‘Cradle of Love’ – Iconic Isn’t It?

‘Cradle of Love’ by Billy Idol

It was several years since Billy Idol had had a hit song when in 1990, he released Charmed Life, his 4th studio album. The lead single was ‘Cradle of Love’, a possibly autobiographical tale of a man who takes up with a much younger woman. The song — a fun, but not especially remarkable pop rocker — might have gone unnoticed if it wasn’t for the video, a frisky romp packed with seduction, spilt wine and bendy dance moves. The ‘Cradle’ video starred actress Betsy Lynn George as Devon, a teenage temptress who shows up at her yuppie neighbor’s front door asking to use his stereo since hers is broken. He obliges, because — hello — hot pants. Idol himself only had a cameo role in the clip due to motorcycle accident in February ’90 which confined him to crutches. Video director David Fincher had to rework his narrative, shooting Idol only from the waist up and turning him into animated Warholian artwork. This left room for George to take over, and that she did.

About the Look

The creative team for ‘Cradle of Love’ mixed influences from Film Noir and modern downtown LA (where the video was shot) to design Devon’s look — the red lips and cat’s eyeliner were straight out of 40s Hollywood, the Chinatown jacket and chandelier earrings seem like awesome thrift store finds. What makes the look work then (and today) is balance. Tiny little shorts show lots of leg, but the top is totally covered (until Devon strips, but that’s for later, right?). The accessories are key here too: fingerless leather gloves, rosary-style beads, and wide headband create an eclectic mash-up of utter badassery. It’s interesting to note that George’s outfit (coupled with the choreography) created quite a stir back in 1990, but by today’s standards, she’s dressed downright modest.


clockwise from top left:

jacket: 86Vintage86 ~ necklace: Nakamol ~ bustier: H&M ~ gloves: Vivienne Westwood ~ tights: Gap ~ shirt: Comme Des Garçons
shoes: Giorgio Armani ~ earrings: Bar III ~ shorts: Burberry ~ headband: ALO Sport

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Categories: Editorial, Fashion, Film, Lifestyle, Music


Fashion Stylist | Author of "Michael Jackson Style" and "Madonna Style". Spent majority of time backstage in London and New York; shuffling between Fashion Week and Theatrical Costuming Gigs after Graduating from the University in Fashion Design.


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