Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dark Angel Patti Smith

I began reading this fantastic book a few weeks ago, Just Kids by Patti Smith which tracks her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, he of the scandalous R18 Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition at Wellington’s City Gallery in the 90’s. Am halfway through and can’t get enough of her mellifluous tale of two boho kids with dreams of becoming famous artists, negotiating the streets of New York in the late 60’s living on little more than coffee, grilled cheese sandwiches and their passion for art. Often forgoing food for a new pencil or paint brush, the two collide in Tompkins Square Park 1967 and strike up an intense relationship.
Their era is that of the Beat poets, Vietnam and Bob Dylan. Andy Warhol rules the factory and Brian Jones has just been found dead. Downtown New York is a seething mass of burgeoning artists and musos, where the likes of Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Salvador Dali and Allen Ginsberg hold court at the Chelsea Hotel. Both have a voracious appetite for art and spend their days and nights sketching, painting, writing poetry and listening to their favourite albums such as Blonde on Blonde in the dilapidated dives that they frequent, decorating their salubrious surroundings in trinkets and curios they pick up on their travels through the streets of Brooklyn and Chelsea.

You know how sometimes, when you hear a word or read about a certain person, you then often keep seeing that word or person everywhere?? I was playing on Polyvore the other day, inspired by this book, and decided to do a collage dedicated to the style of Patti Smith. So I thought for a minute about what clothes best suited this lanky, pale rock goddess and immediately thought Hedi Slimane for Dior and Ann Demeulemeester. Then subsequently I found out that Ann Demeulemeester is indeed Patti’s favourite designer!
Then, I was flicking through my latest Vogue magazine and the pages fell across a striking image that captured my attention – a black & white shot of a lanky Patti-esque rock chick, legs forever and a shock of black hair. And lo and behold, on reading the blurb at the beginning of the editorial , found out it was shot by Hedi Slimane who was channeling Patti Smith through singer Jamie Bochert – who was introduced by Bochert by... Ann Demeulemeester! So there you go. And Bochert’s makeup by Lauder’s Tom Pecheux, who I mentioned in my first October Blog.
Jamie Bochert by Hedi Slimane in Dark Angel, Vogue UK September 2010
Blondie was always my fave of the era, with her sassy punk bombshell looks & attitude, but I feel like I've missed something by not being aware of Patti Smith. Her writing, her music, her fashion sense and her art pique my interest and something resonates with me as I read her book. Patti sounds fascinating and I love the way she expresses herself. Her writing is very inspiring, so I am embarking on an exercise to find out more about Patti Smith - starting with pulling out my copy of Horses, then watching this documentary, Patti Smith - Dream of Life.



  1. Love it Lou, too funny that I have been likened to Patti, love her style Im so flattered!

  2. You are very Patti Wendy! The spirit and the style! xx

  3. Just came across your blog! Must say that I simply adore it, especially the rock n' roll bits:)

  4. Oh thank you so much Anonymous! Yes, I love my rock, most of my blogs have a rock & roll bent! ;-)


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