private icon: michelle phillips
free love gave way to really good style in laurel canyon.
The presidential election has finally come to an end, but we’re still feeling the residual patriotic-ness and our annual America issue is on stands right now. Which is why each Private Icon this month hails from an iconic, American neighborhood that was pivotal in the development in our country’s music history. So get ready for a few really good flashbacks and prepare to pay your respects to some women you should channel every morning when you zip up your skinny jeans. We’re kicking things of with one of LA’s most magical hoods, Laurel Canyon, which became the happy home (Joni Mitchell’s song “Our House” was written about her digs in the canyon) to the likes of Frank Zappa, Jim Morrison of The Doors, Carol King, and of course, Fleetwood Mac.Even if you don’t know much one of the biggest ’60s bands, The Mamas & the Paps, to claim “the canyon of dreams” as their stomping ground, you’d be able to sing along to pretty much every one of their songs—which, even after forty plus years, are still everywhere. Their lyrics told us to “do what we want to do and go where we want to go,” and they’ve kindly reminded us to “wear flowers in our hair” if we ever find ourselves en route to San Francisco. You can’t “dream a little dream” or “California Dream” without involving this band either. The folk-rock group’s hit songs aren’t what we’re most drawn to though—it’s singer/songwriter Michelle Phillips’ cool style. Spending time with other style legends living free in Laurel Canyon surely did influence her, but she had a knack for mixing the best of bohemian with chicer, gamine pieces resulting in a look that was truly unique to her. That is, until everyone started to copy it.