I’ll ‘fess up to owning a Laurel and Hardy t-shirt when I was a child. I also had one with Humphrey Bogart saying something memorable from Casablanca. Damned if I can remember what it was now. This was as far as I would go with my counter-culture wardrobe. Most of my school friends were of similar mind. They opted for plus fours, smoking jackets and a fine selection of Arran-knit cardigans. Life was so different in Scotland then.
Of course, there were some who sported denim jackets decked out in assorted patches imported from America. These mass-produced novelties of old men saying things like “Keep on truckin’” or cartoon dogs offering advice about not eating yellow snow always struck me as frightfully quaint yet rather dumb. I suppose I was just confused as to what these badges were supposed to mean. But what did I know? I was merely an innocent child out of step with the current fashion trends.
Soon nearly every youngster across our fabled tartan nation was dressed-up like Joseph in his amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat or at least a brazen tatterdemalion. These patches all signified the same thing. I am unique. I am an individual. These are my likes and dislikes. And look, haven’t I got a wacky sense of humor?
Sad to say, all of this fun passed me by far too quickly and I missed out in the pleasures of actually becoming an individual. My taste in t-shirts was understandably laughed at by those far more in tune with the heady zeitgeist of the day. Laurel and Hardy could never compete with some twee tee saying Pepsi was the “real thing.”
Most of the fashionable peeps wore the American patches and t-shirts. Soon, these were rivaled by our very own homegrown patches declaring a love for the Bay City Rollers or tops saying “My girlfriend went to Arbroath and all she got me was this lousy t-shirt.” That kind of thing.
Those crazy delights of that faraway decade can be enjoyed with this fine selection of adverts selling counter-culture t-shirts and some ads and fine examples of the quirkier patches which were then available. If this whets the appetite then I suggest a visit to Mitch O’Connell’s blog which will leave you positively sated.
Gilda Radner in CREEM magazine t-shirt ad.
More crazy delights from the heady 1970s, after the jump…
I dig these handmade tights that feature Siouxsie Sioux’s signature eye makeup. There’s no mistaking exactly who those iconic peepers belong to, is there? They’re made by Etsy shop Mass Media and sell for $22.00 each plus shipping.
According to the listing the eyes are only printed on white tights and must be hand washed in cold water and line dried.
A vintage 80s ad for Italian fashion brand, Fiorucci featuring Divine. Art by Richard Bernstein
“Went to Fiorucci and it’s so much fun there. It’s everything I’ve always wanted, all plastic.”
—Andy Warhol diary entry for December 21, 1983
Although Fiorucci was a global brand, it was the NYC store where Elio Fiorucci’s visionary day-glo retailing vision was best realized. Everyone from Jackie O to Andy Warhol spent time hanging out and shopping at Fiorucci—a glammy New York store that was fondly referred to as the “daytime Studio 54.” From the late 70s and most of the 80s the clothing brand founded by Elio Fiorucci in Milan was a fashion trendsetter and can be credited with many looks that defined the era. Like primary colors and “neon” fabrics, form-fitting “stretch” denim jeans and the accessories that were worn by a young Madonna, thanks to Fiorucci’s art director, jewelry designer Maripol who styled her iconic look. (Ms. Ciccone even performed at the store’s 1983 anniversary party). Maripol also dressed the likes of Grace Jones and another New York fashion icon, Debbie Harry. Keith Haring would draw on the walls. Kenny Scharf did his first art show there. Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine had office space in the store for a while, too, and it was pretty difficult to turn up at the store—across from Bloomingdale’s flagship on 59th and Lexington Ave—and not see someone incredibly famous.
