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Saint Laurent, Old Rockers & Beauty’s Most Unusual Suspects

If what Hedi Slimane is doing with Saint Laurent these days has any say in the matter, the resurgence of grunge is now officially a “thing.”

Look, the dirty-hair-don’t-care vibe that defined the grunge scene of the early 1990s—flannels over florals, babydolls and biker boots, fake furs and fishnets—falls short of revolutionary for the obvious fashion hubs of the world, whose younger inhabitants have long favored a messy esthetic. I dug the Saint Laurent Fall 2013 runway show, and I die for those biker boots, but I get what the naysayers are, well, saying.

But can we talk about the AD CAMPAIGN?

kim gordon

I’ll respect the fact that the readers of this beauty blog may not necessarily share my excitement when they see a member of Sonic Youth in a fashion advertisement. Fair enough. But as a collective group of people who ostensibly share an interest in beauty, can’t we all agree that these images may signify an evolution of beauty’s highly subjective definition?

Think about it. We have a major fashion house launching a global ad campaign wherein they’ve passed over the Cara Delevignes and Jennifer Lawrences of the world, enlisting instead the weathered faces of fifty-something rockers to represent the brand and its wares.

Kind of a big deal, if you ask me.

Earlier this week, Jenna and I were chatting about all this stuff, and we realized something: it’s not as though there’s a dearth of weirdos out there who have what it takes to inspire creative types in the beauty and fashion industries. I’m awestruck by models like Lara Stone and Karlie Kloss, sure. And yes, I think Brad Pitt and George Clooney are hot. Who isn’t/doesn’t? Physically, those people are perfect. The people on the list that follows—which Jenna, Lauren, Marissa and myself put our heads together to curate—are not exactly that, but that’s not to say they aren’t “beautiful,” and it’s certainly not to say they’re without visual intrigue. It’s just that, much like Kim Gordon, Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson, their allure is not of the cookie-cutter variety.

unusual beauty

1. NORMAN REEDUS

This guy has a child with one of my favorite supermodels of all time, Helena Christensen, and I’m fairly sure that kid will grow up to be the hottest dude in the history of humankind. No, Norman’s not a dreamboat in the traditional sense, but when Gossip came out in the 90s, I developed a lifelong crush.

2. ADAM LAMBERT

How come this guy can “smize” better than 90% of the models out there today? It’s a gift, people. No matter what any modeling “school” says, it can’t be taught.

3. THE BLACK BELLES

Lauren loves their witchy look, and I do too. Could I pull it off? Not any sooner (or better, for that matter) than I’d work RuPaul’s eyeshadow, no. But I can’t see any reason not to give these girls props for doing just that. Judging by those hats, they paid attention to Saint Lauren’t Spring 2013 show last September. Or did Hedi Slimane pay attention to them?

4. AMANDA LEPORE

Unlike RuPaul, Ms. Lepore is a transsexual, not a transvestite. Like RuPaul, she’s prettier than me. And unlike most people, she’s super famous within New York City’s club circuit. She wears awesome heels and has great hair. In short, she’s the fabulous-est of them all.

5. ADAM DRIVER

Why yes, his ears ARE huge. And, to quote his ex-girlfriend’s friend on Girls, his look hearkens that of an “old-timey criminal.” But there’s a huge movement of women right now who think he’s hotter than Marnie’s boyfriend. I can’t lie; I’d choose Charlie, but plenty of my friends are on team Adam and I’m beginning to get it.

6. WILLIE NELSON

“He always has like, the best braids ever,” Jenna pointed out earlier today. Does he not? (Don’t even act like you don’t sing along in your head when you hear “You Were Always on My Mind.”)

7. JACK WHITE

Once I was about 30 feet away from Jack White at a Dead Weather show. Simply put, his musical talent is captivating. If you don’t think musical talent contributes to a man’s hotness (see also: Tom Petty) I’d like to politely inform you that your imagination is broken.

8. HELENA BONHAM CARTER

Another not-quite-original pick, as Marc Jacobs beat us to the punch in those ads he did a while back. (Whatever.) Helena’s striking in a freaky way, and she’s inspired one of the most successful creative weirdos in the film business, Tim Burton.

9. LENA DUNHAM

A conventional beauty Lena’s not, but what she lacks in that regard she more than makes up for in fearlessness. She’s just so comfortable with herself. And it shows. Sometimes a little too much, but we’ll let that slide.

10. ANTHONY BOURDAIN

“Attitude is everything,” Marissa pointed out when she brought up this travelin’ man. I agree. Anthony Bourdain is a citizen of the world, knows everything there is to know about food, gets messed with by nobody and boasts the vocabulary of a scholar. I think his salt-and-pepper hair works for him, don’t you? Talk nerdy to us, Anthony.

11. PAZ DE LA HUERTA

Technically, no news here—Paz was one of Zac Posen’s muses. Yeah, she’s a mess and starts fights in bars. But she’s almost never without interesting lipstick of some sort!

12. IGGY POP

Marissa and Jenna each brought this one to the table, and I can’t argue. Who can argue with abs like that? If you need any further evidence, listen to “Now I Wanna Be Your Dog” and tell me he’s not a poet.

13. RUPAUL

Just this morning, I was lamenting the fact that RuPaul–Jenna’s unabashed self-proclaimed “obsession”— is so much prettier than I’ll ever be, all 52 years of him. No, I’d never wear eye makeup like that in public, but that’s partly on account of the fact I’d never be able to apply it with such precision, skilled as I am. Say what you will about his persona—you think he cares? He’s confident; therefore, he’s awesome. And his skin is without flaw.

14. FAIRUZA BALK

I’ve never been able to decide, exactly, whether I find Ms. Balk stunning or terrifying. I think both qualities are aspirational in their own regards, though. And I think we all can agree her face—love it or loathe it—isn’t easily forgotten.

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