Top Models Impersonating Bowie

Hannelore Knuts as David Bowie in fashion editorial Rock the House, photographed by Steven Meisel. US Vogue, 2001

 

Kate Moss portraying Bowie’s Aladdin Sane for Vogue UK. May 2003. Photo by Nick Knight

 

Raquel Zimmermann in Girl Meets Boy  by David Sims,  June 2010

 

Editorial: Androgyne
Magazine: Vogue Paris October 2010
Model: Iselin Steiro
Photographer: David Sims
Stylist: Emmanuelle Alt

 

Edita Vilkeviciute in Numéro #123rd issue, May 2011

 

Kate Moss portraying Ziggy Stardust for Vogue Paris.  December 2011/January 2012. Photo by Alas & Piggott

 

Daphne Guinness. Photo by Brian Adams for German Vogue, January 2013 issue

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As the Arabians Do

Norman Rockwell preparing to enter a mosque

 

 Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean, 1962). Sharif’s first English-language role was that of Sharif Ali in David Lean’s historical epic. This performance earned him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, as well as a shared Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actor.

 

Irish actor Peter O’Toole studying for his role as T.E. Lawrence. Photo by Dennis Oulds

 

Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean, 1962)

 

Robert Pattinson as Lawrence of Arabia in Queen of the Desert (Werner Herzog, 2015), based on the life of British traveller, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer and political officer Gertrude Bell.

 

Candice Bergen and Sean Connery in The Wind and the Lion (John Milius, 1975)

 

Virginia Woolf (far left) and her friends, dressed as Abyssinian dignataries, 1910

 

Truman Capote in Tangier (Morocco)

 

Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakesh

 

Christian Louboutin purchased a villa near the Nile river

 

Cy Twombly in Egypt. Photo by Tatiana Franchetti

The Botany of Desired Garments

“Honeybees favor the radial symmetry of daisies and clover and sunflowers, while bumblebees prefer the bilateral symmetry of orchids, peas, and foxgloves”

Michael Pollan
The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World

 
 

Alexander McQueen Spring Summer 2013 by Sarah Burton
“It was bringing back the silhouette of the house and embracing the female form – the hip and bust. But there was a lightness to it. It still felt erotic but not overt,” explained Burton backstage after the show, joking that “most women are worker bees” – which made then for the perfect collection match.

 
 

The making of

 
 

Sneaker Puma by Alexander McQueen Joust III Mid Sunflower. Fall/Winter 2013

Death to Van Gogh’s Ear

Emilia Fox, Arielle Dombasle and Annabel Brooks in Hideous Man (John Malkovich, 2002). Dresses by Bella Freud. Shoes by Christian Louboutin

 
 

