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Life of Colleen: August 2009

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·· Linda Ronstadt
·· Carla Bruni
·· Happy Saturday: Freedom
·· Pretty Baby
·· Menswear!

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Linda Ronstadt
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-08-26 at 8:36 PM (Pacific)

Linda Ronstadt, "Blue Bayou" (1978)

Hermmm...Linda Ronstadt was one of my earlier style icons. I don't mean the Linda Ronstadt on roller skates, nor the one at Governor Moonbeam's side, exactly; rather, the girl who would take a quintessential dude's song (Everly Brothers' When Will I Be Loved, Buddy Holly's It's So Easy, Rolling Stones' Tumbling Dice, Elvis Costello's Alison, et cetera, as well as the Roy Orbison tune above), and transform it, like a magician, into something feminine and powerful.

And the girl in photographs such as this:

linda ronstadt

Ronstadt had that California-essence, impossible to duplicate from the East Coast, to the effect: "I just fell out of bed this morning looking fabulous, isn't it great?" I mean this picture was from an article dated 1977. Is there any one aspect of her look you could call outdated, thirty-two years later?

Linda Ronstadt, "You're No Good" (from The Midnight Special, 1975?)

I stumbled across this video--someone had mixed it with Amy Winehouse's You Know I'm No Good--I hadn't liked the song, in the mid-70's, it was a droning AM radio mantra...you're no good, you're no good, you're no good, baby, you're no good...but how entrancing it all seems now.

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Carla Bruni
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-08-23 at 9:52 PM (Pacific)

carla bruni

I came across this image--on craigslist, of all places. A pretty lady, for sure, but not why I saved the pic. What immediately struck me was that she was wearing flat shoes, with a narrow skirt...where everyone else presumably would wear heels.

This is a look I'm pondering...a pencil-type skirt with flats.

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Happy Saturday: Freedom
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-08-22 at 11:59 AM (Pacific)

Wham!, "Freedom" (1984)

Nope, the 80's were not only about acid-wash jeans and groups with bad singers and bad musicians. There was also the astonishing 21-year-old George Michael (paired with English-Egyptian beefcake Andrew Ridgeley in those days).

George Michael and Queen, "Somebody to Love" (1992)

After Wham! dissolved, Michael got even better. Sure, he was slammed in the U.S., in our peculiar way of judging people (seems gay politicians are accepted, gay singers not), but history will record Michael as the emperor of pop. Here he fills the late (Parsee) Freddie Mercury's wonderfully arrogant frontman shoes.

George Michael, "Fastlove" (1996)

Thought this video a bit twisted when it came out...hmmm...still kinda is...but the song, to me, complements the original "Freedom." The same amazing individual quality, of a sound you can almost touch.

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Pretty Baby
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-08-11 at 9:07 PM (Pacific)

Much as I detest "embedding disabled by request," this is worth popping open a new tab. Be sure to choose the HQ option; the guy's not blowing smoke.

The original of this song, from Blondie's Parallel Lines (1978), was not quite as good as this live gem, thirty years later. Somehow the original evokes a New Wave "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)", to me. Not that that's bad...kinda dig The Four Tops...but "Pretty Baby" has been playing inside my head for a couple of weeks now, and the live clip transforms it into a modern piece.

Stars live in the evening but the very young need the sun
Pretty baby you look so heavenly
A neo nebula from under the sun
I was forming, some say I had my chance
The boys were falling like an avalanche
Ya ya baby, "La Dolce Vita" is a magic dance
No one was listening
Pretty baby un petite ingenue teenage starlet I fell in love with you
You with the comb
You look okay in every way
I should have known you'd look at me and look away, oh
Pretty baby you look so heavenly
A neo nebula from under the sun
Eyes that tell me incense and peppermints**
Your looks are larger than life
Long live innocence
Petite ingenue I fell in love with you

* A tribute to fellow New Yorker Brooke Shields
** farrrrr out

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posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-08-08 at 10:55 PM (Pacific)

I tried to find a video clip of Mr. Humphries (Are You Being Served?) answering the telephone; no dice.

menswear look

Today the above composition caught my eye, as I am old enough to remember the concept from 1977's Annie Hall:

diane keaton and woody allen in annie hall

...and sufficiently aged to recall, at least second-hand, the sparkling sexuality of Marlene Dietrich in her menswear look:

diane keaton and woody allen in annie hall

The first, modern image depicts menswear, diluted to..."boyfriend." As in "boyfriend jacket," "boyfriend cardigan," "boyfriend shirt," yadda yadda... Ugh. That is so lame. That would defeat the joy of wearing men's clothes...that perhaps their clothes are more functional than ours have tended to be, there is stark beauty in anything useful, we can always switch back to women's clothes anyway, or doll up the look as desired...by dwindling these concepts to borrowing the boyfriend's clothes--I can stand borrowing the husband's clothes, but the boyfriend's clothes? ...as I say, it would totally trash it for me, were I not already a great fan of the idea itself.


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