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The Brief Marriage of John Cale and Betsey Johnson
06.12.2013
05:15 pm

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Fashion
Music

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Weddng day, 1968

The Velvet Underground’s John Cale met fashion designer Betsey Johnson in May 1967, when she was designing costumes for the Edie Sedgwick movie Ciao! Manhattan. She had been using Edie as her fitting model for years and had even designed her “Edie dress,” a jersey knit creation with a criss-cross back. Johnson was dating Sterling Morrison at the time and working on her own clothing designs.

Cale wrote of Johnson in his memoir What’s Welsh for Zen? in 1999:

“Betsey took amphetamine every day—diet pills, black bombers. She was a little overweight and very sensitive about it, and she would sit up all night making clothes. Betsey was a strong individual character. When she started showing up at all the VU gigs because she could afford to, I really admired her…It seemed to me that Betsey knew everybody I knew, and she was living at the Chelsea Hotel. It was a match made in heaven.”

Johnson began making elegant dark stage clothes for the band and hanging out at New York clubs with Andy Warhol and Cale. In 2008, Johnson told Woman’s Wear Daily: “I always made John his black canvas suits with big hunks of ruffles and bows coming out, which were gorgeous. And Lou [Reed] wanted his crotch to be big, so I would always cut him a crotch.”

On her wedding day in 1968, Betsey was turned away from New York City’s City Hall for wearing pants as part of her self-designed red velvet pantsuit. She returned wearing the shortest miniskirt she could find. Cale wrote, “I made her cry on the day of her wedding because I forgot to buy her a corsage.”

During their short marriage the couple lived together in a beautiful loft on La Guardia Place but were seldom home at the same time. Cale did not take well to being married to such an ambitious working woman:

“Betsey worked hard all the time, like Andy. She would be in her showroom, and she often spent weeks in San Francisco or Los Angeles, where her factories were…I realised our career paths were so divergent that we actually lived in completely different worlds. Betsey seemed able to pass in and out of my world with ease, but I could not negotiate hers. I felt stymied by it. At that point I would get lonely and find somebody else. Betsey and I were both interested in our careers to the exclusion of personal relationships.”

Cale divorced Johnson in 1971 after relocating to Los Angeles to work as a solo artist and producer and upon meeting Cindy Wells, a.k.a. Miss Cindy, one of The GTO’s, the girl group formed by Frank Zappa.

In 2011, Betsey Johnson revealed to a reporter from Jezebel that John Cale was her favorite of her husbands.
 

Betsey Johnson and John Cale on the back cover of his 1970 solo album Vintage Violence

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Leave a comment
‘Unknown Pleasures’: The Joy Division burka
06.10.2013
06:44 pm

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Amusing
Fashion

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noisividyoyaqrub.jpg
 
For the fashionable burka-wearer around town.

I wonder what other designs are available—maybe 50,000 Fall Fans Can’t Be Wrong?


Update: Alas, this is another one of those cultural make-overs by Photoshop, as DM readers Ian Schultz and Mike Lewinski point out. Though it may have been around a wee while, I do think there is a good potential here for a subversive fashion statement.

Other album cover-burka designs by readers include: Iron Maiden from leolodreamland, Henry Rolins / Black Flag from Hephastion, and Metallica’s Black Album from James Bolin.
 
H/T Charrière Islam, via The Sourpuss

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Hot and Fresh Out the Kitchen: The R. Kelly apron
06.10.2013
02:37 pm

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Amusing
Fashion
Food

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Although I never thought of myself as the kind of person who would wear an apron, I was just discussing last night with my husband how I intended to break down and buy one. My one day search is already over!

This R. Kelly apron can be found on Etsy for $25 + shipping.

Via The World’s Best Ever

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Fantastical crochet ‘granny’ robe to drink your morning cup of coffee in, 1983
06.10.2013
12:28 pm

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Amusing
Fashion

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The Granny Square Snug Sack crochet robe is a marvelous—albeit a mouthful to say—wonderment. JUST LOOK AT IT!

