Being that it is one of my favorite films ever, i've always felt it was just ahead-of-its-time, and greatly misunderstood (until more recently). Perhaps it was targeted to the wrong age-group, as every time I spotted an ad for it in the L.A. Times, I cut it out, and pinned it on my wall, hoping that one day I would be a wacky girl in a floppy hat and motorcycle boots, with a cute dog, juggling packages on the way home to a vintagey NYC apartment, where I designed things and hung-out with cool artists. I'd begged my parents to take me to see it, which sadly didn't work, as it was rated 'R', but I eventually was able to sneak it home, the moment it was released on VHS.
Every element of the film is in total funk harmony; Bernadette's portrayal of Eleanor is both whimsical and empowering, Ivory's direction is thoughtful, the cinematography is like Pop-Art, the costuming is beyond-brilliant (thanks to Carol Ramsey and Mr. Sprouse), the art direction makes me want to re-decorate, and the No Wave-meets-'80s Pop soundtrack would have everyone at Danceteria twisting.
Watching it now, I feel it's more perfect than ever . . . a time-capsule for the end of a truly vibrant-neon cartoon decade, filled with inspired creativity born out of passion. Here are some fave Slaves images:
(Below Left) The cover of my hardcover copy of Janowitz's novel, and (Middle) Dianne Brill (party personality, author of the fun book Boobs, Boys, and High-Heels, and all-around bombshell), makes a brief cameo in Slaves as a sexy jogger. (R) Dianne partying with friend Andy Warhol in 1985.
(Below Left) Author Tama Janowitz, as photographed by Sprouse in the late-'80s, (Middle) Tama as photographed by Andy Warhol in 1986, (R) and Tama at a party for Interview magazine in 2008.
And if wanting to achieve flawless Slaves style, the following pieces would be considered wise investments (after all, even cocaine was considered a wise investment in 1989!):
(Above) Cartoon couture from Jean-Charles de Castelbajac (Fall '09)
(L to R) Dolce & Gabanna (Fall '09), Norma Kamali safety-pin dress, Lacroix (Fall '09), DKNY (Fall '09)
(L to R) Dresser Johnson pop-art ring, sculptural Nina Hjorth heels, Carlos Falchi heels ($30 on eBay), zippered '80s driving-gloves.
(L to R) Sonia Rykiel (Fall '09), Rykiel (Fall '09), Alexander McQueen, Slave girl (spotted on Facehunter)
(L) It's mandatory to listen to the Tom Tom Club whilst carrying this bag. (R) Robert La Roche gallerist--specs (Made in Italy, and spotted on eBay)
(L to R) Peter Som (Pre-Fall '09), Limi Feu (Spring '09), Limi Feu (Fall '09), Wunderkind (Fall '09)
(L) Vintage Godzilla toy (it plays a small part in the Slaves storyline), (R) Catherine Bailey as shot by David Bailey in the mid-'80s, with killer Tama-style locks.
(L to R) Blumarine (Fall '09), late-'80s Thierry Mugler suit (spotted on eBay), '80s Italian trompe l'oeil rhinestone watch/bracelet, Vintage Stephen Sprouse dress
(Above) And you simply can't forget to pick-up one of these for your Soho loft (Ettore Sottsass "Carlton" room divider, produced by the Memphis Group c.1981)