Poet is Priest
Money has reckoned the soul of America
Congress broken thru the precipice of Eternity
the president built a War machine which will vomit and rear Russia out of Kansas
The American Century betrayed by a mad Senate which no longer sleeps with its wife.
Franco has murdered Lorca the fairy son of Whitman
just as Mayakovsky committed suicide to avoid Russia
Hart Crane distinguished Platonist committed suicide to cave in the wrong
America
just as Million tons of human wheat were burned in secret caverns under the White House
While India starved and screamed and ate mad dogs full of rain
and mountains of eggs were reduced to white powder in the halls of Congress
no Godfearing man will walk there again because of the stink of the rotten eggs of America
and the Indians of Chiapas continue to gnaw their vitaminless tortillas
aborigines of Australia perhaps gibber in the eggless wilderness
and I rarely have an egg for breakfast tho my work requires infinite eggs to come to birth in Eternity
eggs should be eaten or given to their mothers
and the grief of the countless chickens of America is expressed in the screaming of her comedians over the radio
Detroit has built a million automobiles of rubber trees and phantoms
but I walk, I walk, and the Orient walks with me, and all Africa walks
And sooner or later North America will walk
Einstein alive was mocked for his heavenly politics
Bertrand Russell driven from New York for getting laid
immortal Chaplin driven form our shores with a rose in his teeth
a secret conspiracy by Catholic Church in the lavatories of
Congress has denied contraceptives to the unceasing masses of India.
Nobody publishes a word that is not the cowardly robot ravings of a depraved mentality
The day of the publication of true literature of the American
body will be day of Revolution
the revolution of the sexy lamb
the only bloodless revolution that gives away corn
poor Genet will illuminate the harvesters of Ohio
Marijuana is a benevolent narcotic but J. Edgar Hoover prefers his deathly Scotch
And the heroin of Lao-Tze & the Sixth Patriarch is punished by the electric chair
but the poor sick junkies have nowhere to lay their heads
fiends in our government have invented a cold-turkey cure for
addiction as obsolete as the Defense Early Warning Radar System.
I am the defense early warning radar system
I see nothing but bombs
I am not interested in preventing Asia from being Asia
and the governments of Russia and Asia will rise and fall but
Asia and Russia will not fall
The government of America also will fall but how can America fall
I doubt if anyone will ever fall anymore except governments
fortunately all the governments will fall
the only ones which won’t fall are the good ones
and the good ones don’t yet exist
But they have no being existing they exist in my poems
they exist in the death of the Russian and American governments
they exist in the death of Hart Crane & Mayakovsky
now is the time of prophecy without death as a consequence
the universe will ultimately disappear
Hollywood will not rot on the windmills of Eternity
Hollywood whose movies stick in the throat of God
Yes Hollywood will get what it deserves
Time
Seepage of nerve-gas over the radio
History will make this poem prophetic and its awful silliness a hideous spiritual music
I have the moan of doves and the feather of ecstasy
Man cannot long endure the hunger of the cannibal abstract
War is abstract
the world will be destroyed
Monument to Socco & Vanzetti not yet financed to ennoble Boston
Vachel Lindsay Secretary of Interior
Poe Secretary of Imagination
Pound Secty. Economics
and Kra belongs to Kra, and Pukti to Pukti
crossfertilization of Blok and Artaud
Van Gogh’s ear on the currency
no more propaganda for monsters
and poets should stay out of politics or become monsters
I have become monstrous with politics
the Russian poet undoubtedly monstrous in his secret notebook
Tibet should be left alone
these are obvious prophecies
America will be destroyed
Russian poets will struggle with Russia
Whitman warned against this “Fabled Damned of nations”
Where was Theodore Roosevelt when he sent out ultimatums from his castle in Camden
Where was the House of Representatives when Crane read aloud from his Prophetic Books
What was Wall Street scheming when Lindsay announced the doom of money
Where they listening to my ravings in the locker rooms of
Bricksford Employment Offices?
Did they bend their ears to the moans of my soul when I struggled
with market research statistics in the Forum of Rome?
No they were fighting in their fiery offices , on the carpets of
heart failure, screaming and Bargaining with Destiny
fighting the Skeleton with sabers, muskets, buck-teeth,
indigestion, bombs of larceny, whoredom, rockets, and pederasty,
back to the wall to build up their wives and apartments, lawns,
suburbs,
fairydoms,
Puerto Ricans crowded for massacre on 114th St. for the sake of an
imitation Chinese-Moderne refrigerator
Elephants of mercy murdered for the sake of the Elizabethan birdcage
millions of agitated fanatics in the bughouse for the sake of the screaming
soprano of industry
Money-chant of soapers – toothpaste apes in television sets – deodorizers on hypnotic chairs –
petroleum mongers in Texas – jet plane streaks among the clouds –
sky writers liars in the face of Divinity–fanged butchers of hats and shoes,
all Owners! Owners! Owners! with obsession on property and vanished Selfhood!
and their long editorials on the fence of the screaming negro attacked by
ants crawled out of the front page!
Machinery of a mass electrical dream! A war-creating whore of Babylon
bellowing over Capitols and Academies!
Money! Money! Money! shrieking mad celestial money of illusion!
Money made of nothing, starvation, suicide! Money of failure! Money of death!
Money against Eternity! and eternity’s strong mills grind out vast paper of
Illusion!

