Hendrix - Fashion

Fashion

Well known for his sense of fashion and wardrobe and his Dylan-esque hairstyle, a set of hair curlers was one of the few possessions that Hendrix took with him to England in 1966. When his first advance check arrived, Hendrix immediately took to the streets of London in search of clothing at famous boutiques like I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet and Granny Takes a Trip; both specialized in vintage fashion. He bought at least two army dress uniform jackets including "his famous Crimean War-era Royal Hussars regimental coat" or pelisse, adorned with tasseled ropes. A group of policemen once ordered him to remove the other, a Royal Veterinary Corps dress jacket, saying it was an offense to the men who had worn it.

With their mutton-chop sideburns, droopy moustaches and flowing hair, English rock stars were effectively spoofing the Victorian officer class whose finery they donned. But a grinning, crazy-haired Hendrix in hussar's jacket suggested something else entirely—a redskin brave showing off the spoils of a paleface scalp, perhaps, or a negro "buffalo soldier" fighting on the side of the anti-slavery Yankee forces in the US Civil War. ~ Neil Spencer, Editor, NME (1978–1985)

Many photographs of Hendrix show him wearing various scarves, rings, medallions, and brooches, and in the early days occasionally badges (pins or buttons) that professed his support for the hippie movement or his fascination with Bob Dylan. He initially wore a dark suit and plain silk shirts that progressively became "louder" and more psychedelically patterned. He later favored a bright blue velvet suit, then a bright red one, antique military dress jackets, a very broadly striped suit, psychedelically patterned silk jackets, various exotic waistcoats and brightly colored flared trousers. At Monterey, he wore a hand-painted silk jacket by Chris Jagger (Mick Jagger's brother) and a bright pink feather boa. In late 1967 he started to wear a wide-brimmed Western style hat (brand name "The Westerner"). It was adorned with a narrow purple band and various brooches, as shown in the original Jimi Plays Monterey film. This hat was stolen in 1968, and replaced later with another, crowned variously with a longer purple scarf, a star-like brooch in front and a set of silver bangles, sometimes with an angled feather, though he went hatless for protracted periods after this.

From late 1968 he began tying scarves to one leg and one arm, and in mid-1969 he gave up the hat for bandanas. He started wearing increasingly fantastic custom-made stage costume with long trailing sleeves, culminating in his African-styled "Fire Angel" outfit that he wore throughout most of his final "Cry Of Love" tour, until it began to come apart during the Isle of Wight concert. He appeared in this outfit only once more (in just the jacket) at the disastrous concert in Aarhus, Denmark. His only non-work-related vacation was a two-week trip to Morocco in July 1969 with friends Colette Mimram, Stella Benabou (the then-wife of producer Alan Douglas), and Deering Howe. Upon his return Hendrix decorated his Greenwich Village apartment with Moroccan objets d'art and fabrics. Mimram and Benabou created some of Hendrix's most memorable later attire, the shortened blue kimono-style jacket that he wore in three TV appearances and the white fringed jacket, ornamented with blue glass beads, he wore at the Woodstock Festival.

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