POP-ART BEAUTY : EDIE  SEDGWICK   TO   POLLY  MAGGOO
  Marc Jacobs channeled 60’s It Girls for Spring 2013 with a contrasting, stripe-heavy collection that mirrored the illusions of the Pop Art era. Conjuring the free spirits of Factory fixtures Edie Sedgwick and Donyale Luna — considered living works of art at the time — François Nars perfected their nostalgic looks with strong brows and bold, graphic eyes.
 
Eyes are the windows to the soul.  It was with their illusory yet iconic doe-eyes that these women hypnotized the masses — but who were they behind their blank stares? Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? ( Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo? ), the 1966 expressionist film directed by famed fashion photographer William Klein, bats eyes at the pursuit of identity while whimsically satirizing the fashion industry and its respective media craze. The cult classic follows rookie model Polly Maggoo, a Brooklyn-born girl plucked from obscurity amongst Beatles fans (played by real life model Dorothy McGowan, who too was discovered at a Beatles rally), as she rises to fame in the glamorous world of Parisian Haute Couture.  The opening scene sets the stage for the arty spoof as models are uncomfortably bolted into a reflective, retro-futuristic collection backstage: Sound-Sculpture garments — fashioned from folded sheets of aluminum — designed by French artist brothers, the Baschets, and accessorized only by tight buns, twiglet lashes, and jet-black eyes and brows.  During the conceptual show, Polly catches the eye of Miss Maxwell, an autocratic fashion editor modeled after the legendary Diana Vreeland, who praises her. The media and public soon follow in tow and Polly, consequently, finds herself the subject of documentary for the TV Show Qui êtes-vous? [Who Are You?]. As the film crew seeks to reveal the true identity behind her famous face, the director falls in love with her while the rest of the crew finds her pretty yet vapid. Playing into the parody, Donyale Luna, a Warholite and the first African American to grace the cover of British Vogue, is also seen modeling in the opening act. 
 
Andy Warhol once said, “It’s not what you are that counts, it’s what they think you are.” Just as shiny objects attract our eyes but have no substance, are these demanding, bold eyes nothing more than an optical illusion? They leave us to question: what do we hide behind the mask of makeup we wear?  Beauty might indeed be in the eye of the beholder, but it is in our own, as well. A make-up trend that opens our eyes to the ironic allure of the pop-art muse.
 
- Courtney Porkoláb
 
January 2013