Tuesday, 28 December 2010

10 impossibly cool men..

Carrying on from my previous 10 impossibly cool women post I thought i'd also write and tell you my thoughts on the 10 coolest guys. . I couldn't leave the fellas out could I? I should add that this is in part a list of guys both living and dead that I would like to date (not all of them, mind..).. However, it is not based on looks, yes some of them do happen to be really, really handsome (in their hey day or when they were alive..) but I am a woman who fancies first with the mind, second with the (dancing) feet and thirdly with the eyes. After all I do suffer from a short attention span hence fashion design was the perfect choice of career for me and i'm freelance at that.. Nope, it's all very well being easy on the eye but if you've got nowt to say for yourself then i'd get bored very quickly. Anyway i'll stop waffling.... The criteria is pretty much the same as it was for the ladies, charisma, style, wit.. etc etc.. blah blah...

So let me introduce the 10 coolest guys ever, for me anyhow. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing and researching..

1. Oscar Wilde

Writer, poet and never ending source of wit and wisdom. My favorite quote of which is 'we are all in the gutter, but some of s are looking at the stars', I feel this best describes my Dalston lifestyle.. With his acidic wit and flamboyant style Oscar Wilde was one of the most celebrated and best known play wrights of his day. If I could throw a dinner party and invite anyone both living and dead (not in my flat, mind, there's barely enough room to swing a cat, plus I don't actually have a dinner table, it would be plates on knees whilst sat on the sofa..) I would surely invite Mr Wilde and not only that, i'd have him seated next to me.. lucky him!

Datability factor 0/10 ( Nah, he was gay init..)

2. Cole Porter

Cole Porter is quite simply perhaps the greatest writer and composer of the 20th century. He is responsible for writing and composing many of my favorite songs. He was a very, very clever lyricist, the best example of this in my opinion would be 'You're the top". It is a fete of lyrical genius if ever there was.

Datability factor 9.5/10 ( when he was a bit younger though, he's a bit wrinkly in these pics..)

3. Humphrey Bogart.

Regarded by many as not only a cultural Icon but perhaps the greatest male star of Hollywood ever and whose lips have uttered some of the most memorable lines in cinematic history. He was also a real dish and very stylish. Never has a Trilby hat and double breasted suit been worn to such swoontastic effect. If Humphrey Bogart were alive today (even if he was like, really old) I should like to have a dance with him, even if he wasn't very good at it.. just so he could dip me at the end.

Datability Factor 10/10 ( although i'd stand no chance against Lauren Bacall)

Humphrey dips me at the end of the dance..

..Errr sorry no, that's Lauren Bacall..

4. Miles Davis

There are two quotes which perhaps sum up why I think Miles Davis is so cool. Both of these quotes are from his own mouth. 1 "For me music and life are all about style". 2. "I know what I've done for music, but don't call me a legend. Just call me Miles Davis." Well I could not have said it better myself except perhaps to say that for me life is all about music and style, and dancing (with style). Miles Davis was the one of the most innovative and influential jazz musician of his time, in fact ever and not only that he was an outspoken social critic and an arbiter of style in attitude and fashion, as well as music.

Datability factor 9/10!

5. Chet Baker.

Aghhh Chet. Every time I hear a Chet Baker song my heart breaks a little. He had such a smooth, soothing, emotive and beautiful voice. I can never play Chet Baker if i'm feeling even the slightest bit down because I will cry, he's the only person whose voice can bring me to tears. It is all the more compounded by the fact he was so handsome and so, so troubled. When I listen to him I want to crawl down the sound waves, back into time and give him a hug. I want to look after him and make him cups of tea. Hell i'd even learn to cook for him.. Hmmmmmmmm.....Ok so in the end he did turn into a scraggly haired, bandanna wearing, fringe suede cowboy coat fancying, picket fence toothed mess but we won't hold that against him..

Datability factor (when he was younger) :100/10. Restraining order required by Mr Baker against Ms Ratcliffe: Quite likely.

