Weird Glamour - When Taste Goes out the Window
Have you ever tried putting two opposing words into Google? Like WEIRD and GLAMOUR, for example and seeing what sort of sites emerge?
This is where sad fashion and bad models meet. Its off the rails. Its naughty, its mean. There's aliens galore and hairy men in speedos. Abba in baking foil and dodgy Sci Fi. Its scary. its dangerous. Welcome, if you dare, to the world of hot Weird Glamour!
Old Fashioned Glamour
Let's begin with the traditional glamour shots of the 1950s. A beautiful girl assuming a typical photographic pose of the 'pinup' favoured in those innocent, uncomplicated days before glamour models could be sleezy.
Although you might argue that women were being exploited in these glamour shots, they still looked like real women. A little puppy fat was OK. In those days, you could eat normally and still be a model.
Now modelling is very different. It is intimately associated with clothes and fashion labels, with makeup, with hair styles and with digital retouching.
Truth has taken a back seat. Professional photography has lost its integrity and Much of the Art of Photography lies in Photoshop rather than what appears through the lens.
When Models Go Wild!
This is is more edgy. A peep behind the scenes. A trip backstage.
When models break out of the frozen-frame/cheesy poses of glamour photography and reach for the cigarettes or a bottle of wine.
These are the real women being sexy but also being themselves. Asserting their independence from the phony images of the fashion industry and the glamour photo shoot and glossy magazines.
On our journey into the world of weird glamour we'll see how the best eye candy throws good taste out the window.
How the shots that catch our eye and imagination are often trashy and tend to break every rule of style and fashion.
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How Would You Like It?
Below is a publicity shot from the 1950s movie Forbidden Planet. It shows Robbie the Robot doing the hair of the female lead.
Although never part of the film plot, a robot hairdresser is great PR.
This is a recuring theme in movies. Beauty and the Beast. from King Kong to Robots. The combination of a beautiful girl and a monster has always gone down well
The girl may be hot GLAMOUR but a robot hairdresser is just plain WEIRD!
Bad Hair Day
Whilst we are on the subject of Hair, that was also the name of a 1960s musical. All about sexual liberation and letting it all hang out.
But if you had an album called Train you'd probably put a picture of a fine train on the cover, not a train wreck.
So why hair like this? Like so many sixties models she looks more lost and confused than sexually liberated. Perhaps all that sexual freedom has not only messed up her hair but left her exhausted?
This is an album that, like so much from the 60s, was 'Hair Today Gone Tomorrow'.
Talking of Beauty and the Beast, I've included this to broaden my audience and push the traffic up.
This is for the ladies and gay men across the globe! I'll leave you to decide if David or Pamela is the Beast.
This speedoed, hairy hunk was global news in the 80's Mr Bay Watch himself. The ultimate glamour icon.
No disrespect to David but isn't this pose just a little weird? Notice that since this picture winged around the world, Speedos are no longer fashionable (except at the YMCA).
Yes David has probably killed Speedos as a fashion accessory for the next 100 years.
Dynesty and Dallas
Continuing with 1980s US TV, who can forget Dallas or Dynesty and the mystery of Who Shot JR?
Linda Evans and Joan Collins, the Power Dressing women. Those glittering frocks with massive shoulder pads.
Taste and subtlety went out of the window. The costume designers had a ball. The more glitter and glitz the better.
This was TV at its worst. The scripts were diabolical. The plot lines didn't add up. But the public loved it.
The champagne bottles, overflowing, the oil gushing into the sky. It was pure trash. The Glamor wasn't just Weird. It was truly awful!
UFO TV Series
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Silver Suits and Purple Hair!
Sci Fi is a rich source of weird glamour. Particularly the TV variety with limited budgets and cut price designers.
UFO was made by Gerry and Silvia Anderson in 1970. The Andersons made their mark with various programs such as Stingray and Thunderbirds starring weird marionettes complete with visible strings.
