Peter Max + Paper Airplanes = Way Cool


Published in a small format paperback in 1971, the Peter Max Paper Airplane Book is beyond cool.  Each page features amazing graphics, and a foldable paper airplane so that kids could “get [their] message across with a paper airplane in cosmic colors!”  Yes please.









Kansai Yamamoto

Today I head to Tokyo, so I figure a little Kansai Yamamoto is fitting …


Yamamoto was HUGE in the 70s and 80s.  While his creations were worn by everyone who was anyone amongst avant-garde fashion followers, his poster child was David Bowie during his Ziggy Stardust years.  Unbelievably amazing.









The Source Family

Meet the Source Family.  For about six heady years, from the end of the sixties to the mid-point of the seventies, this group of over a hundred young people gave cult living in the Hollywood Hills a pretty good name, until they grew a bit too large and the Manson Family had to go and give cult living a bad name.

The family lived communally under the spiritual guidance of Father Yod, nee Jim Baker (that’s him in the suit pictured above).  The man was an ex-Marine self-defense expert who moved to California to become a stuntman, but ended up learning from the Nature Boys, and getting deep into philosophy, religion, and esoteric spiritual teachings – even becoming a Vedantic monk for a time.  In 1969 Father Yod established the Source Restaurant on the Sunset Strip, and slowly but surely assembled the Source Family.

The restaurant was memorialized in the film Annie Hall as the stereotypical Hollywood beansprout joint, and catered to celebrity regulars alike John Lennon, Julie Christie, Fabio, and Marlon Brando.  Father Yod was one of the first people in the US to really deliver on the idea of a gourmet aesthetic applied to healthy eating, and the place was an insane success.  During its peak, the restaurant was grossing around $10,000 a day if you can imagine.
The restaurant was managed and run by the Family, and served as their primary source of income.  Yod espoused meditation, communal living, shared property, and a non-monogamous sexuality in which women held the power.  Life seemed pretty good for a whole bunch of years.  I mean, just look at those pimpin’ suits and the Rolls Royce!
Oh yeah, and did I mention that Yod and the Family also spawned a heavy rock quartet to perform its own sacred music under the name Yahowha 13?  Obviously, these weren’t mega hits, but the records were sold at the restaurant, and they certainly had a following.  I can’t imagine anything more 60s cool than a successful, stylish hippie cult with a band!
By 1974, the Family had become a bit too big for their Hollywood Hills britches, and they up and moved to Hawaii for a fresh start.  The only problem … Father Yod died just a year later, following an ill-fated hang-gliding expedition.  Seriously, what are the chances?!  Without its charismatic founder, the Family quickly disintegrated, but they will forever be remembered as one of the coolest cults to ever walk the earth.

If you think that the Source Family is as rad as I do, read the book on the group written by a member herself, Ms. Isis Aquarius.  Yep, Isis Aquarius!

When Roller Disco Ruled

Before hip hop and roller blades, MP3s and everyone realization that polyester is disgusting, there was a time when roller disco ruled all.  It was an era of youth, innocence (kind of), and limitless possibility – it seemed as if anything and everything would be better on wheels …

… and then the 80s happened.


Tiger Beat and the Teen Hearthrob

Ah … the innocence of young love and adolescent naivety.  To be a young girl concerned about whether the real Donny is “sweet or sexy.”  To wonder “is Elton John a sex symbol?”  To question if “David’s kisses mean danger.”  These topics, and so many more ridiculous ones were the subject of just about every Tiger Beat magazine of the 60s and 70s (and they probably still are today, I guess).  Doesn’t anyone else think it’s just a bit odd?  Sort of like Playboy for 12 year-old girls …

For the Stylish Man in Your Life …

who needs barneys or bergdorf, brooks brothers or when you could knit him something so much more special …

"the belted pullover vest in green" is suave yet sophisticated

you could even go bold and try it in stripes! tres chic.

Or maybe that special someone in your life is more of a Greek Shirt kind of guy. Just looks at those flexing ribs, and the elegant simplicity of this magical shirt!

You could even do a his and hers version! and just hang out around the house together.

It certainly doesn't get much more classy than this crocheted beauty.

then there is the color carnival skinny rib pullover. need i say more?

you both need a skinny rib undershirt vest for walking through the forest together. how romantic.

better get to the yarn store fast!

The Mood Ring

Mood rings.  They were so cool in 1975 before they turned into something so uncool just a short time later. Theoretically it’s a great idea – a piece of jewelry that will reflect your state of mind; but then again, why in the world would you need a piece of jewelry to let you know when you are feeling stressed or calm, imaginative or romantic?  So maybe the ring was supposed to communicate your mood to those around you … when your friends saw your ring was green (normal) they knew it was safe to hang, but when your stone was white (frustrated) everyone could clear out.  But that doesn’t sound so excellent either.  Maybe that’s why the mood ring fad was so short-lived.

In 1975, jewelry designer Marvin Wernick accompanied a physician friend to an emergency and marveled when his friend applied thermotropic (meaning, changed by temperature) tape to a child’s forehead to take her temperature. And so the idea for the mood ring was born.  Wernick took a hollow glass shell, filled it with thermotropic liquid crystals, and attached the glass shell to a ring so that when worn on the finger, the thermotropic material would change temperatures and color.  Voila!

But, Wernick never patented his idea, and Joshua Reynolds (who reportedly invented the Thighmaster, adn was the heir to the Richard Joshua Reynolds tobacco fortune) quickly swooped in, stole the wave, and created the mood ring fad as we remember it today.  Reynolds envisioned the rings as “portable biofeedback aids”, and managed to sell $1 million worth of them in a three month period in 1975. Even so, his company went bankrupt, victim of a flooded market of imitations, all of which are still available today.

The lesson we should all learn from this one – patent, patent, patent!

Perfectly 70s Magic: Doug Henning

Doug Henning brought magic to the masses in the 70s.  Before Copperfield, Blaine, or Angel there was Doug Henning, only his costumes and poses were WAY better!