6. Johnny Cash

The Man in Black, The Outlaw, Johnny Cash never did any real, hard time, but that doesn't stop me believing him when he sang " I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die". I am a massive, massive fan of Johnny Cash, he was such a great story teller. Even in his final years he was still on the money, his cover of Nine Inch Nails "Hurt" on American IV is one of the most heart wrenching, emotional, just down right brilliant cover versions ever. He is the epitome of I don't give- a- fuck cool. He did however give a fuck about what June Carter thought and theirs was the greatest of all great love affairs, passionate and full of turmoil but ultimately redemptive. June Carter Cash said of her husband that there were two men inside him: John the caring family man and Cash the selfish bastard. Joaquin Phoenix (who famously portrayed Johnny in the film Walk The Line) met Johnny Cash and had dinner with him and his family a few years before he died said.. "He appreciated both sides of himself, He didn't suppress either the family man or the shit-kicker, which is what made him such a fascinating character and such a complex person to portray." I could not agree more.

Datability factor (if he were youngish and alive even..) : 0/10 (I think this is best left to June Carter)

Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash having coffee together!!

Holy Crap, what i'd give to be sat at the next table...

Johnny and June.

Check out Junes 'Doo! It's like an experiment in hair physics..

7. Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan is just a genius musician and song writer. He is one of the most prolific and important social commentators of the last century. His greatest songs captured the zeitgeist of a socially and politically unstable America and yet are still as relevant today as ever. He was also quite beautiful when he was young too.

Datability factor: 10/10.

8. David Bailey

If the Rolling Stones and the Beatles provided the soundtrack to swinging London in the 60's then David Bailey created the image. The idea of 'cool' was probably conceived in America sometime during the 1940s in Hollywoods Golden Era but in Britain cool really came into it's own during the 60's. So much of what we associate with cool was defined by the image David Bailey created in his photography.

Datability factor (when he was young- too hairy now, he's starting to resemble a member of the Conservative Party): 2/10 ( too much of a tart.. He's slept with most of my 10 coolest ladies).

9. Michael Caine

Naturally blond and blue eyed Micheal Caine, with a bat of the eyelashes could spin you the most transparent of tangled lies and you'd still give him the benefit of doubt. He is perhaps the most iconic British actor ever and his career is still going strong, if Harry Brown is anything to go by. Ok so he's been in a few stinkers along the way (Jaws: The Revenge, anyone??) But we'll always love him for being a charming bastard in Alfie and Get Carter.

Datability Factor (a few years back..) 10/10 (although i'd probably live to regret it)

10. Jack Nicholson

If the Devil were to resurrect himself here on earth he could do no better than to choose Jack Nicholson as his human vessel. Who wouldn't fall under his wicked charms? He's already had a practice run in his brilliantly devilish portrayal of Daryl Van Horne in the equally fantastic Witches of Eastwick. In fact he played the part with almost frightening ease, art imitating life perhaps.. It is however the roles he played as George in Easy Rider,  Randle Patrick McMurphy in One flew over the Cuckoo's nest and as Jack Torrance The Shining that really define his acting greatness.

Datability factor ( even now!?!) 10/10

Monday, 27 December 2010

10 impossibly cool women..

Hello There!

I know i've been rubbish and have not posted anything for ages and ages! But i've been sooo very busy dancing with most of you and yeah a little bit slack as well.. I know you've missed me, you keep telling me so, so this post is rather big. Indeed it's taken the best part of two days to research and put together..

A while back I discovered a blog called The Impossible Cool. The blog is just one post a day of a photograph of someone cool and iconic. It is so simple yet genius, I wish I had though of it, although I do find myself having quite a bit to say (even if half the time it is waffling) so in reality I suppose I can't see myself being so restrained.. It is pretty much biased towards the fellas though so today I thought I would make a post about who I think are the 10 coolest women of 20th and 21st century. Firstly I should say what my criteria for choosing these coolest ladies are. Well on his blog Mister Impossible Cool has a quote that reads "Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say and not giving a damn" (Gore Vidal) Style and coolness are in intrinsically linked for sure but pure coolness is something that in real terms is hard to define. What makes a person cool? I think it's entirely personal. What may seem cool to me might be totally wack to you.. Anyhow whenever I think of someone 'Cool' I think of the following things: 

Someone who has great personal style. 
Someone who has great charisma.
Someone who can deliver smart one liners with perfect timing.
Someone who lives or lived life on their own terms. 
Someone who can stylishly let a cigarette dangle from their lips without getting smoke in their face. (whenever I try this I always get smoke in my eyes. I guess I am not that cool). 
Someone who has had their picture taken by David Bailey.
Someone imortalised by Andy Warhol.
Someone who inspired someone else really cool.

So with all this in mind the following women are in my mind the coolest women ever. 

