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As long as there are beauty salons, there’ll be cheesy Patrick Nagel knockoff advertisements
12.15.2017
08:15 am
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A native of Dayton, Ohio, Patrick Nagel was a graphic artist who incorporated idealized images of women in lush, 2D settings that tended to call to mind a particularly sybaritic mutation of Art Deco. His images are well-nigh synonymous with the decade of the 1980s and are especially associated with the band Duran Duran, because the band used one of Nagel’s images on its 2nd LP, 1982’s Rio. His images frequently appeared in Playboy. There’s a vague mental association between Nagel’s work and über-yuppie Patrick Bateman, the protagonist of American Psycho, book and movie both.

Sadly, Nagel scarcely had time to enjoy the wider recognition that his association with Duran Duran brought him, as he was found dead of a myocardial infarction heart attack on February 4, 1984.

Success is seldom an unalloyed good. Even as it elevates an artist into widespread visibility, it might equally well consign the work to an artistic ghetto in the same act. You might get big, but there’s no saying that you won’t get typecast or pigeonholed or called tacky in the process.
 

 
The particular ghetto that Nagel’s work landed in is indisputably the general category of beauty salons, including nail salons and tanning salons. There’s something about Nagel’s frank invocation of conventional and affluent (and white) beauty that appears to have resonated with the advertisers within that sector, to the point that it has stopped being a signifier of the 1980s, at least in that setting. One might say that every beauty salon has a piece of Nagel art around somewhere—and if it doesn’t, it should have one.

Many of the “Nagel” images you see in beauty salons aren’t by Nagel at all, of course. Paying royalties to famous artists is nobody’s idea of a good time. In the middle of this post you can see an authentic product of Nagel’s artistry. I’m not a forensic art expert, but it’s clear enough that most if not all of the other images here are, erm, “heavily influenced” by Nagel. Indeed, it’s likely that an attorney insisted on it.
 

 

 
Sooooo much more after the jump….....
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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12.15.2017
08:15 am
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The War on Christmas is over, Motörhead wins.
12.12.2017
09:42 am
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I’m pretty sure jokey Christmas sweaters produced in the last several years must by now outnumber the entire total of sincere (if ghastly) ones made since the invention of those oddly specific garments, but once in a while, it’s still possible for one to pop up and make me say “OH, SHIT, I WANT ONE!” It’s been a good two years since that happened (that was when Einstürzende Neubauten produced one, and that was really just a t-shirt), but I just stumbled across one that’s got me wondering if I can maybe cross a couple of giftees off of this year’s nice list so I can afford one for myself—a Motörhead Warpig Christmas sweater. An unofficial one was produced a few years back but promptly got yanked—at the time my DM colleague Martin Schneider called on the band to produce an official one, and it looks like his Christmas wish was granted.
 

 
The Warpig logo, sometimes spelled “War-Pig,” and also variously known as “Snaggletooth” and “The Iron Boar,” has graced all but two of Motörhead’s album covers and been on countless t-shirts, and has also inspired rings, pendants, bottle openers, and even a rubber mask by the celebrated Rick “SikRik” Fisher, also known for his line of DEVO Booji Boy masks. It was designed by Joe Pentagno, an erstwhile Hipgnosis associate who was previously best known for the Icarus logo he designed for Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song imprint. Shortly after Lemmy Kilmister’s death, Pentagno discussed the origin of the logo with Team Rock:

[Lemmy] wasn’t clear on exactly what he wanted, something like a knight or a rusty robot as I remember, a biker patch that could be displayed on the back of a denim vest.

On the way home I stopped off at the library in Chelmsford. Taking my cue from outlaw biker patches, I was looking for skulls and bones when I inadvertently came across a book of animal skulls, then it hit me; an animal skull would work better than a human skull. When I got home and began sketching, I thought; why not invent a new skull, a hybrid? I started playing around with mix and match sketches dog – lion, wolf and so on. In the end I settled on a dog or wolf and gorilla cranium and gave it over-sized wild boar teeth. I hung a chain from the horns left to right under it and a small human skull to designate size, adorned it with an iron cross as a sign of bravery and then topped it off with a few spikes.

