Halston: Fashionista with Un-Common Touch

DATELINE: Clothes Make the Woman

 Halston, Taylor, Minelli at Studio 54!

Fashion designer extraordinaire, Halston was part of a generation that self-immolated by 1990. Most of them were gone: trend-setting, pop culture icons:  notably Halston (he only needed one name, like Liberace). A fascinating documentary aptly named Halstontells the tale.

The 1950s gave young talents like Halston and Warhol a youthful connection to fame, but it was by the 1960s they took charge of their lives. Halston was a gypsy of America, living in no true fixed abode. So, he was likely to be self-made.

He was ambitious and flamboyant, ready to take his energy and ideas into all kinds of creative realms. He was the pioneer who made Europe take note of American fashion, though he was later given rivals like Perry Ellis and Calvin Klein.

Halston tried to stay ahead of the curve, branching out into aesthetics like perfume with bottles as arty as popular. He melded movies and fashion together, finding that his association with people like Liza Minelli and Elizabeth Taylor were ways to grow socially and artfully.

It started to go wrong when he splurged into Studio 54 with Warhol, Capote, and the raft of disco dollies. It was, some said, the beginning of a dissolution.

The documentary never says much about his aging, but it’s there: clearly losing youth to something harder. He became as hard as his looks, or perhaps his looks took on his personality: moody, bossy, self-centered.  It wasn’t pretty, when he started to be less pretty.

Others thought his greed was the deciding factor that led to his destruction: he sold out to J.C. Penney, going from class to mass appeal. It alienated his well-to-do friends and undermined his name. He actually sold his own name, and lost control of it.

The end featured more intrigue that Ancient Rome, as he was pushed out (literally locked out) of his own empire by locksmiths and Playtex bra people who bought his name. A few thought it was drugs that did him in, if not promiscuity.

It was the 1980s and the deadly virus that swept through art circles in theatre, fashion, music, especially in New York, took him too. Andy Warhol once said that he’d want Halston and Elizabeth Taylor as his chums because they were so nice.

This celebrity name-dropping documentary may stir memories in a generation grown old. Halston was loved by many people who felt he epitomized tragedy by the end.

 

 

 

 

Andy Warhol at the Super Bowl, 2019

 DATELINE: Great Art Restoration!

Warhol & Whopper

Warhol Takes on Whopper.

We know that iconic artist Andy Warhol enjoyed pop culture, and perhaps he’d be intrigued with the Super Bowl antics every year.

He might be as surprised as we were to find him in a commercial, a highly expensive proposition, endorsing Burger King.

You might think the little scene was filmed by Andy himself at his Factory, but it was merely an appearance he made in 1984 for another director. Here is Andy in 2019, thirty years after he died, now on the big stage of Super Bowl party night.

At first we thought it was a body double—something Warhol was fond of using. He looked thin, but in good shape, making it a little difficult to discern when this was made. He had done all kinds of things—like a Love Boat episode and a cameo in an Elizabeth Taylor movie back in the 1970s.

This filmed scene was after the Studio 54 craze, and he sits quietly, well-dressed as always, his messy wig appropriately placed, and crinkling, opens a bag for Burger King.

We heard he was disappointed to find it was not going to be a Big Mac, but he was always game for product accessibility.

Perhaps the most curious part of his eating the burger, as that is the total action, is that he lifts the top of the bun off the sandwich as if he will pour some of the Heinz ketchup on it. Instead, he has difficulty pouring it onto the wrapper.

Like a cookie in coffee, he dunks the burger in the tomato paste which he even painted in one of his inspired moments.

Though the commercial was only a few seconds, the actual film was a tad longer. It showed him discarding the top of the burger and folding it over for another swipe at the Heinz. All his actions are fastidious. It’s on Youtube for those interested.

We hope his estate and museum was well-paid for this appearance. We doubt he would have been a Patriot fan. In all likelihood, only a fraction of viewers even understood the identity of the slight man in the burger commercial.

Trump on Candid Camera

DATELINE:    Pictures  of 1000 words             

warhol doubleDateNight?