Allen Ginsberg

Pleasure Never Is at Home

FANCY

Ever let the Fancy roam,
Pleasure never is at home:
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth,
Like to bubbles when rain pelteth;
Then let winged Fancy wander
Through the thought still spread beyond her:
Open wide the mind’s cage-door,
She’ll dart forth, and cloudward soar.
O sweet Fancy! let her loose;
Summer’s joys are spoilt by use,
And the enjoying of the Spring
Fades as does its blossoming;
Autumn’s red-lipp’d fruitage too,
Blushing through the mist and dew,
Cloys with tasting: What do then?
Sit thee by the ingle, when
The sear faggot blazes bright,
Spirit of a winter’s night;
When the soundless earth is muffled,
And the caked snow is shuffled
From the ploughboy’s heavy shoon;
When the Night doth meet the Noon
In a dark conspiracy
To banish Even from her sky.
Sit thee there, and send abroad,
With a mind self-overaw’d,
Fancy, high-commission’d:–send her!
She has vassals to attend her:
She will bring, in spite of frost,
Beauties that the earth hath lost;
She will bring thee, all together,
All delights of summer weather;
All the buds and bells of May,
From dewy sward or thorny spray;
All the heaped Autumn’s wealth,
With a still, mysterious stealth:
She will mix these pleasures up
Like three fit wines in a cup,
And thou shalt quaff it:–thou shalt hear
Distant harvest-carols clear;
Rustle of the reaped corn;
Sweet birds antheming the morn:
And, in the same moment, hark!
‘Tis the early April lark,
Or the rooks, with busy caw,
Foraging for sticks and straw.
Thou shalt, at one glance, behold
The daisy and the marigold;
White-plum’d lillies, and the first
Hedge-grown primrose that hath burst;
Shaded hyacinth, alway
Sapphire queen of the mid-May;
And every leaf, and every flower
Pearled with the self-same shower.
Thou shalt see the field-mouse peep
Meagre from its celled sleep;
And the snake all winter-thin
Cast on sunny bank its skin;
Freckled nest-eggs thou shalt see
Hatching in the hawthorn-tree,
When the hen-bird’s wing doth rest
Quiet on her mossy nest;
Then the hurry and alarm
When the bee-hive casts its swarm;
Acorns ripe down-pattering,
While the autumn breezes sing.

Oh, sweet Fancy! let her loose;
Every thing is spoilt by use:
Where’s the cheek that doth not fade,
Too much gaz’d at? Where’s the maid
Whose lip mature is ever new?
Where’s the eye, however blue,
Doth not weary? Where’s the face
One would meet in every place?
Where’s the voice, however soft,
One would hear so very oft?
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth
Like to bubbles when rain pelteth.
Let, then, winged Fancy find
Thee a mistress to thy mind:
Dulcet-ey’d as Ceres’ daughter,
Ere the God of Torment taught her
How to frown and how to chide;
With a waist and with a side
White as Hebe’s, when her zone
Slipt its golden clasp, and down
Fell her kirtle to her feet,
While she held the goblet sweet
And Jove grew languid.–Break the mesh
Of the Fancy’s silken leash;
Quickly break her prison-string
And such joys as these she’ll bring.–
Let the winged Fancy roam,
Pleasure never is at home.

John Keats

 
 

The actress Audrey Hepburn photographed with her husband Mel Ferrer in Rome (Italy). Photo by Sanford Roth, March 1958. Audrey was wearing a Givenchy suit (of wool, jacket and skirt, of his collection for the Autumn/Winter 1955/56) and Salvatore Ferragamo shoes.

Jacques Fath’s Muse

Geneviève and Jacques Fath. Photos by Nina Leen, 1946

 
 

 Photo by Maurice Jarnoux

 
 

Jacques Fath, who has been described by Italian journalist Bonaventuro Calora as “extremely effeminate” and a former lover of the French film director Léonide Moguy, married, in 1939, Geneviève Boucher de la Bruyère. The bride was a former model from an aristocratic family who had been a secretary to Coco Chanel. They had one son, Philippe (born 1943). According to Fath’s friend Princess Giovanna Pignatelli Aragona Cortés, Geneviève Fath, who directed the business side of her husband’s firm during his lifetime, was a lesbian.

Mrs Jacques Fath travelled the US with a $12, 000 wardrobe — almost $116.000 in today’s currency — all created by her husband, the legendary Jacques Fath. This included 17 hats, 16 pairs of shoes, 10 handbags, four umbrellas, and other accessories, not including 12 trunks full of suits and dresses.

 
 

Life Magazine, April 19, 1948

Feathery Butterflies

“The characterizing McQueen trademarks were very much still there – the exaggerated silhouettes, the bold prints, the drama – but Burton presented them in a much freer way, with a lightness and femininity that contrasted with the dark and complex collections of the past – and it all felt so right. The McQueen woman has not changed, she has evolved.”

