Tag Archives: individuality

KYLIE + TRAVIS vs. JANE + SERGE

Since the beginning of time (or at least, the beginning of our blog) we have been saying there is a definitive relationship our collective {PAST} plays into the {PRESENT} – always influencing and helping create what inevitably will be known as the {FUTURE}!

Well here we have a case of {PAST}, {PRESENT}, {FUTURE} featuring the notoriously infamous billionairess Kylie Jenner and her new man, Crown Prince of Rap, Mr. Travis Scott on the latest cover of GQ causing controversy for being a “cheap rip-off” of  a now forty year old photo shoot of iconic French couple of cool Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin shot by Helmut Newton.

It is absolutely undeniable, and I don’t think they were trying to be chill about the inspiration, or rather recreation, but who is to judge her for that. If anything, I find it strange that Paola Kudacki, the photographer, would feel comfortable putting her name on such a mainstream copy of the work of a great artist like Helmut Newton! Now the controversy has flooded the internet, but then again, for the right paycheck these days, a little backlash isn’t the worst if it pays the rent.

Obviously, inspiration from the past is one of the cornerstones of our beliefs, but being 2018, it might be nice to have a fresher interpretation of the past than just a flat out copy. Where’s the fun in that?

Take the past, and turn it on its head. Blend one influence with another. Go on a ride through the past and bring me forward into the future…

And if you take a look at the original photo series shot way back in 1978, the rawness, sexiness, and coolness really shines through! How can you be a rebel if you’re trying….Serge and Jane are just so relaxed, irreverent, and thereby: BAD ASS!

Needless to say, Jane and Serge will always be on top in most versus situations, so….sorry Travis and Kylie- maybe next time. And maybe next time, just be yourself!!!

I know Travis and Kylie have turned a few looks, but Jane and Serge really TURNED LOOKS! Just a few below!

We need more originality these daze . . . be inspired, but make it your own! That’s half the fun of life.

Not the most creative choice, but different strokes for different folks! Definitely appreciate her bringing to a whole new generation the beauty and boldness of Serge & Jane (who are definitely due for a {STYLE IDOL & DIVINITY} post or a {VINTAGE RED CARPET ROMANCES} story) … that is a really cool thing.

We know this story is all over the internet right now, but still wanted to give our E.O.F. P.O.V. on the whole situation.

So, let us know what you think in the comments section below!

Until next time,

{theEye}

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I DON’T NEED YOU TO TELL ME I’M BEAUTIFUL! I KNOW I’M BEAUTIFUL!!!

Fresh off our VMP DRAG FASHION FLAUNT at this year’s Vintage Marketplace, we can’t stop thinking about how incredible drag queens are, especially those of the {PAST} who paved the way for the {PRESENT} culture and creativity and will continue to invoke its {FUTURE}.

We know everyone who is anyone keeps up with RuPaul’s Drag Race, and the past season’s ALL STARS edition featured a wickedly hilarious Snatch Game that had Brooklyn babe AJA take on one of Herstory’s most legendary queens – founder of the House of LaBeija, and star of the cult 1968 documentary “The Queen”, Crystal LaBeija!

 

+GET A TASTE+

And she took her on with gusto and glamour, and also delivered this beautiful spirit back into the forum of the mainstream…much in the way Jinx Monsoon brought us Little Edie of “Grey Gardens”, and Sasha Velour took on Marlene Dietrich; keeping these divinities alive for younger generations is absolutely key!

How sad it is when you hear a young man or woman denote they have no idea who these iconic legends are . . . stay educated, kids!

“The Queen” is a fabulous film directed by Frank Simon, and provides an up close and candid look at the behind of the scenes of the 1967 All-America Camp Beauty Contest in New York City. It is a wonderful portrait of a time gone by. . . New York City is rough and tough, and men from all around America shack up in tiny hotel rooms in anticipation of the pageant discussing the difficulties of being gay in America. They are all fabulous, and its wonderful to see their final transformations from the male versions of them you see in rehearsals. This transformation truly proves the power of style and image to invoke strength from within.

