Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Style Iconoclast: Christiane F

Yes she was a teenage junkie and no she isn't some kind of hero for it. Instead, this young protagonist is the perfect image of how a dreamer can get swallowed up and devoured by the reality of West Berlin in the late 70s.

In the biopic, she has such a fragile look; with childish striped socks, a letterman jacket, hooker strappy platforms and skin tight black jeans. And not to mention her trusty plastic bag used throughout the film as her "purse." Christiane is completely, unselfconsciously naive and desperately off when it comes to what is sexy or alluring. But despite that, even Chloe Sevigny stated that every outfit in the film was perfection.

The real Christiane F (born Christiane Vera Felscherinow) was a 12 year old girl, smoking hashish and popping pills in the bathrooms of West Berlin's discotheques. By 14, she fell into a life-long battle with heroin addiction, turning to teenage prostitution in Bahnhof Zoo, a train station, to fuel her cravings.

Kai Herrmann and Horst Rieck from Stern Magazine approached her for an interview, about a pimp pushing heroin on his teen hookers. They were so charmed by Christiane and her story and the two hour interview expanded into two months. The article would eventually become her biography, Christiane F. – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo.

She instantly became a hit and got to hang out with rock stars, artists and composers, including her idol David Bowie. She dated German composer, Alexander Hacke, and started a band with him, Sentimentale Jugend.

In 1982, she released the dazzling left-field disco song, Wunderbar, which she said she hated (but it's so good!)

I heard recently she lost custody of her kid, due to her hardships with kicking her habit. Let us hope she gets clean for good.

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