The Enigmatic Miss MewMonday, June 24, 2019
|One of my favorite photographs. This is the first costume I ever wore. For my first ever dance. My audition at the NO5 Orange for the Matriarch Brandolini. First song ‘Black Magic Woman’|
In the early 80s Vancouver was known internationally for the quality of its ecdysiasts (look up the word).
My writer friend Les Wiseman, who wrote a rock column for Vancouver Magazine called In One Ear, and I had to go to late night concerts to review bands and to interview them backstage. Wiseman was not only a connoisseur of ecdysiasts but also of fine brews. This meant we ended up in many of our city’s pubs that featured that high and fleeting art called dance. We had our faves. Looking back I now see them as roses in my garden. My favourite on any day is the one in bloom on that day.
Because both Wiseman and I were musical snobs (he trained me into that) we were conscious of the music that these lovely women chose for their routines.
This brings me to Miss Mew.
She was not called Miss Mew. I gave her that name. Her stage name was Topaz and those who knew her well called her Fleen. She is filed in my collection of negatives and slides as Fleen.
There was something cat-like about her slow dancing and that enigmatic stare of hers that would break out into a tiny almost indiscernible smile. Her skin was a luminescent white and it wasn’t until one day that she visited us at our Railway Club lunch soirées that I found out that her face was all freckles!
Her music was mostly Lou Reed. That was enough for both Wiseman and this poor photographer. And I was a poor photographer not only financially in those years but also in my skills. Notice the chopped hands and legs of these shots. I had to remove strands of hair from her face that I had not noticed in my Burnaby basement studio.
But in spite of it all Miss Mew shines in a way that any time I post a picture of her in social media she is noticed.
My friends used to laugh at me for my obsession on going to see Miss Mew perform. I may have been a poor photographer then but I knew enigmatic beauty when I saw it.
Best of all Miss Mew is proud of her former profession.