Maelcum Soul is an obscure character that I found out about in John Waters’ book Shock Value (I’ve written about it here). She was one of the original Dreamlanders (the group of people that participated in the making of John Waters’ films) and a great influence on him. ‘The descriptions on his book made me want to look her up as she sounded like a true original.
Maelcum Soul was her real name, and I was in total awe of her, until she dropped dead of old age in her twenty-seventh year, in 1968. Maelcum was the most astonishing bohemian I’ve ever known, and she influenced my twisted vision of how women should look more than any film, book, or painting. She was Baltimore’s top artist’s model and hostess/barmaid in the best bar in town – Martick’s. Maelcum’s everyday life was a self-promoted confrontation with the world. She’d walk down the street, and a riot would break out. She had maroon hair, wore chalk-white face powder, ten pairs of fake eyelashes, and more eye makeup than any girl has ever worn anywhere in the United States. Her trademarks were the eight-point star she drew on her cheek and the gobs of glue she used to fasten her spit curls to her face. Her clothes were the most theatrical imaginable, and she looked like this every day, every hour. She was a woman female impersonator. Only twice did I see her without her “look” and that was deep in the private bowels of her home. I was shocked to see how normal she looked underneath this incredible disguise.
– Waters, John, Shock Value
Wouldn’t you want to see what she looked like after all this? This was a lady that did vintage before vintage was mainstream and dared to go out to the pharmacist in green face make up. Crazy? Maybe a little, who knows? One thing is certain, this was creativity, this was art.
I researched it online and couldn’t find many photos but the few I did (and the ones on the short video on the bottom of this post) give an idea of her style and beauty. She was taken from this world at a young age and in a tragic way. I thought I’d put a little outfit together inspired by her – it’s my little tip of the (floppy) hat to another creative soul.
“Follow No-one, Look Amazing”
Outfit details: Dress – H&M (via Ebay), Floppy hat – H&M (I brought it from Portugal, not very practical when you’re flying!), Flower belt – H&M (from the sale items I got last Thursday), Bracelets – River Island (got them the first time I went to Nottingham after I moved to England), Shoes – Irregular Choice (via Ebay)
I’m linking this up to Patti’s Visible Monday as there is nothing that makes anyone more visible than their creativity and personality (a big floppy hat also helps).