Remember natural? That fetish of flower children and later of pale-faced consumerist nags? You saw what happened to natural: It got appropriated by the breakfast cereal establishment. Which means, as it always does, that the trendy and hip have had to pack up their wagons and forge on to the next frontier, that of garish, fun fakery.
For instance, how many women out there would kill to have naturally straight, silken hair like Cher’s? At least enough for a great volleyball tournament, right? But what does Cher do with her locks? Stuffs them under a fright wig, a lavender fright wig no less. And not just when she’s dusting the pool furniture at her groovy L.A. estate, but when she’s attending the most important social event of the entire mid-1980s, Madonna Louise Ciccone’s nuptials, as well.
Okay, so between Alice Walker and Prince, purple is no longer shocking. But purple is just one hue in the cry for fakery, wiggy division. Silver is hot, and so is pink.
Blame it on Tina Turner. Anything associated with the way those mature hips of hers keep on churning is bound to be copied by fellow movers and shakers. Turner-like mops (let’s call them TT’s) have been turning up of late on the far-from-defoliated heads of such stars as Dyan Cannon and Pat Benatar and are selling briskly—up to 50 a week—in all colors at Theresa Wigs, a New York boutique catering to celebs. Cher put on one of Theresa Oh Lee’s $280 synthetic wigs in a fetching black-and-white pattern for the MTV Awards. Brigitte Nielsen, Sly Stallone’s new bride, recently left Theresa’s with four TT’s in red, white, black and blond. Sly’s bald, bearded bodyguard tried on a man’s salt-and-pepper wig and wore it out the door.
Not to be shut out of the au naturel backlash, men are pinning on their own adornments. Gaudy brooches, pins and tongue-in-cheek medallions, once glimpsed mainly on the Thompson Twins and Wham!, are being democratized by forwardly fashionable young men from London to Los Angeles. Much more astonishing, the male earring, formerly a famous signal of sexual preference, now is simply a style in many places. “Once you see the guys on the football team wearing earrings,” says Cary Fetman, owner of Intrinsic, a trendy Chicago men’s shop, “then everybody jumps in.”
Worn on collars, lapels, hatbands or almost anywhere and sometimes in profusion, brooches are sold at flea markets, boutiques and antique shops at prices from $10 to $70, and at such stores as Saks Fifth Avenue, designer brooches run from $30 to $130. With young stars like Rob Lowe and Rick James sporting pins and ear wear these days, the ranks of the festooned are sure to grow. Declares Susanne Bartsch, whose SoHo jewelry shop in Manhattan has 25 percent male customers: “It’s like birth control—once you accept it, you never go back the old way.”