Maureen Starkey is by far and away the most admirable Beatle-wife, in my opinion. Not least because she had to put up with Ringo, but also because she was there from the very beginning. She wasn’t a model. She wasn’t an actress. She had been a hairdresser and was now a full time wife and mother, who still had to be the perfect accessory to her superstar husband. She performed this role beautifully, without ever overshadowing Ringo and never once looking like she would dearly love to thump the impossibly beautiful Pattie Boyd. Maureen was a woman’s woman. Kudos Mo!
Early on, her look was pure mod perfection. Immaculately coiffed hair, super sleek dresses and suits, and impeccably applied eye make-up to bring out her already quite spectacularly huge eyes. But Maureen was no follower. She was hugely experimental with her hair and make-up, especially in later Beatle years when her clothing also underwent a few gear changes. She did the maternity look exceptionally well in all eras, and was never afraid to try out different looks – particularly the notoriously hard-to-pull-off mannish suits and ties.
My personal favourite look is the hotpants, suede boots, [possibly] Mr Freedom t-shirt and bleached-end hair look, but there are lots to choose from. She probably tried every look you might dare to think of. Sometimes successful, sometimes not, but you’ve got to salute that haven’t you? Mo, you were truly awesome and you also helped give us the Hard Rock Cafe. We salute you!
Please don’t all cry out ‘who???’. Noosha is a little gem of an icon of mine from the mid-late Seventies. Born Susan Traynor, and originally from Australia, she changed her name to Noosha Fox and the glam band ‘Fox’ were formed around her. Her look was very heavily influenced by the starlets of the Twenties and Thirties. She wore floaty chiffon dresses, swishy capes, fringed shawls and flowers in that ringletted bob. Her make-up was a glorious mix of blue eyeshadow-ed Seventies-ness and that flapper girl cupid’s bow pout. And oh! that adorably squeaky, Helen Kane-inspired voice. She’s like a silent movie star taken out of her time and plonked on the set of Top of the Pops.
It’s fairly safe to say that Ms. Alison Goldfrapp has taken rather a healthy dose of inspiration from little Noosha. I love how unique and seemingly unspoilt her performances are. Someone who would never be a star nowadays, due to her slightly awkward dancing and facial expressions. But I adore her. She’s just so cute, and her clothes are delicious (being both very Seventies and also very antique-looking), and, and…..the songs are amazing. I have no idea what you look like now, or even what you’re up to, but Noosha – I salute you!!
It’s been tough to find enough images of this icon to fill the space, so I would highly recommend your looking at some footage of Fox on YouTube.
I was recently loaned a copy of I’m With The Band and felt a natural affinity to Miss Pamela’s romantic ups and downs. Her desire to find her niche in life is very powerfully expressed and she’s an engaging hostess for her own life story. Perhaps because she was amongst the first recognised groupies, you feel she’s more genuine than most who followed in her wake. She really was genuinely being swept along by the music and the sexual revolution of the Sixties, rather than seeking the celebrity which so many seem to be motivated towards. And, of course, the word ‘groupie’ has different meanings for different people: for the Girls Together Outrageously it was clearly more about comradeship.
She was also attainably gorgeous. Even before I had read the book, I knew her as an absolute style icon. One of the handful of such women who could actually convince me to go blonde, because it just looks so fantastic on her. That soft, hippy look which was usually quite homemade and ramshackle – giving it an extra level of charm. Remnants and rags were stitched together to create dresses which look like they’ve been sized up from a tatty Victorian doll, and she painted the biggest eyelashes I’ve ever seen. Then in the early Seventies she darkened her hair and smartened up her look for a full-on vamp groupie look, with platforms and stockings, curls and lipstick. She still looks incredible now, and from what I hear is an incredibly lovely person. So, Miss Pamela, we salute you!
