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April 29

Style Heroine: Cher

A major pop culture icon for over 5 decades, Cher has helped shaped entertainment as we know it today. Starting in 1965 with her husband in Sonny & Cher and then establishing herself as a powerful solo act, she quickly became an icon. Goldmine magazine's Phill Marder described her as the leader of an effort in the 1960s to "advance feminine rebellion in the rock world [and] the prototype of the female rock star, setting the standard for appearance [and] attitude." She was anti-drug, pro self-empowerment and a major supporter of equality and love. She spent the '70s on stage with her husband in a variety program and later in the decade after they divorced she became a staple Las Vegas act. The '80s had her on Broadway which quickly parlayed into a very successful Hollywood acting career -- she won Academy Awards while she simultaneously became a serious rock star. Oh, and did we mention she pioneered the use of auto-tune? Believe was the first popular song to use the program and it became known as the "Cher Effect." She is the only person to have ever received an Oscar, a Grammy, an Emmy, three Golden Globes and the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival. She's lived a lot of firsts, played a lot of roles, attended awards shows since the late '60s and lived her life out in the public eye for almost 50 years. And that my friends means she's worn a lot of outfits. Some bad, some good, but always memorable. [caption id="attachment_12806" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Cher & Farrah"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_12819" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Cher, Sonny & Dylan"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_12825" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="1990 film Mermaids"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_12828" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Cher & Chastity"][/caption]
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April 26

Pussy (Riot) & Censorship: The Battle of Russia VS "Witchcraft"

That's the key phrase of what international news outlets are calling the Russian feminist punk group Pussy Riot's "unholy prayer." The group arrived at an anti-Putin protest at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow in February and after an impromptu performance three of the band members are being charged with "hooliganism" -- a charge that is asked to be accompanied with 3 years behind bars. Russia has long, long been known to keep social opposition at bay, but now with acquittal rates lower than they were with Stalin -- WITH STALIN -- the chances of the girls being convicted is hovering just around 99%. It was the viral nature of the performance that's affecting public opinion, with much of Russian society not interested in going against the grain this could have easily been swept under the rug...unfortunately for the Ruski government, the internet does now exist. Dazed Digital has a fantastic piece about the controversy, written by Russian based blogger Nadya Lev. She discusses how in early 2012 Patriarch Kirill, Russian pope/moral police, and the Minister of Communication Igor Shchegolev met to discuss the nefarious nature of the world wide web, ending their discussion with exclamations of protection for the people. "Russian society must be protected from immoral content of the Internet" and this is due to the impact on the soul of the viewer. The days of tightly controlled, government run media are quickly running out. Putin has faced serious criticism for omitting any unfavorable information during speeches -- even editing out Kirill's $30,000 Breuget watch from photographs to reassure the people that those on top lived modestly. Pussy Riot has found much support -- both internationally and at home in Russia. They are bigger than ever now, but with the impending verdict -- coming August 17th -- it's hard to imagine they're enjoying it. The group is a feminist, punk rock collective of 10 women and their performances typically have a political motivation. Only just having started in 2011 the chicks get on stage (or rather wherever they decide to perform that day) with balaclavas masking their faces and neon colors wrapped around their bodies. They've definitely got a Bikini Kill, Riot grrrl thing going on -- as they cite influences of punk rock, Oi!, and the American female rock groups of the '90s. Knowing how to work the web they've been able to propel themselves to a level of international recognition, but with the federal prosecutor Alexei Nikiforov pushing for jail time and jail time only, things are looking pretty bleak in the bright glare of fame. Nikiforov has been quoted as saying the women "abused God." In the above interview with the Guardian, three of the remaining Pussy Riot members -- who are currently in hiding from Russian authorities -- discuss their goals with forming the group. It's not for anarchy, it's not to hurt the people who hold tradition dear, instead it is to show people, particularly women (I mean we are discussing one of the most hardcore patriarchal societies in the world) that actions can lead to change. Much of Russia is stuck, the people feel stuck, society is stuck but Pussy Riot wants to "show it's not scary to do something." They must keep their faces covered at all times -- maybe it isn't a must, they do push the idea of anonymity and maybe the point is that anyone can create change -- but it does feel as though they could all easily become public enemy number one (well one through ten) by letting their identities be known. Moral? Fuck the police. [caption id="attachment_10443" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="the girls and their performance"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10444" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="support for Pussy Riot"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10445" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="anti-Putin support (gotta love Tumblr)"][/caption] Global support, global solidarity. Watch these German girls support being smart, being creative and being independent
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March 17

