Around the time when I first discovered Eva Kostolányiová back in January and had become aware that she was described as the ‘Twiggy of Slovakia’, since she was considered very much a fashion icon of her day, my thoughts were something along the lines of “shouldn’t that be the ‘Lulu of Slovakia’?” on the basis that she’d have been the combination of a fashion icon and a Pop Music artist rather than a fashion icon alone, thinking primarily of Lulu’s days with the Freemans fashion catalogue (I have subsequently discovered that, although it has become almost totally forgotten, Twiggy did have a minor recording career). Furthermore, Eva came from what I have got to know as ‘the Scotland of the former Czechoslovakia’.
Here are some images of Eva that illustrate just why she’d have had that soubriquet and why it seems so improbable that such imagery originated from a small nation on the Communist side of the Iron Curtain. That even looks like some sort of designer watch that she’s wearing in the second of this series. Also, I’m sure I encountered something this year in the fashion news that lace-up clothing, like the neckline of the yellow top she is wearing in the final image, is ‘hot news’ at the moment. The photographers are credited in the second and third of the series.
As tends to be the way with GOTGE, I have almost accidentally come across, over this past few days, the fact that Eva actually performed the Slovak-language version of the theme tune – originally performed by Lulu – to the Slovak-dubbed version of the classic movie of Swinging London, ‘To Sir, With Love’ – only some seven years down the line from the original release, therefore in the year of her eponymous LP, 1973. The film was re-titled ‘Pánu učiteľovi z lásky’ for the Slovak-speaking market and ‘Panu učiteli s láskou’ for the Czech-speaking one (I’m not sure if Eva’s Slovak-language recording served as the theme to both or if a separate, Czech-language version was also recorded). So, in summary, Eva was indeed more the ‘Lulu of Slovakia’ than I thought and since I have mentioned the word ‘Swinging’, this brings to mind my invention of the term to describe the aforementioned photographs – ‘Swinging Slovakia’.
Coincidentally, (if there had been a separate Czech-language version of the theme), there would have been two discs entitled ‘Panu učiteli s láskou’, since in 1969 Věra Špinarová covered Clodagh Rodgers’ ‘Come Back And Shake Me’ under that very title. I think that, beyond this sharing of a name, there would have been no connection between these two songs. It is also possible, given that Věra’s career kicked off in 1969, (when she would probably have still been only seventeen) that this could have been her inaugural release and that my previous assumption that it was ‘Son Of A Preacher Man’ (in English) may have been mistaken. I cannot find any reference to ‘Panu učiteli s láskou’ in any of Věra’s discographies on-line, which means that this, too, can only be an ASSUMPTION at the moment. The Czech-language lyrics were by Vladimír Čort and Věra was accompanied by Ivo Pavlík’s Band.
Incidentally, on the matter of Clodagh Rodgers – if GOTGE readers may have asked themselves previously why, when I imagined a ‘Western Valérie Čižmárová’ as a Northern Irish star called ‘Valerie Shoesmith’ and thinking back to the time when I singled Clodagh out for particular praise, Clodagh herself didn’t leap out as a real-life Northern Irish star from that period – I hadn’t completely lost sight of Clodagh in this context. However, there was quite an age difference between Valérie and Clodagh (slightly short of half a decade) and I think Clodagh might have been a little on the mature side for the fictional young Bubblegum Pop Star that I had in mind.