I must confess that Lynsey De Paul never really registered with me when I was younger, mainly because her songs didn’t particularly appeal to me at that point and I had only seen her presenting some dreadful programme on cable tv. But more recently, I discovered some pictures and utterly fell in love with her style and her styling. She wore Ossie frocks, floppy hats, platform boots, feathers and chiffon. Her hair was the very perfect sheet of Timotei-advert Seventies elegance (much as I may love her, I can’t really get on board with the Suzi Quatro-style feathered haircuts). And her make-up was also exactly what I was aspiring to achieve. She even went out with a Beatle. Although since Ringo is in the doghouse at the moment, I’m not necessarily as jealous as maybe I would once have been.
Charlotte Rampling is one of those people whose elegance, stylishness and general coolness is so great that you can spend your whole life trying to achieve something vaguely approaching the same. You will, of course, never succeed. It’s either there, or it’s not. But you can have a lot of fun trying!
Even in her most Swinging Sixties moments, she looked timeless, classic and romantic. Which is more inspirational to me, actually, because I am not at all fond of the harsh ‘mod’ look. So I look to ladies like Charlotte Rampling to inspire me. She had longer, less heavily styled hair and wore prettier, softer clothes. In the Seventies, she moved into her prime in floaty Ossie chiffons and Thirties inspired tailoring. A look which appears to have been very natural to her, she looks far more elegant and sophisticated than most people attempting that look.
She also remains one of the most beautiful ladies around today, seemingly without the aid of surgery. Fond of nudity, even still, it was actually surprisingly hard to find photos of her with her clothes on! She takes on interesting roles, has had a varied and generally very well-played career and continues to make bold choices. Then, and now, Charlotte Rampling we salute you!
One time Hot Gossip dancer, member of Steve Strange’s Visage, long term girlfriend of Billy Idol and the gyrating topless blonde in The Chauffeur video, Perri Lister is an absolute icon of all that was fabulous about the early Eighties.
With those huge, feline eyes always made-up beautifully to the hilt and her angular but still feminine figure…oh, and that insanely frothy, madly coloured hair, she is the very essence of the New Romantic ethos.
No mere arm candy was she though. As well as being a talented dancer, she co-wrote many of Billy’s biggest hits and provided vocals for him, for Visage and for her own short-lived group, Boomerang.
She’s also still completely beautiful and seemingly hasn’t aged a bit since her Eighties heyday. Perri, we salute you…and request personal make-up lessons immediately!
The Chauffeur. Lack of Durans are slightly made-up-for by fabulously evocative and stylish video (and Perri of course!)
On Italian TV with Visage performing Fade To Grey
Kate Bush. Wide-eyed, bushy-haired and with a voice you feel you probably should hate but somehow makes you fall under its magical spell. Kate has been a fashion icon since the moment she appeared, seemingly perpetually vaseline-smeared, in the late Seventies. She matched her wardrobe to her kooky, dreamy sound and otherworldly appearance. The very epitome of bohemian, her dance background also meant that she interspersed floaty chiffons and silks with spandex dancewear such as leotards and leggings.
Her wild auburn hair was similarly bohemian, always curly or crimped, and has remained her trademark look to this day. Her expressive, open features were enhanced with heavy eye and lip make-up, there was no following the only-emphasise-one-feature rule for our Ms. Bush! She almost defies explanation. Most men I know positively glaze over with lust if you simply mention her name, and there’s definitely a lesson to be learned about subtle seduction in your appearance. And she’s still a very hot lady, without having resorted to botox and facelifts. Personally, this year Kate Bush has emerged as my main squeeze style icon and will remain so for a long while yet.
Kate, we salute you!
Françoise Hardy – Lank Haired Goddess
‘Another pouting French goddess??’, I hear you cry? Françoise Hardy is a cut above your average though. An extraordinarily talented singer and songwriter, Françoise charmed audiences throughout Europe in the Sixties. With her long, heavily fringed brown hair and youthful ‘ye ye’ music style, she was quite a radical figure on the French music scene along with Serge Gainsbourgh and her future husband, Jacques Dutronc.
Her style developed from slightly mousey, minimalist Parisian girl to a proper Swinging Sixties Chick who wore clothes by the likes of Foale and Tuffin and Paco Rabanne. She’s also managed to grow old gracefully, and remains a stunningly beautiful, elegant woman. Françoise Hardy, we salute you!