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Vintage ‘rock star’ belt buckles of the 1970s
04.04.2016
09:36 am

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Fashion
Music

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Ah, the 1970s, when customized Boogie Vans were king of the road and these “rock star” belt buckles were all the rage with the puka-shell necklace-wearing feather-haired yoots. 

The LA-based Pacifica Manufacturing company made these glorious belt buckles from 1976 - 1978 and they were often featured in the monthly direct mail circular that came to members of The Columbia House Record Club (“Take any 11 albums for a penny! Get the 12th one FREE!”). You can find a lot of these vintage puppies for sale on eBay. I just know you’ve got your eye on that Styx one.

The Bowie one is MINE.


KISS
 

ELO
 

Ohio Players
 

Steve Miller
 

Elton John
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Leigh Bowery’s shock therapy: ‘When I’m dressed up I reach more people than a painting in a gallery’
03.28.2016
12:00 pm

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Art
Design
Fashion

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01lbreddress.jpg
 
The dictionary defines the word “legend” as:

1. a traditional story sometimes popularly regarded as historical but not authenticated.

2. an extremely famous or notorious person, especially in a particular field.

It would be fair to say this word fits rather snugly with the performance artist, designer, would-be pop star, icon, artist’s model and “work of art” Leigh Bowery.

When asked recently, “Who was Leigh Bowery?” I was briefly flummoxed as where to begin in any attempt to describe this wonderfully extravagant yet self-indulgent character. There were so many facets to his life—so many fictions, so many facts—it seemed rather unsporting to choose only one.

Leigh Bowery was born on March 26th, 1961, in the small working class suburb of Sunshine in Melbourne, Australia. He was was the eldest of two children born to Tom and Evelyn Bowery. His mother had lived her entire life in Sunshine and raised Leigh and his younger sister Bronwyn in a house opposite her own childhood home. Sunshine was that kind of community. People lived and died there—they knew their place and rarely ventured beyond its boundaries.

Leigh was a large beefy child with a head of golden curls. Because of his build, his father hoped Leigh would become an Australian rules football player or at the very least something sporty. Yet Leigh showed no inclination for such physical activities. He preferred gardening and later needlework—something he first learnt while convalescing in hospital after an operation to help his testicles descend.

At school he was a very bright pupil. He had a keen and enquiring mind, was constantly reading books and showed great aptitude for classical music—in particular playing the piano. His life changed after he won a scholarship to Melbourne High School.

Leigh later claimed that he had known he was gay from the age of twelve. During his time at Melbourne High, he began his sexual adventures. On his way home from school, Leigh cruised the public toilets at the central railway station. He discovered wearing a school uniform made him highly attractive to the older men.  By his own estimate—which may or may not be true—he claimed he had sex with about one thousand men before he left school.
 
02lbpoldmakeup.jpg
 
His parents had hoped Leigh would study music at university. Instead, he chose to study fashion design at the Melbourne Institute of Technology. Leigh was one of only two boys in his year. He quickly learnt how to machine sew and began making some of his early flamboyant designs. These were not exactly appreciated by his teachers who wanted him to design ladies’ underwear and children’s clothes.

But Leigh had moved ahead of such small ambitions and wanted to create his own designs. He was eighteen and had fallen under the influence of punk—as he later explained in an interview.

The thing which made everything click for me was the punk movement where people used themselves and their appearance to describe so much and I just loved Busby Berkeley movies—all those sequins and feathers—and I would always have my nose in a National Geographic, gazing at women with stretched necks and rings going in strange places.

Leigh was also very enamored with the club scene in London, which he read about in all the imported pop and fashion magazines he got his hands on.

I wanted to hang out with the art and fashion people. I wanted to go to nightclubs and look at the clothes in the shops. I loved the idea of punk and the New Romantics. England seemed the only place to go, I considered New York but that just seemed full of cheap copies of London. I don’t think I made a mistake.

He quit college and worked in a department store to raise the funds for the London move. When he arrived in the city of his dreams, Leigh lived with a friend. When this friend moved out, Leigh decided to change his life and become more involved with the city around him. According to his friend and biographer Sue Tilley, Leigh made a list of four resolutions on New Year’s Eve 1980:

1) Get his weight down to twelve stone.
2) Learn as much as possible.
3) Establish himself in either fashion, art or writing.
4) Wear make-up every day.

Leigh managed to meet three of these resolutions over the next decade.

