01 February 2007

"Being herself was her full-time job."


It's too cold to leave the office for lunch today. And really, even if I did, every woman I'd see would be covered up hat-to-boot, leaving me with very little fodder for a proper fashion critique.

Instead, allow me to muse about something tangentially fashion-related that's been on my mind recently.

A few days ago I saw a clip of an interview with Sienna Miller, and in it she was explaining the relationship between Andy Warhol and her character in "Factory Girl," Edie Sedgwick.

"She was his muse," she said, "her job was basically to inspire Andy in whatever it was he was doing at the time. Photography, painting, writing - whatever. Being herself was her full-time job."

This got me thinking. How does one become a muse? Does it happen instantly, an as-soon-as-I-saw-you-I-knew kind of situation, or does it develop over time? Is there a power dynamic whereby the muse implicitly agrees to exchange affection for spending money? Is it always a successful older man who might not otherwise earn the attention of his usually much younger, much more attractive and free-spirited muse? I suppose in this case, between Andy and Edie, given his persuasion, the answer to the first question is "no," but what about Cher and Bob Mackie, Diane Keaton and Woody Allen, Rachel Weisz and Narcisco Rodriguez, Charlize Theron and John Galliano, Cate Blanchett and Alexander McQueen, Penelope Cruz and Pedro Almodóvar, Pam Anderson and David LaChapelle? Why these women for these men? What is their connection really like, and perhaps most of interest to me (and to you, my readers) is why do muses always seem to be such fashion-forward women?

This is a relationship into which I have never entered (not knowingly, anyway) but have always been utterly fascinated by and admittedly, always wanted. Not on such a grand actress-and-her-director/model-and-her-designer kind of scale, but the laywoman's equivalent thereof, which I'm convinced - along with that pot of Prada couture at the end of every rainbow - is out there waiting for me to find it.

5 comments:

nyc admirer said...

I think there is "a laywoman's equivalent," as you put it. most of these women however, aren't made aware of their inspiration.

and as for why muses always seem to be well-dressed, hmmm...could be because men are drawn to women with confidence, and women who dress well or dress differently (Edie, Diane, et al) are almost always confident women.

Anonymous said...

I think it's simpler than that. I think men like being seen with well-dressed, beautiful younger women. Doesn't matter if they're gay, straight or anything else.

Anonymous said...

I think you're probably the muse for a lot of men (women, too), you just don't know about it.

and you don't really want to be a full-time muse like Edie was. it'd be like being a stay at home Mom but with fewer responsibilities. and more partying.

on second thought, maybe you would enjoy that...

bff in chicago said...

I think you're Monte's muse.

Johanna said...

I think I'm Monte's muse, too.

And in response to the third comment, I'm pretty sure I'd like being a full-time muse for the right person. Being myself all day long and having that serve a creative purpose -- that'd be enough for me.

As long as I had that affection-for-spending-money arrangement down in writing. Mama needs nice clothes to *really* be herself.