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Juliette Lewis: Loco-Motion

Iconic Style

She gave Robert DeNiro one sticky thumb as an unlikely, drawling Lolita in ‘Cape Fear.’ And in her night job, she’s gone on to give the rock canon a new style goddess. Eat your heart out, American Apparel. She’s the Viking-helmeted, bodysuit-clinging, crotch-rocking real deal.

Isn’t it like we’ve all grown up with Juliette Lewis? Well, not really. Her dad’s that crazy B-western character actor Geoffrey Lewis, an L. Ron Hubbard fan from way back. Troubled youth, but sans the drugs, the booze, the don’t-you-know-who-I-am fits and dosing entourages (sorry Whitney).

Hollywood brat that isn’t, simply a soft-chin, rubbery-faced, pouty little girl-brat possessing the attraction-repulsion gene that either kills a career (Courtney Love) or makes one (PJ Harvey), the Little Scientologist That Could has distinctly played leather-clad sluts, Daisy Duke hicks, pole-crawlers, serial killers and garter-belt Girl Fridays in movies and now (going “legal” on TV’s “The Client”).

But we love her most on stage, where we saw her a decade ago playing in “the cage” at the Sunset Strip’s Viper Room. There, in her best Bikini Kill mode, she out-outrageous-ed the Lizard King himself.

While her American rock-punk-glam band Juliette & the Licks aren’t on any slate right now, we’re watching for small club dates, divining it she joins one of the upcoming music fests.

After all, what’s more fun and sexy than seeing rampant exhibitionism done…correctly, rebelliously, big-fingerly in your face? And we love her fierce, untrained voice to boot. Anarchy in the L.A. personified.

Part Cycle Slut from Hell, part Axl Rose with a sinewy boy-body like the one he once owned, lulling, herky-jerky-ing and writhing like a black- or neon-green mamba, Lewis owns her latex body-wear like only a male-to-female drag queen could. She’s positively bizarre-o chic. If you got it, flaunt it, but not on the covers of glossy magazines, but in the crowd, pelvic-thrusting, wearing only a bikini with go-go boots. We-thinks she owes some to Pam Hogg, the Brit fashion designer who custom-makes all those glove-fitting rubber and leather bodysuits for rockers and booty-shaking divas for five figures. She likely gives Lewis her duds gratis.

But the skinny-ass temptress powdered up and slid into the sausage tubes first, and clung to the look, made it her own. Take a gander at this appropriately ragtag photo gallery, including a black-and-white of Miss Hogg costuming up a model, and how can’t you love the audacity?

She’s a one-woman free for all (Ted Nugent, you listening?)

Who’s Miss World now? Juliette, you may have written-in a mean letter to the magazine directed at me when I wrote a profile of you for Details some time ago. We loved it. Who does that? Like your cowboy-portraying pop, get back on the saddle again, get in character. We’re waiting and watching. It’s not a train wreck–it’s loco-motion!