Monday, 23 November 2015

The 'evil glamour' of Anita Pallenberg

Few style icons are so synonymous with the bohemian fashion aesthetic as that of 1960s star Anita Pallenberg. From her rise as part of the Warhol troupe in New York to her dalliances with the Rolling Stones, Pallenberg created her own idiosyncratic path through the times, and here are some of her most notable and stylish moments.

Anita Pallenberg was born in Rome in 1944 to an Italian father and German mother, and after studying medicine and graphic design, she left for artistic hotspot of 1960s New York. It was here that she had her first brush with the avant garde in the form of the experimental Living Theatre group. One of Pallenberg's first roles was in the confrontational Paradise Now play that involved actors provoking the audience until no one was left in the theatre.

After a brief spell as a regular at Andy Warhol's Factory, Anita Pallenberg uprooted once more to Paris as her modelling career blossomed. But it was in Munich in 1965 that she met the Rolling Stones member Brian Jones, and the pair swiftly created newspaper headlines as part of the burgeoning countercultural movement.

Anita Pallenberg's individual style quickly caught on with the new generation keen to find a more liberated aesthetic. Her blend of natural textures with feather boas and leather knee-high boots mixed with sharp mini-dresses and a modernist bob-with-bangs hairstyle quickly set the template for bohemian festival style.

Brian Jones and Anita Pallenberg's relationship was short-lived however. The pair dramatically split after a violent altercation on holiday in Morocco in 1967, and Pallenberg swiftly started a relationship with Jones' bandmate, Keith Richards. The new couple were soon notorious for their decadent lifestyle as well as their omnipresent fur coats and dark sunglasses.

Anita Pallenberg's role with the Rolling Stones cannot be underestimated. As well as appearing in Jean-Luc Godard's Sympathy For The Devil film and reportedly aiding the mixes of the Beggars Banquet album, her influence has repeatedly been cited in the band's outlandish style as well as their decadent public image.

Her presence can be felt through what is commonly felt to be the pinnacle of the Stones' output. And similarly, her iconic style of black eye makeup and tousled hair left its imprint on anybody looking to emulate what Marianne Faithful referred to as Anita Pallenberg's 'evil glamour'.

During this time Anita Pallenberg appeared in several iconic films. As well as an appearance in the kitschy sci-fi flick Barbarella, she starred in the avant-garde Performance film opposite Mick Jagger. Although a brief relationship was rumoured to have occurred between the two, Pallenberg always strenuously denied such an affair took place.

The success of the films helped strengthen the public's fascination with Anita Pallenberg and her style of Ossie Clark satin blouses, velvet coats and black tights became a hit with the revolutionary street spirit of the late 1960s.

Pallenberg went on to have three children with Richards, and the pair continued their relationship until 1980. However, in the 1970s Anita Pallenberg's behaviour became more outlandish as she became involved in what many have referred to as 'strange spiritual practices' involving holy water and strings of garlic to ward off vampires. Her film output mirrored this dark mood most notably with 1976's haunting Le Berceau De Cristal that saw her opposite that other dark star of the period, Nico.

For many years, Anita Pallenberg became a virtual recluse emerging only to make occasional appearances as a DJ, creating bold new fashion with the likes of Bella Freud and appearing in arthouse films such as Harmony Korine's Mr Lonely in 2007. And although Pallenberg's recent interview with the Guardian found her declaring that her main passion now resides in gardening, her idiosyncratic style continues to find favour with a brand new generation of admirers.

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