Read more about Leigh Bowery, plus a documentary about him hosted by Hugh Laurie, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
McCartney, Bowie, Lemmy, Debbie Harry appear in ‘Rock Stars in Their Underpants’
03.25.2016
11:45 am

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Amusing
Fashion
Music

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Paula Yates was an interesting figure who sadly passed away much too early at the age of 40 a number of years ago. In the 1970s she had a column called “Natural Blonde” in the Record Mirror and used the Reform Club in London for the site of her Penthouse spread.

In the 1990s Yates had a show on Channel 4 called The Big Breakfast in which she would interview people while lying in a bed. She was married to Bob Geldof for a while, and they had a messy divorce in 1996 when she left him for Michael Hutchence of INXS. Hutchence committed suicide in 1997 and Yates died of a heroin overdose in 2000, which probably tells you everything you need to know about the volatility of their relationship.
 

Paula Yates
 
When she was still in her early twenties, in 1980, Yates released a cheeky book called Rock Stars in Their Underpants. It was just what it seemed to be, a series of pictures of prominent rock musicians wearing underwear. Andy Warhol somewhat hilariously called it ‘‘the greatest work of art in the last decade.’‘
 
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In addition to the luminaries pictured here, the book features Yates’ future husband Geldof as well as Sparks, Chrissie Hynde, Frank Zappa, Godley & Creme, Steve Jones, Jools Holland, and Phil Lynott.
 

 

 

 
After the jump, Bowie, Lemmy and Macca in their skivvies…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Satan’s Chillen & Screamin’ Demons: Awesome personalized World War II leather bomber jackets
03.25.2016
09:40 am

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Art
Fashion
History

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Here are some personalized, hand-painted A-2 flight jackets from World War II brought to you by D. Sheley‘s collection on Flickr.

Apparently the A-2 jacket was the standard flight jacket every man received during the war. It’s interesting to see everyone’s personality still shine through from their lovingly adorned jackets. 


 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The second worst f*cking shoes on the planet: Basketball shoe cowboy boots
03.24.2016
02:54 pm

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Amusing
Fashion

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Last year year I blogged about “the worst shoe on the planet” and that award went to the cowboy sandal boot. In 2016 my poor eyes have been confronted with the basketball shoe cowboy boot.

I’m ranking this as the second worst shoe on the planet because honestly what could beat the cowboy sandal boot?

I’m pretty sure these are the real deal, too. Who would pay $200 for these?!


 
via Geekologie

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Amusing vintage patterns for men
03.22.2016
10:42 am

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Amusing
Fashion

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Not all vintage knit and crochet patterns for men were terrible—there were some great psychedelic sweaters to come out of that era. But let’s face it, most of them were gaudy, bulky and just plain terrible. Overall, wearing crochet—any form of it—probably constitutes a major fashion faux pas. Here is a fine selection of the worst of the lot.

As a side note: can we bring back the crochet poncho, please?

And the dude in the white sweater with the chicken? What’s with that?


 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Sky-high boots and platform shoes worn by David Bowie, Marvin Gaye, AC/DC, Keith Moon & more
03.10.2016
09:09 am

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Fashion
Music
Punk

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Marvin Gaye's signature silver platform boots, 1970s
Marvin Gaye’s signature silver platform boots made by Gaye’s wife, Janis, 1970s
 
As I’m sure many of the more academic readers of DM are aware, the history of guys strutting around in big heels goes all the way back to the Baroque period when it was considered to the calling card of a truly “masculine” kind of man. Oh yes. Wearing heels made you taller and being taller made one appear more menacing. And for men in positions of power or prestige, being intimidating was helpful with ensuring that you maintained your position in society. Aristocrats and elites like Charles II of England were often depicted in paintings wearing high-heeled footwear. 
 
An early version of AC/DC with vocalist Dave Evans looking very glam (far left) with Angus and Malcom Young
An early version of AC/DC with vocalist Dave Evans looking very glam (far left) with Angus (the only one not wearing heels) and Malcolm Young.
 
David Bowie, 1970s
David Bowie, 1970s
 
Johnny Thunders and David Johansen of the New York Dolls, 1973
Johnny Thunders and David Johansen of the New York Dolls, 1973
 
Plenty more platforms and manly man masculine high-heels after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Vomit, piss, shit: Freak icon Leigh Bowery’s deliberately offensive art-punk performance art, MInty
03.07.2016
02:00 pm

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Art
Fashion
Music
Punk
Queer

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Although there is currently but a skeletal entry for Minty on AllMusic.com, the tags alone are intriguing enough:

“Harsh.” “Outrageous.” “Provocative.” “Quirky.” “Self-Conscious.” “Stylish.” “Uncompromising.”

