Saturday, August 27, 2005

Almost Saturday Night

It has been an enjoyable day. Instead of going to Bootcamp class this morning where we sweat and grunt through vigorous muscle melting drills, I played online and emailed the BBC to support Rachel Fuller's new single 'Into My Heart.' My friends on I on started a Rachel Fuller tribe too. And Bouncer the bunny has a pile of fresh dandelions. I really enjoy the way that the web allows everyone to have a voice if they want one.


Blogger SuperAmanda said...

Rock 'n' Roll Never Forgets

By Amanda Casabianca

Rock 'n' Roll Fashions

Now that bubblegum pop music has saturated the airwaves and The Last Unicorn is popping up on bright turquoise sweatpants worn by Jessica Simpson, pure old-school rock and roll style has never been more elusive.

Always about the music and rarely about celebrity, the mint original unisex looks favored by the likes of Grace Slick, Janis Joplin, Keith Richards, Pete Townshend and Robert Plant continue to dazzle today's hottest designers. Not to be confused with the New Wave or Punk looks of the 80's, true Rock Roll styling comes from being understated as well as original.

Fashion becomes secondary to function. Spiky heels won't cut it if you have to stand at a recording mic all day or smash a guitar into an amplifier in front of a few thousand fans. It's very easy to appropriate this look without veering into generic hipster/emo or hippie chick territory—it's all about comfort and longevity.

Keith Richards invented downtown chic, being the first star to pair a blazer with jeans and boots and adorn it with the coolest accessories such as Moroccan prayer scarves. Patti Smith proudly followed suit and dressed like 'Keef,' and you know if Patti Smith imitates you, you're cool!

While Keith's original choices might have been initially tailored and snazzy his schtick was to wear them until they were ultra-worn-out looking. Topping them off with mirrored shades and the mother of all mullets Keith still dresses his own chic style while possessing the alchemical ability to make a headband look sexy.

His buddy Mick favors a similar look minus the accessories and sticks to leather and matte fabrics, his awesome physique being the quintessential rock star chassis. Mr.Jagger was also the first to popularize long sleeved T-shirts in slinky fabrics— a well kept secret for instantly creating long slender arms.


Fellow friend and all around musical legend Pete Townshend was one of the first celebrities to wear Doc Martens way back in the 70's. Pair these last-a-lifetime boots with jeans or tailored pants on the weekends and never wear them with skirts unless you are hastening a suburban punk revival.

The Who's very male take on Mod was Pop-art appliqués and cut-up flags mixed with Ivy League America for one of the boldest looks in post-WWII Britain. As the band cast off the hot ticket look and became an unrivaled live act, Townshend favored a boiler suit to compliment his cherrywood Gibson SG. The jumpsuit/boiler suit is one of the hardest looks to pull off, best left to the tall and reed thin. The trick is finding a cut that is roomy and does not scream J Lo, and fabric that would be comfortable to wear on a trans-Atlantic crossing aboard your record company's private jet.

Townshend now favors loose-fitting black pants by Prada or Pierre Cardin and a fitted t-shirt in black or grey underneath a loose dress shirt with elegant crepe-soled leather trainers as his band goes into its 4th decade.

Rock 'n' Roll FashionsJanis Joplin was an original in every sense of the word, combining the first-wave uber hippie chick look with a small taste of 20's Chanteuse, tons of feathers and beads with a big hit of India.

This look has spawned countless imitators, but only worked on Janis, however bits and pieces of her inimitable style really rock your basic jeans. Slip into an amazing afghan or embroidered shearling coat or relax in a low slung pair of flares. Keep the top fitted and silky-sheer.

A friend and contemporary of Janis', Jefferson Airplane's Grace Slick also favored the hippie chic look but showed more skin in satin halters and handkerchief tops. Stevie Nicks, who was greatly influenced by Joplin and Slick, recalled visiting SF's Velvet Underground, a store where Joplin and Slick bought their clothes.

"It was a tiny little store, but it had the most beautiful things," Nicks recalled, "tunic tops that came down to your mid-thigh and evening gown, old-lady nightgown material bell-bottoms that weren't really wide, but instead fell straight over a really high boot. It was in that room where I thought "These are the kind of clothes I'm going to wear forever."

This season will see designers like Catherine Malandrino, Oscar de la Renta, and even Burberry channeling a warm San Franciscan night with billowing fabrics that say Alice in Through the Looking Glass by way of Bollywood.

10:33 PM  
Blogger SuperAmanda said...

This one is actually better:

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The 1990's: A Decade That Changed Fashion Forever

By Amanda Casabianca

There are many high fashionistas who feel that the fashion world has yet to recover from Grunge. Whatever your belief, Grunge was essentially a reaction to the overly excessive MTV 80's and Reaganomics via loud honest music and scant interest in celebrity glitz — Generation X's authentically punk way of tuning in, turning on, and dropping out. As the nineties dawned fashions were still very much about the 80's. Power suits, bright colors and reverse fit pants dominated fashion while supermodels like Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford still set the standard of beauty.

