Saturday, 9 October 2010
The other side of the seventies
Phoebe Philo's take on the seventies has certainly inspired a generation of grown-up women to swing their flared pants but having recently read Just Kids by Patti Smith, visited the Hendrix in Britain exhibition (where, as well as hand-written lyrics and doodles, you can see one of the guitarist's velvet jackets), and become obsessed with Bowie's Station to Station all over again - it's the post-hippie/pre-punk/androgynous look that I'm into right now. The seventies was a time when the mainstream was rejected, fashion looked back, and dressing up in second-hand clothes from the thirties and forties was the way forward.
Smith's evocative memoir brilliantly describes the New York scene of the seventies and her relationship with lover, friend and artistic inspiration, Robert Mapplethorpe.
When asked if she's a folk singer and told her hair is very Joan Baez, Smith goes home and starts 'machete-ing my way out of the folk era.' Her new Keith Richards' haircut causes quite a stir,' I couldn't believe all the fuss over it. Though I was still the same person, my social status suddenly elevated....someone asked me if I was androgynous, I asked what that meant. "You know, like Mick Jagger." I figured that must be cool. I thought the word meant both beautiful and ugly at the same time. Whatever it meant, with just a haircut, I miraculously turned androgynous overnight.'
Hendrix in Britain is on at the Handel House Museum till 7 November 2010
Fashion photos: Solve Sundbo, Vogue Italia, August 2010