I’m also curious about the directions for the Billy the Clown spread… What elaborate yarny gloriousness did that reveal?

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Boho-Chic: Vogue magazine tells you how to dress like a 70s hippie cult member!
06.06.2013
12:51 pm

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Fashion
Pop Culture

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If this doesn’t make you want to drink the, er, purple Kool-Aid, I don’t know what would…

Owing to the renewed interest in hippies and communal living brought on by the fascinating new documentary, The Source Family, Vogue magazine is trying to get in on the action in the only way, apparently, that they know how to, by explaining to their readers how to get that—get this—awesome “70s Boho-Cult Chic Look”!!!

I mean, hey, don’t get me wrong, the women of The Source family were most certainly hippie hotties for sure, but what the hell does “70s Boho-Cult Chic Look” really mean when you think about it and why would any young woman aspire to “boho-cult chic”? What’s next, a Vogue article about those wicked cool, crisp white naval uniforms the members of Scientology’s elite “Sea Org” inner circle wear?

The gorgeous devotees, besotted with the messianic [cult leader Father Yod] (a successful restaurateur as well as, purportedly, a former murderer and bank robber) were not just serious about meditation—they were also greatly concerned with fashion, at least by the evidence of the film’s archival footage. In fact, style was a major player for both men and women in the family: In the film, one member reminisces that as Yod delved deeper into the philosophies of ancient civilizations, cult members would dress the part—sometimes as Native Americans, sometimes as Templars.

The most prevalent costumes—those long, floaty, almost bridal dresses and robes—were apparently meant to evoke the mythical (and in this viewer’s opinion at least, completely fictional), lost civilization of Atlantis. At one point, everyone troops down to City Hall to change his or her surname to Aquarian (some also elect the middle name The, leading to monikers like Magus the Aquarian).

But you don’t have to alter your name, practice Kundalini yoga at dawn, stare into the sun until you fry your eyeballs, or record psychedelic albums in your garage to appreciate the languor of a summery ankle-grazing frock, the subtle allure of a golden necklace, or the starry glory of a spectral tiara.

There is a click-thru photo gallery provided of ways that you can achieve that authentic “70s Boho-Cult Chic Look” yourself with $2000 Pucci shawls, Yves St. Laurent summer dresses that will set you back about four grand and a braided headband that’s a fucking bargain (comparatively speaking) at $1200.
 

 
Below, the trailer for ‘The Source Family’ documentary. You can catch it currently in theaters or on VOD on YouTube
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Sexualization of Yoga: Do my chakras look fat in these yoga pants?
06.05.2013
12:28 pm

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Fashion
Feminism
Pop Culture
Sex
Sports

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Yoga came to the West from India, in bits and pieces from the 1920’s to the 1960’s. From the 1960’s to about ten years ago, the only people teaching yoga were more or less hippies. Teachers who emphasized the spiritual aspect of the practice and taught small classes made up of a ragtag assortment of humans beings. Grandmas, new moms, pregnant moms, college students and athletes getting over injuries, wearing loose fitting clothing that resembles nothing like the yoga bras and tight, wedgie-inducing Yoga Tart pants on offer today. Somewhere along the way over the past twenty years the fitness industry and corporations got ahold of yoga (I won’t even go into the whole Pilates fad) and turned it into just another way to get fit. Oh, and look HOT.

Yoga is supposed to be much more than that. In 1997-98 the most sought after yoga teachers were from Golden Bridge in L.A. They were Western Sikh followers of Yogi Bhajan, wore extremely modest clothing and their long hair was tucked up in a white turban. The stars of this yoga school were Gurmukh, who taught prenatal yoga and also helped more than a few people stay sober through yoga, and Gurutej Kaur. Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers was one of Gurmukh’s students. A punk singer and music producer from the Midwest reinvented himself as a yogi named Mahan. They didn’t preach Sikhism, but there was a definite spiritual emphasis, with talk of meditation, chakras, energy, auric fields, and the like. It was cheerful and comforting.