Enter grunge and everything from shoes to haute couture went casual to the point of destruction.

There are many high fashionistas who feel that the fashion world has yet to recover from Grunge. Whatever your belief, Grunge was essentially a reaction to the overly excessive MTV 80's and Reaganomics via loud honest music and scant interest in celebrity glitz — Generation X's authentically punk way of tuning in, turning on, and dropping out.

In 1992, as Clinton took office alongside the most racially diverse cabinet in American history, fashion exploded with clothes, hairstyles, accessories, and even makeup that celebrated all cultures and combinations thereof.

90s Nostalgia

The internet gained speed and, by the end of the 1990's, had connected the world. It seemed as if decades had transpired since most models and actresses were white and the only female singer we ever really heard about was Madonna.

Generation Xers liked the post-modernism of grunge but they were also big on nostalgia. Many women had been collecting vintage clothing for years, eschewing the overtly sexual 80's looks in favor of more subtly feminine styles from the 50's and early 60's. As the swing movement began to attract fans too old for the mosh pit, the 30's and 40's became au courant and vintage clothing showed up on the red carpet on everyone from Winona Ryder to Sharon Stone.

When the 60's reappeared it was not the hippie/Summer of Love stylings that we saw in the 80's; instead, fashions were closer to what our grandparents or suburban moms wore. Lines were clean and accessories were whimsical, not gaudy (save for a few glittery butterfly clips a la Drew Barrymore). Cashmere twin sets, Jackie O dresses, cute plaid skirts, Capri pants, sequin embellishments and silk hosiery became less costumey and are classic mainstream fixtures to this day.

But it was when every last aspect of the 70's came back into fashion that the 90's really transformed. All the fashions abjectly scorned in the 80's (including crazy polyester prints, disco flash, the peasant look, ghetto chic, flares and platform shoes) all came back for a permanent residency. H.R. Pufnstuf and Brady Bunch reruns were the seminal events of Generation X and with hard-earned dot-com dollars, Gen Xers wanted to celebrate, listen to, and wear all that was cheesy.


Gradually, bell-bottoms and straight legs met in the middle and boot-cut pants and jeans were here to stay. Now it is hard to believe that boot cut had been a style you only found on the Nashville network until the late 90's. Virtually every designer now uses some variation of this universally flattering cut every season in their jeans and pants.

Legs were further elongated and flattered by the revival of platform wedge shoes and sandals of all heights and styles. Toes would never again be scrunched into spiky pumps for 10 hours a day on the job (4 hours at a party was another story though). Pedicures became as much a necessity as a good haircut. Footwear changed with the economy as women could now afford luxury brands like Manolo Blahnik and Salvatore Ferragamo and walking shoes that were chic and cute.

Renaissance Faire styles from the 70's took a bit of time getting off the ground in the 90's. For some bizarre reason, long floral print spaghetti strap dresses worn with white cap sleeve t-shirts and straw hats was the first attempt at Boho chic producing a virtually suburban (and blah) look.

Eventually, designers rediscovered classically romantic print skirts and dresses (a la Ali McGraw and Brigitte Bardot) and got it right. Peasant blouses, tunics, and loose fitting pants were being revamped in prints from East India to West India — and all points in between. This 90's trend continues this season to glorious effect in Roberto Cavalli's collection, among others.

Beauty Ideals Broaden

The changing face of beauty (or should we say the previously ignored face of beauty) influenced 90's designers greatly and now defines their every move. Black, Asian, and Latina models were everywhere. Curly hair could finally be hip as hundreds of frizz-defying and frizz-celebrating styles went from the street to salons. It was also no longer fashionable for everyone to have the same body type.

Actresses like Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, Angela Bassett and Salma Hayek started to reshape, literally, what it meant to be a healthy, beautiful woman. Skinny was still hot but so were hips, for the first time in decades. Designers followed suit and ethnic prints and styles from all over the world came into style — and never went out (that is, with the exception of Mehndi body art).

The graceful strength of female athletes like Mia Hamm and Gabrielle Reece also inspired designers as workout clothes became body wear, allowing women to segue from yoga to errand-running in complete comfort. Trainers started to come out in snazzy colors and retro styling. Both of these trends endure to this day and show no signs of disappearing.

And endurance was what 90's fashion was all about. Most of what you see in magazines today was popular then. Most importantly, casual went sophisticated as crisp white t-shirts, cute button-up oxfords, and designer jeans (7 For all Mankind) worked for both offices and college campus alike (Abercrombie and Fitch).

Grunge has lasted, albeit in the form of $400.00 destroyed jeans or the mixing of patterns and textures that are better left to a stylist's eye. Ultimately, women embraced comfort in the 90's with individuality, different cultures, and flattering clothes and shoes that could be updated each season, not outdated.

10:36 PM  

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