Sarah Burton

 
 

Alexander McQueen Spring-Summer 2011 Ready-to-Wear collection

 
 

Sarah Burton said before the show that she didn’t feel she was as dark as Alexander McQueen, and the dresses – featuring the same McQueen exaggerated, stiffened silhouettes – had a lightness of subject matter despite being as brilliantly and painstakingly constructed. Gold painted corn ears made up incredible regal dresses with trains of pheasant feathers, stunning butterfly print dresses had feathery butterflies clustering out of the necklines and silk ivy coated in black or gleaming gold grew around nude sheaths.

Michael Jackson’s I’ll Be There played Burton out to her standing ovation and us back out into the Parisian rain, many in tears – the extraordinary poignancy of the Alexander McQueen story once again breathtaking.

Roseland Ballroom

“A stranger took this picture of me in 2008 on the LES in NY, before I was ever a star. We found him and used that same photo for my Roseland poster.”

 
 

Lady Gaga Live at Roseland Ballroom was the first residency show by American singer Lady Gaga. Performed at the Roseland Ballroom in Manhattan, New York, the residency show began on March 28 and concluded on April 7, 2014, after completing seven shows. It was the final event hosted by the venue after it was announced that it was being closed down and being replaced with a 42-story skyscraper. Gaga revealed that Roseland was the only venue in New York City that she had never played, although she had visited there previously to watch shows. A poster announcing the event was released, showing an old image of Gaga taken before the time she became successful as a recording artist.

 
 

Roseland Ballroom exterior, indicating the sold out Lady Gaga concert

 
 

 
 

As an homage to the venue, the stage was decorated with roses. The multi-leveled set-up consisted of New York City fire escape routes. Other parts of the stage had a ladder reaching the mezzanine floors and a replica of an F train carriage. Gaga’s wardrobe was also rose themed, with leotards, hats and jackets, and instruments adorned with red roses. The main set list for the show encompassed songs from The Fame, The Fame Monster, Born This Way, and Artpop. Some tracks were performed in acoustic versions.

 
 

LLady Gaga giving proper goodbye to Roseland Ballroom with Rose Inspired See-Through Outfit, March 28, 2014. She celebrated turning 28 wearing this kind of updated “birthday-suit”

Hells Angels and Prolific Demons

“When we do right, nobody remembers. When we do wrong, nobody forgets”

Hells Angels’ motto

 
 

The Hells Angels’ official website attributes the official “death’s head” insignia design to Frank Sadilek, past president of the San Francisco Chapter. The colors and shape of the early-style jacket emblem (prior to 1953) were copied from the insignias of the 85th Fighter Squadron and the 552nd Medium Bomber Squadron

 
 

An image of the “HAMC Death Head design” mark registered for various goods, including jewelry, by the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club

 
 

The alleged infringing “Hell’s Four Finger” Ring

 
 

“Hell’s Knuckle Duster” Clutch

 
 

Jacquard box dress

 
 

Shoes from Angels and Demons, Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2010-2011 collection

 
 

In October 2010, the Hells Angels filed a lawsuit against  Alexander McQueen for “misusing its trademark winged death heads symbol”, after the fashion house featured motifs similar to its famous winged death head. Lawyers for the motorcycle gang cited four products from the late designer’s final collection, created shortly before his suicide in February 2011.

They named the  ‘Hells Angels’ jacquard box dress, and a knuckle-duster ring in the complaint, as well as a scarf and a handbag.

The complaint argued that the symbol has been used by the Hells Angels since at least 1948, and that it is protected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The lawyer representing Hells Angels claimed “This isn’t just about money, it’s about membership. If you’ve got one of these rings on, a member might get really upset that you’re an impostor.”

Twice in the weeks leading up to his death, Mr. McQueen messaged on Twitter, “Hells angels [sic] and prolific demons.” What seemed a non sequitur then appeared to be a reference to the collection he was working on, imprinted with the angels of Sandro Botticelli and the demons of Hieronymus Bosch.

In March 2007, the Hells Angels filed suit against the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group alleging that the film entitled Wild Hogs (Walt Becker, 2007) used both the name and distinctive logo of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation without permission.The suit was eventually voluntarily dismissed, after it received assurances from Disney that its references would not appear in the film.