Then came power yoga, Bikram yoga (hot yoga), and provocative yoga, complete with porn soundtrack. Now the women demonstrating yoga positions in magazines (even Yoga Journal) or videos look like (usually white) gymnists.  Or like lingerie models. There isn’t anything about your soul, centering, meditation, union of body, mind and spirit, or communion with the divine. But they make damn sure to use the impressively long original Indian names for every single pose in a stab of authenticity, which gets lost among all the accessories you’re suddenly supposed to have, like “yoga bricks” and special “Toesox” socks.

Kate Potter’s soothing yoga show, Namaste Yoga, once shown on Canadian televison and the cable channel FitTV, used to feature women from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, but all pretty much at the same level of ultra-fitness. I’m not asking for robe-wearing sadhus exclusively, but it would have been nice to see a few bigger ladies included as well. Or Chris Grosso wrote for yoganonymous.com, “Unless I missed the memo, spirituality is not just for pretty, clean cut, white folks who have more money than they know what to do with”

There are authentic sanghas who teach “old school” yoga, but they might not be as easy to find if their message and ads are lost among the flashier teachers. Which leads to the fact that teacher training in some states is laughable. Just because someone has a yoga teaching certification doesn’t mean that they are actually qualified to teach.

Julie J.C. Peters righteously ranted about the sexy Equinox Yoga video in Elephant Journal:

“Yoga advertising has been trying for a while now to make me feel bad about my body so that I get insecure enough to buy whatever they are selling.” You mean not everyone works out in Agent Provocateur underwear?

Although Susan “Stop the Insanity!” Powter produced her own down-to-earth yoga video for all fitness levels, Trailer Park Yoga. This DVD did not receive the advertising push that a video like Equinox Yoga or Provocative Yoga received, and so is therefore an obscure resource for women looking for alternatives.

In her article “Tits and Ass in a Mala,” Portland, Oregon yoga teacher Maya Devi Georg asks, “How about featuring non-sexualized images of young women, or celebrating images of older women, women of color, or men at any age?”:

“This is a call to practitioners and teachers to take responsibility for the practice—not just for themselves but those who will follow us. What does the future of yoga hold in the West? Will it be reduced to corporate ownership, making bad classes better, but making great classes extinct? Will it be ruled by greed, glamour, fads and gimmicks? Or will the word yoga become so overused that the inherent meaning is lost?”

Namaste to that!

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Leave a comment
Lesbian woman explains why she doesn’t dress more feminine
06.03.2013
03:36 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Fashion
Feminism
Food
Queer

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YouTuber Hart delightfully answers a question that her audience has posed to her numerous times:

“If you love women so much, how come you don’t you dress like one?”

Hart’s answer is priceless... as you will see.
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Awesome eBay find: Leigh Bowery shower curtain!
05.29.2013
11:33 am

Topics:
Dance
Fashion
Kooks
Queer

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I’m so in love with this… that I’m so in love with this!!! A terrific Leigh Bowery shower curtain spotted by our pals at World of Wonder. This gem has a “buy it now” option on eBay for $95.00.

WANT.

Below, a crude, but effective (and NSFW) music video of Leigh Bowery and Raw Sewage doing their version of “Walk this Way.”
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
The Legend of Leigh Bowery

Leigh Bowery interviewed by Gary Glitter

Leigh Bowery’s Raw Sewage

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Man selling newspapers in Paris looks like he’s wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, 1925
05.24.2013
04:25 pm

Topics:
Activism
Fashion

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At least a Guy Fawkes-y mask, right? I wonder if the literature he was selling (or perhaps giving away?) could have gotten him in trouble, hence the disguise?

Via Retronaut

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Curious ‘Bob Marley’ belt buckle
05.22.2013
02:32 pm

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Amusing
Fashion

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This “Bob Marley” belt buckle reminds me a lot of a previously featured “Bob Marley” item, the hilarious t-shirt by African Apparel which you can view, below.

Unlike the shirt, I’m not sure if this belt buckle is ironic or just… Made in China?
 

 
With thanks to Skye Nicolas!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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