My blog is a love letter to art, music, fashion, film, photography and just about anything else that tickles my fancy. Inspiration is everything, seek it everywhere.

You can also find my illustrations here at purdylola draws

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Ode to Dallas

My most treasured possessions are those that were either super cheap, scoured at car boot sales and charity shops or found deep in my Grandma's cupboards and parent's attic. Admittedly it is usually Mother Lola that sources these beauties for me, forever feeding my crazy collection habits. Some of her most excellent finds include a Kennett & Lindsell dressmaker's dummy for 50p in an church hall auction, a doe-eyed yellow glass horse, various Lloyd Loom chairs and these delightful prints from the 60s by Dallas Simpson which adorn my bedroom walls.

I find these pictures inspirational in a number of ways. Apart from their ability to transport me back to my own idyllic childhood these kids are also rather stylish in their breton stripes, ribbons and lace, plus they all have great hair. In fact the gal in the nightdress reminds me lots of my sister-in-law Ellie with her raven locks piled high atop her head (Ellen's excellent musings can be found here at Vagabondiana).

Unfortunately I know very little about their origins. Poor Dallas, there is hardly a mention to be found on the internet about this mistress of mass-market kitsch. Not even a Wikipedia entry! Thankfully Wayne Hemingway righted this wrong with his book: Just Above the Mantlepiece: Mass Market Masterpieces published in 2002. It has however proven to be a rather elusive text, Amazon is flogging used copies from £55-£155 so it probably won't be joining my bookshelf any time soon. However I did come across this quote from him:

“I have seen (mass-market art) celebrated in a post-modernist ironic way and I have been saddened by its inclusion in kitsch iconography. Let’s not celebrate it for these reasons. Value deserves to be restored to a genre derided by certain members of the art elite and respect should be given to artists whose work broadened the horizons of collecting to reach the working class, making this art form available to a wider public than ever before.”

I also found this Guardian article from 2000
'Wayne's World' which describes the origins of Wayne's obsession with everyday art.

'he remembers growing up in as a lad in his grandmother's house in Morecambe. Ida Hemingway was, he says, 'an appreciator and collector of mass-market masterpieces'. She picked them up from Freemans catalogues and Argos, and over the years the collection spread from her chimney breast to the rest of the house'.

Well, what's good enough for Ida, is good enough for me, she sounds like she had taste, just like my very own Grandma Lola. Hopefully one day Dallas will be remembered for the true artist she was/is??

Sundae Best

Probably my favourite Tatty collection yet. This helping of acrylic loveliness deserves a visit to their London shop, luckily an excursion to the capital is on the horizon. In the meantime I have satisfied myself with a selection of zines from the Tatty Devine library, no doubt the subject of a future post.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Beth ♥'s Portland. Ditto!

A Lolita-esque Beth photographed for the last ever Observer Music Monthly by photographer Jay Brooks.

The Gossip's Beth Ditto and I share a mutual love. Yeah Ok so Beth actually lives in the city I long for, whereas I cannot claim to have ever set foot on America's west coast, never mind Portland in the state of Oregon. However, the Pacific Northwest remains a sanctuary for Ms.Ditto and a constant obsession for me.
I can trace my fascination right back to being a child watching The Goonies. How amazing did Astoria look? The mystical, rain-soaked coastal town where the action was set with its rugged beaches and huge black rocks rising from the furious sea.

As a teen it was the incredible bands of the Grunge scene that all seemed to hail from the towns and cities of this same faraway place. I recently purchased this book which documents the iconic scene. 'Grunge' published by Abrams Books begins with Thurston Moore's words and continues with Michael Lavine's photographs.

Kurt of course and the ferocious L7.

Now that I am all growed up, it is the articles I read written by cool folks like Beth that describe Portland as a bohemian dream which continue to lure me there. She reported in this article in the Guardian (back in 2007) that it's friendly, cheap, green, creative and practically illegal to NOT be in a band. I like what I hear.

Beth at Portland's famous Waffle cart. Mmmmmmmmm.

The city also claims to be the thrift-shop capital of the world with more vintage shops per square mile than, well, anywhere. Here is another article from the Guardian (more recently, from April 2009) all about vintage shopping Portland style.

Get me a Green Card i'm moving tomorrow!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Bear Faced Beauty

When it com
es to musical discoveries, for me 2009 was all about Brooklyn based band Grizzly Bear. They are quite, quite beautiful in every way. If you have not yet heard Vekatimest I urge you to purchase it immediately. I was super lucky enough to see them live twice in 2009; once at the Green Man Festival and secondly in November at Manchester Cathedral of all places. Easily the gig of the year for me and I went to quite a few (approximately 30?). It was the first gig I have ever attended on my own and all the better for it I think (Mr. Lola was jetlagged, Pah!). It meant I could push my way to the front row and marvel the spectacle from up close. Wow, these guys are so talented. Celestial sounds indeed. Here is the amazing video for Ready, Able.

I also really love the ar
t work that features on Vekatimest which is by Chicago based artist William O'Brien . His paintings are very abstract and colourful and are made up of fractured angular shapes.
I took lots and lots of photos during the gig (bad habit). However, as my camera is fairly crap they vary in quality but have allowed for some interesting eerie effects. I also hung around for a bit afterwards (another benefit of solo gig-going) and met Chris Taylor the player of bass, flute, clarinet etc, producer and all round Bear genius. He was very nice indeed.

I also picked up this delightful boy sized tee from the gig.

Oh and Ed's set list.

Monday, 11 January 2010

He-She, She-He.

Me and my buddee Emma Baker are a tad obsessed with pretty boys and girls of the androdgynous variety. Back in the day Mr. Lola set my heart a flutter with his long hair and eyeliner while Em had a particular penchant for pocket-sized-pixie boys. Here are some of my favourite examples both homme et femme.
Patti Smith; Rock n Roll's first lady-boy.

Teenage crush Brian Molko of Placebo.

The L Word's 'Shane'.

Model Ash Stymest.

Audrey Tautou as Tuxedo clad Chanel.

And finally the super gorgeous Katie Sketch of Canadian indie band The Organ.

It's Bliss

Recently I have being living in boy-size tees. Coupled with a flannel shirt and skinnies there aint no happier combo. I always knew it was easy being a boy. Anyhoo this is my current favourite purchased at a Yeah Yeah Yeahs gig. It is fabulous as it represents my three great loves: art, music and fashion. It also features a super wicked amazon-lady with lilac hair showing that dude who's boss. Don't worry he's lovin' it!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Okey Dokey Doggie Daddy

Trash fash Alabama. An awesome array of fluorescent bra tops, animal prints and cowboy boots. Tarantino's flick True Romance is undoubtedly my fave film ever. It has everything: romance (the un-schmaltzy kind), violence (the cartoon kind) and Hawaiian shirts (the kind with Christian Slater inside, swoon!). One day I wish for Mr. Lola and I to attend a fancy dress party as Clarence and Alabama Worley; the cutest couple from Motor City Detroit.

Hosiery Heaven

When I was little I would often run around the house in nothing but a vest and a pair of wooly tights. Very liberating. My brother would then lift me up by the waistband and I would dangle there, squealing with delight. Tights are fun! Wooly, patterned, sheer, I love them all. I particularly enjoy the delights to behold at Bebaroque. Those are my legs up there, dressed in a pair of their nautical lovelies. I also have this crimson pair bedecked with bows. Today I caught sight of the new SS10 range and was very excited to see a palette of ice cream pastels, their trademark tattoo designs and more ankle decoration.
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