This week saw the death of the ultimate rock chick. Anita Pallenberg, famously the lover of both Brian Jones and Keith Richard (and possibly Mick Jagger) died at the relatively early age of 73. But boy, had she packed some life into those 73 years, both as a model, an actress and a fashion muse whose style we see every festival season.
Anita was a German born model who took Swinging London by storm in the mid 60s. Her relationship with Brian Jones was turbulent and violent, but she also introduced him to culture and the arts, but after a particularly bad night which saw Brian beat Anita, she fled with Keith Richard, starting a relationship which lasted 12 years. She starred in the film Barberella with Jane Fonda, and also Performance, where she allegedly had sex with Jagger on Camera in front of both Richard and Marianne Faithful – her close friend and the girlfriend of Jagger.
Anita was considered wild and dangerous – did she really practice black magic arts? She certainly did enough drugs to kill a normal person, and eventually it was the drugs that killed her relationship with Keith, especially when a teenage boy died in her hotel room. The 1980s were not a good time for the one time rock goddess, but she emerged in later years to continue her role as a fashion and acting muse.
Anita was beautiful, stylish and exuded cool in her rock chick style. Acres of scarves, mannish waitcoats, drainpipe jeans, furry gillets, floppy, foppish hats, gold lame worn in a slightly decadent and dishevelled style, Anita carried it all off with aplomb. She inspired her friend Marianne to cast off her slightly twee look, and between them they become the cool face of London, not dolly birds, but true fashion inspirations that we still look too 50 years on. It was boho, it was luxe, it was rock and roll. It cemented her place as a icon of fashion and music.
RIP Anita, the World will be a duller place without your sparkle.
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