When it was finished, I knew I had created something unique and timeless in Snaggletooth. It was the ultimate anti-everything symbol. I look at it this way, there’s is an inherent urge in most individuals to shout and be heard above the din and frenzy of life, and Snaggletooth is a great symbol for standing firm, resisting, rejecting, refusing and rebelling against anything and everything that is detrimental to one’s individuality.

If the $125 asking price for the sweater is too dear, $30 will get you a suitably profane Warpig Christmas tee, or a proper winter cap can be yours for just $20.
 

 
Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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12.12.2017
09:42 am
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Wearing a vizard kept women pale and interesting in the 16th and 17th centuries
12.01.2017
10:25 am
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The other evening round at DM Towers, Glasgow, as I lay reclining on the chaise longue in my plus fours, smoking jacket, and fez, quietly puffing on my Meerschaum and idly fingering Roget’s Thesaurus, an unholy apparition appeared at the library door. It was my girlfriend. Yet, I would never have recognized her, as her whole countenance had vanished into a grotesque black hole from hairline to chin.

“What infernal magic is this?” quoth I (we do a lot of quothing round our house) in my best quivering voice from behind the chaise longue.

“Why it is only I,” rejoined my girlfriend.

And it was. But that face—what had happened to it?

As it, fortunately, turned out, my dearest was merely sporting an antique item of fashion called a vizard. That is a type of mask once worn by posh birds to avoid unsightly contact with the sun which could result in the unfortunate bronzing of the skin and the worrisome fear of being considered a lowly working-class woman who spent her days toiling in fields under the sun. (“Tanning” wasn’t considered a “thing” until beach vacations were invented for rich people.)

This was all rather serendipitous in a way, as I had, only that morning, been reading young Master Pepys’ diary about his visit to the Royal Theater where he had chanced upon Lord Falconbridge and Lady Mary Cromwell. As the public began to fill the house, Lady Cromwell “put on her vizard, and so kept it on all the play”. Pepys said the vizard had “become a great fashion among the ladies, which hides their whole face.” Meeting the fashionable Lady Cornwell encouraged Pepys to go to “the Exchange, to buy things with my wife; among others, a vizard for herself.”

Intrigued by my fair lady’s latest fashionable accessory, I decided to find some fine examples of the vizard from history with which to share. It would seem, the vizard was once very popular in England during the late 16th and most of the 17th centuries, roughly from the reign of Queen Elizabeth I to the Restoration. They were worn as sun protectors, and on occasion to keep a woman’s face wrapped from the biting chill of a winter’s wind. They were also a means to create coquettish mystery—just as the Venetians wore masks to flirt with each other. The vizard was large, spherical in shape, with a black velvet exterior and a silk lining. There was a small rectangular niche for the nose and two small oval openings for the eyes. The mask was held in by the wearer’s teeth, as it is described in The Academie of Armorie (1688):

A mask [is] a thing that in former times Gentlewomen used to put over their Faces when they travel to keep them from Sun burning… the Visard Mask, which covers the whole face, having holes for the eyes, a case for the nose, and a slit for the mouth, and to speak through; this kind of Mask is taken off and put in a moment of time, being only held in the Teeth by means of a round bead fastened on the inside over against the mouth.

Not everyone was so taken with the latest fashion, the writer Phillip Stubbes wrote in Anatomy of Abuses (1583):

When [women] use to ride abroad, they have visors made of velvet… wherewith they cover all their faces, having holes made in them against their eyes, whereout they look so that if a man that knew not their guise before, should chance to meet one of them he would think he met a monster or a devil: for face he can see none, but two broad holes against her eyes, with glasses in them.

