Friday, April 29, 2011

Retro Inspiration: Duchess Kate Middleton and Princess Grace Kelly

Have you seen Kate's dress? It's beautiful, and is definitely reminiscent of Grace Kelly's 1956 wedding dress. Kate's is a Sarah Burton-designed Alexander McQueen creation, and was just revealed a few hours ago. Both are white and strapless, but shoulders are covered by lace up to the neck. Kate's dress, however, has a deep v in the neck, making it modern. The train isn't too long (you just can't follow Di).
Sorry for the ghetto pictures - I had to take them off my TV as there are none on the internet yet!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

England's Rose

On November 9, 1985 Prince Charles and Princess Diana visited the White House. A ball was held while they were there, where Diana famously danced with John Travolta. Weirdly enough, there are more pictures of her dancing with Travolta than there are with anyone else, and none with Charles. She wore a wonderful ink-blue (almost black) fish-tailed dress with a Bardot neckline, not to mention diamond and sapphire earrings and a diamond, sapphire, and pearl necklace.

This continues my theme of royal/Anglo obsession. I just love Diana - she's one of few '80s and '90s British icons that I can appreciate.

It's A Nice Day For A White Wedding

To be honest, I am really excited for the upcoming royal wedding. Most of my friends have this attitude of "I don't care, they're just people," but I am jazzed nonetheless! I think my anglophilia is at play here. Scratch that, I know it. I'd love to watch any British wedding, actually. The fact that it's royal only adds to it for me. True; Kate Middleton is no Diana, but then again, who is? Kate's a doll, she's smart, she's classy, and she's normal. She's practically a fairy tale princess! And personally, Will reminds me of Diana. I mean, look at him next to his brother, Harry, and his father - who's from where? I think he's just adorable.
I'm also one of those people who is interested in random couples (see my posts from February 1 to 14) and of course the prince of freakin' ENGLAND is going to be at the top of my it-couple list (at least, for modern times).
I am completely enthralled by the glamor of the whole event - the ring (Diana's!), the dress, the cake, the wedding favors, the ceremony, etc... I've been watching TONS of "wedding specials" - mostly made up of interviews with friends, designers, and decorators who talk about the royal couple and give random opinions. My sister and I pretty much eat it up.
I certainly plan on waking up early to watch the wedding tomorrow. I know I'm just a teenage American girl, but my anglophilia rages on.

(Title from "White Wedding" by Billy Idol.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chelsea Girl

 Christa Päffgen, better known as Nico, was a German model, actress, singer, composer, and Warhol superstar. Born October 13, 1938 in Nazi-controlled Germany, she left school at age 13 to become a model in Italy and France. Her 5'10" height and unique look made her a top model throughout the '50s, and she adopted the name Nico. In the late fifties, she began appearing in movies and on album art. She had a son in 1962, Ari. 
Despite being deaf in one ear, Nico began a music career in the U.S. 1965, when she recorded "I'm Not Saying"/"The Last Mile" and mingled with music's elite: Brian Jones, Jimmy Page, Andrew Loog Oldham, and Bob Dylan. Most importantly, though, she joined Andy Warhol's crowd. She recorded her debut album, Chelsea Girl (though she had little input writing- and production-wise). While hanging out with Warhol, she met members of the Velvet Underground, who took her into the group at Andy's insistence, and she sang on "Femme Fatale," "All Tomorrow's Parties," and "I'll Be Your Mirror," from the band's debut album. This was in 1967, when she was really swingin' - she dated both Brian Jones (Monterey Pop!) and Jim Morrison (who she called her "soul brother"and taught her to write songs). Nico recorded The Marble Index in 1969, and from then on she wrote original lyrics and music, and played the harmonium. She began making Philippe Garrel films in England, doing heroin, and made two more albums in the '70s. She made a "comeback" in '79 at CBGB and recorded two more albums in the '80s while touring. Trying to kick her heroin habit, she went into therapy and took up a healthy lifestyle. She died in 1988 due to a brain injury she got from a bicycle accident.
I was fascinated by Nico waaaay before I even had a clue who Edie Sedgwick was. Most Warhol Superstar enthusiasts like Edie best, but for some reason Nico's my favorite. Yes, I know - she wasn't typically pretty, and her voice is definitely not a common sound. She was just striking. It's almost the Bob Dylan factor, his voice is the topic of much discussion, but he's a definite icon. So what's with the lack of Nico-love? Don't believe what you saw/heard in the Doors movie.


(Photos from Nico and  Lucy Who.)