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."

Chrissie Hynde: "Wear cool clothes & change socks at least twice daily."

The Bangles! The Bangles are my fave here; this pic inspired me to go pull out the photo that they autographed for me when I went backstage at their concert the summer I was 11. Debbi's advice is "I don't believe in fashion." Michael says: "Fashion is like music - most of the people who talk a lot about it don't know what it is. I like wearing clothes that make me smile." Susanna says: "Brigitte Bardot, Natalie Wood, Audrey Hepburn." And Vicki's advice is "More rings than vintage Cher." I love Vicki the most, she was the sweetest Bangle to me and my friends. She gave us soda and asked us about school.

Peter Murphy: "Clothes don't maketh the man..Neither does the man who makes the clothes..make the man. Fashion could be a dictator....Mostly is...sucks your dollars. DO IT YOURSELF."

And the Simply Red guy's advice is just him asking questions like "Do I exist?", and I really don't feel like typing all that. Mostly I just wish that Details had made the "fashion tips from rock 'n' roll models" thing a regular feature, at least up through the mid-'90s. I want fashion tips from Evan Dando, Courtney Love, L7, Liz Phair, Lady Miss Kier, Michael Stipe, the Beastie Boys, Q-Tip, Hope Sandoval, everyone. I'd follow them all to this day.

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