Style Heroine: Grace Coddington

It seems Grace's entire life has been touched by Vogue Magazine. Growing up in rural Wales she existed miles from high fashion, or even the sales of luxury glossies. She had her copies special ordered and rush delivered, where upon arrival they served as her escape into a fantasy world of champagne and chiffon. After years of loyal readership Grace entered a modeling competition and won the Young Model division -- the kickstart of her decades long relationship with the magazine. Her modeling career was extensive, posing for many of the major photogs of the time and bouncing from one country to the next, one couture gown to the next. Willie Christie, fashion photographer and Grace's former husband, gushes praise when asked about her modeling days, “That hair! It had a personality all of its own," he said. "Nothing quite like it had been seen before, I think. And those long, long legs. She brought to the 70s what Jean Shrimpton brought to the 60s. She had a flamboyance. And she was funny. Glorious!" She modeled until her mid twenties when she was brought on as Photo Editor with the UK branch. Some almost twenty years later she made the hop across the pond to Wintour's territory, where in 1988 she came on as Creative Director, a position that she still holds today. A true Vogue girl through and through Grace has been with the company since 1958. That is some old world loyalty. Grace was also the surprise breakout star of the Vogue-centered documentary The September Issue which provided a glimpse into life within the fashion powerhouse and left many rooting for Anna's succession. Personally we think they make the perfect team. You go Grace Co-Co! [caption id="attachment_10309" align="aligncenter" width="327" caption="GC by Helmut Newton '73"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10312" align="aligncenter" width="429" caption="just some drag queens paying homage"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10313" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="GB by F. C. Gundlach '67"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10314" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="just a baby"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10316" align="aligncenter" width="586" caption="front row at every show"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10318" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="adventures"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10319" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="GC's pre-Vogue days"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10320" align="aligncenter" width="497" caption="The September Issue"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10321" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="GC by John Donald"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10323" align="aligncenter" width="441" caption="GC Vogue Italia '66"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10325" align="aligncenter" width="497" caption="GC by Brian Duffy"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10326" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="THAT HAIR"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10328" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="front row at the D&G Couture show"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10330" align="aligncenter" width="483" caption="GC & Susan Moncur for Dior '71"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10331" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="American Vogue"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10332" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="draped in Balenciaga"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10333" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="GC & MJ"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10334" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The September Issue office shot"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10335" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="the picture of '70s glam"][/caption]
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February 24

Style Heroine: Fairuza Balk

Fairuza Balk was a '90s movie staple. Immediately recognizable, one of those actresses who always seemed to just be playing themselves on screen, she came to fame with the 1992 film The Craft. She played Nancy, HBIC of a high school coven of amateur witches which finds real power with the arrival of the new girl in town, their forth member. Nancy is a black lipstick and combat boots kind of girl, rough around the edges with a penchant for esoteric spirituality -- not too far off from Fairuza. Prior to this film she had racked up a good amount of experience; her debut feature film was the Miista HQ favorite Return to Oz, a loosely based, unofficial Wizard of Oz sequel that has come to gain a cult following. As Dorothy she comes back to the magical land of Oz, accompanied by a talking chicken, and meets up with various creatures who collaborate in an effort to save Emerald City. It's as awesome as it sounds. Fairuza's acting career never really took off; she had a bunch of solid films in that one shining decade and was definitely a known face but once 2000 hit she mainly took on smaller supporting roles. Not overcome by nonstop acting work left her time for other pursuits like singing, writing and candle making. She released a single in 2010 called Stormwinds under the name Armed Love Militia. She grew up with a dancer mother and psychedelic rocker father, so song and dance are in her blood. Vestacha International is her candle company which prides itself on custom blended scents and a hand-poured product. With emphasis on artisanal, anti-mass production the candles are referred to as "products with a soul" and insist on being "the finest candles in the world" according to the mission statement (it's a doozy). So there's your recap on where that cool witchy chick from the '90s went and now let's continue our stroll down memory lane by checking out her California goth girl style! [caption id="attachment_11965" align="aligncenter" width="453" caption="1997 MTV Movie Awards"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_11984" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Vestacha International"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_11967" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Return to Oz"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_11970" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Almost Famous"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_11971" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The Craft"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_11972" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The Craft coven"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_11973" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Nancy was intense"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_11980" align="aligncenter" width="432" caption="Who didn't have one of those Buddha shirts?"][/caption]
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