Cinema Style: ‘Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains’

Diane Lane as Corinne Burns in ’Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains.’
Photo: Paramount Pictures

All of us at some point or another have fallen in love with a movie so deeply, we’ve wanted to become the characters. Whether that means buying a Drive scorpion jacket or having a sudden affinity for neon short shorts, pink ski masks, and a Britney Spears slow jam sesh in the bedroom mirror (Spriiiiing Breeeeak, y’all!), the right alchemy of cinematic sound, feel, and badassery can be stylishly transformative. While there are more than a few current films worthy of style stealing, I’m interested in pinpointing the cult flicks of yesteryear. You know, the ones that birthed the choker necklace (i.e. anything in the ’90s) or spawned the thigh-high and plaid skirt revolution (see also the ’90s). First up is one of the coolest and most iconic punk rock girl power movies EVER made—Ladies and Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains. Though barely released in 1982, there’s something so timeless and NOW about this story of a teen girl band that fools the world and themselves, that you’ll find yourself considering red eyeshadow, an oversized beret, and a Gaga-style no-pants look for every day. Also? A skunk mullet.

Corinne (Diane Lane) and Tracy (Marin Kanter) in ’Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains.’
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Quick overview: the movie centers around Corinne Burns (Diane Lane) who has recently suffered the death of her mother. Full of ’tude, she gets fired on national television for mouthing off to a camera crew filming a documentary about her town. The crew starts filming her instead, and she reveals that she’s actually called Third Degree Burns and is the lead singer of a girl band called The Stains along with her sister Tracy (Marin Kanter) and cousin Jessica (played by Laura Dern, currently of HBO’s Enlightened… R.I.P.). No one knows that the band can barely play instruments and have only rehearsed three times. And no one knows that this movie pretty much preceded reality television by a decade.

The Stains: Tracy (Marin Kanter), Corinne (Diane Lane) and Jessica (Laura Dern) in ’Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains.’
Photo: Paramount Pictures

The Stains get a small tour and go out on the road with a British punk band called The Looters. I have to pause here. What’s so awesome about this movie, other than the fact that it features girls owning their power and doing so in bright red shirts, is that it’s FILLED with music luminaries. This band, The Looters, is pretty much The Sex Pistols and The Clash fronted by a rockabilly character actor from the UK (Ray Winstone). And the movie itself is directed by Lou Adler who not only owns the famous Roxy nightclub on LA’s Sunset Strip but was the producer of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Also, it has influenced so many bands and current performers. One has to wonder where Lady Gaga got the inspiration for her no-pants and see-through top phase or if Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs modeled her eye makeup after Corinne Burns. The band YACHT has no problem professing their love of the movie, though. They covered two Stains songs on a 7-inch (which you can listen to here), and they titled it after the most iconic line from the movie: “I’m perfect, but nobody in this s***hole gets me because I don’t put out!”

Corinne (Diane Lane) in ’Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains.’
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Corinne and The Stains fail miserably at their first show, but Corinne mouths off to the audience then throws off her trench coat to reveal an insane ensemble of tights, panties, and a see-through shirt. The audience freaks out (not in a good way), but to the few younger women in the audience, she’s something of an icon. Soon, girls dressed like Corinne in her signature red eyeshadow, red and black color palette, and the aforementioned bleached mullet start showing up at their gigs. The band gets popular too quickly, though. They may look the part, but they’ve yet to prove it. I won’t give it all away, but there’s a Rastafarian guardian angel, drama involving a band called the Metal Corpses, a love story with the lead singer of The Looters, a concert involving hundreds of punk girls taking over a mall, and some major back stabbing that propels the girls to their destiny that may or may not include a music video network not unlike this very one right here.

Stains fan style in ’Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains.’
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Like I said, once you’re exposed to Ladies and Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains, you’ll find yourself wanting to start a band even if you don’t play an instrument. You’ll want to wear a flasher trench with dotted tights and heeled booties while walking down the street leering at anyone who looks at you funny. And you’ll want to say to dudes that don’t get it: “You are so jealous of me. I’m everything you ever wanted to be.”

Corinne (Diane Lane) in ’Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains.’
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Embedded from vine.co.

+ GET THE FABULOUS STAINS LOOK

+ SEE MORE PHOTOS FROM ’LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE FABULOUS STAINS’

Like us on Facebook so we can be friends and follow us on Twitter @MTVstyle to talk.