What Happened To Heroin Chic?

When I first moved to LA there was a look here that you just couldn’t ignore. While all the guys were trying desperately to capture some Brad Pitt nonchalance, the girls were all going for the strung out, junkie, if I can just get one more fix everything is going to be OK vibe. Such a pretty look on girls I think.

It was something the town was renowned for. Anyone can look like a heroin addict in New York, that’s easy. All those buildings to hide between, back alleys and wet streets make the whole stumbling into walls in my untied boots while I hold one arm thing super easy. To look fucked up in the sunshine and under the palm trees takes a bit of work. Nay, dedication and commitment.

And when I first arrived here, these girls were everywhere. Rocking their whole anti-actress deal, these girls literally were skulking around pavements all over town. It was like a terribly chic zombie movie. The pin-up and Godmother of the whole clan is of course Courtney Love, who sadly is better at tweeting and law suits these days than actually getting in a studio and cutting a record.

Maybe in unison with her fading away, the streets seem to have cleared out of these girls that all look like they need to be shoved some vitamins and stuck in the sunshine for a few weeks. Where has it all gone? The pale thin arms, the stringy unwashed hair, the cadaver shades of lipstick. Even the models these days have passed it up for a perky, no makeup, rail thin 80s thing.

I don’t know what happened. Did meth take over? Did everyone get gym memberships? Did heroin just become as uncool as an Ed Hardy trucker cap?

But as I drove to work the other day scanning the streets for a straggler who might lurch out at me at a traffic light to ask for some change, I noticed that the gaunt, sunglassed faces may be gone from Melrose but the clothes are still out there in force.

Junkie clothing is everywhere. From the neck down, the heroin thing seems like it’s never going to die. The streets are literally covered in ripped stockings, Doc Marten boots, crappy skirts, t-shirts 2 sizes too big that hang off shoulders and Wayfarers aplenty. The weird thing though is that these outfits are topped by fresh-faced young things on their way to their BMWs to drive to their jobs as stylist assistants.

Then I realized. If the drugs aren’t being sold anymore, but the look is still as popular as ever, then all the dealers out there must be… selling the clothes now instead of ounce bags. Of course, it all makes sense.

Lurking in any car park you care to name are dodgy looking 30-something men whispering, “Got what you need,” to young girls passing by. As the dealer checks for the fashion police then flings open his beige overcoat, the curious young lady is barraged by an array of clothing items that will get her wardrobe nice and high.

Dealer: So, I got these just in, Holey leggings, these are the shit. Make you walk all crazy.

Reaching into another pocket, he produces a collection of faded, sack like t-shirts.

Dealer: China cotton, these are magic. When the Santa Ana winds blow, these flapping around your ribcage make you feel like you flying.

But when the girl says to stop wasting her time and get to the real shit, the Dealer nods and reaches into his duffel bag.

Dealer: Ok, ok, you want the good stuff, I get it. Check it out, mohair ripped neckline sweater. Double boiled and slept in. You got to be crazy as shit to wear this in the sun. You’ll be tripping.

The girl grabs the sweater, hands a roll of bills over and skulks off into the night as the Dealer calls out after her…

Dealer: I got new shit coming in next week from Out Of The Closet, those gays have the best stuff around. You be back for more.

And as she jumps into the Beemer and drives away, the Dealer takes one last look at her personalized number plates, FORMY21.

Dealer: Bitch.

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