Word Up Is WORN Up

To all the New Yorkers who are looking to get your WORN fix: might we suggest checking out the Word Up pop-up bookshop in Washington Heights? (That’s a bookstore that popped up, not a store that sells exclusively pop-up books for the confused amongst you.) Though it was originally supposed to be open for one month, it is now standing strong at least through September. Visit their website for more information.

Photo by Yana Paskova

Bob Dylan is my Grandpa

I grew up listening to Bob Dylan, watching documentaries about the chain-smoking, smart-talking folk singer, and sitting in corners of bookstores, rifling through an ever-growing pile of Dylan-focused books. I don’t mean “I got into Dylan two years ago, experienced all the hipster-hype, and I’m ‘growing up’ now.” No. I mean that Bob Dylan was a part of my childhood, just like he was a part of my teenage years, just like he will be a part of my adult years.

A couple of Christmases ago I bought my dad the Bob Dylan Scrapbook because I (secretly) wanted to read it first. Then, last summer, I was at an antiques warehouse and bought a 95-cent book from the 1960s for fifteen dollars. It wasn’t even in good shape and I had to glue the cover back on. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a 20-something Dylan in a blazer and dress-shirt, grinning and hiding from the camera.

Daniel Kramer’s Bob Dylan (1967), along with documentaries like Don’t Look Back and No Direction Home, have convinced me that if I were a man, I would do whatever it took to look like Dylan. I’d cut my hair like his, messy and uneven, and I’d wear slim-fitting slacks, blazers, polka-dot shirts, and high-heeled Cuban boots every day of my life. Yes, every day of my life. Oh, and Wayfarers, of course.

Not only would I be a shameless Bob Dylan impersonator, but I’d tell people the real Bob was my grandpa. I’d make up a story about how my grandma met him in Greenwich Village in the sixties, and “it was all very secretive” because I think he was with Suze then.

Everyone would believe me.

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WORN Cinema Society: 1970s In Why See & Anton Perich

In the late 60s, Anton Perich ran an underground film program in Paris that screened the early works of Andy Warhol and Jonas Mekas. When he moved to New York City in the 1970s, he freelanced photography gigs for Interview Magazine and ran one of the very first ‘underground’ cable access shows. He was even an ‘early pioneer’ of digital art, having invented in the late ’70s an ‘electric painting machine’ that was a precursor to the ink-jet printer.

Mr. Perich’s most accessible legacy however, lies in is his YouTube channel, and the uploaded classic fashion show footage he shot during that hedonistic Loft Party/Studio 54 era (the above photo is a Perich — see Andy, Jerry, Paloma and Truman). The videos are shaky and even blurry at times, but don’t let that get in the way of your viewing pleasure. It’s a wonderful documentation of how ye old fashion show might have been presented — on a stage, minus the runway. Given the recent inclination for designers to eschew the typical Fashion Week presentation for more creative events and installations, it’s a wonderful reveal that the more things might change, the more they’ll stay the same (ie. let’s put on a show!).

There’s a Kenzo show where the models prance out in high leather boots, twirling with style to the deep disco and if you look closely, you might spot Jerry Hall, Iman, Patti Hansen (cause everyone was there). Perich even caught a few historical firsts, such as Issey Miyake’s 1975 FIT show (his first in NY). It’s high drama via fuzzy black and white video: models coolly stride out (oh my, is that Pat Cleveland?) to wailing Robert Fripp guitars and Kraftwerk blips (a perfect accompaniment for his billowing and transformative windcoat shapes).

My favourite footage? Grace Jones getting her hair cut. Srsly. It’s a quiet moment between performer and hair dresser that’s incredibly intimate. Get thee to Perich’s channel and watch it for yourself.

-Rea McNamara