Saturday, 30 March 2013


The idea of an icon is strange. How does one achieve such a status? How you dress, what you do, your personality, how well you capture a certain subculture or moment in cultural history? Through the years I have formed attachments with several popular figures deemed icons. Below is a list of them and why...

1) Courtney Love

My Courtney obsession was born from my obsession with Cobain (see below). It's been the most long lasting and corruptive of all my icon obsessions. I bleached my hair and wore babydoll dresses, aka nighties. I smoked and hoped my voice would croak like hers. I made sure my nailvarnish was always chipped and wore big cotton granny pants, just because on her definitive 'the babydoll look' list that she wrote to Kim Gordon, it said you should. This lasted for several years. I'm still a fan.

2) Kurt Cobain

I bought all the Nirvana albums, a rip off Cobain t-shirt (I have two now, one is a bed shirt), the Nirvana boxset, live albums, an unofficial book, Cobain's biography, A Nirvana book, a Kerrang special full of Nirvana posters - bedroom walls plastered, every music magazine with Kurt on the front. Did you know I even dyed my hair with food colouring, just because Bain did? It's true. 
3) Siouxsie Sioux

Following the footsteps of a rag doll dance, we are entranced, spellbound. I made a card featuring her face for my Dad's 50th birthday. He likes her too. Contrary to popular belief, I didn't dye my hair Black because of her. But I was inspired by her band and her music videos and style. She's super cool and I especially love when she was with the sex pistols in that interview before she was famous. You dirty sod.

6) Lynda in 'Wish You Were Here'
The only fictional character to make my list. Just wow. Kapow. She rides a bike and wears a tea dress. She has a stinking attitude and says 'up your bum' a lot. She reminds me of my sister actually.

 6) Milla Jovovich

She's beautiful. The Fifth Element sealed the deal for me.

7) Chloe Sevigny
Mega babe. I love the way she puts clothes together; she has designed for Opening Ceremony which was a great match. She composses outfits in a way that reveals just the right amount of skin - bare legs = cover up top, and vice versa. Her outfit compilations are always toughened up with sassy details. She was the model of choice for Miu Miu's Autumn 2012 campaign (swoon), and she went out with Vincent Gallo (Brown Bunny). I love her. She's rebellious in all the right places.

8) Alexa Chung

An obvious choice, maybe. But she's still on my list, and she deserves her iconic status. Her witty and intelligent personality is reflected in her choice of clothes. No stylist doing all the work. She has a tomboyish figure and she plays with gender, age and shape through her choice of outfit. Little girl dresses and mary janes, tuxedos, men's t-shirts and mini skirts. I quite liked it when she was going out with Alex Turner because they looked like brother and sister.

9) Edie Sedgwick
Died in tragic circumstances - consolidating her iconic status. Friends with Andy Warhol. Mega babe. Factory Girl is a great film too, and Sienna Miller makes a good Edie. Her influential short hair/Black eyes/big earring combo is a classic, not to mention her tights as outerwear style. I got particulary obsessed with her when I first moved to Nottingham for University. I wore black tights as trousers around the house several times in those first months. I don't know what my housemates thought. Probably that I was a genius.

10) Twiggy

You could say 'UK's version of Edie', but you'd be wrong. Twiggy had a style all of her own...super skinny, mini dresses, massive eyes. Her voice surprisingly rough around the edges. I was skinny skinny when I was growing up, and I used to get bullied at School. Twiggy made me feel better. I painted a picture of her on my lampshade.

I like it when people make fashion mistakes.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013


When I think 'groupie' I'm thinking empowered femmes...not some sort of wimpy, dependent drug girl. Much more Penny Lane in Almost Famous than 1980's prosey there to 'service' all members of the Motley Crue. Eww. I'm under no illusion about what a groupie is ultimately there for... and deep down I know that it's a trashy concept that can't exist alongside any sort of feminist values - but let's not allow that to ruin the alluring images I have in my head concerning the groupie. Besides, I'm sure close up it was all a bit of a mess - but if you stand far enough away, like in the year 2013, it's glamorous.
Pamela Des Barres - groupie extraordinaire & writer of  'I'm with the band - Confessions of a Groupie'
Empowered femmes from the 70's in big faux fur coats, paisley print and tea dresses. Tassels and velvet. Unkempt hair and last night's blue kohl eyeliner. The odd sequin, a kimono over jeans and a vest. It's the most desirable of all looks - carefree and thrown together whilst being incredibley chic and interesting. It looks as if you didn't spend any longer than a minute pondering what to wear, you pretty much picked up clothes from the night before off the floor and threw them on - along with a big afghan coat. There's something vile about an outfit that looks overly composed and polished, which is why one of my pet hates is matching shoes and bag with each other.

Another key element to the 70's groupie style is to look eclectic. Each individual item is mismatched in a way that suggests a life that is disorganised, exciting and bohemian. The wearer looks well travelled and full of intrigue. A look achieved through travelling with a touring band, perhaps. Going back to the film 'Almost Famous' - I'm really rather infactuated by it and have watched it yearly for the past ten years. The girls in the film have spot on style and the existence they live in is very appealing in comparison to modern reality.

Marianne Faithfull - mega babe
 The look was highly influential - and it's reach can still clearly be seen today in the likes of Kate Moss or Sienna Miller, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, to name but a few. Take the grunge trend; it's essence is equally as thrown together and similarly it's foundation is built on music and the style of those who make the music. Courtney Love and the Babydoll/Riotgrrl look was just another more modern reincarnation with slightly different elements but the same core ideas. Without groupies, fashion would be horrible today.

Vintage suede lace up heels, Etsy: FLUTTER AND ECHO VINTAGE
Kate Moss-channeling 70's glam & groupie glamour
Vintage 70's coat, Etsy: sugarshackvintage