Showing posts with label Apparel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Apparel. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ann Kirsten Kennis Wins


I hope her settlement was fair and I hope this allows Kennis (her married name is now Benschop) to achieve some sort of closure with regards to this matter.

When I saw the image, I have to admit--it's a stunning photo of a very lovely woman. It has a wonderful "vintage" look to it and it made for an amazing album cover. But it did use the image of a person without their permission, and the legalities of this case are byzantine enough already. I hope whoever "stole" this image and misrepresented the ownership of it is punished.

Kennis posed for the shot ages ago, 1983 to be exact. And she is still lovely:


Kennis gave a full accounting of her modeling career to Vanity Fair, and her work was stunning:


Anyway, here's to the courts--and here's to closure.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Looting Will Continue Until Morale Improves


It took a riot to get people to wear Pretty Green? Is that the joke?

English justice moves swiftly. In five days, the man has been tried, convicted, and sentenced. In the U.S., I don't think the case would go anywhere in six months, but I could be wrong on that.

It's very sad. One can make jokes about Liam Gallagher and all, but the loss of so much merchandise probably equals the loss of jobs and benefits for people in the retail world, and then multiply that by ALL of the shops affected. How terrible. And the economic situation doesn't improve for anyone when there is rioting. It's a self-defeating situation. There are fewer and fewer jobs, and stolen merchandise is cold comfort when all is said and done. Oh, and it makes it easier for the police to convict you, I should add.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Julian Cope Fried Covers










If you feel like climbing upon a mountain of weird, take Julian Cope with you. It'll make the journey all that much more of a joy.

This, the second solo album from Julian Cope, is a miracle of sounds. The format of rock and roll and popular music has never been up to date enough for Cope, and so he has made his own genre and created his own place in music. This album is just one of the many stops along the way. Who else was making music like this in 1984? No one anyone has ever heard of. There was Cope and everyone else. To hell with commercialism--Sunspots and Reynard the Fox are singles of note. But everything on here rings true and defies convention.

There was a bit of glee when Cope donned the turtle shell (and, even recorded himself singing in it, later calling those vocals "crap"), and then proceeded to allow himself to be photographed in it. If he'd donned his leather pants, and worn them for the cover (as he would do several years later when it came time to release his more commercially-accessible, but nevertheless, brilliantly executed Saint Julian album), it wouldn't have worked. Without the turtle shell, you can't experience the whole album. The two go hand in hand.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Mother Thought They Were Trouble Shoes




A wonderful little piece of New Romantics history, featuring a lot of Duran Duran and little bit of Ultravox.

I am not a huge fan of this movement, but it touched off several other reactions, most notably, in Manchester, which is sort of the home and heart of the music I have always listened to. The Factory movement out of Manchester may get more press, but Duran Duran certainly sold more records.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Echo and the Bunnymen Early Band Photo


Will, Pete and Les are dressed more or less as if they were in a band, circa 1981 or so. Of particular note is what Ian McCulloch is wearing, which is that "old navy" trenchcoat look that sparked a lot of interest in the band's image. The big buttons are a giveaway. This sort of fashion statement made the Bunnymen stand out from the crowd in some ways because it's a very anti-commercial statement. Instead of garishness and extremes, the Bunnymen dressed down, cool and detached, practical and plausible. In the 1980s, hair and fashion mattered. To the Bunnymen, it was all a distraction that had to be managed. And they managed it well.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Stone Roses Promotional Photo at the Eiffel Tower

The Stone Roses
I scanned this out of the anniversary digipack that the Stone Roses put out for their debut (which is one way of starting an argument since you could make the case that Garage Flower was their true debut).

In any event, I haven't been able to branch out much with the blog because I'm establishing several different things right now. I want to be able to add more posts about style, fashion, marketing and things like this, or "promotional photos" that bands have to suffer through in order to get their names into magazines and the like.

This sort of photo shoot looks like there was more than adequate preparation beforehand. It's well lit and the Stone Roses are clowning around in all of their Indie glory. This is exactly the sort of shot that would accompany an interview or a blurb about their latest release in a music magazine article. They're dressed in that Englishman About Town look, jackets and traveling clothes. The Stone Roses were no clotheshorse band and they rarely had any money (until Geffen Records decided to dump several million pounds on them). This is a very authentic sort of look and wouldn't alienate their fans like posing in top hats, tuxedoes and with canes under their arms would.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Nina Gordon Tonight and the Rest of My Life Covers and Booklet







Do you like how music companies market music made by women?

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.

There are things that I like about this, and there are a couple of things I don't. Nina Gordon made a great record here. Her songs really hold up. But how she is being presented leaves me wondering if a more artsy presentation that didn't feature her looks so prominently would have been better.

It's not that she isn't fabulously attractive--she certainly is. But that's not what's paramount here--the music is more important than anything. This packaging makes her look like yet another female artist with  thirteen songs to sell. Does the fact that she's posing in sheer clothing, brightly lit to show practically every aspect of her body, detract from the songs or does it show that she has stripped things away to make an honest, clean, naked album? You can choose which version of that you like. I think it is unfortunate that they chose to market her in this way. They made a business decision, and I wouldn't presume to second-guess that decision, but what does that say about the music business in general? That the only way to get people to buy this CD is to hint at some revealing photos inside?

I happen to like the music, so the packaging really isn't of interest to me. I think the cover is perfect. It's Nina Gordon, here's her album, and the title is right there. The full body shots are wonderful, don't get me wrong, but they're selling some other aspect here, especially by putting the more revealing and suggestive image on the back cover. Do we really need the suggestion of full frontal nudity on the inset photo, which has a great smile? Do we really need the hang-it-all-out aspect of the back cover? It doesn't match the front cover at all, which is a wonderfully rendered portrait.

It all comes down to how you feel about this sort of thing. I'm not a prude, or at least, I try to not be a prude, but I don't know if the people who would be sold on something like this would really know what they're getting when they put the CD in the machine. Are they going to get easy listening and music to wash the dishes by? With Nina Gordon, no. They're not going to get that.

So what does the marketing suggest? Again, it comes down to the cover for me, and I think the cover is the strongest aspect of it all. The densely printed green sections, with the lyrics, don't match the packaging at all. Why flowers? Is it because this a girl's record? Is that sexist as well?

You get a hint of where Gordon was going with the first song--Now I Can Die. It's very well done. If I can convince you of anything, give this record a chance.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tatters and Platters Promotional Stickers






Scattered throughout my old collection of vinyl records, there are still the vestiges of by-gone record stores. There's a Garage D'or sticker, a Down in the Valley sticker, and a handful of stickers from Platters and Tatters.

Someone knew how to market things back in the 1980s and 1990s, because these stickers still look fabulous. They were all affixed to the outside of the cover of the 12" singles that I had purchased; it would have been considered very bad form to put the sticker right on the cover of the physical item itself. The pieces in question come from singles released in 1987 and 1985 (or thereabouts), so they have held up well.

Note that there is definitely a distinction between the "platters" side (records, duh) and the "tatters" side (used clothing). I suspect they also sold new or remaindered clothing, but I could be wrong on that. Basically, you could buy a record and a new outfit, and that would get you through the week.

How the heck did they go out of business? If they were open today, I would be willing to bet you just the right number of hipsters would show up on a steady basis to keep them in business. I'm not saying it would be easy, but who wouldn't want to find a few treasures, all for the cost of a few bucks and a quiet afternoon?