Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Send in the cavalry. This is the sort of dress that steals my heart. Mid-60s, printed on cotton, and the matching but reversible belt is a charming detail. It is unclear from the description how you get in and out of it. If it’s got a back zip, I might not be able to restrain myself. It’s a medium and currently bids are still low: that’s what hits me right in the ticker.

This print works best through repetition. One row of horsemen along the hemline would have been nice, but to let them march up the entire skirt and even across the belt, is positively regal. I also like the flapping banners and the mix blue and mint green. I especially like how the reverse side of the belt echoes the banners.

If I played the dulcimer, I'd wear this to a gig. No, a dulcimer would hide the skirt too much. A theremin, then.

Not sleeping much these days, I watched “Nico Icon” last night.

“These Days” has become a favorite song of mine lately. Since I have long loved the low register songstylings of Marlene Dietrich and the controversial Zarah Leander (her replacement in WWII German cinema*), Nico isn’t an acquired taste for me. Hearing more of her music and seeing some of its context, especially the early music videos, was a treat. But peering into her life through this documentary is, not surprisingly, a downer.

Most of the interviews are with people who hated her. “No one loved Nico and Nico loved no one,” says one of them. And that’s about the nicest thing said. An interesting omission is Lou Reed, who seems to be unavailable for comment. Everyone wails about her (probably deliberate) destruction of her pretty facade. Since heroin is the real star of this tale, the film reminded me a bit of Bruce Weber’s 1988 Chet Baker doc “Let’s Get Lost”. Funny, I don’t remember anyone howling over Baker’s lost beauty in that one.

True, Nico was unearthly beautiful in her day, but after a decade of modeling, she obviously wanted folks to focus on her music, rather than her appearance. She had that real Dionysian/Rimbaudian deranging all the senses and howling in the gutter idea of making art. She doesn’t call Jim Morrison her soul brother for nothin’. And funnily enough, I never hear moans and teeth gnashing about Mr. Mo’Jo Risin’ losing his looks. No sir, they say he just wanted to insulate himself from the kind of attention he was getting. They say it just like that, as if it’s the most reasonable thing to do.

Me, I’d like to be a totally bourgeois artist: work at it from say 10 to 7 with an hour for lunch, and still have time to make it to the theater in the evenings and read the New Yorker.
* Yes, I know. I know it's wrong for a nice Jewish girl such as myself to even listen to Zarah Leander, let alone lipsync along. But in my heart of hearts I'm a German drag queen.


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