Illustrated herstory by Laurel Lynn-Leake

By far, the most fabulous moment has to be Crystal’s freak out when she is named fourth place storms out and then rips everyone a new one backstage. Absolutely ICONIC…you are going to have to see it to believe it! And if you are a fan of Drag Race, you will really appreciate what Aja brought to the table even more.

We stumbled upon a full version of the film on Youtube, so check it out below and enjoy!

+Look out for Andy Warhol’s cameo (he was a judge in the pageant)+

Did you know Frank Ocean sampled Crystal Labeija ???

We love moments like this in pop culture where the {PAST} races into the {PRESENT} and ultimately shapes our {FUTURE}. . .  rebel queens like Crystal LaBeija will live on far past those who chose not to be the truest, most incredible versions of themselves.

I don’t need you to tell me I’m beautiful! I KNOW I’M BEAUTIFUL!!!

 

And really, we should all fell this way! Screw the haters- you rock!

Listen to that spirit within you, and let it free…

Until next time,

{theEye}

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E.O.F. SPRING 2018 UPDATE!

Greetings friends and followers!

It’s been a while since we’ve posted on here, so we thought we owed something to the gods of the internet! I can’t believe its been almost 7 years of us having this blog, and all the incredible things it has led us to, we couldn’t even have imagined on that fateful night we created it.

These incredible things, however, lead us to be very busy and it makes it hard to get time to create the content we know you love! So, here a little catch-up with everything we have been up to!

Spring always seems to be a busy time for us, and we have been up to some fun things. Currently we are creating a collection for one of our city’s biggest fashion events, Glamour in the Hammer. It is a wonderful event that helps support the incredible philanthropic efforts of the Good Shepherd and promoting the long history of giving they have done for those in need.

If you are in the area, tickets are still available, and are going fast! Ticket includes a fabulous fashion show featuring the city’s top designers, as well as drinks and eats from the city’s top restaurants. Definitely not to be missed. {click here for tickets}

This year, our collection +WUTHERING HEIGHTS+ hopes to bring a romantic edge to the grunge aesthetic inspired by the ghostly mood of the English moors, combining vintage fabrics and street chic style for many new one-of-a-kind pieces to add to the many creations we have made over the past {click here to see them}.

As well, as preparing for that, we are also embarking on a voyage to the 1980s with our costume design for Hamilton Theatre Inc.’sThe Wedding Singer” which has been chalk full of its own challenges, but insanely fun to sort through weird and wild 80s party fashions. The silhouettes and details of that time period are just over-the-top, and that of course, we absolutely love! Again if you are in the area, {click here} to get tickets for a wickedly funny show! Show runs May 11 – May 26.

Last but not least, we are fresh from our annual collaboration with The Vintage Marketplace, which is our city’s biggest vintage shopping event. Whilst we were berated by a historical ice storm, the event was still a success with hundreds of people making it out to shop from a myriad of local vintage vendors, with many new faces, which is always great to see our little community growing in that respect.

On top of our booth, which we were very proud of in the end, we also had the honor of producing some entertainment for the weekend. What we came up with, we never could’ve foreseen, but it all seemed to make so much sense, and was a wild way to shake up our usual fashion show segment.

Instead of a retrospective fashion show, we created the VMP DRAG FASHION FLAUNT ft. Queen Costia Sterling and Sapphyre Poison. If only you could be there to see how fantastic this show was (or maybe you were, if so, leave a comment), the Queens delivered vintage inspired numbers that ranged from Rosemary Clooney, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, and even a number from the iconic musical CHICAGO.

photo by @meg.eady

The most magical moment had to be when the many children who had come to the show gathered to watch the Queens, and the wonderful smiles on their faces as they watched the magic. Definitely a show for the books.

