Lyntonesque: “Hollywood Is…”

In Los Angeles all the loose objects in the country were collected, as if America had been tilted and everything that wasn’t screwed down had slid into Southern California.

—Saul Bellow

 

Published in Harper’s Bazaar in 1963, “Hollywood Is…a 16-page reportage on the coastal phenomenon” has a spooky prescience about what was to become a tumultuous decade for film and fashion.

The story has a melancholy tone; it reads like a quiet goodbye to Hollywood past. And goodbyes were in order. In the 1960s the Hays Code would come crashing down, and with it the studio system. Soon, propriety on the big screen—or at least the pretence of it—would be so last generation. By the end of the decade, an X-rated film, Midnight Cowboy, won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Likewise, the ‘60s youthquake would shake the roots of fashion’s greats. Balenciaga abdicated his throne. Yves Saint Laurent embarked on ready to wear. The mini made its small, but powerful, debut—growing in impact as it diminished in size.

Examined in retrospect, it’s a fascinating bit of visual information; a pause button on a moment between the past and the future that would subsume it.

 

 

 

 

 

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