“You’re no longer just looking at the picture as a beautiful picture. You’re starting to wonder about the person, or the subject’s health, in the picture.” – Professor Alphonso McClendon, describing the function of the heroin chic aesthetic
Join me this week for a look at one of the more controversial aspects of fashion culture: the aesthetics of drugs. I got to talk with Alphonso McClendon, Assistant Professor of Fashion Design at Drexel University in Philadelphia, who has spent years researching the cultural implications of style, music, and addiction during The Harlem Renaissance and America’s Jazz Age. Today, you’ll hear him discuss his research into that time period, how he found the roots of the prominent “heroin chic” aesthetic in the jazz scene of the 20’s and 30’s, what put an end to heroin chic, and where it’s resurfacing today.
Plus, I have a playlist full of the latest music from Minneapolis artist Jeremy Messersmith, Belgian electro-pop group The Go Find, Lebanese singer-songwriter Yasmine Hamdan, and more. So tune in as we time travel in style, right here on BreakThru Radio!
Professor Alphonso McClendon from Drexel University
(Photo courtesy of Alphonso McClendon)
*Check out the book Fashion in Popular Culture: Literature, Media and Contemporary Studies for more information on fashion history & culture, and to read Professor McClendon’s full chapter “Fashionable Addiction: The Path to Heroin Chic.”
For more on the culture of heroin chic…
*A NYT article from 1996 outlines the controversy surrounding its use, and key players of the movement in fashion.
*A recent article from Business Insider about the return of the look.
*The Saint Laurent Resort 2014 Lookbook certainly confirms the rumors of heroin chic, redux.
*Alphonso cited prescription drugs as this generation’s substance of choice; a recent collection of controversial t shirts from Los Angeles boutique Kitson LA certainly supports that observation.
Odds & Ends…
*Would you try this steamy-meets-arty kit for Valentine’s? Lots of couples seem to be having lots of fun…(!)
*A great list of naughty-but-nice unmentionables from Ecouterre, just in time for V-day.
*It’s NYFW!! So far, this and this have been a couple of my favorite collections. What have you seen that you like?
*A great list of fashion-focused movies to stream on Netflix this week from Refinery29!
*I just (finally) saw the latest Disney movie, “Frozen”! I’m not always a fan of animated movies, but this one was really sweet. Between Kristen Bell’s general adorableness, Idina Menzel’s insane vocals, the gorgeous Scandinavian-inspired setting, and Josh Gad’s goofy snowman, I was in cartoon heaven. 🙂
*A beautiful tribute from Cameron Crowe to the late, great Phillip Seymour Hoffman. His presence and talent will be sorely missed, and our thoughts & prayers are with his family.
(Photo by Nadim Asfar)
Tues 11 – UGC Cine Cite – Paris, France
March 14 – Salle Jacques Brel – Fontenay-sous-Bois, France
May 20 – Cafe de la Danse – Paris, France
(Photo by Kyle Dean Reinford)
Feb 7 – Jammin’ Java – Vienna, VA
Feb 8 – Brighton Music Hall – Allston, MA
Feb 10 – Divan Orange – Montreal, Quebec
Feb 11 – The Drake Hotel – Toronto, Ontario
Feb 12 – The Crofoot Ballroom – Pontiac, MI
Feb 13 – High Noon Saloon – Madison, WI
Feb 21 & 22 – First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN
Feb 25 – The Slaughtered Lamb – London, United Kingdom
April 9 – House of Blues – New Orleans, LA
(Photo by Kentaro Meltrick Kojima)
Feb 7 – 7th Street Entry – Minneapolis, MN
Feb 11 – The Media Club – Vancouver, British Columbia
Feb 12 – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR
Feb 14 – Bottom of the Hill – San Francisco, CA
Feb 15 – The Satellite – Los Angeles, CA
Feb 16 – Soda Bar – San Diego, CA
Feb 17 – Last Exit Live – Phoenix, AZ
Feb 21 – City Tavern – Dallas, TX
Feb 22 – Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX
Feb 24 – 529 – Atlanta, GA
Feb 25 – Local 506 – Chapel Hill, NC
Feb 27 – Boot & Saddle – Philadelphia, PA
Feb 28 – Rough Trade NYC – Brooklyn, NY
March 2 – Casa Del Popolo – Montreal, Quebec
March 3 – The Drake Hotel – Toronto, Ontario
March 5 – Stone Fox – Nashville, TN
April 2 – The Windmill, Brixton – London, United Kingdom
April 14 – Berghain Kantine – Berlin, Germany
April 17 – Charlatan – Ghent, Belgium
April 19 – L’Espace B – Paris, France
May 2 – 4 – Austin Psych Fest @ Carson Creek Ranch – Austin, TX
May 7 – Subterranean – Chicago, IL
May 11 – Showcase Lounge – South Burlington, VT
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