Matisse-Inspired Fashion


Long evening dresses inspired by Henri Matisse-inspired evening gowns by Yves Saint Laurent, Autumn/Winter 1980-1981 collection. Black velvet and moire faille, multicolored satin applique leaves

 
 

Yves Saint Laurent Couture Spring/Summer 1992 (Une Renaissance, based on Henri Matisse’s colors in Morocco)

 
 

Lady Gaga wearing a vintage Yves Saint Laurent blouse (Autumn/Winter 1980-1981 collection)

 
 

Vintage 1980’s Valentino Sheer Silk Georgette Jacket with Hood

 
 

Vivienne Westwood Nostalgia of Mud (Buffalo Girls) collection printed cotton jersey toga dress, Autumn/Winter, 1982-1983. World’s End labelled, the pink gown cut shorter at the front and with long train-like panel printed in dark brown with Matisse inspired motifs

 
 

Vera Wang Spring/Summer 2006 (inspired by the way Henri Matisse’s models dressed)

 
 

Etro Spring/Summer 2006

 
 

Carolina Herrera Spring-Summer 2010 Bridal collection. Wedding dress inspired by Matisse’s paper cut outs

 
 

Roland Mouret Spring/Summer 2012 (inspired in part by the women close to Henri Matisse)

 
 

Basso & Brooke Autumn/Winter 2012-2013

 
 

Kenzo by Antonio Marras

 
 

Printed leather trainers, also by Kenzo

 
 

Fendi Spy Bag

 
 

Jean-Claude Jitrois

 
 

Issey Miyake

 
 

Ostwald Helgason s/s 2013

 
 

 Liu Qingyang

 
 

Versace, Spring Summer 2012 Resort collection. Vacation dresses in a tropical print inspired by Matisse’s Bouquet

 
 

Tata Naka Autumn/Winter 2014-2015 Pre Collection

Good Kate, Bad Kate

“Good” Kate Moss on W‘s March 2012 cover

Fashion: Vera Wang’s silk lace dress. Erdem habit; Early Halloween vintage lace. Beauty: Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Finish Powder Foundation in Warm; Smooth Eye Colour Duo in Cinnamon; Secret Eyes Mascara in Coffee; Classic Cream Lipstick in Petal; Fekkai Advanced Salon Technician Highlight Care Illuminating Cream

 
 

“Bad” Kate Moss on W’s March 2012 cover

Fashion: Gucci’s silk georgette dress. Freire flower.Beauty: SK-II Skin Signature Cream; Dolce & Gabbana Makeup Perfect Finish Creamy Foundation in Ivory; Smooth Eye Color Quad in Femme Fatale; Secret Eyes Mascara in Coffee; Classic Cream Lipstick in Ultra

 
 

The Row’s embroidered silk caftan. VBH Luxury 18k oxidized white gold and diamond necklace; Lorraine Schwartz 18k white gold and black and white diamond ring; Carolina Amato gloves

 
 

Louis Vuitton’s silk organza dress. Paul Hanlon custom headpiece

 
 

Jil Sander’s cotton dress. Ashley Lloyd headpiece; Cornelia James gloves

 
 

Céline’s black viscose top; Lanvin’s black silk crepe skirt. Piers Atkinson custom headpiece; Céline belt; Shaneen Huxham gloves; Alexander McQueen shoes

 
 

Comme des Garçons’ silk satin dress. Paul Hanlon custom headpiece

 
 

Atsuko Kudo’s black and white latex dress and black and white latex habit; House of Harlot’s black latex briefs, and hosiery. Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquière hat; Céline shoes

 
 

Comme des Garçons’ polyester dress. Cornelia James gloves

 
 

Max Mara’s black wool tweed jacket and black wool tweed skirt. Pam Hogg headpiece; Shaneen Huxham gloves; Miu Miu shoes

 
 

Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquière’s black and tan silk and cotton dress; I.D. Sarrieri’s black silk bra and briefs. Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquière hat; Shaneen Huxham gloves; Wolford hosiery; Céline shoes

 
 

Oscar de la Renta’s organza crepon top and organza crepon skirt. Ashley Lloyd headpiece; Stephen Jones for Giles headpiece

 
 

Rochas’s black satin bodysuit. Paul Hanlon custom headpiece; Shaneen Huxham gloves; Alexander McQueen hand piece; Céline belt and shoes

 
 

Céline’s leather dress. Atsuko Kudo headpiece

 
 

Photography by Steven Klein
Styled by Edward Enninful

Belle de Jour, Belle Toujours

From the beginning of Luis Bunel‘s 1967 classic Belle de Jour, audiences are awash in his signature surrealism and aroused by an eroticism that has made this movie his masterpiece. The story centers on Severine Serizy, a beauty blonde wife who, despite having a loving husband, discovers a need to live out her sexual fantasies as a whore. It is based on the 1928 eponymous novel by Joseph Kessel. In 2006 the Portuguese director, Manoel de Oliveira released Belle Toujours, imagining a future encounter between two of the central characters from the original film.

