I have a weakness for easily listening, and the other day this haunting li'l tune (penned by Mr. Easy himself, Lionel Richie) popped into my head:
After a lengthy Youtube sesh I decided Miss Ross will be my style icon, a tutelary 'spirit human' if you will, for Fall 2011. Forget the obvious references, though who doesn't love a bouffant/satin glove combo or that rainbow chiffon number from Mahogany? I'm talking about her post-Motown aura: regal and imperious but a little messy. The hair's always sort of a frizzbomb, the sequined column a size too big, and the chiclet teeth (a medical term, according to Jill Zarin) forever uncapped. It's a refreshing attitude when every housewife has a stylist and lady celebs seem determined only to out-pretty or out-kook each other on the red carpet. And Diana genuinely looks like she's having a blast! Watch her dance with Marvin Gaye above or with Jacko in his prime:
Could Gaga or Britney ever let loose like this? The former looks like she's taking a chemistry exam onstage, and the latter is back to pageant queen speeches and (literally) going through the motions.
In a weird way this all came into sharper focus after I read Molly Young's gushing article on J. Crew's reigning magpie Jenna Lyons in New York's Fashion Issue. She is tall and uber-stylish and insanely good at her job. Is it wrong that I liked her more after finding out she has bald patches on her head and a mouth full of dentures because of a genetic disease? A pretty brave revelation for someone in the image business. And unlike other designers who take us to Crazytown season after season but hide themselves in layers of black, this woman loves her a sequin and some marabou. Walks the walk, so to speak. For instance she wore a slouchy cashmere sweater over her feathered gown to the Costume Institute Ball. A confident and perhaps calculated move, but it does show us who's runnin' things. Do you think a stylist ever told Diana (who used to sew costumes for the Supremes), "You know, the tomato flamenco explosion just isn't so flattering"?? Wincing at the thought. Anyway as Mugatu used to say, there is perfection in imperfection.