Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Style Icons - Debbie Harry




"I wish I'd invented sex"

Debbie Harry
(b. 1945)

When I was twelve I decided to bleach my (some say dark ash blonde, I say mousy) hair.  I wanted to have hair like Debbie Harry who I thought was the epitome of cool.  I trotted off to the nearest chemist and bought something called Light and Bright which was about £1.99 back then.  I hadn't really got a clue what I was doing and basically what I'd bought was peroxide.   I followed the instructions and an hour or so later emerged from the bathroom with bright golden-blonde hair.  It was so bright you'd spot me a mile off.  My mother had an absolute fit when she saw it and I was promptly carted off to the hairdressers to get it toned down.

I was totally mesmerised the first time I saw Debbie Harry on Top of the Pops in 1978.  She was like a punk version of Marilyn Monroe I thought she was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen; porcelain skin, those fabulous lips, to-die-for cheekbones and of course the platinum blonde hair.  She was cool, beautiful and had attitude.  At thirty two she was old by punk standards, she seemed like a Hollywood starlet from another era.  

Debbie Harry was in a band called The Stilettoes in the early Seventies.  Blondie was formed in 1975.  They were one of the biggest acts to perform at legendary punk club CBGB's in New York.  By their third album, the disco infused pop-punk masterpiece Parallel Lines, Debbie Harry became a household name.  Her iconic look was created with the help of her friend, the pop art designer Stephen Sprouse.  He not only styled the band but also art directed their music videos.

Blondie became a hugely successful band worldwide, selling thirty million albums.  The band split at the height of their fame in 1982 over their increasing heroin use.  

Every woman wanted to be her and every man wanted to sleep with her.  Debbie Harry will always be one of the most important pop and style icons of all time.

Now for lots of gratuitous pictures of Debbie... Here are some of my favourites.





























































































"Debbie was an American ponytail girl as seen through the eyes of Roger
Vadim;  Barbarella on speed, or something like that"

Iggy Pop
(b. 1947)









15 comments:

Dash said...

Hi Christina, I think I watched the same totp, I had never seen anyone so cool, she was responsible for much teenage pouting and posing in front of the mirror!
XX

Alison Cross said...

I loved Debbie Harry! She was what we all aspired to be - but I had dark curly hair that would never be white blonde in a month of Sundays - so I had to switch allegiance to Kate Bush ;-)

DH had cheekbones you could cut diamonds on.....

I loved her 'ya wanna touch me but don't even try it' attitude.

*sigh* those were the days.

Ali x

Looking Fab in your forties said...

Ha I was thirteen and used born blonde bought with my pocket money and I did it when my mum had taken my younger brother to the donkey derby on august bank holiday monday! I was a massive debbie harry fan, back in the day and still know all the words to the songs!

@Angpang said...

Amazing beauy with a unique sense of style, she is a true icon.

Parallel Lines is one of my favourite albums, I love how she sung about boys, very fresh and honest, though I could never believe she had any trouble getting whatever boy she wanted.

I named my blog Incense and Peppermints from a line in the song Pretty Baby. Thanks for sharing all these photos.

little augury said...

Still going, You can get a copy of her Camp Funtime shirt at wornfree! pgt

Wildernesschic said...

yup I saw that TOTP too .. She was everything I wanted to be .. still would love to be.. cool, stylish and unbelievably beautiful.. she was responsible for my white blonde fringe and obsession with eyeshadows.
Love these photos.. she's an icon.
I am feeling very rock and roll and punk today after returning to bed with a hangover that would slay a less experienced being!!!
Your post has thoroughly cheered me :)
xxx FAB post xxx

Helena Halme said...

Even in Finland we thought Debbie Harry was the coolest of cool cats. Great pictures; I could hear her voice singing in my head as I scrolled down the page.

Helena xx

Young at Heart said...

Fabulous.....once in another lifetime I did her make-up for a come back tour in New York. I say 'did', I turned up with my kit, she turned up done and dusted but I did get to swish my powder brush a couple of times during the shoot......I think that counts....

Sarcastic Bastard said...

God, she was beautiful and SKINNY.

Belle de Ville said...

Totally HOT!

Caroline, No. said...

Love her. I didn't realise she was a bit older when Blondie were big. She looked AMAZING. Love the thought of her prowling seventies New York - my favourite place and era!

That picture of her and Iggy is fantastic.

StyleSpy said...

There's no such thing as a gratuitous picture of Debbie. All pictures of Debbie are necessary. One of the few women who have ever made me wish, even momentarily, that I was a blonde.

auntiefashion said...

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with British fan magazines. The first time I ever saw Debbie Harry was in one, and I thought that her name was Blondie. I didn't know that she was in a band. A few months later I was rollerskating and "Heart of Glass" came on. I remember it like it was yesterday. God, I'm old!

Anyway, Blondie is doing a show in a place right by my house in August. I don't think I'm going to go. I don't know if I want to spoil my cherished memories of the band. If I'm old, what does that make them?

auntiefashion said...

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with British fan magazines. The first time I ever saw Debbie Harry was in one, and I thought that her name was Blondie. I didn't know that she was in a band. A few months later I was rollerskating and "Heart of Glass" came on. I remember it like it was yesterday. God, I'm old!

Anyway, Blondie is doing a show in a place right by my house in August. I don't think I'm going to go. I don't know if I want to spoil my cherished memories of the band. If I'm old, what does that make them?

Anonymous said...

You wrote a very interesting article. And I agree with you. hair loss