Madonna and her dancers
And since this is New York we’re talking about, one of the store’s most popular employees (he was the manager) flamboyant performance artist Joey Arias appeared with David Bowie and Klaus Nomi on what would become one of the most infamous episodes of Saturday Night Live on December 15th, 1979. Because everybody was somebody in New York back then. Fashion designer Betsey Johnson
I was recently made aware of the fact that earlier this month high-end UK retailer Selfridges debuted a pop-up shop where you could actually purchase items from Fiorucci’s classic clothing catalog. Everything from the brand’s famous denimwear to an accessory I have been obsessed with since I was skating around the roller rink to Sister Sledge (who sang about the store), Fiorucci patches. Selfridges even provided a service where you could have a vintage patch, which were created in 1984, affixed to the item of your choosing. If you missed that, like I sadly did, the store is now carrying a number of new Fiorucci items including some cool, vibrantly colored t-shirts with the brand’s neon, zig-zagging logo on the front. Below I’ve posted an array of images from Fiorucci ad campaigns, marketing posters as well as a few of the vintage patches sold at the Selfridges’ pop-up store.
Sunglasses are encouraged to protect your eyes. Some are NSFW.
Since summer is approaching, I thought I’d post about these “Fuck Off” shoes by Raised by Wolves. I’m a person who normally hates sandals or slides, but there’s no getting around not wearing them if you’re at the beach or a pool.
They come in red, white and black. The black is perfect if you don’t want to be so bold with your “fuck off.” What’s even more likable about these shoes is they’re inexpensive. They sell for $39.00 here.
Why in the world this Misfits dress doesn’t come in black and white is beyond me. But it doesn’t. You have a choice of hot pink, green or purple. According to the description it’s officially licensed featuring the skull on front of the dress and the word “Misfits” on the back of the dress.
Now I can’t vouch for the quality as I do not own one. There is one review with five stars that says, “Fat [sic] shipping. Best friend loves it!”
It’s 95% cotton and 5% spandex. You can get it here.
If you’ve more money than sense or suffer from acute separation anxiety or maybe just want a self-referential talking point that lets all your friends know just how fun and wacky you really are then you may want to consider splurging on a cushion with your face or the face of a loved one printed on it.
The Mushion is (apparently) the must have homeware accessory for the urban young and chic. It’s a service run by Firebox, where you simply “upload a good clear picture of the faces you desire” and let have them transformed into “distorted and squishy cushions for you to do with as you please.”
To do with as you please?
The cushions are seven inches in width by eleven inches in length. They come in single, couples or (fnarr-fnarr) threesomes...with at a cost of about twenty bucks a pop—-or around $36 for three.
So, if you want to sit on your own or your loved one’s face then do head over to Firebox for details.
Mush, by the way, is a Cockney slang word for face—via the Romany for friend.
One of the most striking and iconic pieces of rock and roll clothing has to be the leopard head jacket worn by Iggy Pop on the back cover of 1973’s Raw Power, in the classic shot taken by photographer Mick Rock (above). The jacket was made by John Dove and Molly White in 1971 and appeared in L’Uomo Vogue. They only ever made five of them. Iggy bought one. Zoot Money bought another. One was a gift to their agent in Paris, Dove kept one and an unknown guy bought the other.
The saga of IGGY POP’S JACKET returns 18 years later when Iggy’s Jacket turns up on the back of Stan Lee, lead guitarist of the Dickies in the pages of Rolling Stone. Ruby Ray’s picture shows Stan half-heartedly assuming the Raw Power stance. The interview starts with Vale’s recognition, “The jacket looks like the one Iggy wore on Raw Power!”
“It IS Iggy’s jacket - I got it in a dope deal a few years ago. He didn’t have the bucks so I took that for collateral. For a while, he couldn’t afford it back, and now he’s a rich bitchin’ Iggy, he tried to buy it back and I said NO!...”
Andy Seven: “I remember seeing Iggy at Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco after the Stooges broke up when he still had the platinum rinse, with Michael Des Barres, the singer for Silverhead. Stan Lee, who later started the Dickies, used to go there. He was this short, pushy little puffed-out guy with a Marc Bolan poodle shag, and he claimed he had the leopard jacket that Iggy wore on the back cover of Raw Power, he told me he got it from Iggy for dope collateral.”