President Bone Spurs, aka the draft dodger, and now liar emeritus, Donald Trump claims he has photos of James Comey and Robert Mueller up a tree, kissing.

If he has such pictures, they were obtained illegally at the least.

If he has made up this story, in the Mark Twain tradition, of great liars, then he is amoral and disgusting.

If he has seen fake photos from some odd Internet source, then he is a dupe.

Worst of all, if he believes that these two honorable men would allow photographs of themselves in compromising positions, then he is utterly deluded.

In short, he  is  totally  koo-koo.

However you  slice this baloney, Trump is a loathsome animal.  No surprises there.

There are likely a few Evangelicals who will defend this crap,

But Nazi punksters are everywhere in Trump’s  twisted world.

People  who live in White glass Houses should not cast aspersions before their first sin is revealed.

We have in our possession a photo of Mr. Trump in flagrante delicto with one Rudi Guiliani.   They have locked  lips   and Rudi is in drag.

On top of that, we also hold a photo of Mr. Trump out on a date with Andy Warhol on the way to Studio54 in their heyday.

Photos tell quite a story.

                                                        

Body Doubles Required at White House

DATELINE:  Ultimate Fake News

The latest White House outrage centers on the bizarre theory that President Trump trots out a body double for Melania. It never hurts to have a spare First Lady for the most mundane duties.

You may wonder if the First Lady is indisposed, or so fed up with the public appearances that Mr. Trump has hired a legion of doubles to accompany him in photo ops and to disaster zones.

We know that Trump has a history with doubles: he was known to associate with a dubious and conceivably fake Andy Warhol.

We also have seen evidence that Trump was not averse to having his picture taken with a fake Michael Jackson. Mr. Trump even owns a fake Renoir that he passes off as the real thing.

Body doubles for politicians are a long-standing practice. We have heard that Saddam Hussein often sent out body doubles for appearances he deemed too dangerous for the real thing. There was even a movie about the body double of Adolph Hitler during the war, who suffered assassination, thus fulfilling his duty to protect the Fuhrer. The movie was called The Strange Death of Adolph Hitler and came out in 1943, two years before the alleged fake death of the real Hitler.

It would be quite easy to send in the fake Melania in spike heels and baseball hat over a wig with oversize Jackie O sunglasses.  The President would not have to worry about her slapping away his hand when he tried to grab hers.

Body doubles are in the great tradition of fake news, and Mr. Trump is the prime purveyor of fake in the world today.

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Darling Glows Again

DATELINE: MOVIE MASHUP

Sweetest Candy

Sweet and gentle, Candy Darling smashed the molds most people have for female impersonators. To a degree nearly all have a travesty about them that satirizes femininity. Candy Darling was lovely and could pass the vulnerability test.

Andy Warhol’s superstar that actually had the aura of Kim Novak and Marilyn Monroe was little Jimmy Slattery who transformed himself into Candy Darling. He was beautiful and exuded glamour that Jean Harlow and Lizbeth Scott would aim for in the real Hollywood.

Candy Darling was limited to the New York glitzy life of fame unearned. She wanted to be famous, but it was only acting without much satisfaction.

Her longtime friend Jeremiah Newton, her companion and hanger-on, helped produce this documentary called Beautiful Darling. If ever there was a tragic heroine of the Warhol stable, it was Candy.

She could be called a sham and a fake. Yet, she was pleasant, according to Tennessee Williams. Perhaps all she wanted was to be loved—and it seemed to escape her grasp. Finally, Warhol too seemed to jettison her.

When Warhol finally left behind his male ‘women’ icons, Candy probably was most bereft, but she suddenly discovered she was terribly ill. She did not kill herself with drugs, drinking, or wild living. She developed a tumor when she was 29—and like another darling creature and cultural phenomenon, Klaus Nomi, a few years later, she simply died prematurely and mostly alone.

Her story is unbearably sad, and this documentary notes her impact on Lou Reed, Truman Capote, Warhol, and others of the satiric age of glamour, The Sixties.

Forty years after her untimely disappearance from the Scene, people like filmmaker John Waters pay attention.

Yes, attention should be paid. Darling Candy deserved so much more. It’s the least we can give her memory.