Mensday: About a lucky man who made the grade…

1960s, anita pallenberg, brian jones, carnaby street, Mensday, menswear, Michael Cooper, suki potier, Tara Browne, The Beatles, the rolling stones, Vogue

The Hon. Tara Browne in a maroon silk suit chosen by his wife, Nicky, left. By Major Hayward. Gold shirt, Turnbull & Asser

Both Tara Browne and Brian Jones were at the height of their fame, fortune and follicular glory here. Neither would see the Seventies. Indeed, Browne wouldn’t even see out the year this feature hails from. Quite extraordinary to see them together in the same spread from Men In Vogue, November 1966. They even managed to date the same woman (Suki Potier was the passenger in Browne’s Lotus Elan when he died, and would later be comforted by Jones – dating him, on-and-off, until his death in 1969.)

Photographs by Michael Cooper.

Brian Jones, a Rolling Stone in a double-breasted black suit, striped red and white, chosen by Anita Pallenberg, above. Bright pink shirt, scarlet handkerchief and tie. All bought in New York. Black and white shoes found in Carnaby Street.

As an aside, I was amazed to read, for the first time, that there are actually people in the world who believe that Tara Browne underwent extensive plastic surgery to ‘become’ a replacement Paul McCartney. Because McCartney actually died in a motorbike accident in Liverpool [just before Browne faked his own death], dontchaknow? I mean no offence to a beloved Beatle, but why on earth would anyone bother? Nobody bothered doing that with any other dead rock star at the time.

I’m quite the arch timewaster myself, but even my mind boggles at the years people devote to such patently ludicrous things.

Mensday: The Rolling Stones

brian jones, keith richards, Mensday, menswear, mick jagger, the rolling stones

Just because I love the photo. Brian is wearing Celia-print Ossie Clark gear, for which I adore him. Even Icky Micky looks acceptable. All-round thumbs up and gurgles from me…

Scanned from A History of Fashion.

Père Lachaise (Or, How I learned to share my birthday)

abelard and heloise, brasserie balzar, brian jones, jim morrison, paris
Rare non-grinning photo of me. My birthday outfit of Fifties rustic print cotton skirt and plain black strapless top, crochet shawl and vintage carved bone bracelet. Photo courtesy of Mr Brownwindsor.
We decided that my birthday should be a peaceful, wandering kind of day. And when you’re in Catholic European countries, often the most peaceful places to wander can be cemeteries. I find the architecture and atmosphere to be utterly intoxicating and spiritual; prompting the darkest and lightest thoughts in turn. I had only been to Montmartre before now, so we decided to take a turn around Père Lachaise. I knew Abelard and Heloise were re-buried here, and I’m rather fond of their story, so we sought out their grand tomb. Unfortunately, and as you can see below, it was covered in scaffolding. I’m sure it’s for a good reason, I just hope they get it sorted quickly.

That morning, as we discussed whose graves we would most like to visit, I expressed a distinct lack of interest in the real ‘destination’ graves, such as Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison. Not that I don’t like either gentleman’s work, but I’m not enough of a super-fan to wish to pay my respects. It then dawned on me. I’m more weirded-out by the glorious Brian Jones having died on my birthday, exactly ten years before I was born. But somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew Jim had also rather inconveniently breathed his last on the 3rd July. Those pesky rock stars. Then my mind wandered again to the fact that he died two years after Brian. Errr. That means he died forty years ago. Oh. God.

We decided that the cemetery was large enough to contain a horde of Doors fans and us, without either party meeting for very long. We just needed to avoid his section. Right? Well, Abelard and Heloise are buried near enough to Mr Morrison to ensure that we could hear the strains (literally, straining sounds) of people murdering his music. It was irresistable.

It was very tempting to stand in the middle of them all and have a ridiculous tantrum about the fact that Jim Morrison has stolen my birthday thunder, but I decided that they might not get the joke. So I learned to share, absorbed the strangeness, signed someone’s book, posed for a photo (let me know if anyone ever spots it online) and then we wandered off to find some more interesting graves.

After chucking out time, we headed over to the Quartier Latin and (having decided we weren’t going to be able to find anywhere open or half-decent on a Sunday evening) ended up having a delicious meal at Brasserie Balzar. This establishment has been serving the intellectuals of The Sorbonne since 1886 and has, more recently, become something of a destination brasserie for tourists. I don’t feel too bad about the latter aspect, because we didn’t set out to eat there at all – it was positively accidental. We had a wonderful Kir Royale to celebrate (me, not Jim Morrison!) outside, while they freed up a table inside, and then demolished a wonderful meal. Special mention must go to the Îles flottantes I had for dessert. Lighter than air, I’m amazed they stayed put on the plate.

Photo courtesy of Mr Brownwindsor. I live in my crochet shawl during summer evenings… The one thing you can’t see in these photos is the beautiful pendant I was given that morning. I will give it its own special blog post soon!
Then a romantic, if occasionally stinky, walk by the Seine (complete with early Nineties dance music pumping out from someone’s ghetto blaster. Did we find some kind of wormhole in time? If so, I’d prefer it to be a good twenty years earlier, thanks.) and back to our lovely apartment on the Rue de Dunkerque.
I feel like we did loads, but I also worry that we were too lazy and didn’t see enough exhibitions (I would also highly recommend the Stanley Kubrick exhibition at the Cinémathèque Nationale, only open until the end of the month!) but that’s fine. We’ll just have to head back over very soon. Which is the best kind of holiday, always leave yourself wanting more.
Merci Paris!

Closest I could get to birthday-thunder-thief Jim Morrison

I’m sure this happens a lot. I still couldn’t help myself though.
Petit Serge!!!

It may not be Florence, but I still require a room with a view!
If you don’t buy my gear, one day I’ll probably take it for myself. Case in point, this dress has been on my site for ages and I finally caved in and wore it myself. I am going to keep it now. I love the colours and the cut (although it’s hard to see here). My ‘first day’ outfit. Photo courtesy of Mr Brownwindsor (whose photography skills are clearly superior to mine…).

Mensday: Brian Jones

brian jones, Françoise Hardy, george harrison, Mensday, menswear, suki poitier, The Beatles, the rolling stones, the who

Just because. Because it’s unfair that The Stones have only lost one member after all these years, and it was the beautiful Brian Jones. (And The Who and The Beatles have both been depleted by 50%. ‘S’not fair.) Because he died exactly ten years before I was born (to the very day…). Because he loved stripes, ruffles and brocades. Because he wanted to look like Françoise Hardy. Because he named both of his sons Julian. Because he wore Celia prints. Because men don’t look like that any more.

And because of photos like this…

Weekend Inspirations: The Furry Variations

1970s, brian jones, brigitte bardot, celia hammond, charlotte rampling, diana rigg, edward mann, Inspirational Images, jenny boyd, julie driscoll, linda thorson, Pattie Boyd, sandie shaw, sixties, veruschka

Seeing stripes….

brian jones, david bowie, Duran Duran, george harrison, John Taylor, keith moon, marc bolan, stripeyness, the who

I have a confession to make; I’m afraid I go weak at the knees for guys in stripes. Not any old stripey thing, I hasten to add, but nicely tailored Sixties or Seventies numbers (and a bit of early Eighties stripey shirt action, Duran-style). I’m not sure where it came from, or why it has such a strange effect on me, but I’m not sure I really care. I’m just enjoying the view…..

(sensory overload….Pattie in Ossie! George in stripes!! Where to look, where to look….)