The playwright John Dryden was similarly droll in the prolog to one of his lesser-known plays, The Conquest of Granada by the Spaniards:

[W]hen Vizard Masque appears in Pit,
Straight every Man who thinks himself a Wit
Perks up; and, managing his Comb with grace,
With his white Wigg sets off his Nut-brown Face;
That done, bears up to th’ prize, and views each Limb,
To know her by her Rigging and her Trimm;
Then, the whole noise of Fops to wagers go,
Pox on her, ’t must be she; and Damm’ee no:

The vizard was fashionable among the higher classes until around early 1700s, when it became the preferred disguise for prostitutes to sell their wares.
 
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‘A horseman with his wife in the saddle behind him’ circa 1581.
 
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Pietro Longhi, ‘Rhinoceros,’ 1751.
 
More masked mystery ladies, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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12.01.2017
10:25 am
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The official Hüsker Dü festive holiday sweatshirt
12.01.2017
08:45 am
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At long last, the surviving members of Hüsker Dü are asserting control over their work. In addition to the ongoing series of excellent Numero Group releases, there is the official Hüsker Dü online store, which is increasingly full of things to want, buy and have.

The design of the Hüsker Dü “festive holiday sweatshirt” is based on the artwork for “We Wish You A Merry Christmas,” a 1986 promo cassette the Hüskers made for Warner Bros. At first, the image on the j-card appears to be the Star of Bethlehem, but on closer inspection it looks like it must be a shattered windowpane.

The 60-second track is embedded below. If you worry that Hüsker Dü‘s Christmas carol is “not punk,” you’re going to love what Discharge was playing in 1986. Ho, ho, ho!

The festive holiday sweatshirt is $29.99 at Hüsker Dü‘s official merch store. Festive holidays, everyone.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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12.01.2017
08:45 am
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There are leggings and shorts with a full frontal of Michelangelo’s ‘David’
11.28.2017
01:39 pm
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If you’re looking for something, shall we say? classical yet fashionably eye-catching, then you probably couldn’t do much better than a pair of leggings (or perhaps swim shorts) featuring the most recognizable dick in all of history plastered all across the crotch.

Rage On! are currently selling leggings featuring an image of the lower half of Michelangelo’s “David” called David’s Marble Legs. They also have “David” Swim Shorts with a literally butt-hugging seat. Both of these items are bound to inspire conversation and a possible interest in the finer details of Classical Art. One happy customer described these leggings as “amazing” and “couldn’t be happier to make people uncomfortable” which is possibly the intention.
 
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H/T Mommyish, Ufunk, and Rage On!
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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11.28.2017
01:39 pm
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Transcendental Meditation-inspired jewelry line designed by David Lynch
11.27.2017
09:11 am
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The Meditating Eye Color Infusion Expandable Necklace by David Lynch. A part of the jewelry collection the ‘Meditating Eye.’
 
Director David Lynch is so multi-talented it can often be challenging to keep up with his prolific work in film, TV, music, art and beyond. In October Lynch released the ‘Meditating Eye,’ a line of jewelry inspired by the practice of Transcendental Meditation (known as TM). Lynch has been a practitioner of TM for more than four decades. In 2005 he formed the David Lynch Foundation which promotes the use of TM to help people cope with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and stress-related trauma, and in 2007 he authored a book on the subject Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity. Here’s an excerpt from the book in which Lynch speaks to the benefits of TM and its link to feeding artistic creativity he called “Catching Ideas”:

“Ideas are like fish.

If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper.

Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure. They’re huge and abstract. And they’re very beautiful.

I look for a certain kind of fish that is important to me, one that can translate to cinema. But there are all kinds of fish swimming down there. There are fish for business, fish for sports. There are fish for everything.

Everything, anything that is a thing, comes up from the deepest level. Modern physics calls that level the Unified Field. The more your consciousness-your awareness-is expanded, the deeper you go toward this source, and the bigger the fish you can catch.”

Right now and through the end of December 2018 Lynch’s online retailer pals at ALEX AND ANI are dontaing 20% of the purchase price of each piece from the Meditating Eye collection they sell to the David Lynch Foundation. Images of Lynch’s thought-provoking charitable jewelry (sold in either gold or siver tones) follow.
 

