Tag Archives: fashion

Cobain Signature Shoe Announced

Kurt Cobain sporting his fave One StarsI love Converse shoes and have several pairs of Chuck Taylors and lament my giving away a pair of One Stars several years ago to GLONO co-founder Sabu. So it’s with mixed feelings that I read about the announcement of a limited edition Kurt Cobain signature shoe from the now-Nike owned Converse.

The shoe is set to feature Cobain’s name, lyrics, writing, and signature to mark the shoe’s 100th anniversary. The Cobain shoe is the latest in a line of subversive celebrity signature shoes from Converse. Other artists featured include Ian Curtis, Sid Vicious, and apparently Hunter S. Thompson, though I can’t find any evidence that Thompson’s shoe was ever actually developed and released.

Converse apparently made a better offer than Doc Martin to Courtney Love in securing Cobain’s likeness for this shoe line. When an ad campaign by Doc Martin appeared that featured Cobain in a pair of their iconic boots, Love released a statement in which she said it was “outrageous that a company is allowed to commercially gain from such a despicable use of her husband’s picture.” I guess it’s not as despicable if she’s getting a cut of the action.

So, the question is: is this cool or does it suck? Is it cool that once marginal artists (Cobain excluded) are now being honored left and right by mainstream culture? Or does it suck that subversive culture is consistently co-opted and neutered for corporate profit?

Elvis Designer Dead at 76

70s ElvisThe man who created Elvis Presley’s iconic stage suits in the late 60s and 70s has died in Palm Springs. Costume designer Bill Belew created the bad ass leather outfit Elvis wore in his ’68 Comeback Special and many of the superhero jumpsuits The King wore in the 1970s. The high-collared jumpsuits—with accompanying belts and even capes!!!—became the official uniform of would-be rockers in that strangest of decades with everyone from the Jackson 5 and the Osmonds to your Uncle Dan donning jumpsuits and chunky boots.

“Bill Belew changed the face of rock ‘n’ roll fashion,” Presley costume historian Butch Polston said.

And how!

Hats Off to Jenny

When we think of Jenny McCarthy, it isn’t—um, entirely—due to her appearance as Miss October 1993. No, we recall her many turns on various MTV programs, back when MTV actually interrupted its music with shows, like Singled Out. When we think of Jenny McCarthy, presently shilling various books about maternity, occasionally vamping in various forgettable movies (we’d name them, but. . .damn! what was it?), we don’t think of, well, hats.

Evidentially, we are missing something because McCarthy, on May 4, will participate, along with various suites from Chrysler Group, in announcing the grand prize winner of the “Hats Off to the Derby” national hat design contest. The Derby in question, of course, is the Kentucky Derby. To be sure, people are known for wearing hats there. McCarthy is well known for not wearing a whole lot of clothes. But hats?

There is even a more twisted aspect to all of this. According to the news release detailing the award, “The hat had to be inspired by the styling of the all-new 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible and utilize a portion of the soft top fabric in the design.” It is ugly enough on the road. But on someone’s mellon?

So let’s get this straight: Playboy, MTV, motherhood, horses, hats, cars, and canvas? This may take celebrity to convoluted places it’s never been.


Further Probing the Link Between Fashion and Rock — Is Fashion Only Clothes Deep?

Johnny Loftus

Recently on Glorious Noise, in an article discussing Hollywood’s propensity to favor the underdog as the perfect paramour for the straightlaced overachiever, I made the point that said overachiever — at least in the context of the Teen Comedy — is usually the cheerleading captain (Kirsten Dunst in Bring It On) or at least rich and popular (Freddie Prinze, Jr in She’s All That). And — whether they be male or female — that Cool Kid’s true love usually turns out to be a punk rocker or an intellectual or an amalgam of both, either way decidedly not someone who dates the preps. This seemingly innocuous article developed into a fascinating conversation string debating the interrelated topics of rock, fashion, self-identity, motivation, and feminism. Taking one part of that discussion, it’s interesting to look at Fashion’s role in Rock, and vice versa.