Ron Asheton: “Oh, yeah, Iggy would trade his possessions all the time for drugs. That’s how he lost some of those great clothes, like that plastic jacket on the back of Raw Power with the Leopard’s head ... that got traded to somebody for drugs or whatever.”
Stan Lee: “When I was sixteen I used to hang out with Iggy. I got his Raw Power jacket in a drug deal that went down in The Whisky parking lot. It was used as collateral, and thankfully I
A few years later, art, record and toy collector extraordinaire, Long Gone John, boss of the mighty Sympathy for the Record Industry label (where the White Stripes, Hole and many others got their start) bought the jacket from Stan Lee. He picks up the story now in an email sent to John Dove and Molly White:
John and Molly
I wrote this for you while flying home from no. California… let me know if you need anything else ... want an updated photo of the jacket ?? all the best as ever…like that, john xx
“I remember Stan Lee from the Dickies wearing the Iggy jacket every time I saw him and remember thinking he’s gonna wear it till it falls apart…he was obviously really really proud of owning it…when you see photos of him wearing it you can see it was still in very good condition at the time…about 5 years before I bought it from Stan, a friend of mine, Tim Warren who ran the label Crypt Records who was living in Germany came to LA. and apart from whatever else he had to do he had intentions of buying the jacket from Stan for his cute french girlfriend ...Tim offered Stan $5000.00 which seemed an enormous amount of money…seems Stan was pretty flush at the time or at least he didn’t currently have a severe drug habit which he often did have throughout the years…anyway, Tim’s offer was turned down and his girlfriend was considerably heartbroken, but still very cute…
I didn’t think about the jacket for a long time until one day a friend called and said Stan wanted to sell the jacket and asked if I was interested…he said he thought Stan wanted $3000.00…I thought that the jacket was so important and would one day belong in a museum and figured it was well worth the money…I drove out to the Valley to meet him at the converted garage he lived in…the jacket was pretty worn, but it was also obvious it was made out of really cheap fake leather material to begin with…the cheetah head on the back was a bit rubbed off, but to me that was inevitable with age and gave it an air of authenticity considering it was at least 25 years old at the time…best as I can remember this was about 1998…being the bargaining fool that I am I offered Stan $2000.00 and after considerable haggling he finally agreed to accept it…the jacket was tiny Iggy is 5’ 1” as documented in the song with the same name Stan was also short, but not that short…i’m 5’ 11” so of course it didn’t fit me, but my interest in it wasn’t to wear it anyway…to me that jacket was so iconic I thought of it as The Shroud of Turin of Rock ‘n’ Roll…
I was about 21 yrs old when Raw Power came out and very impressionable…it was one of my favorite albums and I was completely mesmerized by both the front and back cover photos…that record was amazing and I never got tired of listening to it and never got the image of the jacket out of my mind…I have always felt extremely honored to own the jacket and will protect it’s legacy until the next caretaker happens along…”
There’s this intriguing skirt that’s a perfect item for the woman who loves The Shining, Stanley Kubrick’s endlessly compelling 1979 Stephen King adaptation, but doesn’t always want to be too obvious about it. I noticed it at a bar yesterday when I witnessed one woman pay another a sartorial compliment for wearing it. The wearer instantly mentioned that it depicts part of the helicopter shot from the opening sequence of The Shining.
This got my attention, so I inquired further. As fans of the movie will remember, the opening sequence is a lengthy series of shots of a fantastic natural landscape, most of it a bird’s-eye view of a car driving on a road. But the car isn’t in the very first shot; the very first shot was executed over a body of water, a landscape shot taken at Saint Mary Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana.
Here’s a basic shot of the skirt:
Here’s a closer look:
Here’s a picture of the very first shot of The Shining:
It sure as heckfire seems like the same place from the same angle. You can even see a slight irregularity on the base of the mountain on the right side of the picture, it’s the same in both pictures. They’ve fucked with the colors a bit and given the setting much more of a radioactive neon feel, but it’s the same place.