Saturday, 15 September 2012

Strawberry Switchblade

If you were to have a glance through my wardrobe, you'd know straight away that I love polka dots. I was thinking about my love of polka dots yesterday (like you do!), and thought I'd write a post about the QUEENS of polka dots... Strawberry Switchblade.

Of course, they were much more than just polka dot queens; they were an awesome synthpop duo (made up of Rose McDowall and Jill Bryson) in the early 80's.

If I'm honest, I fell in love with them before I'd even heard them, based purely on seeing this picture:

I quickly took to the rest of the internet to hear as many songs as I could, and find out every last detail of these ladies.

The first song I managed to listen to was Since Yesterday, and I was surprised at first, it wasn't at all what I expected them to sound like! On first listen, there music is quite poppy (don't get me wrong, I like a bit of pop), but then you start to notice the lyrics, the harmonies, all the subtleties that make their music so addictive.

In a way, it reminds me a bit of The Birthday Massacre; they're music is very synthpop-influenced, but the lyrics are often much darker. I read somewhere (I wish I could remember where!), I think possibly an interview with the band... someone said the name was a good reflection of their music; sweet and happy sounding, like a Birthday, but with darker undertones (the "massacre").

You could definitely apply this theory to Strawberry Switchblade's music.

They weren't around for that long, only releasing one album and a few singles, so I guess it's not unsurprising that, without the internet, I had no idea they ever existed. Like a lot of great things though, they were really popular in Japan.

Check out the video above, if you haven't already, and try listen to some of their other stuff. I'm going to talk a bit more about their style, and the influence I think it's had on me.

Their style definitely has elements of Lolita fashion to it, which I love. I discovered Strawberry Switchblade a couple of years before I'd even heard of Lolita, let alone the many substyles attached to it. Lolita, and other Japanese street styles, were the first kind of fashion blogs I used to read and I still love those styles (there are too many to list here, I'd rather talk about them in their own posts and give them the attention they deserve!) today. Rose and Jill were the first girls I thought of when I first saw these blogs.

 Of course, this was the 80's, so the hair is BIG. These ladies weren't concerned with sticking to the trends though, so they often took their big hair further, usually by adding lots of polka dot ribbons and big bows or flowers.

I think it's only fair to give these ladies at least SOME credit for my love of synthetic dreads, hair falls etc. I plan on making some falls adorned with polka dot ribbons myself sometime, I'll be sure to post a picture when I do.

Polka dots aside, I think it's the DIY ethic that lies at the heart of the Strawberry Switchblade style. While I've dabbled in making things, it's only now that I've decided to take it a step further and actually make things on a regular basis, a process I plan to chronicle on this blog. I guess it doesn't hurt that a Hobbycraft store has just opened here!

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