A colourful fashion blog supporting independents & sustainable fashion in Bristol and beyond

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

My Style Icons - Part 4 - Annabella Lwin

At a time when I should probably be sorting out the pile of baby clothes and parafernalia that has accummulated in my house, to be ready for the new little baby  - who shall be arriving in approximately 5 weeks -  I have decided to blog about another of My Style Icons instead. I've not blogged for over a week and I'm missing it and this is my first Tuesday off work in ages AND my last week at work before I head off on maternity leave.....very excited!! More Babies and more blogging!!

So, Annabella Lwin........not only is she the front woman to one of my most favourite new wave 80s bands Bow Wow Wow, she looks amazing, she was a complete individual and she was also total Jailbait. I love her for all of this. I WANT CANDY!!!!

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Firstly, let's talk about the hair, even with the sides shaved down to a number one, a backcombed mohican and a harsh glare, Annabella manages to look beautiful. She inspired me to shave off my hair but to leave some long layers in to curl or backcomb for a soft and harsh look. I really do have quite a harsh look, without trying, so the soft girliness is needed.

I love the mix of the harsh styling with the girlie 1950s dress & gloves. I have copied this look many a time (I will blog the Emma's fashion back catalogue of images at some point!) The 1950's styling was big in the 80s and with Punk before that.

Annabella was spotted by Malcolm Maclaren (Godfather of Punk) in 1980 working in a laundrette, you know usual story, happens to us all, doesn't it.... he instantly auditioned her to become the lead singer of a new band he was putting together who became Bow Wow Wow. Apparently Mclaren had her transferred from her comprehensive school to Sylvia Young's Theatre School. This is all sounding a bit Brit School isn't it? Oh well we'll ignore that detail for now, there's more controversial stuff to come.

 The controversy linked to the band Bow Wow Wow reveals that the musicians were originally Adam Ant's  - Ants, stolen from Adam Ant by Malcolm Mclaren on a promise to make them famous, with Adam out of the picture Mclaren recruited Annabella alongside a London club kid (soon to be known as Boy George) to join the band. A few gigs and photoshoots later the rest of the band decided to get rid of Boy George and Bow Wow Wow was born. We could feel sorry for Adam Ant and Boy George here (I really must blog them on here at some point too, I feel a New Romantics blog coming on) but they both went on to individually become two of the biggest Pop and style icons of the 80s. So we won't worry about them at all.

Look how beautiful (and young) Annabella looks in the above image, if I spotted her in the laundrette I'd fall in love with her too! I'm sure she wasn't wearing this though, I would, any opportunity to dress up.

 Annabella did like to pose nude and half naked it has to be said. Whether this was her choice or Malcolm's is another matter, I guess the harsh image took the Lolita edge off of it. At this point fashion had gone a bit tribal which fitted perfectly with Bow Wow Wow's drumbeats which can also be heard in many Adam and the Ant records and post punk around the time.  I Love Annabella's hair in the below image, I can never get to the point where my hair is long enough to be able to plait it, the scissors are always calling me! Like they did the other day, more on that another time.

 Another little story for you here which I picked up from a great post punk book ' Rip it up and start again' by Simon Reynolds- which I leant to a work colleague and haven't seen it since, I think he may of lost it.  So, the story goes that Malcolm Maclaren had tried to get the other (slightly older) members of Bow Wow Wow to de-virginate Annabella, who was probably still jailbait at this point. Mclaren thought it might Sex her up a bit and make her less innocent!!! I'm not sure Annabella needed to be sexed up anymore, it seemed to ooze from her as it was. The good news is the very strong willed teenager refused them all, now that's a lesson for all girls who are thinking they might need de-virginating before they are ready! You have the rest of your life to be slutty!

 Oh look a bit of tribal aztec style, you know I like a bit of aztec at the moment, I actually want this jumper, it's baggier than the one's that are in the shops at the moment. Looks really comfy, why have Chavs ruined jersey wear for everyone? There was a time when you could wear jersey and be glamourous! Is it a Vivienne Westwood? Probably, I also forgot to mention Vivienne styled the band, the lucky buggers! Vivienne's Tribal collection, I think it was named The Pirate Collection without cheating and looking online, was massive during the early 80s, even Lady Di owned some of the pieces. There's another blog idea........Vivienne's Pirate collection not Lady Di....well, who knows, maybe both.

Aaaah! The Face, one of my favourite magazines.....I miss you!

Another Annabella Lwin fact is that her real name is Myint Myint Aye , Annabella is half Bermese and this name was given to her by Bermese Priests and means, get this, 'High High Cool'!!! Love it. Maybe a name for this baby then eh?

My mother has been completely over guessing this babies name. She thinks its going to be wierd and wonderful and has totally gone down the wrong track with Pop Stars names (My two sons middle names are Hendrix and Floyd so I can see how she got to this conclusion) she came up with...... Blondie or ........Madonna...........I don't need to say anymore, these names speak for themselves....she also had a dream I had another son and named him Jesus.

This look is very New Romantic Pirate, totally ripped off from Adam Ant, or was it the other way round? Vivienne Westwood V's Adam and the Ants. Annabella looks about 13 years old here.

Annabella with the de-virginating, ex Adam Ants -Ants, Bow Wow Wow boys. Going Wild in the Country! Where snakes in the grass are absolutely free!

Again, I seem to have ripped off this face paint, unknowingly this time, for once, at one of the Hoochie Coochie kaberet's that I have Dj'd at. The inspiration was Wild Animals, I'll blog the image one day. I remember on the night people thought I had leopard print tattoos, one bloke, who was very tattoeed up himself, suggested I should definately get it tattoed, I thought he was referring to the ones on my arms, he actaully, seriously, meant, the ones on my face!! He said I could carry it off. Thanks for the compliment mate, I think? The arms maybe, but on my face??? I have to pick my kids up from school and that!

It used to break my heart when I went into your shop
And you said my records were out of stock
So I don't buy records in your shop
Now I tape them all 'cause I'm 'Top of the Pops'
C30, C60,C90 Go! - Bow Wow Wow


  1. like it, I was just thinking about her. I cringed when I googled her and saw 'come back' and bow wow wow, I don't want to see what time has done to her. I like keeping the eighties all shiny in my teenage memory. : ) !

  2. Thanks Rachel. Yes, Bow wow wow played here in Bristol the other week. I didnt fancy it for the same reason, Annabella is forever young in my mind. I really should be supporting women getting older and remaining fantastic with a blog named No Debutante shouldnt I? Annabella I still love you.....Waaaaa!

  3. What a great primer on a fab lady i'd never heard of before, thank you! ;)

  4. Thanks Musikati, check out Bow Wow Wows records too and please follow me on blog lovin for more of my style icons and No Debutante obsessions! x


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