one of my biggest style crushes of all time is wanda woodward, the bad-ass babe from the film cry baby who could easily inflict heart palpitations in any man or women within a 50 mile radius. with her perfectly trimmed bangs, full head of hair, porcelain skin, perfectly painted red lips, black winged eyeliner, and inherent sex-appeal, it really should come as no surprise that so many women in the rockabilly scene view this women as a paradigm of or retro perfection. after chopping the front of my hair off, and thinking of different ways to style my hair, wanda's stunning coif naturally popped into my head. the picture above is how i personally translated this siren's look. definitely an outfit i would sport while hanging out in the park with friends all day in the summer. (this photo was obviously taken a while back, as my bangs are a lot shorter here than they are now, reminding me that i probably should make that hair appointment i keep putting off ...)
now, i am currently not immersed in the rockabilly scene, but wanda's look definitely speaks to the 18-year-old version of myself who still resides within me. that girl listened to a lot of oi, rockabilly, and punk, and wore thigh-high stockings, black mini skirts, and denim jackets. and although i no longer have bright pink hair, or sport skulls on just about everything i own, there are a lot of influences from those good 'ole teenage days that remain with me which i still see reflected in my choice of shoe - combat boots or creepers are my go-to shoes when out clubbing - devilishly short short-shorts, and love of over-the-knee or thigh-high stockings. i may no longer blast the distillers while driving my black CR-V anymore - partially because my CRV is in car heaven and i don't have a valid driving license in germany - but i like seeing how certain parts of the high-schooler that i once was is evident in some of my fashion choices.
this brings up another point as well. i don't really believe in legitimization when it comes to fashion. even if i did't have some sort of foundation in alternative scenes from my high-school years, i would still be taking fashion cues from wanda. now i don't mean that i am telling you to turn goth overnight, or go out and buy a bunch of patches from bands you have never heard of and sew them onto a denim vest and expect to be liked by the crust punks in your city, or put on a sonic youth t-shirt even though you don't know who kim gordon is and walk into any bar in williamsburg and expect someone there to become your bff. part of fashion is lifestyle, and you do not want to be selling a fake you. but being true to yourself also means not shying away from certain fashion trends you love because you don't have the "cred" to back it up.
as long as you are able to translate it in a way that exemplifies who you are, i see nothing wrong with going for it. designers draw from certain decades or fashion scenes all the time for inspiration and i love seeing something iconic turned into something revolutionary. if you can draw from the 60s as a source of inspiration, there should be no reason why you can't also take elements from the hip-hop scene and incorporate it into your wardrobe. just don't go acting like the bad-ass gangster that you are not. my main point is that at the end of the day, fashion should be more fun than serious. it should be experimental and messy. i definitely have a lot more respect for the girl who dresses prim and proper one day after taking her cues from tracy flick after waching election and chops all her hair off and dons a white shirt and black pants à la uma thurman in pulp fiction (i am definitely guilty of the latter) than the one who dares not do anything adventurous for fear of getting called fake. then again, i almost see re-invetion as a style in and of itself with you as your own boss. that, and i was never a big believer in putting myself inside of any kind of box anyway. (i leave you with a series of film stills of the magnificent wanda)
who are your fashion influences? how does your style today vary from your younger self? what do you think about "legitimization" in fashion?
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