Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I Saw Her Again Last Night

SS poster child and fashion icon Michelle Phillips in an outstanding Vanity Fair write-up by Sheila Weller, link below.

If you grew up in the snow-weary Midwest with no style references but Tundra Barbie, chances are you had to cast your gaze a long way beyond your wintry fence to find any hope of another civilization in which people dressed...normally. Normal being relative, of course, but in this case applying to attire that wasn't designed for surviving the Ice Age and other nouveau calamities.

California chick ├╝ber alles Michelle Phillips was the bride of the LA 60s counterculture, before the counterculture got shot full of ugly holes in the summer of '69. With her streaming hair, pop-posey mouth, and hippie-queen robes, she was like a strange alien sun descended upon a square, struggling planet.

Phillips was and is a symbol of the internecine social conflict between the uptight fifties and the libertine sixties. Shucking off the moral strictures of the prior decade, she was a new Bohemian during a time when American values were beginning to polarize under the payload of the war in Vietnam. Phillips looked as if she were made of the flesh of a white peach, still with the SoCal candygirl ripeness under that look of been there, done that, Baby, I wrote the book.

An It girl before most of the country realized that they didn't have it, couldn't get it, and would die trying to find it, Phillips was a silver-winged moth at a hot-burning flame, who only singed her moth wings at her own desire and convenience.

(A reference is made to "Profile du Monde" caftans; I have long been curious about the provenance of the band's silk robes and am unable to find any information about where or what Profile du Monde was. I am also curious about the origin of design. Anyone care to shout out here? WB?)

Link: California Dreamgirl


WendyB said...

Oh, I love the Mamas and the Papas! Michelle really had The Look. No idea about the caftans. Very interesting! I wonder if it was some one-person shop, operating for a few years until giving all the clothes away for drugs put them out of business. That would be my wild guess!

Suzanna Mars said...

WB, I tried to find some similarity in traditional dress also, before I got sidetracked. These caftans don't appear to be Moroccan in origin; they seem closer to Oriental perhaps.

You're probably on target with your guess. Profile du Monde may have been a Hollywood hippie shop that had a short lifespan.

Iheartfashion said...

She had great style, always my favorite Mama!