Men’s cuff.
 

Color infusion charm bangle.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.27.2017
09:11 am
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Check out this Medieval Wonder Woman battledress

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This armor battledress for Princess Diana of Themyscira, Daughter of Hippolyta, aka Wonder Woman, is certainly something to behold. Made from intricate, handcrafted leather by Samuel Lee at Prince Armory, this superhero outfit is “truly one of a kind.”

I recently saw the new Wonder Woman movie with a girlfriend who thought the most impressive thing about it was the way Princess Diana’s hair and makeup stayed immaculate throughout. To be honest, I never noticed, being too busy contemplating why this Amazonian superhero needed the irritating Captain Kirk and his gaggle of geeks along for the ride. As any fule no, Wonder Woman don’t need nobody to beat-up the bad guys—though this leather battledress would definitely add to her coolness.
 
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More after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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10.25.2017
01:25 pm
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‘Establishment wig’ allows hippies to pass for squares, 1969
10.24.2017
01:45 pm
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In the United States, August 1969 will primarily be remembered for two things: the concert at Woodstock (August 15-18) and the Manson slayings (August 9-10). Another thing that happened that didn’t get as much attention at the time was that a Detroit band called the Stooges put out their first album (August 5).

One wonders which of these events made a sufficient impression on Bob Woodford (no, not Bob Woodward—he wouldn’t become famous for a few years yet), who made a minor splash in the last week of August when he came out with a special wig for men, designed to conceal the existence of long hair.

According to news reports at the time, Woodford was a 31-year-old resident of Washington, D.C., who worked as “a developer of prototype scientific instruments.” His wigs cost in the $40 or $60 range.

Hilariously, an AP report insisted that Woodford “operates the Underground Wig Establishment” in Washington. WTF?? I can scarcely believe that such a thing actually existed. Anyone with a long, loooooong memory care to corroborate?

At some point that summer, Woodford had the insight that some people might be torn between expressing their true nature as a scruffy longhair and yet desire employment in the armed services—or, in an example that probably would not spring to mind today, pumping gas: “When you own a gas station you don’t want a guy with long hair pumping gas. The customers will go to another station.” 
 

 
Anyone who is currently enjoying The Deuce on HBO (which takes place two years after the advent of the “establishment wig”) will appreciate Woodford’s quasi-admission that he was hawking a ridiculous product when he stated that “I was in New York City, and nobody needs a short hair wig in New York for anything.” But that concession was made in the service of bringing up the New Jersey Turnpike, where the police were purportedly targeting longhairs. “I drove into the Holland Tunnel with long hair,” he said, “and when I came out I had short hair.”

As that example implies, Woodford had something in common with the proprietor of another hair-related enterprise, the Hair Club For Men, in that he was not just the president, he was “also a client.” One of the articles depicts Woodford himself wearing the product, as seen above.

The AP story made the rounds across the country during the last week of August. The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware, alerted readers that “Wigs Puts Longhairs Straight,” while the Adirondack Daily Enterprise blared, “Short-Hair Wig Handy for Long-Hair Crises.”

The ad for Sir of Hollywood on Hollywood Boulevard let potential customers know that they also offered “MOD CUT, CURLY, NATURALS.”

Almost precisely one year later, the August 12, 1970, edition of the Los Angeles Times ran a story by Robert Rawitch on Woodford’s wigs—or a similar product, anyway. The featured customer of that article was named Gabe Kanata, a teenage drummer employed as a stock clerk, who was pictured letting his freaky locks fly and then wearing the wig. The difference was indeed striking, as seen below. Kanata had a court appearance that made the “establishment wig” a desirable option. “Judges just don’t dig long hair,” he was quoted as saying. 

A couple months later, in October, the Lansing State Journal in Michigan ran a story on the wigs, with a Kanata mention, under the headline “Men Don Wigs to Avoid Shearing, Stay in Establishment.”
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.24.2017
01:45 pm
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Meet the woman who photographed Frida Kahlo, the Kennedys, Elizabeth Taylor, fashion & war

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Fashion of a woman, wearing a long gown, floating in water, Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida, 1947.
 
