One of the people Lady Gaga just name checked as a seminal “author in the library of pop culture” hosted a book signing last night. No, it wasn’t Prince, Cindy Crawford, Marilyn Monroe, or Francis Bacon (Gaga’s words, not ours).
It was Maripol, stylist to ’80s statement-makers Debbie Harry, Grace Jones, Cher, and Madonna. Steven Meisel may have shot that iconic Like A Virgin album cover, but Maripol’s the one who slipped Madonna into the rubber bracelets and crucifix jewelry that sparked a trillion copycats. So, yah, we’d say Gaga gushing over Maripol’s cultural legacy is pretty on point.
While Maripol certainly had a heavy hand in fashion history, the woman’s still very much relevant today. Last year, she designed neon t-shirts and rubber jewelry for Marc by Marc; last night, she continued her latest moment in the sun (or torrential downpour, as luck would have it) with a jam-packed signing of her Little Red Riding Hood.
The photo book, which chronicles Maripol’s nightlife adventures with famous friends (Madonna, Basquiat, Warhol) came out last year, but the accompanying exhibition at Clic is new, and it’s worth checking out. While the book’s price and accessibility are definitely upsides to exploring Maripol’s images, the neon and vibrancy of some of the snaps demand they be seen in large scale. But even when the images were kept small and arranged in collages, there was still something pretty awesome about the delivery. Sifting through the larger composition carefully meant you’d surely come across some little gem in your search. Like Grace Jones rocking Slinkys as bracelets– we did that too, when we were younger.
After stepping out of the ’80s time warp and heading a few blocks north in SoHo to the Hugo Boss HUGO store opening, we couldn’t help but notice some similarities to the world of Maripol’s exhibition. Sprinkled around the new store were brooding cool kids and industry tastemakers alike, swaying to DJ Paul Sevigny’s beats: his sister, Chloe Sevigny, in socks and high heels, Becka Diamond in her trademark smeared eyeliner, editors like Robbie Myers and Glenda Bailey, and a few celebs (Lance Bass, and True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten). All intermingled and enjoyed the music, mini-burgers, and drinks, despite the horrendous weather outside. It was a mash of different worlds, and as everyone posed demurely for party photogs, we found ourselves wishing Maripol were on hand to capture everyone’s fun with a bit more candor.
As for the merch, we couldn’t stop eying a gray leather motorcycle jacket with defined shoulders. It looked just like something we’d just seen in a Polaroid, and yes, twenty years later, it was still totally, totally rad.