So, as you can see, we have been swamped with projects, but promise to get back more in the swing of posting on here. We have so many fabulous stories on the back burner that are just waiting to see the light of day, so definitely stay tuned…

If you have been missing us, be sure to follow us on INSTAGRAM, TWITTER, and FACEBOOK to stay up to date, and see what we are up to!

Remember we also have dozens of unique, one-of-a-kind, time traveled vintage pieces in our {SHOP} which is always changing, so do check it out, and remember to use code XIXIXI for 25% OFF at the checkout.

Here is a shot of our wicked Navy Blue 1970s Lace Short Sleeve Mens Button Down Shirt modeled by our boy Geoff and shot by @gady.x !!!

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Until we meet again,

{theEye}

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{FAVOURITE FIND} IVY STYLE 4.0!!! EXTREME VINTAGE MENS STREET CHIC CARDIGAN

 

Check out this bad boy!

We found this 80s vintage mens cardigan a couple months ago, and are still reeling for this piece’s unusual and unique qualities! It really couldn’t be more perfect for The Eye of Faith {Vintage}, so we knew we had to provide the opportunity for some stylishly discerning individual out there to rock this in the real world.

Apart from the wicked palette and the beautiful color blocking throughout, this cardigan features cool design features such as classic ivy style brass buttons, and a collection of really wild screen printed patches all in a preppy ivy league motif that include a pair of converse sneakers, A dapper bouffant gent with sunglasses who features another dapper gent as a shirt? , an ivy league track team, H.O.T. and my favourite . . . “OH YEAH!”

We have always promised to purvey unique and unusual pieces that can totally compare to and outmatch even current style standards, and this cardigan is no exception.

Super rare, and in MINT condition, so if you are tickled be sure to check out the listing in our {SHOP} before its gone!

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE LISTING

Be sure also to check out the rest of our {SHOP} for more time-traveled vintage.

Remember XIXIXI gets you 25% OFF.

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Until next time,

{theEye}

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{STYLE IDOL} HELMUT BERGER (Doesn’t Give a Fuck!!!)

Helmut Berger is what I consider a perfect artist – very serious in his craft, intelligent in his thoughts, without any time or patience for “bullshit” or empty phrases that litter many people’s everyday lives, conversations and relationships.

— Alexander Tuschinski, article about working with Berger on the film Timeless in 2015.

Helmut Berger doesn’t give a fuck what you think about him.

A icon of beauty, sex, and hedonism – the actor experienced great attention through the late 60s and 1970s for his work in film, most particularly with iconic Italian film maker Luchino Visconti whom took Berger under his wing as a muse in art and love.

How couldn’t he? When Visconti first cast the young and rebellious Austrian actor in his film Le Streghe (The Witches) in 1967, it was clear this was a rare star coming closer into orbit, and soon he was doing one iconic role after another playing Martin Von Essenback in The Damned (dressing in Dietrich drag in one of the film’s pivotal moments), King Ludwig II of Bavaria (earning him a David Di Donatello Award for Best Actor), and the title role in the flashy mod remake of Oscar Wilde’s classic – Dorian Gray.

 

He was also the first man to ever grace the cover of VOGUE alongside girlfriend Marisa Berenson – not surprising considering his classic beauty.

Those smouldering eyes, that golden blonde hair, his brooding masculinity mixed with a distinct dandy elegance – its a combination we don’t see in celebrities today.

On screen and off screen, Helmut Berger is definitely an idol of style we need to praise! So, here’s a classic {STYLE IDOL} collection of wicked photos of this bad ass legend of cinema to muse over and inspire your personal sense of style!

Yes, I am tainted by the beautiful things in life. But to all those who only want to see me as an agent provocateur and an eccentric I can only say: With every day of my life the number of people I don’t give a damn about grows and grows.

-Helmut Berger

As portrayed in the intensely provocative documentary by Andreas Horvath, Helmut Berger is a rebel without a cause – full of spunk, a lust for life, and a certain je na sais quois that really make a star ignite.