Toni Frissell (1907-88) was one of the greatest photographers of the 20th-century. During her lifetime, Frissell produced a staggering amount of diverse work including fashion photography, photojournalism, and portraiture.

In 1971, she donated her entire photographic collection of some 340,000 items to the Library of Congress. This included “270,000 black-and-white negatives, 42,000 color transparencies, and 25,000 enlargement prints, as well as many proof sheets.” Some of her work has yet to be processed for public use.

Frissell came from a well-established and fairly affluent family. Her grandfather was the founder and head of the Fifth Avenue Bank in New York. Having the stability of a wealthy family allowed Frissell to pick and choose what she wanted to do. She originally trained as an actress then worked in advertising before taking up her career as a photographer. Her brother Varick, a documentarian and filmmaker, taught Frissell the basics in photography. After Varick was killed in a freak explosion (along with 26 others) during the making of his feature film The Viking in 1931, Frissell started her career as a photographer in earnest. She apprenticed herself to Cecil Beaton (whose influence can be seen in her early photos) and began working as a fashion photographer for Vogue.

It was more than obvious from the outset Frissell was a natural photographic talent. Her fashion work pioneered the use of outside locations, often photographing models in a highly cinematic style against famous monuments or exotic locations. She claimed she preferred working outside as she didn’t “know how to photograph in a studio.” Whether this was her being disingenuous or not, Frissell did shoot the majority of her work outdoors using natural light.

When America entered the Second World War in 1941, Frissell volunteered her services as a photographer to the American Red Cross. She worked with the US Airforce then became the official photographer for the Women’s Army Corps. After the war, Frissell still continued with her fashion work but mainly concentrated on photojournalism and portraiture—capturing some of the most famous names of the day from politicians like Winston Churchill and the Kennedys, to artists like Frida Kahlo, and Hollywood stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Rex Harrison.

Unlike many other photographers who find one style and keep reproducing it time and again, Frissell developed, changed, and pioneered many different styles throughout her career. Her work is now rightly regarded as among the most influential and iconic imagery of the 20th-century.
 
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Fashion model Lisa Fonssagrives poses with an English bobby in background on a railway station for Harper’s Bazaar in 1951.
 
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Fashion shoot, Washington DC, 1949.
 
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Back view of fashion models in swim suits for Harper’s Bazaar, 1950.
 
More iconic photographs, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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10.24.2017
09:06 am
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Born to be Cheap: This Divine ugly Christmas sweater is REALLY CHEAP
10.20.2017
09:44 am
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“WHO WANTS TO DIE FOR ART?”

 
I’m not one for the whole “ugly Christmas sweater” thing. I think it’s stupid and I think Christmas is stupid, too. Last year I didn’t even get those cha-cha heels I wanted…

That said, this nifty new Divine ugly Christmas sweater—selling for CHEAP—is something that I can get behind.

I was born to be helpless, I was born to be cold
I was born to never do what I’m told
I was to be shallow, wasn’t born to be deep
Of all the things I was born to be CHEAP!

Now you don’t have to be cold (or die for art) and you can still be totally cheap, too. This divine Divine ugly Christmas sweater from the fine folks at Blizzard Bay can be yours for the CHEAP CHEAP price of only $29. It’s CHEAP, but still made of 100% cotton with a cool design of Divine in character as the immortal Babs Johnson from Pink Flamingos.

But Christ on a skateboard, Xmas sweaters already and Halloween’s not even in the rear view mirror yet? Take a gander at Kobe Kai’s divine Divine DIY Halloween costume at her Horror Kitsch Bitch blog. It’s pretty elaborate, with details down to the dogshit.
 

 

 
See more pics and shit at the Horror Kitsch Bitch blog.
 

Divine sings “Born to Be Cheap” on Late Night with David Letterman in 1982.

Posted by Richard Metzger
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10.20.2017
09:44 am
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