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In honour of my recent camping trip in northern Quebec, I thought it would be fitting to pick my three favorite fashionistas whose looks are totally homemade, original, and highly influential.  All three are very different, but I think they all used creativity and personality in they way they approached fashion.  Here goes...

1. Richard Hell


Richard Hell is an American singer, songwriter and bassist; he has played both as frontman to Richard Hell & The Voidoids and as a member of Television.  Hell is considered by many to be an influential early Punk Rock musician in America, and was a pioneer of Punk fashions in the late seventies.

He is often credited with being the first to wear the torn-apart-and-pinned look, and Malcolm McLaren has admitted to he and the Sex Pistols copying Richard Hell's look for the British band.  When asked on the subject, Hell has said that his girlfriend had attacked him and shredded his clothes.  As he had no money for new ones, he claimed he simply had to safety pin his shirt back together.

2. Edith Bouvier Beale

Little Edie, iconic star of the 1975 doumentary Grey Gardens, is instantly recognizable in her elaborate and strange ensembles of headskarves, fur coats and leotards. Edith Bouvier Beale came from American royalty; first cousin to Jackie O Edie spent a gilded (yet painful) youth amidst the spendor and privilege of New York Society.  By the time of Grey Gardens, Edie and her mother (Big Edie) were living in a decrepid mansion in the Hamptons, clinging to remnants of their former life. 

Little Edie's sartorial style is a mish mash of high-end garments, yet nothing is worn as it should be.  She wore sweaters as headskarves, skirts upside down, and dresses held together by jewelled brooches.  The video below is a clip from the film in which Edie describes her ensemble.

3. Leigh Bowery

Leigh Bowery was a performance artist, fashion designer and club kid. He was plump, awkward, and very insecure; his over-the-top futuristic fantasies seemed like a good escape and shield from society.  Bowery desiged and often sewed the creations himself, creating a wide variety of chararcters that he would appear as in London clubs. 

Stylistically, he was a huge influence in the clubs of London and New York during the eighties and nineties.  Bowery had an impact on many British fashion designers such as Alexander McQueen and John Galliano; he also designed elaborate, quirky dance costumes for modern dancer Michael Clarke and his company.


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“well said!”
Posted over 6 years ago
“I love this list. Having seen Grey Gardens and Edith's sense of clothing and individuality made so much sense to me and now to see her with Leigh Bowery and Richard Hell is absolutely delightful. A testament, that all style is an individual's style, particular to them and that can only come from and within them, that's style. Here is a quote from Chris's post, 'Unmaking the Codes' that speaks well to your list. In the 21st century, the creation, reading and validation of codes is no longer restricted to a divine power or even to the upper classes. Traditional narratives (propagated by religious, educational, or political institutions) have been replaced with ones based on individual consumer taste and preference. With the proliferation of media sites and the development of electronic modes of distribution, otherwise ephemeral narratives can not only be mass-produced, but also globally propagated. ”
Posted over 6 years ago
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