You're With The Band: How To Steal The '60s & '70s Style Of Iconic Backstage Babes

Because back then, the people hanging stage-side looked just as good as the ones up front.

May 6, 2014 at 4:00pm | Leave a comment

Read more from Hannah at xoVain!

Most of my style icons are dudes: Mick Jagger, Bowie, Bob Dylan, Marc Bolan, Richard Hell, The Ramones. I like to straddle the line of androgyny in tight pants and moto jackets, and am annoyed most of the time with my C-cup chest. I have my uber-feminine days though, where I want to pretty it up and step back from looking like a gutter-creature. Sometimes I'll reference Hollywood starlets of the golden era, or sometimes I'll go right back to those male icons but instead seek out the babes who hung on their arms in their debaucherous heydays.

In the '60s and '70s, these guys were always flanked by badass beauties who held their own. These slobbish, raucous men somehow scored with gorgeous fashion plates like Bianca Jagger and Bebe Buell. These women had looks that helped them stand out from the crowd, styles that have aged like a fine wine and still look fantastic in 2014. So I've decided to put together a little spring shopping guide inspired by four of my favourite, very different band girls. Enjoy, whether you identify as a groupie, a band-aid, or a rockstar in your own right.

Bianca Jagger

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Bianca in all her glory, wearing white and not caring about the Labour Day rules. Photos: top left: Pinterest; top right: Ella and Louise; centre: Into the Gloss; bottom: Another Mag.

Nicaraguan-born Bianca is probably best known for wearing suits with aplomb, particularly the low-cut YSL number she wore the day she married Mick. Through the rest of the '70s she continued to look exceptional in pieces that were all about form-fitting draping and lines, in luxurious slinky jerseys, linens and silks accented with feathers, jewels, veils, gloves, furs and red lips and nails. She frequently wore white, which beautifully offset her bronze skin, and somehow managed to avoid spilling drinks all over herself, which is a feat when you consider how much time she spent at Studio 54. I guess when you're above everyone on horseback though, that puts you on a bit of a pedestal.

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All white outfit + red nails = instant chic.

For spring, try a light and slinky, strappy dress ($58, nastygal.com) matched up with white platforms ($89.98, shoemint.com), like the ones Bianca clipped her backstage pass to (so good). Platforms are actually way more comfortable for walking around than conventional heels, because your toes and heel are nearly equally elevated, putting much less pressure on the arch. Plus, it's fun to be taller than everyone else. For cooler days, a sharply cut white blazer ($99, zara.com) provides some warmth. Finish it off with blood-red nails (matching fingers and toes) (Deborah Lippmann Nail Color in It's Raining Men, $18, sephora.com), a wide-brimmed hat ($9, Joe Fresh stores) to avoid sun damage to your precious face, and NARS' new Contouring Duo ($42, narscosmetics.com) because not everyone was blessed with Bianca's bone structure.

Bebe Buell

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Bebe knows the power of a good t-shirt. Photos: Backstage pass photo and Todd Rundgren photo; Pinterest; Listal; Pinterest; Wordpress.
 

Daughter of etiquette expert Dorothea Johnson, Bebe came up in the '70s rock and punk scenes, and frequently contrasted her stunningly beautiful looks (she started out as a model) with rougher styles borrowed from the boys, like logo tees, leather jackets and bulky belts. She could definitely glam it up though, with her voluminous curls swooped to one side while she wore bright blush with tight cocktail dresses and textured stockings, looks that stole the hearts of Todd Rundgren, Steven Tyler (with whom she had daughter Liv) and Elvis Costello, just to name a few.

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Be like Bebe!

Copy Bebe's look by wearing a replica of her Oscar Wilde tee ($42, wornfree.com) with a leather mini skirt, which you can usually pick up for cheap at thrift stores but H&M has a faux version here. Add fishnet stockings ($5.80, forever21.com), sunglasses as a headband ($11.80, bleudame.com), a swipe of brightly coloured blush (NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Red Cheeks, $6, nyxcosmetics.com) high on the cheekbones and some curl-activating spray (Bumble and bumble Curl Conscious Reactivating Spray, $26, sephora.com) worked through your hair to pull the look together.

Anita Pallenberg

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So many patterns and textures! Photos from Chelsea Girl

Italian-born, London-based actress Anita's style is up the alley of mysticism and witchiness. She was frequently seen through the '60s and '70s wearing TONS of jewelry, gauzy blouses, ruffles, hats aplenty, fringed suede and pieces that toed the line between boudoir and daywear. During her relationships with Brian Jones and Keith Richards (with whom she has two children), it was hard to pick who in the pairings was more extravagantly dressed.

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Add even more jewelry though.

The key to this look is layering lots of patterns and textures, and adding a lot of accessories. Start with a pretty printed blouse ($49.90, zara.com) and some shorts in a neutral hue ($12.95, hm.com). Then add more details, like a fringed vest ($129, urbanoutfitters.com), tons of jewelry (3 ring set, $5.80, forever21.com; Pamela Love onyx and brass pendant, $135, shopbop.com; Catbird sterling silver rose thorn necklace, $88, catbirdnyc.com),  and a slouchy belt ($7.80, forever21.com). Lastly, make sure your eyes are darkly lined with a sooty black pencil (Make Up For Ever Kohl Pencil, $17, sephora.com). Oh, and if you can fight the crowds, Kate Moss's newest collection for Topshop is totally Anita-esque. Kate and Anita are buddies, after all.

Pamela Des Barres

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Pretty little Pamela. Photos: middle photo: Gypsy Warrior; top and bottom right: Blogspot; bottom left: Pinterest.
 

It's said that the character Penny Lane from "Almost Famous" is largely based on Californian Miss Pamela, and it's easy to see the similarities when you factor in the head of messy curls and the flower child ensembles. As a high schooler, Pamela started attending concerts and seeking out rockstars, and her youth and California girl heritage was reflected in her outfits -- flowers in her hair, floral prints, sweet mini dresses, short shorts and navel baring tops.

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So Springy!

Spring is the perfect time to replicate Pamela's look. A mod babydoll dress (ideally vintage but this one from Urban Outfitters is cute), and a lacy scarf ($10.80, forever21.com) with strappy patent shoes ($80, topshop.com) get a sunshine state vibe when you throw in a floral headband ($4.80, forever21.com). Make sure your hair is extra curly and your eyelashes are thickened up, especially on the lower lash line, with Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Lashes Mascara ($27.50, sephora.com) for the wide-eyed doll look Pamela favoured in the '60s.

Which of these gals' styles is your favourite? Or are you a multifaceted magical creature who prefers all four? Let's chat.