Bossa Nova is the music of my dream life. Happy, Calm, Beautiful, sometimes sexy and always classy. That’s how I want to live and when you live like that, people hear Bossa Nova when they see you coming down the street. You can play this video while you read this post to get the effect:
Unsurprisingly, Nara Leão, known as the Muse of Bossa Nova, had sophisticated understated style and more class than a little bit.
Another sweet 60s ensemble. I love the bold exploded-scale ric-rac. The “statement neckline” is back in a big way lately, and the simpleness of the rest of the dress makes it enduring. I can’t think of a decade when this wouldn’t be stylish.
Look at that giant watch! Those high-waisted printed shorts! This looks like an outfit I’d see on somebody walking down Valencia street in 2011. Except her hair looks neat and she is not wearing a shit ton of feather accessories. Thankfully.
Ho. ly. Smokes. She is looking right through you. She is Nara Leão and she is not fucking around. She is the Chanel of Bossa Nova: simple light short sleeved sweater with black pants and a dainty-but-not-too-precious chain as the only accessory, not to mention the haircut.
I like that this Pea Coat has extra wide-set buttons and the double-breast part goes up really high so that there aren’t really any lapels just a nice big collar. More like a band jacket than a pea coat but it looks like it’s made of wool and thick like a pea coat.
I want to travel back in time for this tank-top. I like that the stripes are wider than a lot of the stripey/nautical stuff that’s trendy right now. I also like the bold, high-contrasting colors — you know the designers know something about hue and value when you can tell that from a black and white photo.
In the mid-sixties, Nara became disenchanted with Bossa Nova and began to sing political songs against the right-wing dictatorship that followed a military coup in 1964. I am always inspired by people who are able to rise to the challenges of their time. Sometimes, things happen that mean you can’t just sing music that is happy and calm and sexy anymore. Sometimes you have to sing about people getting dissapeared and being hungry. Her song Opinão is an enduring example of her protest music:
To be fair, my unsophisticated music brain can’t tell the difference between Bossa Nova and this besides the subject matter…
I also love that her shift in politics affected a shift in her style:
So, ok, this woman to me does not look like the woman in every other picture on the internet that is supposed to be of Nara Leão, but it was captioned “Nara Leão” so here you go. Whoever she is, YES ON THIS OUTFIT.
Puffed sleeves and a deep-v. I’m pretty sure I saw a chick in this dress in the mission last night. This is obviously the 80s… by which time Nara had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and was creating music like mad with all the time she had left. She died in 1989 at 47 years old, rest her soul.
More eighties goodness. The shoulder pads on the jacket are so bad they’re good. Sometimes I like clothes just because they seem ridiculous and are therefore entertaining – the eighties are good for that. I love that her haircut is exactly, exactly the same and just as stylish as 20 years before.
Buy her greatest hits on iTunes. Seriously, what could be better than protest music that sounds like Bossa Nova? It reminds you that the struggle is beautiful sometimes.