Rock and Fashion, Fashion and Rock. To which side of this dichotomy do those who consider themselves rockers — and concurrently those who consider themselves fashionistas — align themselves? And does that line blur continually between the two camps, with the hardliners in both staying as far away from the other as possible? Glorious Noise is currently interviewing for a fashion editor, who will then cover the Fashion side of the equation. In the meantime…

In Rock at least, fashion — or at least what one wears — has always been a signifier of music style. The Greasers and the Preps, the Mods and the Rockers, and Steve Dahl’s infamous Disco Demolition — these battles were all based on a demarcation of style and music. But even the 70s heavy metal dudes drunk on suds tearing up Comiskey Park’s infield while burning millions of disco records had a look that defined them. It wasn’t a pair of pink sidewinders or a bright orange pair of pants, but hell, you knew them when you saw them coming. Nowadays, musical genres still spawn their own fashion. There’s the club kids with their giant jeans and florescent T’s. In another corner are the neo-Goths, who’ve updated the 80s Robert Smith look with piercings, vinyl pants and hair dye. And there’s the indie rockers, whose style has always revolved closely to that of the Fashion world, if only because the genre’s fans have those skinny hips that haute couture adores so much. Natch.

If someone tells you that they don’t care about fashion, they’re usually lying. Unless they’re a drummer, and that’s a whole different article. Anyway, it’s true that the two are linked, whether the Rockers or the Fashion kids like it or not. But how? In obvious ways, like Steven Tyler or Shirley Manson sitting stage-side at Fashion Week in Milan? Or is it something deeper, something that somehow plays back into the vibe of my article about Bring It On‘s guitar-playing, Clash T-shirt wearing lovable loser, who wins the sunlit love of his school’s fashion maven?

I’m afraid I can’t go any further with this point until some input arrives from all of you GloNo readers, who were so gracious as to write in your thoughts about the other article. What do YOU think?


Call Me Mr Blackwell

Just Call Me Mr Blackwell: THE FASHION UNDERGROUND at Transit, 3/01/01

Transit is the kind of shadowy, bleeding-edge club where you have a nice time dancing one night, only to discover it’s a meatpacking plant the next. Pillars of smoke-filled light lead you through a dark hallway into a circular main room that looks like a crack-laced Thunderdome taking place inside the parlor at Monticello. I kept waiting for blood to come out of the sprinkler system.

On Thursdays, Transit is taken over by FORM – Fashion Or Music. A short runway extends into the club’s main dancefloor, and resident DJ Jernell Geronimo spins fashion-centric house and triphop. For last night’s Fashion Underground event, Geronimo’s selections ranged from Daft Punk’s latest to a nice remix of Sneaker Pimps’ “Spin Spin Sugar” from a few years ago that sounded great. Of course, when the club features a 25,000-watt sound system and state-of-the-art lighting reminiscent of space ships with expensive production design, my left shoe would sound good on the turntable.

After about an hour of carousing, dancing, and the downing of prohibitively expensive cocktails, Transit got the show on the road. A troupe of male and female models trotted out collections from five different Chicago fashion collectives, including Jesus Rodriguez, Supreme Parlor of Funk 2000, and Narcisse Designs. It wasn’t exactly Land’s End Outlet material.

In such a proto-urban space as Transit, with its shady location under the EL tracks and uncomfortable, haughty furniture, it was no surprise that the fashion wasn’t any different. The first collection on display was like a third grader’s Betsy Johnson paper mache project gone horribly 80s. Unkempt strips of multi-colored fabric formed rag-tag hoop dresses underneath black vinyl bustiers that would make Rosanna Arquette’s character in “Crash” shudder violently. In fact, the majority of the night’s clothing had a decidedly post-modern feel – post-modern retrofitted to 1986. Looking like rejects from Scandal’s video for “The Warrior,” models traipsed up and down the runway in get-ups that would not look out of place in a “Steel Dawn” road show. Post-apocalyptic? Maybe. But only if Gordon Gartrell is the leader of the New States of America in a bizarro new-wave future imagined by David Cronenberg and George Miller. In Narcisse Designs’ urban chic beta test, voluminous amounts of eye shadow and fetishistic, insect-inspired fashion somehow suggest what we’ll all look like in 2020. I hope I die before I get old.

As an overall music/culture experience, Transit’s FORM Thursdays aren’t a bad idea. Despite their inherent pretension, it’s still kind of cool to cock your head to one side and say “yeah, I went to a fashion show last night.” Unfortunately, I’m never going to understand the whole concept. Call me crazy, but I don’t think the swirling, flesh-colored bondage nightmares I witnessed on last night’s runway are going to trickle down to the local Greatland Target. When a designer’s line reminds me of a textile Pontiac Aztec, is that a good thing?