Cher shows ’em how it’s done with airport outfit

I’ve broken my unblemished record and am currently wallowing in self-pity in my sick bed. As well as being LAME, I’m also not feeling particularly inspired to write about much – it’s early January, what is there to say?

So, here’s a nice effortless post – a picture of Cher arriving at the airport in 1974, found on Stylelist.  Much better than all the unsuitable shoes, bare legs and frivolous handbags that pass for sensible flying gear these days.

Special mentions for the pointy black nails and aztec backpack – what a guru.

On the subject of flying, here’s a quick reminder of my favourite ever airport picture – Victoria Beckham with a hangover, struggling to board a plane. Gurl.

Style icon: Tina Weymouth

Can’t do a Talking Heads without talking about Tina Weymouth.

Hair icon. Bass icon. Funk icon. Guru.

Again, if you haven’t watched Stop Making Sense; do it now. For Tina’s fringe and bass-playing, if nothing else. Watch this video, at the very least.

Style icons: Shampoo

The purchase of the spangly daisy top got me on a Shampoo kick – and since my last one, some magical being has created a Tumblr all about Jacqui and Carrie!

I know it’s trite to say you love Shampoo, but honestly, I was obsessed. I liked them even more than Kenickie, and that’s saying something.

I had a ring binder, somewhat like a press clippings folder, where I gathered every interview with them I could find. During my pre- and teenage years, I got NME, Smash Hits. TOTP mag, Melody Maker, Q, Just Seventeen, More!… god, what else? All of them. Anything they could be in, because I couldn’t miss pictures of Jacqui and Carrie. I worshiped them and everything they wore, said and did. In fact, I think I only got in to the Manic Street Preachers because they liked them. I videod their appearances on the Big Breakfast, the Pepsi Chart Show, TFI Friday, I taped their backstage interviews on that show they used to do on Radio 1 live from backstage at TOTP… Smash Hits once did this ace feature where they wrote out what various popstars had as their voicemails. How I wished for an answering machine so I could have the same message at them!

You get the point. Here are the pictures. ALL via the amazing amazing amazing Wash & Go-Go!

Continue reading “Style icons: Shampoo”

Lipstick and Dynamite: female wrestlers

I had a bit of a clear out over the weekend and came across a fascinating project I did while I was on my MA… Obviously I’m now gonna rehash it for your perusal.

Lipstick & Dynamite is a film that came out in 2005 about women’s involvement in the early days of wrestling. Women’s professional wrestling in the mid-century era is not exactly a well-known subject matter; if your opinion of housewives in the 1940s and 50s involves aprons and prozac then hopefully this will change your mind. Admittedly this male-dominated sport didn’t attract too many dames and those that were involved weren’t exactly treated with the same respect that their male counterparts received, let alone the adoration and fame that the likes of Dwayne Johnson and Mr Hogan achieved. But who cares what people thought? These women make Chyna and Michelle McCool look like pussies. Don’t Google Chyna’s… no, wait, let’s not go there.

Sex, money, drugs and dodgy deals were par for the course for women wrestlers and this film is a genuinely fascinating insight into a world that isn’t particularly well documented. I like how director Rush Leitman sums it up: ‘a portrait of women who lived hard, and fought even harder.’ The women documented in this film are bonafide legends with amazing stories to tell, and, of course, all have appropriately awesome names…

Elsie Schevchenko, aka ‘The Policeman’. She left wrestling to become a private investigator! Neko Case of the New Pornographers is her niece, a fact that they only discovered when Neko got involved with the soundtrack to Lipstick and Dynamite!

Gladys Gillem, aka, ‘Kill ’em Gillem’. As well as wrestling fellow women, she also wrestled bears and alligators and trained lions! During one professional wrestling match, Gladys had one of her EYES knocked out of the socket. Barf!

Ida Selenkow, aka ‘The Body’. Once her wrestling career was over, Ida trained as a nurse and cared for AIDs patients. She was also a much respected star of the yodelling world! True!

Johnnie Mae Young, aka ‘the Great Mae Young’. Johnnie is one of the most respected names in wrestling and has a place in the Wrestling Hall of Fame for her achievements training wrestling stars of the future. She lived in a houseshare with The Fabulous Moolah and fellow wrestler Diamond Lil!

Lillian Ellson, aka ‘The Fabulous Moolah’. Moolah was firmly involved with WWF from the very early days and continued to appear exclusively for them until her death in 2007. Moolah was also part of the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection, a WWF storyline which saw Cyndi Lauper hit Moolah over the head with her handbag in a move later dubbed, “The Loaded Purse of Doom”!

Mary Ann Kostecki, aka ‘Penny Banner’. Penny was the Commissioner of the Professional Girls’ Wrestling Association and competed as a Senior Olympian doing swimming, shot put and discus until her death. She also dated Elvis!

The gals enjoying a beer with the promoters

Who would guess their day job from this tasteful snap?

Here’s Moolah training some girls how to kick ass

Check out those leopard boots!

Penny Banner looking like a total and utter fierce babe

Mae Young giving the ref a seeing to

Gloria getting trounced by Ella… or is she? The old body scissors can cause severe damage…

Ida earning her title of ‘The Body’ the hard way. I’d like to see Elle Macpherson attempt that. Actually, she probably could, she’s ace too.

Here’s the trailer:

Here’s another:

Here’s where you can buy the movie:

What are you waiting for??

Going hiking in a skirt

J.F Willumsen, En Bjergbestigerske (1904)

I seem to have unwittingly got myself signed up for some kind of walk on Easter Monday. This is problematic for a couple of reasons. First of all it’s a Bank Holiday so I fully expect to be drunk, hungover, or both. This is all well and good when you’re on your Duke of Edinburgh trek and a hip flask of Dooley’s is par for the course (note to ex-teachers and parents: it wasn’t me), but when you’re a grandma like me and you’ve not set foot on a stile for… years, then it’s not going to help matters.

