There are some programmes I frequently tune into which undoubtedly can be accused of dubious narrative, poor plotlines and questionable casting. Yet I continue watching.
Why? I’ll tell you why… just don’t judge me!
I’m loyal to these below par programmes because they satisfy a certain craving I have for fashion. There are some shows where the script writers don’t always deliver – but the wardrobe department consistently does. (And then there are the few shows that have it all like Sex in The City or How I Met Your Mother.)
Real life isn’t a big fashion show, but I wish it was. There’s something irresistible about the escapism of clothes, shoes and jewellery, and the styling of characters who can pull of the looks I dream of – from Gossip Girl’s Blair Waldorf to The L Word’s Shane McCutcheon. (Those two characters are pretty different, but hey, I guess I have fashion-schizophrenia.)
So while desperately trying to stop myself trawling eBay for vintage tea dresses, I’ve compiled a list of those programmes and characters that meet my fashion-perving needs.
My word, the 90210 plot lines certainly leave a lot to be desired – and believed. I could write a whole entry on unrealistic twists like Teddy the notorious ladies man suddenly being gay or Ivy’s Baywatch-esque surfing accident – but the outfits make me weep with envy! I know I’m shallow but I adore Annie’s hint of grungy chic and Silver’s perfectly styled yet punky outfits. Most of all I enjoy Ivy’s laid-back, surfer chick style, she looks amazing, so bohemian… just what I’d wear if I could I only had the body type.
Clarissa Explains It All
I’m going way back to the early 90s here, but my admiration for Clarissa Darling’s style has always stuck with me. I loved her quirky, colourful attire, she really worked everything that early 90s fashion had to offer (which wasn’t much) and, wow, was she awesome!
In both the film and TV series I always admired Amber’s often under-appreciated style. From a dress made from CD’s (how 90s), to brightly coloured wigs and lilac lipstick, Amber was the queen of exaggeration and eccentricity. She certainly wasn’t afraid to be different or stand out from the crowd. In the 90s I dreamed of having Amber’s confidence, so that I too might rock up to school in an electric blue wig or sailor’s hat.
I couldn’t miss out Phoebe Buffay. Growing up I always admired her fun, folksy style. Phoebe’s look was always feminine and wonderfully accessorised. I remember trying to wear rings the way she did, one at each end of her finger. She certainly didn’t obey the “always remove one accessory before you leave the house” rule and I loved her for it.
I have assorted style envy issues with pretty much every cast member here! Betty’s clothes were bold, bright and amazing; reportedly it was her outfits that cost the most, not Wilhelmina or Amanda as you might think. Those ladies were of course both so painfully stylish my eyes hurt. And let’s not forget the sheer genius of Christina’s eclectic wardrobe. If I only I could wear Amanda’s outfits to work… and why doesn’t anyone I know dress like Marc St James?
Lark Rise to Candleford
I couldn’t complete this entry without mentioning an incredibly stylish favourite character of mine, my one weakness you might say. It is of course, Dorcas Lane. Now that was power dressing for the 1800s. Miss Lane’s fine dresses, though frequently repeated, were an absolute delight to my eyes. The bodice detail, the large shoulders… she somehow managed to look like a serious businesswoman in a full-length frock. Of course the sisters Pearl and Ruby were a treat too – but it was Miss Lane’s look that had me spellbound. I think it’s partly knowing I’ll never really have the chance to dress like that. Sure there are costumes and fancy dress, but outfits like those found in Candleford – being so vastly unpractical – will never really come back into fashion.