1:52 am

"Hella Fashionable Hella Fictitious"

Some of the fashion icons who have made an impact on my life and perceptions on fashion aren't even real people. They are characters. Characters who've majorly contributed towards developments in fashion culture, acting as sartorial markers of our fashion history and even sources of new trends. Just as in the real world, these are characters who chose to use clothing as an integral part of their identity, balancing uniqueness with an intangible yet identifiable sense of style. This is my ode to some of them- five gals who made me excited for every episode, who stood out from the rest and who essentially represented my definition of  'peak style'.

Blair Waldorf ( Gossip Girl)

Queen of the Upper East Side, Blair Waldorf, literally had me sitting cross legged and wide eyed week after week back in the day. I just remember saying 'wow' a lot, the first time I saw these kids who acted like adults and wore very beautiful very grown up clothes.

I admire Blair specifically because of her extremely identifiable style (how many different head bands did she wear again?) and also her willingness to take fashion risks and do things a little more 'upper echelon' than her peers (ok maybe a lot). She knew who she was, wasn't trying to hide it and time and time again she left me awestruck with her incredible gowns and coats and 'modern princess' take on personal style.

This show is definitely on my rewatch (again) list. I blame the clothes.

Miranda Sanchez (Lizzie Maguire)

Miranda was definitely my favourite character on this show and I was extremely bummed when she was not featured in the movie version as I would've loved to see her Rome inspired get-ups. This girl is severely underrated and a beautiful embodiment of the tragic fashion of the early 2000s. I'm waiting in bated breath for the revival of this fash(un) era as I totally think it was the most fun in terms of experimentation.

The glory days of pre-teen style are articulated through Miranda's wacky af style. While clothes may not have been everyone's strong suit- examples being Lizzie's obsession with print bootlegs, Gordo's attempts at layering and Miranda's loyalty to the British flag print, I actually kinda love it in a 'that's so terrible it's good' kinda way. Despite this, Miranda slayed all of us with her hair accessories. Her head was literally a work of art everyday- and I'm gonna take a wild guess and say Karl Lagerfeld looked to her and her fluffy hair ties for inspiration for his work for Fendi...

Haha omg I have this hat!
Hilary Banks (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)

Hilary's style was amazing for me on two levels. Firstly because she completely epitomized some of the things we love about 90s high fashion. Her two-piece ultra-matchy ensembles could quite easily feature on any Vogue magazine of that time. The shoulder pads, tailored jackets, skirts and trousers are not something we usually see on teens of this era, or even teens of her era I'm sure, and I loved that. I loved how she looked completely overdressed  and 'ladylike' all the time. Lest we forget the hat game!

The other thing that made me love her so much, is the fact that portrayals of black people were very limited to a certain 'type'. Hilary on the other hand was apologetically posh. She wore her high-end brands and in turn served as another facet of blackness. Affluence and frivolity was proven as something black people could embody, and damn well. The Banks family was, for me, the clearest depiction of "the talented tenth" that Du Bois spoke of in his writings. They were a black family who had become part of the financial "upper class" but still straddled the line of acceptance from the black and white community, and it was interesting to see how this manifested itself in what they wore.

Debbie Thornberry (The Wild Thornberrys)

Ok ok so cartoons don't change their clothes, but that still does not detract from the fact that this chick was the definition of cool teen for 8-year-old Refiloe. Baggy ripped jeans, crop top, checked flannel, dark lips- she had 90s grunge down to science. Her outfit not only epitomized teen angst type style, but also matched with her salty-ass, indie-magazine-worshiping attitude. She didn't have to say one word and you could tell the kinda girl she probably was and in my opinion, it's all down to the clothes. I would defs pick being her over getting to chat to animals any day.

Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City)

The reigning queen.

Carrie kinda changed my life and inspired me to reflect on all the other characters I'd loved before her.

But woah... Carrie Bradshaw is the epitome of style.
She did what she wanted, switched it up every single day. I'm in awe at the sheer range of clothing she wore and ways she put pieces together, while still managing to thread the golden 'Carrie' thread through all of it- affirming her personal style.

The thing I love the very most is the level of consideration paid to even the smallest of details. Her propensity to wear something that was already cool, but then elevate that by adding something else that bordered unsettling and intriguing was the best part. Like cool 'I'll wear a crop top and long skirt, but I'm also gonna wear a belt, not on my skirt but on my bare skin'.

Suffice it to say, I almost shed a young tear after watching the last episode of possibly the most important show for fashion ever.

Five isn't nearly enough for the television fashion icons of our time.
Who are your faves?

You Might Also Like


All Zuri Archive