1. Kiki de Montparnasse. 

Kiki de Montparnasse (whose real name was Alice Prin) Was a French artists model and muse to many artists, most notably Man Ray ( a personal favorite of mine)  and was also an actress and successful painter in her own right. She embodies the liberated, bohemian and creative spirit of 1920's Paris.

2. Marlene Dietrich.

When I think of the word 'cool' the image of Marlene Dietrich dressed in a tux, top hat, cigarette in hand, pops into my mind. An icon during her day and still as relevant now as she ever was, I love her cross dressing style. She once said, "I dress for myself. Not for the image, not for the public, not for the fashion, not for men." The fact that she was a staunch anti-Nazi and turned down (her native Germanys) Nazi party's request to return to Germany at the start of WW2 and further stuck two well manicured (metaphorical) fingers up by becoming an American citizen in 1939 just makes her even cooler to me.

3. Lauren Bacall. 

What isn't cool about Lauren Bacall! The eyes, the pout, the style, the brilliant deliverance of smart one liners both on and off the screen. This woman is a veritable font of wit and wisdom, I could be here all day long listing my favourite Lauran Bacall quotes. It's no wonder she bagged Humphrey Bogart at the age of 19. I can't imagine that the man would have suffered a fool, not even a really hot looking fool.  

4. Jean Shrimpton.

Jean 'The Shrimp' Shrimpton is synonymous with the 60's pop culture and British style. The original Supermodel, lover and muse to David Bailey. It is often said that Bailey discovered her and he certainly helped launch her career and was very influential in her gaining the iconic status she has today but In turn, she was Bailey's muse, in which his photographs of Shrimpton also helped Bailey rise to prominence in his early career.

5. Penelope Tree.

Well the name says it all really. With a name like Penelope Tree you'd better be rather fabulous otherwise you've got a rather silly name for such an ordinary person. With her Elfin, other-worldly, almost alien like beauty she was another of David Baileys muses. He once described her as 'an Egyptian Jimminy Cricket'! She is as influential as The Beatles for inspiring the swinging 60's movement, was the original model hippy and thus totally cool (man).

6. Barbara Hulanicki.

Barbara Hulanicki was the creator of Biba, the greatest fashion brand that ever was.. Together with her husband Stephen Fitz-Simon, she created not just a clothing brand but a whole lifestyle brand and revolutionised the shopping experience for millions of teenage girls during the 60's and 70's. A heady mixture of Art Nouveau, Art Deco design reminiscent of Hollywoods golden age and some good old rock n roll decadence, Biba was the place to be and be seen. Sadly the expense of creating such a visionary retail experience led the Biba brand to encounter serious financial problems and ultimately faced closure in 1976. There has been nothing comparable since. Biba has been relaunched several times, twice headed up by designer Bella Freud and recently bought out  by House Of Fraiser but has never achieved the same success or even come close to it. This is mostly because in both cases they seem to have totally missed the point by putting on to high a price tag. It was the mix of affordable, fashionable clothes, accessories, make up and even food all served up in an extraordinary retail environment which made the Biba brand so, well, cool.

7. Anjelica Huston.

Anjelica Huston is not just a brilliant actress she is also a style icon. A muse to Helmut Newton, a muse and also short term lover to David Bailey (gets around a bit doesn't he?) and long term lover of Jack Nicholson. 

8. Jane Birkin.

In 1968 Jane Birkin left swinging London to go 'on holiday' to Paris. Whilst there she auditioned for the lead female role in Slogan and despite the fact she didn't speak a word of French she won it. She co starred with a certain MR Serge Gainsbourg and so a passionate and creative relationship between mentor and muse began. In 1984 Hermès named and designed a handbag—the Birkin bag—. Fashion legend has it that on an Air France flight from Paris to London, Jane Birkin pulled her Hermes datebook out of her bag and all her papers fell on the floor. She complained to the passenger sitting next to her that the book should have pockets. That passenger was the chairman of Hermes, Jean-Louis Dumas, and after hearing her complain he created the Birkin bag.

9. Grace Jones. 

Grace jones is an all round style and musical icon. I cannot emphasise how influential this woman is in terms of current music and fashion. Lets just say the likes of Lady Gaga and Rhianna owe an awful lot to Grace Jones..

10. Uma Thurman. 

Responsible for inspiring Quentin Tarantino (fellow cool person) and for bringing two of my all time favorite screen characters to life: Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction and The Bride in Kill Bill.