Not many people have the balls to to live as loud as this guy, so major props to him for that; and despite his seemingly reckless antics, we can’t deny the beautiful tapestry of work this man has created with his art and contributions to the legacy of cinema and of course, classic bad ass style!

For the most part, off duty, he’s a very classic jeans and oxford shirt kind of guy, but I love the extravagance and opulence he is able to pull of in many of his film roles, that I believe many other actors would have had a hard time making believable.

Tres chic and a bit of a rebel- Helmut Berger should definitely be at the top of your list for all-time style icons if you are into that kind of thing. We started this blog to help promote the beauty of the {past}, so hopefully we’ll be seeing a little more Helmut Berger realness in the near {future}.

 

What frightens you, what you see or what you don’t?

-Helmut Berger in Salon Kitty

 

Hope this was a good one for you! We love compiling these {STYLE IDOLS & DIVINITIES} for you guys, so let us know what you thought in the comments below!

Also, let us know if you have some interesting ideas!

Keep up with us on INSTAGRAM or FACEBOOK!

Until next time,

{theEye}

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E.O.F. SNAPSHOT OF THE DAY {DECEMBER 11, 2018} + INVOCATE

“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable…”

-Henry Thoreau 

+INVOCATE+

Remember XIXIXI gets you 25% off in the {SHOP}

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Don’t get stuck floating in the depths of the status quo…

Be unique. Be your best.

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Until we meet again,

{theEye}

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E.O.F. {STYLE IDOL} CAETANO VELOSO: Lost in the Paradise. . .

“Viewed up close, nobody is normal”

-Caetano Veloso

 

When it comes to bad ass boho gods, I’m sure we could all name a few; but very little do I ever see the name Caetano Veloso pop up, and this is for us….OUTRAGEOUS!!!

We should be worshiping this icon of perseverance, elegance, rebellion, philosophical contemplation, compassion, counter culture, and activism. . .

Very few bohemian icons really get the credit they deserve when discussing men’s style . . . the mainstream would rather iconize GQ demi-gods Tom Brady or Ryan Gosling, and that’s all fine and dandy, but when it comes to that elicit feeling of cool. . . boho gods cannot be beat; and Brazilian tropicalia folk rock artist Caetano Veloso is on the top of our list!

 

Caetano Emanuel Viana Telles Veloso

 born August 7, 1942

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Bad ass to the core, Veloso’s music touched a generation in the heart of Brazil with his inciting lyrics and enchanting melodies that brought a fusion of traditional Brazilian sound with psychedelic rock and folk helping create the “tropicalisimo” movement alongside best friend Gilberto Gil, Os Mutantes, and other bold and innovative artists of the time.

First premiering in 1965, fresh in Rio De Janeiro, Caetano won a lyrics competition for his composition “Um Dia”, getting him signed to Phillips Records. Two years later he received a standing ovation for his song “Alegria, Alegria” at the Brazil Popular Music Festival, marking the first time rock n roll music was ever played at the festival.

Him and his psych rock buddies were pioneers for a new sound, a new world, a new way of being; however, the powers that be would do anything they could to stop this burgeoning. Marxist students and communist supporters condemned the music for commercializing Brazilian culture, and incorporating musical influences from the United States.

The tensions between the Tropicalistas and the student left peaked in September 1968 with Veloso’s now-legendary performances at the third annual International Song Festival, held at the Catholic University in Rio, where the audience included a large contingent of students who were vehemently opposed to the Tropicalistas. When Veloso (backed by Os Mutantes) performed in the first round of the Festival’s song competition on 12 September, he was initially greeted with enthusiastic applause, but the situation soon turned ugly. Dressed in a shiny green plastic suit, festooned with electrical wires and necklaces strung with animal teeth, Veloso provoked the students with his lurid costume, his sensual body movements and his startling new psychedelic music, and the performers were soon being bombarded with loud insults, jeers and boos from the students, who became even more incensed when American pop singer John Dandurand made a surprise appearance on stage during the song.

