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John and Yoko:Coupledom Cool

April 6, 2015

If you think that the Kooples invented the couple swapsie fashion, think again.The brand that uses real life couples as advertising for their less than exciting range of his ‘n’ hers (or hers ‘n’ hers, or his ‘n’ his) clothing has been tapping on what some sophisticated couples like John and Yoko, already knew: that a casual blend of individual styles often creates a chic, unique look that is much more than a sum of its parts.

Coupledom Cool: Vintage For Two John and Yoko

Matchy matchy - John and Yoko

Matchy matchy – John and Yoko

 

Cool squared is what many aspire to, but a few do it well. Throwing money at it won’t make you cool (Kanye & Kim take note), and neither will emulating the über-normative Disneyesque fairytale, a la Posh and Becks.

Minimalist Chic

Minimalist Chic

 

Hardly any cool couples measure up to John and Yoko. They both had art credentials of the highest order:

John Lennon as one quarter of the world’s most famous band, the Beatles, and Yoko Ono as an influential conceptual artist of the Fluxus fame. Together, they created something quite ahead of their time.

In 1972, Bob Dylan wrote in support of John and Yoko’s stay in USA that ‘they inspire and transcend and stimulate, and by doing so, only help others to see pure light and in doing that put an end to this dull taste of petty commercialism which is being passed off as Artist Art by the overpowering mass media’.

John and Yoko-The Fool and the Witch

John and Yoko-The Fool and the Witch

 

Which is not the first thing that crosses your mind when you see them dressed as a Fool and a Witch, no? Yet this must have been at least partly an ironic comment on their presumed roles at the breakup of the Beatles: he’s a court jester and a fool, and she, well, a quintessential witch.

Only a truly cool couple would play up the jaded stereotyping by dressing up this way.

John and Yoko-Bonnie and Clyde

John and Yoko-Bonnie and Clyde

 

Lennon’s laid-back cool complemented Yoko’s quirkiness perfectly, even when they resembled Bonnie and Clyde.

Her beatnik beret and ostrich feather cape and his stripy top, cool shades and cowboy boots look more nineties than seventies.

John and Yoko-The Wedding

John and Yoko-The Wedding

 

Everything they did was performance art: the couple’s wedding attire (both wore white) looks incredibly playful against the rock of Gibraltar, where they wed in 1969.

Their subsequent honeymoon at the Hilton Amsterdam was the now legendary action Bed-in for peace. They wore matching pyjamas and let down their hair.

Bed In For Peace-John and Yoko

Bed In For Peace-John and Yoko

 

Imagine Hair Peace

Imagine Hair Peace

 

The hair is a crucial part of John and Yoko: seventies peace movement was all about hair, entwined hair, loose hair, wild hair, hair that stands in for unrestrained, uncultivated freedom, peace and love.

The signs above their heads during the Bed-in read ‘Hair Peace’ and ‘Bed Peace’, in case you were wondering what was the order of importance.

Their first joint album, titled ‘Two Virgins’ also featured hair (and some nudity), and most of their photographs from the times depict them swathed in thick layers of self-made fur.

John and Yoko-Two Virgins

John and Yoko-Two Virgins

 

John and Yoko in Byronic Black

John and Yoko in Byronic Black

 

Apart from white, black was their trademark colour. Their flares, oversized Byronic coats and ever present hats matched perfectly, and looked interchangeable.

John in Yoko Ono t-shirt

John in Yoko Ono t-shirt

 

Working Class Heroes

Working Class Heroes

 

John’s t-shirts could have been by Katherine Hamnett, only they were simply his own, at times when he choose to wear ‘YOKO ONO’ emblazoned across his chest, or when he wore the straightforward ‘Working Class Hero’ t-shirt with his wife and son in Japan.

John and Yoko in Asian costume

John and Yoko in Asian costume

 

They both looked slick and stylish in Japanese kimonos, and one has to wonder about the ways they tipped and challenged the typical balance of power within the relationship.

It is known that John Lennon highly exoticised his Japanese wife: it is also known that she was a powerful avant-garde artist and a strong individual, something that the Asian costume both underlines and provokes.

John Lennon

John Lennon

 

Apart from timeless pop of the Beatles and beyond, John Lennon created short stories, poetry, plays and drawings.

The relationship with Yoko opened up several creative channels that would have otherwise remained unexplored.

Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono

 

On the other hand, the list of Yoko Ono’s creative accomplishments is endless.

In male industries of music and art, she continues to battle sexism, racism and media criticism at her personal life, something that would certainly slow down someone less strong.

Together, John and Yoko symbolise success and beauty on a different scale than what the music industry – or any other industry – would grant us or have us believe.

They continue to inspire with their humour, style, and commitment to a more human approach to art, life and love.

 

 

 

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