The title is a pun in French. The phrase “belle de nuit” is best translated by the English phrase “lady of the night”, i.e. a prostitute. Séverine works as a prostitute during the day, so she is “belle de jour”. It may also be a reference to the French name of the day lily (Hemerocallis), meaning “beauty of [the] day”, a flower that blooms only during the day.

Perfectly played by a 23-year-old Catherine Deneuve, it’s easy to see how the part made her an international star. Her performance is subtle, remaining cool even as Severine’s experiences fluctuate between pleasure and pain…morality and immorality…and exploring just how subjective each of those extremes are. Despite the storyline, the sexuality never seems too strong and much of this has to do with the film’s now iconic style. Classic and timeless with a twist of fetish, Belle de Jour‘s costumes are courtesy of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent.

 
 

 In the ski resort Séverine is wearing a beautiful cream sweater with asymmetrical zips. A very interesting shorter sleeve length, above the wrist, leaving room to show the white cuffs of the garment underneath.

 
 

In a tennis attire

 
 

The safari dress. Sand tone, patch pockets, chain gold belt, fly front zip, epaulettes, shirt cuffs. In the sixties Yves Saint Laurent marked a turning point in the safari style with his iconic jacket.

 
 

Another incredible piece in Severine’s wardrobe is this YSL vinyl trench coat. Black patent trench coat with wool sleeves and very thin belt. A coat she’s wearing when she goes back to the brothel, a sign that she wants to continue with her double life. Tortoiseshell rimmed sunglasses.

 
 

Down comes the prim and proper updo as Severine assumes the role of Belle de Jour. The hairstyle once again demonstrates the difference between Severine, the good wife and a return to being Belle de Jour

 
 

The elegance of a monochromatic outfit. Fur trimmed brown leather coat, double breasted, leather buttons, rear vent and half belt back. Accessorized with short brown leather gloves and tote.

 
 

Under the sumptuous leather coat she is wearing a sleeveless, slightly flared dress, in the same brown colour. The simplicity of this trapéze dress is exceptional

 
 

Note scalloped edges of the black pumps (most likely Roger Vivier, who originated the stiletto heel) that are paired with this seemingly innocent frock

 
 

The YSL “school girl” dress–whose design owes a lot to 1930s film fashion as well as Chanel– has become iconic in fashion today

 
 

Almost all of Séverine’s clothes are military inspired, referring to the rigorous way she lives her life as a bourgeois. The grey wool coat she wears when she steps into the brothel for the first time is double-breasted, ventless, with wide-spread collar, epaulettes and just above the wrist sleeves.

 
 

Two-tone red, slightly  A-line dress with button shoulder straps and belt, worn with a short red Eisenhower jacket, double breasted.

 
 

Red and white, very symbolic colors that reminds a little bit to Saint Sebastian’s martyrdom

 
 

Another aspect of Deneuvian style are Roger Vivier’s legendary “pilgrim” pumps, which she favored both on and off screen along with other timeless style icons like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Looks Like a Scream

“Like to take a cement fix
Be a standing cinema
Dress my friends up
just for show
See them as they really are
Put a peephole in my brain
Two New Pence to have a go
I’d like to be a gallery
Put you all inside my show

Andy Warhol looks a scream
Hang him on my wall
Andy Warhol, Silver Screen
Can’t tell them apart at all

Andy walking, Andy tired
Andy take a little snooze
Tie him up when he’s fast asleep
Send him on a pleasant cruise
When he wakes up on the sea
Be sure to think of me and you
He’ll think about paint
and he’ll think about glue
What a jolly boring thing to do”

 
 

David Bowie as Andy Warhol. Promotional picture for Basquiat (Julian Schnabel, 1996)

 
 

Andy Warhol is a song written by David Bowie in 1971 for the album Hunky Dory. This is an acoustic song about one of Bowie’s greatest inspirations, the American pop artist Andy Warhol. The song starts with some studio chat where Bowie explains to producer Ken Scott, who has just been heard to mispronounce Warhol’s name when introducing the take, the right way to say it. Scott solemnly reintroduces the take with the correct pronunciation. There follows several seconds of silence before Bowie asks if the tape is rolling. Upon realizing they are indeed recording, Bowie bursts into laughter and begins playing. The song is memorable for its distinctive, flamenco-sounding opening riff on the acoustic guitar that continues through the song.

