' Shearling Coat, a vegan suede coat with faux shearling trim (stylish and animal friendly!), from my fave online store Nasty Gal. It reminds me not only of Penny's 'famous' coat, but also of the luxe fur coat that Bebe Buell was seen rocking while traveling with Steven Tyler.

2. Sturdy but stylish heels
I am incredibly average in stature, but when I go out to clubs and concerts I like to add a little height. For one, it makes it easier to see above the crowd and actually catch a glimpse of the band. Two, heels are just sexy. Whenever you wear heels, don't you just walk a little taller and feel a little better? I always gravitate to shoes with thicker heels, wedges, and platforms because I am a bit of a wimp and physically cannot handle stilettos. It's not really attractive to be hobbling around the whole night in six-inch spike heels, imitating the sure after effects of what Kathy Bates could do in Misery. These Isis Mini Market Heels are the perfect mix between biker boot and 70's sandal, stylish enough to be worn pretty much anywhere - a punk dive bar, an indie club, or an outdoor hippie folk festival. They also have a more manageable heel than Jeffrey Campbell's infamous Litas, which I bought on impulse but cannot be worn much because I don't know how to function in those five-inch heels (plus two-inch soles!).

3. A lovely lace dress
Lace dresses, particularly lace mini dresses, are an essential part of the groupie girl's wardrobe. The lace dress is the LBD equivalent for the groupie - it is unheard of to not have a tried-and-true number hanging in their wardrobe. A true groupie is not content to have just one - she collects them with more fervor than young boys do baseball cards. I myself am quite a fan of Lily. J, whose beautiful designs in shades of ivory and soft pink I discovered at their Camden Market stall. Other white pieces that I quite admire are the Backstage 'Rose' Dress, with long bell sleeves and delicate crocheting, and the fringe-trimmed American Gold 'San Cristobal' Caftan. White lace is more appropriate for day outings, whereas black lace owns the night. Just think of Band Aide Sapphire - in her black lace she ruled that Stillwater show. I just ordered this Bell Sleeve Lace Shift Dress by Shumaq and I absolutely cannot wait until I can wear it out! 

4. A cool graphic tee
Bebe Buell was often seen wearing graphic tees in photo shoots - so much so that the company Worn Free has recreated a handful of her greatest shirts. Why not take a style note from one of the greats and sport a graphic tee? After all, a girl can't wear dresses all of the time! And when the groupie is just hanging out with the band on the tour bus, it would be quite nice if she could relax in a comfy top while still looking ridiculously cool. I am partial to the tees by Krank Empire, a design and printing company from Austin TX that uses remanufactured, repurposed, and recycled garments (how rock 'n' roll is that?) to make their tees. Their graphics are cool, edgy, and at times humorous too (there's quite a good double entendre to the 'End-o-weed' design). I love their Marilyn tee, which takes an image of the starlet and in some twisted, slightly Warholian way, makes her a floating, eyeless head. Trust me, it's much cooler than I am describing it - whenever I wear this tee, I am constantly stopped to ask where I got it from. 

5. Wide-legged jeans 
What better to match with a graphic tee than a great pair of wide-legged jeans? This cut of denim is very Birkin-esque, super seventies but always chic. Wide-legged jeans hold the magical property of being figure-flattering on all body types. No, I'm not talking about Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants kind of magic, but magic all the same. The flared bottoms balance out curvy girls, while the shape of the overall cut can make petite girls look supermodel tall. These deluxe flares by Artisan De Luxe are great because they are dark wash (one of the few denim washes that looks good on everyone). These jeans also do well to go along with the carefree bohemian vibe that so many groupies achieve - they feature distress marks, artfully destroyed holes and patching, making them look like that perfect pair of jeans that you've owned for years.  

6. Oversized sunglasses
Ah, where do I begin to describe my love for oversized sunnies? Worn by every major fashion force from Jackie O to the Olsen twins, oversized sunglasses epitomize chicness and bohemian-ness - it just depends on who you ask. I tend to associate these sunnies with hippie chicks and groupie gals, like Sable who rocks her stylish shades with ease. I can't even count the number of oversized sunglasses that I own - the brands range from Forever 21 to Chanel and pretty much every label in between. It seems like every self-respecting sunglass designer has done oversized eyewear of some sort, so it's definitely easy to find a pair at any price range. I love these 'Bridget' square-shaped sunnies by Biba because of the shape, side-detailing, and - let's be honest - the Biba factor. 

