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THE NEW YORK DOLLS AND STYLE, PART DEUX

 

The Dolls look was outrageous for the time.  Five semi-thug, drag queens playing glam rock.  The "Blue States" loved them.  New York, Los Angeles, Chicago - The Dolls were ripe for those cities. Dressed up like hookers, old movie queens, "brazen tarts", The Dolls were macho men in lipstick.  Finding pieces in vintage shops on the Lower East Side [trivia: Too Fast to Live Too Young to Die was their favorite], they set themselves apart from the pack. Part Rolling Stones, part Shangri-las, they were something that we hadn't seen before (not including Bowie or Bolan, however, even they didn't do it like the Dolls).

 

 

Campy as hell, Johansen paraded around like Veronica Lake, meets Dick Tracy, meets Mick Jagger. The music spoke for itself, but so did the clothes.  No man, to this day, has worn a pair of high waisted "pin-up" pants like Johansen. Arthur Kane's leopard spandex tights for instance, how influential was that?  Hello! David Lee Roth and a million other big haired, spandex wearing tarts followed this lead and continue to do so to this day.  Johnny Thunders, the most iconic Doll, in my opinion, capitalized on a road paved by Keith Richards but took it further and, in his way, made it more fem yet all man. His hair was big, his high heels were HIGH, he was HIGH, and gave pink stripey socks and cheetah prints new meaning, all the while setting it off with black leather. A gun slinging Geisha.  Jerry Nolan and Sylvain Sylvain were the most "manly" of the bunch, not really taking the style too far, but still kept a "funky but chic" image, fringy cowboy shirts, Egyptian eyeliner and lipstick, set off by big hair-do's.

 

The Dolls ARE the prototype for many, many bands that followed.  Think of The Dolls a minute and then think of Kiss, Hanoi Rocks, Blondie, The Dead Boys, Mötley Crüe, Faster Pussycat, JetBoy, Guns N' Roses, The Smiths and Duran Duran... that just names a few.  They continue to influence rock and roll and fashion to this day.  However, let's go back to 1973.  At that time there was nothing dangerous about pop culture. Nothing sexy, nothing stylish. Or so says Malcom McLaren. I was in kindergarten, I wouldn't know, however, I do know that the New York Dolls were that... they brought danger, style, and chaos to our pop culture, influenced the fashion world and the world of rock and roll.  And they're still doing it!  How great is that?

 

The New York Dolls today...