Bowie later played the song to Andy Warhol, who reportedly disliked it as he thought the lyrics made fun of his physical appearance. When the song had finished playing, Warhol and Bowie reportedly just stared at each other for a while until Warhol said “I like your shoes” and the pair then had a conversation about shoes.

 
 

David Bowie and Dana Gillespie. Photo: Brian Ward

 
 

Originally the song was written for Dana Gillespie in 1971, but her version of the song was not released until 1973 on her album Weren’t Born a Man. This version features Mick Ronson on guitar.

Neither Santa nor Scrooge

“Christmas is when you have to go to the bank and get crisp money to put in envelopes from the stationery store for tips. After you tip the doorman, he goes on sick leave or quits …”

Andy Warhol

The Philosophy Of Andy Warhol

 
 

Truman Capote, Andy Warhol and his dachshund. Photo credit: Mick Rock, 1979

 
 

By the time Andy Warhol wrote these words in the 1970s, he was extremely rich. He’d fulfilled the American dream but never claimed it made him happy. He describes himself in his book as a loner obsessed with jewelry and money. But he did have a talent for making gifts. As a young man he was entranced by Truman Capote, author of Breakfast At Tiffany’s, telephoning him almost every day. Capote dismissed him as “one of those hopeless people you just know nothing’s ever going to happen to”; then one Christmas he wondered if he was wrong. A friend sent him a golden shoe painted by Warhol, dedicated to Capote.

Warhol never really escaped his childhood. According to Capote, Warhol’s mother, Julia, was a bad-tempered alcoholic; she moved to New York to live with her son, still maintaining her pious ways, and they shared not just home life but work. Julia drew angels (Warhol got them published) that are closely related to his Christmas card designs. For him the American Christmas was an anthropological fantasy, something he watched reflected in Tiffany’s window. Yet it was a fantasy in which he tried extremely hard to participate. Of course, that’s what it is for everyone. The images of Christmas he created for Tiffany’s are of the perfection that everyone fails to attain.

Andy Warhol’s Christmas Cards

Naomi Sims and Andy Warhol, Interview Magazine Gala Christmas Issue, December 1972

 
 

Interview Magazine Christmas Card, c.1980. Issued by Interview Magazine’s publishers in the 1980s, the card features the artist playfully posing as Santa Claus, with a white beard drawn on by Richard Bernstein, who designed the card. The inside of the card is signed “love Andy Warhol” by the artist himself

 
 

Since Andy Warhol arrived in Manhattan, his fey sketches had blurred the line between commercial design and fine art. And he had become, among other things, the new king of Christmas. In 1956, in addition to all the work he was getting drawing shoes and bags, he was commissioned to design Christmas cards for the Fifth Avenue temple of Tiffany & Co. Warhol’s cards were subsequently published by Tiffany’s every Christmas up to 1962, the year he started to show his paintings of soup cans.

Picture a can of Campbell’s soup – eating it by yourself. Then contrast this mental picture with Warhol’s 1962 Tiffany’s Christmas card depicting a star constructed of fruit and holly – a picture of the good life, hearty and shared. Food is a constant theme of his Christmas cards. He drew a Christmas tree made of fruit, a reindeer centrepiece for the table, a basket stuffed with food and wine. Then there are the gifts, wrapped or opened, and arranged around the fireplace – a doll, a rocking horse, a striped candy cane with a pink bow: Andy Warhol’s vision of the perfect Christmas.

More recently, Warhol’s Christmas cards have been republished, and there’s even a little book of them. You might dismiss this as the extreme, ephemeral end of Warhol rediscoveries; he himself never claimed that his early graphic output was a significant part of his oeuvre. And yet, when you look at Warhol’s Christmas cards alongside his greatest paintings of the 1960s – the suicide, the car wrecks and so on – they become oddly telling. Set them beside his electric chair and their optimism about a warm and kind American community suddenly looks desperately fragile and consciously artificial. Then you realise why he needed to give up designing Christmas cards.