I’m a sucker for vintage style, but I’m not talking about Social Surfwear or Eleganza-type vintage. I’m talking about 1920s, Great Gatsby-meets-Fay Wray, sequins, fur coats, and champagne kind of vintage. When I imagine old-school glamor, the Roaring ’20s come to mind. (Or maybe that’s just because of my sorry-I’m-not-sorry Gatsby obsession.)
It was a total Twitter-feed accident that I stumbled across Brighton, England’s Bat for Lashes and the woman behind it, Natasha Khan (probably most well-known for her tune “Daniel.”) Someone had tweeted a link to the single “Laura” off of her upcoming album, The Haunted Man. So I clicked. And I fell in love.
Laura is a fallen star. Yes, she was the glamorous party girl, the short-haired, slim, pale brunette, blue-eyed and infectious–the girl you loved to hate or hated to love. She was clever, witty, and everything you thought in your heart that you weren’t. But the looks faded, the party came to an end, the music stopped–but still, Laura kept dancing. She didn’t really know any other way. Everyone had moved forward, but she stayed stuck in the past. Yes, you hated her. Now you just feel sorry for her.
But you’re Laura’s best friend. You watched as she ran off with that blond boy from the army, cheered as she climbed into a Model J Duesenberg convertible with her first husband, riding off to a failed marriage, held her hair back when she was sick on the balcony, attended her recitals as she danced the lead roles, dazzling the crowd. You even took every insult she threw at you.
“You say that you’re stuck in a pale blue dream,
And your tears feel hot on my bed sheets,
Drape your arms around me and softly say,
‘Can we dance upon the tables again?'”
Because deep down you knew that the reason Laura was so enthralled with her booze and her boys was because that was all she had. You were never bitter, never became condescending because you knew. You always knew. And so did she.
It’s hard to predict the conclusion to Laura’s haunting saga. Either she drank herself into oblivion or she pulled herself together, probably got a nice little job as a secretary and settled down with a few kids. I don’t know if anyone can be sure what happened to their favorite flapper because nobody knew what Laura was thinking–her motives, her desires. That’s why everyone was so mystified by her.
But let’s say you love a beautiful tragedy as much as I do and, if that’s the case, as the curtain falls, think of the forced downfall of Natalie Portman’s character in Black Swan.
Don’t worry, I won’t spoil that ending for you. Besides, maybe it’s just better to remember Laura as she was.