Who wouldn’t want to see a provocative, quirky, harshly outrageous and self-consciously stylish, uncompromising pop act? Count me in. Yes, please!

Minty were an obscure fashionista/club kid/performance art musical combo from the early 90s. If they were really known at all, they were known for the fact that freak icon Leigh Bowery was the original lead singer. Bowery formed Minty with knitwear designer Richard Torry, his wife Nicola Bateman, and club promoter Matthew Glammore. When Bowery died suddenly of an AIDS-related illness on December 31, 1994, after a time the rest of Minty decided to carry on without him. They recorded just a small number of singles—including Bowery’s amazingly foul-mouthed “Useless Man” rap—and one highly original album—Open Wide—that was, I think, unjustly neglected, although the AV Club named it as one of the “least essential albums of the 90s.” I totally disagree.
 

 
Although they hailed from London, Minty were hardly what you’d call a Britpop group. They had little to do with the likes of Blur or Oasis, but they did have a benefactor in Pulp who asked them to be the opening act on one of their tours. The outrageous, deliberately offensive avant garde group was banned from several venues in Britain when word of Bowery giving birth to a shit and blood-covered “baby” (Bateman) onstageno really—got around. To say nothing of the urine drinking, vomit and the stuff he did with the chocolate! In 1994 the Westminster City Council closed down a two-week long Minty residency at London’s Freedom Cafe after only one night.

Although Boy George would later play Leigh Bowery onstage in the Taboo musical, Minty were probably a lot closer to the Butthole Surfers than Culture Club. I have also described them as “Plasmatics meet Soft Cell” or “COUM Transmissions meet Dee-lite,” and even as “the B-52s meet Hermann Nitsch...”

Get Minty fresh after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Velvet jacket inspired by iconic ‘Shining’ carpet
03.04.2016
01:19 pm

Topics:
Fashion
Movies

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The excellent website known as The Overlook Hotel, which is dedicated to everything relating to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, posted this a couple weeks back.

It’s a velvet jacket by Ted Baker that (rather obviously) pays homage to the carpet from The Shining. According to The Overlook Hotel website, it was a limited run of 70 jackets, and it was available at the Ted Baker boutique in Dubai. No price is mentioned.

Searches on the internet turned up no other information about this jacket that doesn’t derive from The Overlook Hotel website.

I’d love to know more about this jacket. I want to buy one! If it doesn’t bankrupt me.

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Young David Bowie seen in newly discovered 1967 NBC News clip
02.25.2016
05:40 pm

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Fashion
History
Music

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Blink and you’ll miss him: A fashionable young David Bowie can be seen here—for but a split second—in this 1967 footage shot in one of London’s swinging “mod” Carnaby Street boutiques for an NBC News report. The topic seems to be a furrowed-brow examination of the problem of decadent and “licentious” British youth spending all their money on frivolous things, like clothes and having a good time. How dare they!

As goofy as such an attitude might seem now, in 1967 the older generation were truly perplexed and dismayed by the way young people acted and this news report is a memento of that befuddlement on the part of the establishment. Conservative British columnist Christopher Booker wrote an entire book about it called The Neophiliacs: A Study of the Revolution in English life in the Fifties and Sixties. It’s one of the great (largely) forgotten books of the 1970s, although it’s gone in and out of print over the years.

Private Eye magazine co-founder Booker, now an angry old man railing against the global warming “conspiracy,” but then still an angry young one, wrote of what he describes as a “psychic epidemic” which struck British popular culture. His central point in The Neophiliacs is a startling one: During the swinging Sixties a cadre of influential London media darlings (e.g., The Beatles, Stones, Marianne Faithfull, David Hemmings, David Bailey, etc.) exhibited–and were rewarded for–outlandish behaviors, exhibitionist clothing and general attitudes that would have seemed daft at best or completely insane at worst to the previous generation. The widespread veneration of these immature neurotics by working and middle class youth is—according to his thesis—the exact inflection point when society and culture took a radical detour into frivolity and meaninglessness. One quick look at the E! network or YouTube, of course, proves Mr. Booker’s point in spades.

The Neophiliacs is a truly great book, but I’m digressing aren’t I?

Bowie’s cameo is so brief that they even warn you ahead of time. It cuts out as the reporter—for some reason—mentions philosopher John Locke… I do wish I could see the rest of this clip.
 

 
Thank you kindly Spencer Kansa!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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