“I always tell the girls, never take it seriously. If you never take it seriously, you never get hurt. If you never get hurt, you always have fun.” Penny Lane, the vivacious lead groupie in “Almost Famous” is two things. Firstly she’s the main reason that we remember that movie to begin with. Secondly she’s the reason that we all keep watching.
She’s the Holly Golightly, the Zelda Fitzgerald, the free spirited, emotionally volatile whisper of abandon that every girl since has aspired to. In crochet tops she never walks, she saunters. Nobody else can make a Russian hat work quite as well as she does. No wonder William is so enchanted with her. And for us girls, now? Her style is as desirable as she is.
The 1973 that is depicted in “Almost Famous” didn’t last. It couldn’t. It concluded as it began: as the speckled horizon in somebody’s drug hazed consciousness. It rocked itself into oblivion you could say. But what does that matter when it gave us icons like Pamela Des Barres (on whom the character of Penny Lane is based) to emulate.
Acquiring her natural style has become an ambition of mine (along with making friends with people called Polexia and Sapphire). It’s not hard. All it takes is some legit vintage Ossie Clark, platforms you can actually walk in and an appreciation for a wide brimmed hat.
Most of Penny’s look can be found by trawling vintage boutiques, market stalls and Etsy, so there’s no excuse not to look like you’re on a one-way journey to Morocco.
It should be noted that her fellow “Band-Aids” are as effortlessly put together as she is. Note the pom pom jacket. Stylish but warm: practical I say. And where would we be without a seashell necklace?
Polexia as portayed by the inimitable Anna Paquin who somehow manages to look innocent and knowing simultaneously. Which is quite a talent when you think about it really. Every girl needs a pair of pink John Lennon sunglasses too.
Words: Caroline Allen