{source}

Tensions would hit an all time high when he and his buddy Gilbert Gil were actually arrested in February of 1969 for little to no reason, and held in prison for three months, followed by four months of house arrest. Brazil’s military dictatorship which held the country under its grips until 1985, further had many and most of his songs banned or censored.

“… if you are the same in politics as you are in aesthetics, we’re done for!”

-Caetano Veloso

 

The two were exiled from the country for over a year, and spent most of their time in the dark and gloomy dims of London, England.  However, by 1972 the pair were allowed back into the country quickly returning to their musical careers that have since landed Veloso 9 Latin Grammy’s and a Grammy for World Music Album in 2000.

Here at The Eye of Faith we always have great respect for people who stand for something. After all, if you don’t stand for something, you stand for nothing! And Caetano Veloso definitely exemplifies this.

Never fearing the opposition, never backing down on his own sense of self; apart from his penchant for wildly magical psych rock stylings, it is his character that truly makes this man an E.O.F. STYLE IDOL.

“I TALK too much…Everybody from Bahia is like this. We are always touching each other, too. We are a bit too much.”

-Caetano Veloso

Let us not forget this beautiful bohemian God and his willingness to stand for freedom, for beauty, and to live life to the fullest!

“Alegria means joy, or joyousness… It is the best-known song of any that I have written, and it was the opening song of tropicalismo, the first to use rock-and-rollish electric guitars. Whenever I sing it, it is just like the Rolling Stones singing ‘Satisfaction.’ It was the first anthem. It’s an affirmation-of-life kind of song, but it has an ironical hint to it.”

The song begins, “I’m walking against the wind, without handkerchief or documents in my pockets,” and ends with a chorus of “Why not?”

It’s about being able to walk and be alive and be real and feel the sun…It was against the dictatorship without saying anything about it. And everybody likes that ‘Why not?’ at the end.”

{source}

So, with your help hopefully this brilliant spirit can live on . . .share his story, and invoke the spirit!

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+ CAETANO4EVER +

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FEEL INSPIRED? WE GOT SOME CAETANO INSPIRED BOHO THREADZ TO SATISFY YOUR SPIRIT

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“They didn’t imprison us for any song or any particular thing that we said…It was a difficult atmosphere for them to understand, so they thought, ‘We might as well put them in prison.’ ”

-Caetano Veloso {source}

So rage forward with your emblazoned souls, and keep on keeping on!!!

If you like this, leave a comment below, and stay tuned for more stimulating musings . . .

If you haven’t already, check us out on INSTAGRAM & FACEBOOK

Until next time,

{theEye}

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The Eye of Faith X Style Group {BEHIND THE SCENES} Vintage Inspired Fashion Shoot

 

metallic gold 1950s brocade ‘Babylon Rock Goddess’ dress by The Eye of Faith

{photo by Derrick Vanderkolk @stylegroup }

So, as you may or may not know, in the past two years we have evolved our purveyance of time traveled vintage clothing to creating one of a kind handmade fashions inspired by the {past} to influx the {present} and change the {future} of style.

It really made sense in our mind to make this shift, and has led to some incredible opportunities. While we are making new clothes, many of our materials are still vintage, which makes these pieces all the more special, and perfectly in tuned to our philosophy.

We often say we didn’t choose fashion as a destiny, but it truly chose us!

[Check out our past collections: HOLLYWOOD BABYLON / VALLEY OF THE DOLLS / TAROT ]

Which leads us to this video, which is a super wicked behind the scenes glimpse of a vintage inspired photo shoot we had the opportunity of collaborating on with Style Group!

We had the honour of working with photographer Derrick Vanderkolk who helped us transform his Cotton Factory studio into a timeless jetset rock n roll pad, and with the help of Nate Belgrave we have this memorable behind the scenes glimpse of a truly amazing day.

