'Billy Babes in da Hood
Fashion is more of a mish-mash than ever right now: 70's silhouettes, plastic 80's jewelry, 60's haircuts. It seems the only decade that's not being heavily regurgitated at the moment is the 50's. Of course, rockabilly chicks are still out there with their perfect red lips and skin-tight leopard prints, but it's a very specific club.
Like the love of Morrissey, cool cars, and homemade tamales on Christmas, a lot of us Latinos have a particular affinity for the 50's look. With my penchant for platforms and maxi dresses, I am definitely an exception. Still, it definitely looks good on my sistas.
For them -and for retro-greaser types of all ethnicities- designer David Contreras has opened Tarantula, a new shop in Boyle Heights. The opening party last Saturday was swingin' to say the least, with a live performance by Chuy and the Bobcats (at his house next door to the shop), mexican food (yeah, the tamales were amazing) and a friendly, family-feel that will surely remain in the space long after the opening.
Contreras, who I knew back in the day when he was big drag queen named Queen Esoterica, has always had an eye for style (he ran with a fabulous posse of boy's boys that included hot hairdressers, designers, club kids and fashion forward types like singer Tommy Chiffon and Grey Ant's Grant Krajecki aka Krakt Wheat).
Now that he's taken the Fonzi and Pinky look to the Heights, the hot rod crowd is sure to flock there. Everything in the store is a reproduction of classic 50s piece: full skirts, pencil skirts, cropped jackets and peddle pushers for gals and pendleton jackets and loose slacks for guys. The prices are reasonable too.
I may always be 70's glam gal, but I can definitely see the Tarantula look creeping back onto the style forefront. Stay tuned dolls.