Mad Men, Woodstock, And The Death Of Fashion

"There’s a reason why no one has created a computer program that allows you to create a cartoon version of yourself as a hippie."

"It’s because that’s called a Halloween costume and at one point or another, we’ve all dressed as a hippie, knocked on a door, and said 'Trick or treat, man.'’’ Boston Globe

While I love Janis Joplin (above) and think she was the most powerful performer I've ever seen, the writer is right about Hippie fashion.

On the other hand, the fashions featured in such exquisite detail in "Mad Men," set in 1960-1964 (the final years of what we think of as the Fifties) have inspired a make-your-own-avatar site, which has been wildly popular. And they have influenced current fashion as well.

Time certainly has a way of separating the wheat from the chaff.

Lillian Bassman

Lillian Bassman was one of the most important photographers of the 20th century, and, finally, there will be major exhibitions of her photography, as well as a book from Abrams this Fall.

She became disillusioned with the dumbing down of women's fashion that began in the late 1960s/1970s, and walked away from it all.

Now 92, and living in Manhattan, she's finally about to be properly honored.

The images above are from the early 1950s, for Olga and Warner lingerie; much of her work was commercial, for Harper's Bazaar.

"It is easy to see why Ms. Bassman would have found little appeal in the uniform of the sexual revolution, first the childlike clothes of Mod style and then the hippie’s caftans, which seemed intended to counter the mass libidinal energy that had been the whole point. Hers was a world of adult sexuality that wasn’t ranted about. And the new breed of models coming of age in the late ’60s and ’70s unnerved her as well." (New York Times)

Wombs For Rent

Here's an update to a Freeway post about women lining up to sell their eggs:

In a recent Wall Street Journal, Thomas Frank responds to New York Times reporter Alex Kuczynski’s personal account of hiring a surrogate mother.

Actually, “responds to” is probably not the right phrase -- it’s more like “rips apart.”

Thomas Frank writes:

"Surrogate motherhood has been the subject of much philosophical and political dispute over the years.

"To summarize briefly, it is a class-and-gender minefield. When money is exchanged for pregnancy, some believe, surrogacy comes close to organ-selling, or even baby-selling.

"It threatens to commodify not only babies, but women as well, putting their biological functions up for sale like so many Jimmy Choos.

"If surrogacy ever becomes a widely practiced market transaction, it will probably make pregnancy into just another dirty task for the working class, with wages driven down and wealthy couples hiring the work out because it's such a hassle to be pregnant."

Backstage Pass

OK - so it's not politics, football, or rock and roll. But the article was in the New York Times, and I try to cover a broad range of subjects on the Freeway, including fashion, with your mind in mind.

Like politics, football, and rock and roll, high fashion is performance art, and as such requires considerable behind-the-scenes preparation, as indicated in this photograph.

The handlers/trainers/roadies have multiple responsibilities prior to the performance to get their candidate/player/rockstar ready to thrill and impress the fans. It’s the same thing at a fashion show (I’m trying really hard here), with the same outsized egos unchecked at the door.

For instance, is the model in this photograph training her contemptuous gaze on the photographer because she’s trying to protect her teammate's privacy, or because she's realized that she may not be the primary focus?

Tom And Gisele's Thanksgiving

A Thanksgiving Day helping of Tom-and-Gisele for their fans on the Freeway, from today's Boston Globe:

"Tom Brady and his supermodel sweetheart Gisele Bundchen surprised everyone at yesterday's annual Thanks-for-giving meal organized by Goodwill Industries at its Roxbury headquarters.

Walking without a limp, the Pats QB upstaged a slew of pols who were present,

Bundchen arrived first, and quickly put on an apron and got down to work dishing out stuffing, mashed potatoes, and squash. (We spied the slender siren sneak one bean.)

Brady showed up as the tables were being cleared, and was greeted by Bundchen with a kiss on the cheek. Later, Brady signed a few autographs while Gi, who seemed to be genuinely enjoying herself, chatted with folks and moved to the music

Speaking of Brady, Maria Menounos called to clarify something. She says she didn't mean to suggest that the Pats should permanently replace the two-time Super Bowl MVP with Matt Cassel.

In an item this week hyping her "Access Hollywood" interview with Ashley Dupre, Menounos told us she's been impressed with Cassel's passing progress. But that's as far as the infatuation goes.

"Matt will be a wanted man after the season, no question," the Medford native says of Cassel, who will be a free agent. "But there's no replacing Tom Brady. Period."

By the way, the guy in the background of the picture at the top looks like he can't wait to get his hands on some of that pie!