Oral histories are the perfect format book for the time poor. You can open at any page and learn something or entertain yourself in five minutes flat. I first got hooked in the early 90s, starting with Days in the Life* (Jonathon Green’s seminal deep dive into London’s 60s counterculture), swiftly followed by his equally brilliant It: Sex Since the Sixties* (more 60s rompage) and later, Them: Voices from the Immigrant Community in Contemporary Britain*, a fascinating investigation into British immigrant life (Green mentioned recently that he’s planning an update, which is amazing news). (more…)
Can you believe that Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette film is 15 years old this year? It’s such a fantastic piece of cinema and Vogue thinks so too. It has managed to compile an astonishingly lengthy oral history speaking to the actors, music consultants, costume designers and even Thierry Boutemy, the famous Belgian florist, breaking down every element of inspiration, technical specs and – of course – fashion detail in this over-one-hour long read. (more…)
“We were influenced by Diana Vreeland when she was the editor of Vogue in the ’60s. It was very futuristic and stylized. And I went from wearing no makeup at all to that black, punk, really heavy eyeliner. That cat eye. It was just a makeup extravaganza. Cheap, cheap make-up and Day-Glo clothes.” Kate Pierson, The B-52’s, Harper’s Bazaar
I have three uplifting music recs to make this summer.
A couple of weeks ago I went to the cinema for the first time in over a year and it was so worth it. (It was also pretty empty.) We saw Summer of Soul, a wonderfully observed documentary revisiting the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. Never heard of it? That’s because it was completely overshadowed by Woodstock. TV producer Hal Tulchin’s 40 hours of footage were relegated to a dusty basement for 50 years until Summer of Soul’s director Ahmir Thompson (aka Questlove) decided it was time to edit, update and air them.
Wow. Everything about it is fantastic – the clothes, the music, the performances, not to mention the emotional recollections from people who were there. (more…)