Fashion Tips From Rock 'N' Roll Models, in 'Details' in 1987


Details is folding. Along with Sassy, it was my favorite magazine in high school, and probably just as formative. Reading Details in 1992 in 1993 and 1994 made me want to write about music in a way that was weird and beautiful and probably overly preoccupied with rock-and-roll glamour but also funny and sharp and crackly and deep. The Details pieces I remember most lovingly are: that Anthony Kiedis/Sofia Coppola/Debbie Harry/Sonic Youth fashion spread/short film that I already wrote about here, a Blake Nelson feature I remember as being titled "How to Kill Yourself Without Actually Dying," the Nirvana cover story where there's a photo of Kurt with his back all scratched up by Courtney, and the Evan Dando interview where Evan says "The grungiest thing I did all week was pull the tablecloth out from under four place settings and they all stayed there."*

*Actually, this whole Evan interview is gold. Some other gems:

What have you learned from women? I've learned how to put my hair up in a towel after a shower. I never knew how before - it keeps your hair from whacking your back. That and patience.

Do you consider yourself a poet? Not yet. I would love to be, though I don't think I'd call myself that. That's like grunge, y'know. Grunge poetry! Yeah: "I was bustin' my pencil! I blew up the word processor!"

You're prone to saying "No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should be." What does that mean? I just dig it. I think that the universe is cool. I'm at ease with it and I just wanna do what I can do to make sure it unfolds as it should, which is not doing anything. I just wanna have fun and hang out and try new drinks.

Also, the accompanying photo is a beauty:

Anyway. The point of this post is a fashion editorial that ran in the Summer 1987 issue of Details, which I found last year at Avalon Vintage in Highland Park (aka my favorite vintage store in the world; it's run by Carmen Hawk of Jovovich-Hawk and I bought my beautiful ripped-up U2 shirt there and right now I'm dreaming of this dress and this blouse). As the coverline says, the article's fashion tips from rock 'n' roll models, none of which are all that enlightening or useful. Aimee Mann's is the worst: what a bore! But it's still a cool little artifact, and at least Details had the good sense to put the Bangles in the centerfold. I typed in the captions where the rock-n-roll-model handwriting was too hard to read:

Richard Butler: "Check it fits. Make sure your mother doesn't like it!"

Aimee Mann: "Drink lots of water + avoid alcohol. This will keep you thin + clear-complected. Then you can wear anything + look good."

Julian Cope: "Wear black leathers anytime, anywhere. The only clothes I own. Black Lewis leathers wear you as you wear them. There's no fashion to it, just pure style."


A Shattered Chocolate Bar, A Confusing Tragedy, & Hair That Means Something About the Ocean


I finished Eve's Hollywood by Eve Babitz a couple weeks ago. Jen May sent it to me, along with the Cher + cats print I'd ordered from her print shop, plus a bunch of other gorgeous prints and that cheese-sandwich sticker stuck to my book in the above photo. Reading Eve's Hollywood made me feel like I've been ripping off Eve Babitz my whole life, or at least for the past 13 years, even though it's the first time I'd ever experienced her writing. We're both in love with Los Angeles, and the L.A.-love thing takes up a lot of our heads. And I love these few sentences of hers, from her essay "Daughters of the Wasteland," even if I don't completely agree with them:

"It takes a certain kind of innocence to like L.A., anyway. It requires a certain plain happiness inside to be happy in L.A., to choose it and be happy here. When people are not happy, they fight against L.A. and say it's a 'wasteland' and other helpful descriptions."

My prob with that is most people I know who've got attitude about L.A. are actually pretty plain in their thinking, or at least unimaginative. I think it takes imagination to love L.A. and to be happy in it; I think it's one of the easiest things in the world to look around the beautiful-disgusting city and only see the disgusting part. You've maybe got to have a slightly twisted sense of wonder, and if that doesn't come naturally to you, I'm not sure how to twist it on your own. Maybe start by walking around more? It's good to look at things up close. That nobody-walks-in-L.A. thing is a lie.

One night at the end of August, in the bar of a luxury pizza restaurant, I was talking to my friend Christine about my trip to Seattle in July and how Seattle wasn't quite what I'd expected. I told her how I couldn't feel any Nirvana vibes anywhere, which was fine (I loved Seattle!) but so different from my first trip to Los Angeles. The first time I came to L.A., as soon as I got off the plane it was like, "Yes, okay - Jane's Addiction, Guns N' Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers: got it.'" And I still think that's true: L.A. still feels so mystical/sleazy/cosmic/electric to me, like a beautiful-disgusting amalgam of those crazy bands I just mentioned. What I love most about Eve Babitz is that she absolutely embodies the mystical/sleazy/cosmic/electric dynamic, despite being a writer instead of some guy in a band. Plus she adds a goofy elegance to all of that, along with her whole secret-nature-girl thing of being so enchanted by bougainvillea and lavender and roses and all the other pretty nature growing around us all the time.

(P.S. While Christine and I were talking at the bar, Paul Kinsey from Mad Men walked past us, wearing a white polo shirt tucked into dad jeans, total dad look all around. My celeb sightings have really gone to the dogs lately - I used to see famous people all the time, but now it's just like, "Tony from No Doubt walked past us at Blur. I saw Paul Kinsey from Mad Men at a pizza restaurant four months ago." Where have all the famous people gone?)