Courtney Love’s Third Passion

Rocker and fashion icon takes Emo’s in style

Courtney Love, hangin' loose at SXSW 2010
Courtney Love, hangin' loose at SXSW 2010 (by Gary Miller)

“Let’s talk about a little of both.” I’d just asked Courtney Love if she had a preference for chatting about her Saturday show at Emo’s or her recently launched fashion line, Never the Bride.

Founder of Hole, widow to Kurt Cobain, acclaimed actress, designer; Love’s arguably the most opinionated and controversial rock star of the last couple of decades. She’s already on a roll when we call:

“Oh God! The TMZ tour bus just came around the corner for the third time! The last two times, I was just yelling effing words at them. It’s this insane tour: ‘Paris Hilton got her DUI here.’ It really drives me crazy. I mean, what the hell?

Austin Chronicle: With your new fashion line, why the Edwardian and Victorian eras? What’s the appeal for you?

Courtney Love: I like repurposing. I’ve been working with a lot of textures with my partner in London lately. Originally I was doing it in kind of a geek way, but I have better access to seamstresses in L.A. We’re looking for a licensing deal as well for ready-to-wear.

These are a lot of one-of-a-kind pieces with pin-tucking, smocking. A team in London made 300 pieces, and they’re wearable. They’re not as outrageous as my pieces, but I’m wearing one of the jackets and the pieces sold out. And I opened up Tattler and saw the Honorable Lady Yaddayadda wearing one of my dresses, and it was such a rush! It’s much different than seeing your mug! I got off on it so heavily!

My mentor in this is an editor at Conde Nast’s Love magazine, Katie Grand, who got me into Italian Vogue, Business Month, and in Russian Vogue, not just on me but on models. On me is good too, but I don’t wear it because I’m 49 years old and I don’t want to run around in a tutu all the damn time. In fact, Karl Lagerfeld was the one who said, “Why are you wearing a tutu?”

I said, “Because I have a new record out!” This was in 2010. Karl said, “You are never getting laid in a tutu.” One of my fashion icons was there and said, “Really, Courtney, you’re not.”

So I went upstairs and looked at my red eyeshadow and tutu, then my navy blue Miu-Miu and my nice taupe Prada coat and put that on. Within two days, I swear to God, I was dating Mr. Big! So when Lagerfeld speaks, you listen!

The next batch of clothes I make, I can wear and you can wear.

AC: Good! That was my next question; What are you making for us?

CL: Yes, that age group was very young. The next line will still be using repurposed clothing. The higher end for women is like L’wren funded by Jagger, Victoria Beckham funded by brand Beckham. I want to be funded in a feminist way, especially by a woman. God, there’s that TMZ bus again. I just want to flip them off!

But really, it was a thrill opening the Tattler and seeing a young girl properly attired. It’s a real passion for me. I dig it, but I don’t dig it as much as acting and I don’t dig it as much as playing rock music, so it’s my third passion.

Acting. I’m meeting with someone day after tomorrow. I don’t want to say his name. He’s an agent. He’s got a young client list – kids in Twilight – and he came after me. I’d be the oldest person on his roster, but you have to have an agent who’s willing to take rejection for you. Dancing with the Stars, no. HBO, yes. It really does take a village.

But not rock & roll. That takes a great song and a good manager. And you have to be really, really proactive. The movie that’s being green-lighted about Janis Joplin is actually happening. The last that was green-lit for real was when I came really close to doing it. The producer wanted me, but the director didn’t, and he had equity, so he could say, “Go to hell.”

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