7. An across-the-body bag
A long-strap purse is a style staple, not just for groupies but for girls everywhere. What makes this accessory groupie-appropriate is the particular style that the groupie chooses - usually leather and with tons of fringe, embroidering, and detailing. A purse like this is more traditionally stylish than the tackle box that Penny Lane uses or the wicker basket that was a favorite of Jane Birkin, and the details like elaborate stitching and fringe give it an air of kookiness and inventiveness that both Penny and Jane's carry-alls had. Many designers like Ember Skye, JJ Winters, and Jagger all have lines devoted to such fringed bags, but a groupie doesn't have to drop a pretty penny to get a bag like this - she wouldn't want to, there are concert tickets to buy after all! New Look's 'Freda' Saddle Bag, with its fringe and aztec-style outerstitch detailing, more that fits the bill for that perfect concert-friendly bag that can contain the life of the groupie-on-the-go.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

a very stylish swimsuit season

With summer quickly approaching, girls everywhere (myself included) are getting themselves beach ready before they head out for some fun in the sun. But honestly, what's the point to going to the beach without getting to make a fashion statement while you do it? Work that beach like a runway and step out into the sun in a statement-making swimsuit while loaded up with tons of accessories!

My beach-time must-haves:

The tankini
The tankini is a must-have for a girl like me who doesn't like bikinis but wants to show off a little skin and have the fun of mixing-and-matching that bikinis allow. I always buy tankinis online so that I can try out all the fun colors and net a bargain at the same time! Gals who are conscious of their tums will love how it is so figure-flattering. Underwired tankini tops give you shape, while matching bikini bottoms give a figure lengthening effect. Pretty patterns add color for a playful poolside look, while striking black, navy, and chocolate brown are ultra flattering when it comes to show off your bod.
When looking for tops, I recommend going for the halter-neck top - not only does it show off and enhance your bombshell curves, it is a very classic style for swimsuits. For an authentic retro look, go for patterns like polka dots and stripes - there's a reason the yellow polka-dot bikini became so legendary! 

The swimdress and swimskirt
The swimdress and swimskirt are beachtime must-haves! Cute and playful and perfect for a romp on the beach. Swimskirts usually have an elasticated waist and are ultra comfy for a glam sun-worshipping session that show off your style and figure. Swimskirts are easily paired with matching tankini tops, ao make sure you pick a selection to mix and match with your current swimwear wardrobe!

The cover-up
Whenever I venture down to the beach, one of the things I am never without is a great cover-up. It's one of my few saving graces for my skin against the harsh sun. Go glam with a semi-sheer sarong for an island inspired style, or channel Talitha Getty and opt for an embroidered caftan. I love wearing one of my cute printed sundresses as a cover-up as I can go straight from the beach to dinner without wasting a moment. 

The accessories
Why end your look with just your swimming piece? Channel the likes of such vintage goddesses as Rita Hayworth and Esther Williams and add armfuls of colorful bangles and rings to add some spice to your look. Experiment with printed headscarves and turbans to keep your hair in place. Instead of plain old flip flops, invest in a pair of embellished sandals. And don't be afraid to be bold when it comes to picking patterns and prints! The brighter the better this season, and color will really boost your mood for an inspiring summer style that shines on a beautiful beach day!

Image: from Habitually Chic 

Monday, April 9, 2012

got that glitter on my eyes

Call it the Ke$ha effect, but I love glitter. There are few things in life that can perfectly encapsulate both little girl pageantry and seventies glam rock. I especially love seeing girls wear glitter as their makeup. It makes their eyes look like mini disco balls, constantly lighting up with every wink. I love how glitter looks the morning after you wear it too - when just traces remain on your skin, it's like the most amazing surprise to find one of those glittering freckles on your face. I wish it was more acceptable to wear glitter everyday. It shouldn't just be reserved for Ke$ha and little girls with glitter of the roll-on scented variety. Glitter is for everyone. 

Title: from "We R Who We R" (Ke$ha)

How To: Get the Daisy Buchanan Look

Is it any wonder that I adore Daisy Buchanan? She is the equal parts glam, flighty and tragic that interests me immensely. I am so excited to see how Carey Mulligan, one of my favorite modern day actresses, tackles the role. With the release date of Buz Luhrmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby not until December (!) I have to satisfy my Daisy desires with repeated viewings of the 1970s film, which is alright because I adore Mia Farrow, and stalking pictures of the Luhrmann film set.

Mia Farrow as Daisy 

Carey Mulligan as Daisy

Since we don't all have access to Ashley Olsen's archive of flapper dresses, we girls who love Daisy have to look elsewhere to recreate her fab fashions. Unique Vintage is my favorite destination for flapper-inspired frocks and accessories. This site is perfect for a gal in search of that exact Daisy Buchanan look. But it requires a lot of dedication to rock the Daisy look on a daily basis. For more modern takes on the flapper style, I recommend this beaded number from New Look, this fringe embellished piece from Oasis, and this gorgeous layered pink dress from Very.

For authentic Gatsby goods, Etsy is a great destination for Art Deco shoes and accessories. This pouch from The Remedi is exactly the sort of girlish glam that Daisy would have loved.

This guide from the Art Deco Society of California is an invaluable resource for figuring out the fashions of Daisy's days. And if all else fails, stalk the heck out of set pictures like I do - you get glimpses of lustworthy Leo and even more lustworthy dresses!