The undeniable Nicole Buston truly gave us some magical moments which we will be sharing on the site, so stay tuned! And of course, we couldn’t do it without the help of our makeup artist extraordinaire Janet Granados.

When people ask us how we’ve been, and we say “Just keeping on, keeping on…” – this is what we mean!

We were given a piece of advise once from the Canadian mentalist Chris Mysterion back in our humble beginnings, who said: “When it comes to being in a creative field, you never dodge at an opportunity to collaborate, to do things, to create”, and we’ve held this mantra close to our heart and mind ever since.

Seems to be working out.

Rewatching these moments makes us know that we are definitely on the right track!

{photo by Derrick Vanderkolk @stylegroup }

 

MORE PHOTOS TO COME!

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FOLLOW US ON TWITTER / INSTAGRAM @THEEYEOFFAITH

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ALSO SUBSCRIBE TO OUR SITE, AND JOIN THE SOCIETY FOR UPDATES AND STIMULTATING VINTAGE INSPIRED MUSINGS! 

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Until we meet again,

{theEye}

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{MUSIC MINUTE} “The Wheel of Fortune” by Kay Starr

kaystarr

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Oh, wheel of fortune
I’m hoping somehow
If you ever smile on me
Please let it be now
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Billie Holliday declared Kay Starr “the only white woman who could sing the blues”, and there’s no doubt that while you are listening to this moody ballad of luck and love, you will know exactly what she meant.
She’s also sassy AF which you will totally get from this 1951 colour video of the singer crooning her song which became a Gold Record and made it to #1 on the charts in the U.S.
All the glitter. All the glamour. All that timeless cool.
Thought she was a useful spirit to inspire.
Hope you feel the same.
Until next time,
{theEye}
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E.O.F. TALKS: Film Maker Craig Highberger Talks Andy Warhol Superstar Jackie Curtis

The Eye of Faith Shop Banner Boys

Here at The Eye of Faith we worship the spirit of individuality. Escaping the everyday, and letting your uniqueness shine is something Andy Warhol superstar Jackie Curtis was no stranger to.

Born February 19, 1947 in New York City; Jackie Curtis slayed the scene with a gender bending style and booming persona that should never be forgotten.

e-o-f-talks-jackie-curtis-boy-1974-the-eye-of-faith-vintage-blog

That’s why we’re bringing her from the clutches of the past to the forefront, and it’s no better time, really; gender is undergoing quite a shift in this last decade, and many changes are still abound.

+ READ ALL ABOUT IT: COVERGIRL’s Cover Boy +

Our faithful correspondent John Wisniewski spoke with film maker and author Craig Highberger whose 2005 film “Superstar in a Housedress” explored the star’s groundbreaking art and life!

{ J.W. } What interested you about the life of star Jackie Curtis, Craig?

{C.H.} I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which is Andy Warhol’s hometown. My Uncle Sam Highberger had gone to Carnegie Mellon University with Andy and was in some of his classes and talked about him and so I became aware of and I loved Warhol’s art and that whole world. I also loved new wave cinema and without telling my parents I snuck out to these film screenings at Carnegie Mellon of Warhol’s films “Chelsea Girls” and “Flesh”.

And in “Flesh” there is this scene I will never forget, in which Jackie Curtis and Candy Darling, in drag, are sitting on a couch reading a movie magazine and chatting while nearby Joe Dallesandro is getting a BJ from Gerri Miller! I was 16 years old and I mean this was just fabulous to me!

In high school I was very aware of what was going on in New York City, pop art, Max’s Kansas City, the Warhol scene. I knew I wanted to be a part of that.  There was a magazine out of New York called “After Dark” magazine that had these really hot photos of Joe Dallesandro, and Jackie Curtis, Holly Woodlawn and Candy Darling by photographer Jack Mitchell. I wanted to go to film school in New York and meet Andy Warhol and the Superstars and that is just what happened.

