The Little Galaxy
Ramona Beattie and Grace London's infinite happiness
By William Harries Graham, 3:55PM, Mon. Oct. 29, 2012
Grace London visited from L.A. recently for ACL spin-off Ditch the Fest, singing with Ramona Beattie, daughter of Glass Eye bassist and producer Brian Beattie. Together, they're the Little Galaxy. That Sunday, as we walked South Congress and Stacy Park, I listened in on a dialogue about the relationship between music and fashion by the quick-witted duo.
When I think of the marriage of rock & roll and fashion, I fall back on the model-marrying Mick Jagger, who now lives with designer L'Wren Scott. Grace and Ramona think about Jack White.
“I really like how Jack White always has a color theme for every band he's been in, and attaches meaning to it,” says Ramona. “He does it really shamelessly and that's cool.”
Last summer, the Little Galaxy came to a U18 Proper Nang Night, with real flower petals as eye makeup. The look was bold, stunning even. Ramona confesses they got the idea from the "feminist teen magazine, Rookie." Little Galaxy's flair is undeniable.
“Both music and fashion are forms of art,” believes Grace, “and when you're onstage, you want to communicate that. I think that if you're wearing something that's maybe kind of crazy, or just something that you really love, it brings another dimension to the show.
“It sounds superficial to some people, but how I dress really makes up a huge part of who I am. I'm a really weird person, so when I go onstage I want that to translate."
Ramona also notes the correlation between fashion and performing.
“People make connections when you communicate to them, and basically, by having a so-called image for your band, you're manipulating that. I don't think that's a trick or it's superficial. I think it just helps to define what you're trying to say.
“I'm not trying to hide behind face paint and weird clothes to look like anything but what I am. I think a lot of people get confused about that, and think that band image is an egotistical thing. People are realizing that the music is just one dimension of a live show."
Ramona's also an aspiring designer, though something of a Renaissance person or jack of all trades. She once told me I could throw a brick at her and she'd learn how to play it. She learned to sew from Kathie Sever of Ramonster, Matt the Electrician's wife, whom she describes as "awesomeness oozing." A freshman at McCallum, Ramona has an impressive fashion blog called Ratticus Finch, cleverly written and designed with Augusta Dexheimer, a freshman at Ann Richards.
Ramona interned this past summer at the Stitch Lab. She also learned pattern-making last summer, “with the help of my dear friend Algebra.
"I was student teaching in the 7-to-11-year-old classes. It was really fun and teaching in general seems like the next thing you do after you know how to do stuff. Verbalizing what I know really helped me to understand it. It kind of exploded my mind to know how important patience is with everything."
Ramona regularly plays the Proper Nang Night at Maria's Taco Xpress, while Grace has started a teen music night in her new home of Southern California. We're bound to see them again together as the Little Galaxy because as Ramona says, together “they're a pit of happiness, whose collective creativity is seemingly infinite."