Iconic Beach Girl #1 : Michelle Phillips
With the face of an angel, this quintessential California dream-girl, a native of Long Beach, was the face of the sixties.
Along with her bandmates, she was the beautiful mama, supported by crystal songbird Cass, band leader husband John and mournful tenor Denny. Today at age 65 she is the sole survivor of 60's folk band sensation The Mamas & the Papas.
Michelle Phillips was the original BoHo babe, the first real flower-child. Her long sun-kissed blonde hair made her look like she'd just left the beach or rolled out of bed; her green eyes so distinctive and piercing she shunned the heavy eyeliner of the times others like Dusty used to emphasize them.
No matter if she might have been up all night, Michelle somehow always looked sunny, fresh and natural--her beauty so evanescent that she inspired then-estranged husband John to yearn for her in songs he wrote for her like 'Go Where you Wanna Go' and 'I Saw Her Again'.
She practially invented shabby chic and laid-back casual beachy style with loose stripey tees, knit ponchos, knee-high boots and gauzey tunics and caftans over jeans. Not much has changed in the way the beach girls dress today--Sienna and Lindsay take note.
Her street-style then was more jumble sale than Rodeo Drive, but today she remains as cool and crisp as pleated linen, and as glamorous and stunning as ever a grandmother could be.
Penning some of the lyrics to California Dreamin' and other songs by The Mamas & the Papas has kept Michelle far from rags, but she still retains the softness and the girlishness so evocative of that swinging 60's era.
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