I was a freshman at NYU the fall of 1972, it was just a few years after Stonewall and gay liberation was happening and the first NYU gay student group wanted the University to allow the group to meet officially on campus and the administration did not immediately agree to this so there was a big demonstration announced – a sleep-in, actually in the basement of my dormitory at NYU and Jackie Curtis showed up for it in his signature drag, because Jackie knew that there would be press coverage and maybe TV cameras and Jackie was a publicity hound. And I was just entranced, I recognized him immediately and introduced, told him I was from Pittsburgh, that I loved Andy Warhol, that I loved him (Curtis) in “Flesh” and “Women in Revolt”, that I was majoring in film and television and wanted to film his plays and performances documentary style.

e-o-f-talks-jackie-curtis-sass-a-frass-the-eye-of-faith-vintage-blog

We became instant friends. And I went around with Curtis to parties, to Max’s Kansas City, we hung out with Holly Woodlawn (who is still a great friend), Candy Darling, and I met Andy Warhol a couple of times. 

In 1974 Jackie played the starring role in his play “Glamor, Glory and Gold: the Life and Legend of Nola Noonan, Goddess and Star”, it was off-Broadway at the Truck and Warehouse Theater on the Lower East Side across the street from La Mama directed by Ron Link. And I told Ron I wanted to film the entire play and he allowed me to if I would show it at cocktail parties for his prospective backers. So I did that.

Everything about Jackie was amazing and exciting and I really wanted to make a documentary about Curtis’ life from the moment I met him. I loved Jackie. 

e-o-f-talks-jackie-curtis-girl-1974-the-eye-of-faith-vintage-blog

{J.W.} How and when did Jackie Curtis meet Andy Warhol?

{C.H.} Jackie told me in August 1967 he and Candy Darling were walking in Greenwich Village and Jackie saw Andy Warhol and Fred Hughes coming out of the Leather Man store on Christopher Street.

Warhol had just bought some leather pants. Jackie ran up to Andy and introduced himself and asked for his autograph on the shopping bag Curtis was toting around. Warhol asked Jackie what was in the bag and Curtis told him it was satin shorts for the tap dancing scene in his play “Glamour, Glory and Gold” which was opening in September, Jackie invited him to come.

Jackie told me he went to the Factory with four tickets and gave them personally to Andy Warhol. He came and afterwards congratulated Curtis, the author and the start of the performance, Melba LaRose, Jr. played the lead Nola Noonan, and Candy Darling played Estelle and was reviewed as a woman.  Curtis asked Andy Warhol for a review quote and Warhol said of the play:  “For the first time, I wasn’t bored” which they used in advertisements! 

{J.W.} Jackie starred in the Paul Morrissey directed film “Flesh”. What was that like for Jackie? How did this film come about, Craig?

{C.H.} Warhol’s “Flesh” was Paul Morrissey’s response to “Midnight Cowboy” which was filming on location in New York City in 1968. Morrissey knew that Hollywood would tone down the subject matter and nudity and wanted to do something more gritty about a hustler (played by Joe Dallesandro) working the streets trying to raise money for his wife’s girlfriend’s abortion – talk about controversy in 1968 – that very concept was designed to stir up publicity and fill movie theater seats, especially with Warhol’s name attached to it.

Warhol and Morrissey already knew Jackie Curtis and Candy Darling and so Morrissey came up with an idea to have them sit on a couch and talk extemporaneously about a movie magazine while Joe Dallesandro is getting a blowjob from Geri Miller practically next to them in the same room!

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This was Jackie’s dream, to be in a movie in theatrical release on the big screen, and you bet that Curtis went to every screening and that it propelled him into more self-publicity (I believe this was the moment Curtis had 1000 Jackie Curtis shopping bags printed up which were sold in Greenwich Village head shops)!

{J.W.} Could you tell us about The Jack Mitchell Archives, Craig?