This kept the budget down although the acting was decidedly wooden. They continued the formula but finally got a big enough budget to replace the puppets with real actors.
UFO was not aimed at children, but deliberately sought an older audience. Many episodes featured adult themes such as adultery, divorce, and drug use. The acting was still wooden but with no strings attached!
I love the technology. And of course, the tight silver jump-suits with the purple bobbed hair. It must have been uncomfortable, particularly the silver pants.
But you can never top that 70's style, can you? Yes it is glamorous but also decidedly weird!
What's the Message?
Fragrance Ads are often a little weird and obscure. This one is no exception.
It is not clear how this promotes the perfume. Here we have bar-room glamour with sweat. it doesn't look as if it smells good. The rocket conjures up smoke and I won't speculate where the rocket is heading.
No doubt about it. This is Weird.
This is a slightly kinky movie so amazingly bad it is excellent. It has a look that is very organic. The set and costume designers seemed to favour anything green, furry or feathery. It is also very sexy but in an apologetic way that only 1960s movies can manage.
It was difficult to for the film to be a flop when it featured Jane Fonda. Jane was very much the 'Thinking Man's Crumpet'. She opposed the Vietnam War and was a powerful political activist.
It was therefore surprising, to say the least, to see this intellectual heavyweight, in the opening sequence of the movie, performing a slow weightless striptease with only the letters of the opening credits covering her assets.
Watch out for the remake coming soon to a cinema near you. But it just won't be the same without Jane. Jane is GLAMOUR but in this move she is also decidedly hot but WEIRD!
I'm trying to cater for all tastes so here are some sexy shoes.
I'm not sure if this is intended to double as a hairbrush? Or is it a lure to entrap hedgehogs.
Hedgehogs? I'm not sure you have then in North America or Asia. They are cute little creatures who inhabit gardens in the UK, eat worms and are covered in spikes (a bit like a porcupine).
Anyway, definitely weird. They probably used them in Barbarella.
ABBA The Worst Dressed Band Ever?
Most people had a soft spot for Abba although few would admit it. This shot of the Swedish foursome wrapped only in aluminium baking foil takes some beating. This must have been the cheapest and tackiest publicity shot in the history of PR.
Below we see a typical outfit worn by Abba during their stage performances. Can you imagine walking down the street looking like this yet alone appearing in front of thousands of people?
Abba music was pure Europop but deceptively catchy. Hence the millions in the bank, many Abba tribute bands and the success of the musical Mama Mia. Abba were glamourous in an odd way but also decidedly weird!
More Weird Glamour from Rik
- Weird Sci Fi Glamour
This is where Bad Taste meets Science Fiction. Weird Glamor in TV and the Movies. Where aliens clash with Bad hair and Sad clothes. Its outrageous! You'll scream. Its Weird Sci-Fi Glamour!
- Knitwear Nightmares and Crochet Calamities – More ...
The horrors of knitwear. Crochet calamities, Bad fashion, weird glamour and when Granny's knitting turns sexy.
Blakes 7 Poster
This was a favourite of mine from the 1980s. It was camp, mindlessly badly written with a plot with no coherence or reason to it. And then, of course, there were the odd costumes and cheap sets.
I suspect that they got the costumes out of a 'dressing up' box. There is a hint of Robin Hood mixed with Doctor Who and children's SciFi shows. Every planet visited looking either like a small quarry in Dorset or a disused Power Station (also in Dorset).
One way to keep the costs down was to have computers as crew members. ORAC in the picture (the plastic fish tank they are all gazing into) was voiced by Peter Tuddenham (not many people remember that!) It was Weird. But it also had Glamour. Weird Glamour.
Thankfully, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The TV and Movie industries are still producing Weird Glamour. It you don't believe me check out new shows like Flash Gordon on the Sci Fi channel. I also gather a new series of Blakes 7 is on the cards in the UK from Sky 1.