Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Duncan Hannah and Anna Taylor (1981)

Good morning!

This is a little later in the retro-time frame than I usually dally into, but today we have a 1981 article from New York Magazine (not to be confused with the New Yorker...in the 70's and 80's, it was more like smarter, Gotham-centric version of People...and is still around!). It first caught my attention as the author line credited  to Anna Wintour and Henry Post. Henry Post I don't know from Adam...Anna Wintour, of course, went on to become the editor of Vogue magazine and inspiration for Meryl Streep's titular character in The Devil Wears Prada (spoiler: she doesn't play Prada. Side note: did you know there's Devil Wears Prada fan fiction? A coworker of mine left it up on the desk the other day and I was like....oh, no. No, we don't want to know about this). In 1981, she was thirty-two years old and the fashion editor for that magazine. So, as you can imagine, I read the ensuing copy with a greater gusto than I can usually muster for early eighties' ensembles!

The feature, called "Looking Great: Ten Stylish New York Couples", compiles photos and mini-sartorial-biographies of ten New York couples, both romantically linked/married/etc or not. The first one that caught my eye was this handsome pair, Duncan Hannah and Anna Taylor:

"Found, given, forgotten" is my new answer to any question regarding the provenance of the clothes I'm currently wearing when asked by a nosy. Do you know how old it gets saying, "someone gave it to me", "Goodwill" and "an estate sale" over and over again? Truly, they're the only two places I get clothes, peeps! Let's see what else they had to say about their vĂȘtements and vestaments:

Neat, right? Here's two up and coming cool kids in New York City in 1981 wearing the same sharp clothes you could see gallivanting around East Nasty these days on retro-retro hipsters. Do you ever think about how 2010's people, dressing as 1980's scene kids, are actually recycling the recycled? Ie Madonna's bustier tops and tulle skirts were (initially, pre-Gaultier) from thrift stores from the fifties', worn again in the 80's, and now being worn again in the 2010's! Ah, the cyclical nature of fashion's "cutting edge". Lesson here, kids: do not throw anything away.

I was interested, after checking out the article, to see if there was any additional information on the two Stylishs. The best thing about reading vintage articles from the vantage point of thirty, forty, fifty years later, is of course being able to check on how things panned out for everyone.  Here's what Duncan Hannah looks like now, along with some examples of his work (ps, I kind of love the paintings, and I KNOW I love that he's still wearing kind of foppish, Astaire clothes thirty years later):

The bio from his Facebook page :

Duncan Hannah is a New York-based figurative painter who has had 50 solo exhibition in the United States and England since his debut in 1981. Hannah's paintings are represented in collections both nationally and internatioanlly, ranging from the Metropolitan Museum, NY, to the private collection of Mick Jagger.

Isn't that interesting! We were catching him at the very beginning of his career in that sidewalk portrait with his then-girlfriend. Thirty years later and Mick Jagger's got one of his canvases in his own private collection! Side note: I wonder what Mick Jagger's art collection looks like, besides the Warhol portraitsRemodelista also did this OFF THE CHARTS feature on his house. Can we replicate this in our house, can we, can we?

"Oh, good!" and "YES!" were my initial reactions to these domestic scenes.

Anna Taylor's band, Madder Lake, looks like it never took off much, but the search terms "anna taylor madder lake" did turn up this site, which, in spite of looking like it was last updated sometime around the millennium, had the most to say about where she ended up. Without the heavy bangs and the hat and the baby fat, she has the tiniest, cheekbone-y-ist little face!

From Wikipedia:

Anna Domino (born Anna Virginia Taylor) is a Tokyo-born indie rock artist who has released several albums under that moniker, notably for Les Disques du Crepuscule and Factory Records. Notable performers Domino has collaborated with include The The, Blaine L. Reininger and Virginia Astley. She is also one half of the duo Snakefarm. Additionally, she sang lead vocals on the song "Here In My Heart" by The 6ths on their album Wasps' Nests. Her stage name is a play on the term Anno Domini, and an American sugar brand.

This really sounds like the bio of somebody-I-went-to-school-with's mother. Isn't it funny when you meet someone and they're like, "Yeah, my parents were models in the seventies', they met in Lisbon." or "Ah, yes, my dad was in [insert name of famous mid sixties' supergroup] and then he left to do solo work and now he's blah blah blah"...I have literally met more than five people like that in my school years and it makes me go, "What! And you don't even....please let me come over to your house to interrogate them, you have no idea how interested in that kind of thing I am". I think it might be a Nashville thing. It's like famous people from the seventies' come here to settle down and raise a family, and make me jealous of their jet-setting past.

Additionally, I want to be in a band called "Snakefarm". I can't believe someone beat me to it (I am not being facetious AT ALL).

So! What do you think about these two's 1981 style choices? How do you like Duncan Hannah's house? Had you heard of either of these folks before? Would you like to see more of 1981's most stylish New Yorkers and an update on where they are now? Speak, spirits!

That's all for today, I got a mountain of work and a pot of coffee to work through. See you guys tomorrow!

Further reading: 1982 article on Duncan Hannah


  1. Aww, I love them!! They're awesome, especially Duncan. Seeing first-wave thrift store junkies is always so interesting. (And how envious am I just thinking about the AMAZING stuff kicking around thrift shops and curbsides in the '80s!!)

  2. I'd never heard of almost all of the people featured in this article, and I've been having fun tracking them all down! (PS Can't even think about thrift stores in the 80's, my mind would probably explode from jealousy...I used to have a book, might still somewhere, about junk shops in NYC in the early 80's, and it was just torturous to go over the pictures of the shop's inventory!)

  3. Thank you for this! It's very sweet to read... Those were wonderful days, back when anything could happen and usually did. Of course I miss it a lot: an affordable wide open New York, being 25, so much going on there was hardly time to sleep, being 26... So it's great fun to see this article/photo that I haven't seen since it came out. YaY! XA (Anna Taylor/Domino on borrowed google account)

    1. WOW! Hello! I've been away from my blog for awhile and aren't I just bowled over to hear from you! :D Glad you liked the post/repost of your early 80s article, I'm fascinated with the time period, especially vintage-of-the-fifties-sixties-and-earlier-as-done-by-creative-people-in-the-80s. Thanks for commenting, and I hope you're still rocking a timeless style now as you did then!



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