A little bit of soul

April 22, 2013

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).

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  • Reply Connie* April 22, 2013 at 06:21

    Fascinating!!! Love a true eccentric. Love your green shoes. Love you!

    • Reply Mrs. D April 23, 2013 at 17:36

      Eccentric people can be really interesting! Love you too 🙂

  • Reply Vix April 22, 2013 at 07:05

    Great read but mostly I’m swooning over how fab you look in that hat and sexy frock! x

    • Reply Mrs. D April 23, 2013 at 12:00

      Wawaweewa! Thank you! I love the dress, it’s really pretty!

  • Reply Señora Allnut April 22, 2013 at 07:36

    whimsical and inspiring attitude, dear lady, love that you’ve discovered that lady’s style!, and love your fabulous dress and Green Shoes! and that bracelets!
    You’re so right, sister, there is nothing that makes anyone more visible than their creativity and personality (a big floppy hat also helps)
    beijinhos & visibles

    • Reply Mrs. D April 23, 2013 at 11:59

      Thank you! Interesting people are never boring 🙂

  • Reply Patti @ NotDeadYet Style April 22, 2013 at 13:09

    She was indeed a great beauty and an original. Thanks for sharing this, and *your* fabulous look (shoes!) with Visible Monday.

    • Reply Mrs. D April 23, 2013 at 11:59

      You are most welcome! I am very happy to finally have joined such a lovely group of ladies!!!

  • Reply Mrs C April 22, 2013 at 13:19

    Beautiful and flattering dress! Great sense of styling too 🙂 That hat adds extra ‘oomph!’


    • Reply Mrs. D April 23, 2013 at 11:58

      Thank you ever so much!

  • Reply OH LA LA LI April 22, 2013 at 18:22

    She was very pretty.

    You should wear hats more often, they look good on you!
    But it was the bracelet I was really eyeing.

    • Reply Mrs. D April 23, 2013 at 11:57

      I really should! It’s just that sometimes it’s a bit too much for the small town…

  • Reply milex April 22, 2013 at 20:05

    love your choices.

    • Reply Mrs. D April 23, 2013 at 11:56

      Thank you!

  • Reply PinkCheetahVintage April 23, 2013 at 00:51

    You look amazing. The video is incredible. Thank you so much for sharing it.
    Becky 🙂

    • Reply Mrs. D April 23, 2013 at 17:37

      Thank you, you’re very kind 🙂

  • Reply Jean at Dross into Gold April 23, 2013 at 01:32

    H&M should pay you; you look amazing!!! I love all the styling and you look seriously chic and sexy in a very cool way. XXOO

    • Reply Mrs. D April 23, 2013 at 17:40

      They really should! Thank you!

  • Reply So easily distracted... April 23, 2013 at 04:46

    Follow no one! Look amazing! BE amazing!

    I love it – you are gorgeous and thanks for sharing this info on the fascinating woman.

    Sarah xxx

    • Reply Mrs. D April 23, 2013 at 17:40

      You’re welcome and thank you for your nice comments 🙂

  • Reply milex April 23, 2013 at 19:35


    • Reply Mrs. D April 23, 2013 at 21:44

      Thank you, you are very kind!

  • Reply Emalina April 23, 2013 at 22:57

    What a fabulous dress and hat combination, you look great! I love the 70s style.

    Popping by as a fellow Visible Monday blogger, do drop by my post and let me know what you think!


    • Reply Mrs. D April 27, 2013 at 16:41

      Thank you for stopping by!
      I just paid a little visit to your page and it’s really cool!

  • Reply Jan Graham-McMillen April 24, 2013 at 14:05

    Your own creativity is a fine thing to see, Mrs. D. Great article … she was an original, no doubt, and although I’d never heard of her, I appreciate the introduction. Especially from Waters … whom I admire but about whom I feel equally charmed and repelled. I think he’d appreciate that.

    Nifty dress and ensemble. I particularly like the belt and rose with it all. But what really makes it are your tats … red is so good with brown, of course, but it’s more than that.

    Enjoy your week!

    • Reply Mrs. D April 24, 2013 at 17:24

      Thank you for your nice and thoughtful comment. You are right about Waters, he says that if pople actually throw up with his films is a compliment 🙂

  • Reply Andrea Deal April 25, 2013 at 16:00

    Love your outfit!
    Great to learn about Maelcum! Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply Mrs. D April 25, 2013 at 21:22

      Thank you 🙂 I’m glad you like it.
      I’m always on the lookout for quirky characters!

  • Reply JGRuddock April 27, 2013 at 00:38

    You in that outfit is working like gangbusters! You look so delightful and brooding and *FUN*. Love it! xo

    • Reply Mrs. D April 27, 2013 at 07:49

      Thank you 🙂

  • Reply Melanie April 27, 2013 at 21:12

    You look fantastic in that floppy hat and ensemble – and the surprise shoes! Love that. Thank you so much for introducing me to Maelcum Soul too. She was art.

    • Reply Mrs. D April 27, 2013 at 21:48

      Thank you 🙂
      Definitely, I wish there was more information about her on the web…

  • Reply We’re having a (tea) party! | Hello the Mushroom May 1, 2013 at 21:26

    […] Dello Russo for H&M, kindly purchased for me by my friend Fábio, Belt – H&M (also worn here), Tutu Skirt – Ebay (also worn here), Tights – Calzedonia (very old), Shoes – Irregular Choice […]

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