The second and more pressing issue is that of what to wear. I don’t own any practical clothes. This isn’t intended as a brag or anything because I think it’s pretty shameful, I just don’t really go in for trousers or sensible shoes. When I bought my DMs last year I was really proud of myself for owning my first ever practical footwear. When I wore them for a trek to the pub in the snow over Christmas, Mr Fur Coat’s family found it highly amusing that I considered them appropriate walking gear but I was the only person that didn’t fall over and my feet were toasty warm so I win. The heel actually seems to help you on your way through ice and snow, so maybe they’ll do for the weekend hike.

The real problem I guess is what to clothe myself in. I always quite happily do what little outdoor activity I do in a dress or skirt and get the job done fine, but again, people always seem to find that highly amusing. My Barbour is another ‘sensible’ buy from last year but I need to get down to Regent Street and pick up a hood for it before I can really call myself appropriately dressed.

I read a really interesting post on Needled on the subject of appropriate womenswear for walking recently, which included some really interesting anecdotes from female mountain climbers in ye olde days.

Constance Barnicoat, who was apparently a famous mountain climber in the early 1900s is quoted as saying:

“skirts, even the shortest, are almost impracticable. I promptly sent for proper boys boots . . . and generally rigged myself out as much like a boy as possible with sweater, knickers, and puttees to my knees. . . whatever arguments may be urged against a boy’s dress for a woman anywhere within range of civilisation, those arguments do not hold good in such wilds as we went through.”

Fingers crossed my mountain won’t be so wild. The Needled post also happened to be illustrated with some brilliant vintage imagery on the subject which I’ve copied here. Something to inspire me, perhaps??

Style icon: Tina Weymouth

Talking Heads are pretty much the greatest band in the world. I mean, nobody’s going to argue with that. After Talking Heads, surely Tom Tom Club are a pretty good second? And you know what makes these two bands so fucking awesome? No, not you Chris Frantz, your incredibly talented, incredibly beautiful, incredibly amazing wife, dummy. Yup, Tina Weymouth is this week’s fashion icon. It’s not just her style that we love though. In fact, her style is pretty much the least amazing thing about her. And it’s amazing! What the fuck? Her bass slapping is mind blowing, and, well, I’m no expert, but have you heard anything like it? If you’re unfamiliar with Tina, or even Talking Heads (shame on you), check out Stop Making Sense – the best live DVD ever? Here’s a clip of Tina and the boys playing Genius of Love.

Onward to the frivolity!

All we need now is for David Byrne to get over himself, have a Talking Heads reunion tour, and make my life complete. If Frank Black can do it, so can you Byrne!

Style icon: Fay Fife from the Rezillos

To make up for the two lame-ass excuses for punks I reported on earlier today, I figured it would be nice to end the day with a look at a real kick-ass punk lady. The Rezillos are a criminally underrated punk/nuwave band, who appeared way back in 1976. With a penchant for all things spacey and futuristic, the band made awesome poppy tunes, and put on great stage shows featuing fun costumes and stage shows. Although they split and formed other bands in the 80s, they are now back together and gigging again. Clearly the best member of the band is the fabulous Fay Fife, who spits out lines in a fantastic broad Scottish accent.

The band’s bio sums up Fay’s style best;

Ah, The Mary Quant of Day-Glo Punk – My, haven’t the years been kinder to her than most…and hell, the heart of a deranged Tasmanian devil still beats deep within!

Here a couple of more recent shots of Fay, still looking as brilliant as ever. Question: could your mum rock a plastic chain mail outfit?

The Rezillos are probably best known for the AMAZING song, (Somebody’s Gonna Get Their) Head Kicked in Tonight, which was featured in the original Jackass movie. Fun fact; this song was originally recorded by Fleetwood Mac. No, really.

Ronnie Spector: Style icon

Whenever people ask me who my style icon is, I respond Ronnie Spector. This is largely because a lot of people don’t know who she is, and it makes me sound cool. It’s also because no matter how nicely dressed they are, Audrey Hepburn, Gwen Stefani and Carrie Bradshaw are pretty cliché answers. But the main reason I answer with Ronnie is because she’s my hero.

If I’m being brutally honest, I don’t think I’d wear much of Ronnie’s wardrobe. Not because it’s not totally bitchin’, but because mini-skirts and leggings are not things I choose to adorn myself with. Still, Ronnie does it with sass, and indeed class. To educate the uneducated, Ronnie, or Veronica to give her her proper name, was the lead singer of the Ronettes. If you’re unfamiliar with them, what’s wrong with you? They’re only the baddest (by which I mean, uh, goodest) girl band of all time.

When they launched in the 60s they were pretty revolutionary – the first really successful all-girl group, they were also widely regarded as the bad girls of pop. With towering beehives, caked-on black eyeliner and the miniest of mini skirts, they had the look perfected, but they also had the attitude to match. Pop culture fans take note; Ronnie and the gang were the first female vocalists to sing in the first person about sexxxin – that is to say that instead of singing about how their desired young man might be feeling, they told us just what they wanted, and how they were going to get it.

Don’t be afraid baby,
Ya know I’m gonna give it to you.
… Stretch out your arms, little boy, you’re gonna get it

However the real reason Ronnie is a hero is her lifestyle. She survived an incredibly (physically and mentally) violent marriage to Phil Spector, reinvented herself as a heavy metal singer, and was best buddies with Joey Ramone. What a gal!

And finally; here’s a clip of Ronnie and the girls performing at their (long deserved!) induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame last year. Still rockin’!