{C.H.} When I first began thinking about making “Superstar in a Housedress” I knew I would need lots of archival photographs of Jackie Curtis, and Holly Woodlawn and Candy Darling, Andy Warhol and the whole crowd. And I immediately thought I need Jack Mitchell photographs, he photographed them more than any other photographer. But how was I ever going to afford license fees? I got on Google and did some research and found that Jack Mitchell had retired in 1995, he lived in New Smyrna Beach, Florida and he did not have a website. So I thought I will offer to do a website for him and to be his webmaster in exchange for the rights to his photographs. And that is just what happened.

Jack and his partner Bob Pavlik came to the opening night of the film at Film Forum in New York and everyone was there, they were very impressed, and loved the film and seeing his photographs in a feature length film in a theater with a packed audience. And the film toured film festivals and we had a theatrical run and it was broadcast on cable and Jack loved it all. It brought him new attention. And I called him and said I know what my next documentary subject is and it is you!

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+Jackie Curtis by Jack Mitchell+

I want to do a film about your life and work. And he was very pleased and excited. He put me in touch with people who were old friends and people he had photographed who loved his work that I could interview on camera, like Broadway diva Patti LuPone, playwright Edward Albee, Alvin Ailey dancer Judith Jamison, famed choreographer Merce Cunningham, and many others.

And I made the film “Jack Mitchell: My Life is Black and White” and Jack said that it was the greatest honor of his life. He and Bob came to the opening in New York and they came to film festival screenings and Jack did Q&A sessions afterwards with me and he loved it so much.

About a year later Jack and Bob called me and told me that they had decided to leave me Jack’s archives, the entirety of his life’s work, all the vintage photographs, his negatives and color transparencies, his files and memorabilia, everything. Bob died in 2009 at the age of 77 during an operation. Four years later on November 7, 2013 Jack died just weeks after his 88th birthday. I was there with him when he passed away and moved his archives to a vault.

A few months later I began the full time work of cataloguing and digitizing everything. It is a huge job. Jack Mitchell’s career as a professional photographer began just after World War II, when he moved to New York City and continued for about the next five decades. The negative files are almost 6000 photo sessions and there are thousands of boxes of color transparencies as well. There are 77 boxes of vintage prints. I have been working on it for almost two years and have many years of work left. It is very exciting and I make new discoveries with every box I open and every negative file that I scan.

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{J.W.} What was Jackie Curtis’ finest hour?

{C.H.} Jackie Curtis’ finest hour?  Any of the countless hours Jackie performed – whether is was in his hit play Glamour Glory and Gold, or Cabaret in the Sky, Vain Victory, or singing at his grandmother’s Slugger Ann’s Bar – Curtis was an incredible star of amazing brilliance. So many people remarked upon his being a genius: La Mama founder Ellen Stewart and comic icon Lily Tomlin among them.

Jackie Curtis had an electric charismatic magnetism that enthralled and thrilled audiences. I loved Jackie. Jackie put all of himself into every performance for the love of the art, and that is why it is really impossible for me to zero in on one performance, one hour, one moment. Now that he is gone, I think of him and a whole kaleidoscope of incredibly beautiful moments of sublime artistry blossom in my mind. As others have said, he was sui generis – absolutely unique.

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{J.W.} What will your next book be about, Craig? Any other projects that you wish to tell us about?

{C.H.} I have been working on the Jack Mitchell Archives (cataloging boxes of vintage prints, and scanning negatives and color transparencies) since Jack’s death two years ago. There is a lot of material for my memoirs including several years I spent running around with Curtis. I am going to work at what may be my memoirs, but potentially could take a new form (film or multimedia) because I have the journals, and visual and audio elements as well.

Also, I decided to post five of my documentary films on Vimeo for reasonably priced on-demand streaming, as well as downloadable for iPhone and iPad. Here is the link: https://vimeo.com/craighighberger/vod_pages/sort:videos/format:thumbnail

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