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?
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 (the only one not wearing heels) and Malcolm Young.
David Bowie, 1970s
Johnny Thunders and David Johansen of the New York Dolls, 1973
Plenty more platforms and manly man masculine high-heels after the jump…
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) onstage—no 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...”
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.
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.
These two local Columbus, Ohio TV news reports from 1985—the second one was even broadcast live as this “rock happening” was taking place—together provide a delightful time capsule of an era when being a “punker” meant that you were considered an outcast and got hassled by cops just for having weird hair or dressing “funny.”
The subject, curiously enough, is the ethereal Scottish dreampop group Cocteau Twins and their appearance in “the new rock mecca of Columbus.” Ask yourself how such a group would have found their audience in a pre-Internet time and you’ll have your answer. The reason the Cocteaus were in Columbus, Ohio of all places, one of only five dates on their 1985 US tour, was due to the early championing of the band by a prominent local music aficionado whose self-published newsletter covered them often. Some of these kids drove 100s of miles to get to this show.
I’m guessing that the newscaster was either a friend of the promoter, or a fan of the band himself, or both, owing to this event garnering two news reports in one week. I’m just glad that these clips still exist and that they were posted to YouTube.
You’ll note that when we meet Tim Anstead, publisher of “The Offense” music newsletter, that he was not even using a computer, but an electric typewriter to put his newsletter out. That’s some true-blue 80s-style dedication.
If you wait until the very end, you’ll hear some vintage goofball old man newscaster banter about these crazy kids and their wacky hair.
After the jump, a ‘bonus clip’ of Cocteau Twins performing “Millimillenary” live in Sweden, 1984…
Irregular Choice—known for making tricked-out heels—teamed up with Disney to create these psychedelic-looking Alice in Wonderland shoes. The shoes will be available to purchase on February 26 at select stores and online. A pair of these shoes will cost you anywhere from $184 - $381 depending on which style.
And when I use the word “trippy” for these shoes I mean literally and figuratively. Just look at those heels! My ass would be tripping everywhere!
I’ve always dug old school airline flight attendant uniforms. Perhaps it’s the nostalgia of being a kid and totally excited about going to the airport and hopping on a plane. When you asked for a can of Coke, you got it. An entire can.
These days I dread the experience of going to the airport as much as I dread tax season. I hate it. It’s miserable for me, filled with lots anxiety and zero patience. Flying used to be glamourous! Now a flight is like getting on a bus… an air bus. Soon they’ll have you standing in the aisles, mark my words!
I like to look at these old photos and remember a time when traveling wasn’t an experience from hell. Oh, and when flight attendants looked as cool as shit.
Grace Jones with Jimmy Baio, Divine, Julie Budd, Nona Hendryx and a few unnamed dancers
In the ‘70s and ‘80s we all had our fun, and now and then we went really too far. But, ultimately, it required a certain amount of clear thinking, a lot of hard work and good make-up to be accepted as a freak.—Grace Jones
If a single photo series could encapsulate ‘70s disco dust debauchery and fun… this document of Grace Jones’ 30th birthday party held at LaFarfelle Disco in New York on June 12, 1978 would be IT. Famous guests included Elton John, Divine, Andy Warhol, Jerry Hall, Jimmy Baio (Scott Baio’s cousin, of course), Julie Budd and Nona Hendryx.
To have been a fly on the wall for this birthday party. Can you imagine all the shit people were up to when the cameras weren’t flashing?!