As it says in our About Us, we came from two different worlds but were both influenced by fashion from a young age. From garage sale shopping with our moms and grandmas (the make-do-mend generation that seems to be forgotten about with this “new thing” called “upcycling”) to being the only 12-year-old’s in our neighborhoods that poured over Vogue and not Teen Beat. Fashion was one of our biggest loves, but also one of the things that made us different than our peers. That all changed with the success of one movie, the 1986 classic, Pretty in Pink. For this post, we decided to pay homage to Andie and her thrifting, upcycling ways.
The year was 1986. I was in 6th grade. Awkward and shy. The one and only redhead, with pale white skin and freckles. Artsy and interested in fashion design and drawing, I stood out like a sore thumb. John Hughes films were au courant and along came the life-changing and affirming Pretty in Pink.
Because she had red hair, and because I kept mine cropped in a short bob while everyone else had tumbling blonde or brunette locks, I was immediately compared to Molly Ringwald. Particularly in this film. Andie and I both loved hats, brooches, the color pink, vintage clothing, and Volkswagen Karmann Ghias. I found my spirit animal in that movie, and though I have changed stylistically from the sweet florals and lace, I’d like to think those looks gave way to the bolder prints, colors, and cuts I wear today. I’ve long since retired pink from my wardrobe and leave the lace to my undergarments, but it was fun to think about what grown-up Andie might wear today.
For her work look, I went with white pants, the ONLY floral blouse I own, and a dusty pink blazer borrowed from Ellen. I styled this outfit with Andie’s ubiquitous floral brooch, which makes me wonder if SJP/Carrie Bradshaw was influenced by Andie as well…..
For brunch or a day-date, this floral maxi sundress from Tarrytown Pharmacy with a custom denim jacket, a straw hat, and high top sneakers do the trick. Cocktails call for a black and grey heavy lace dress with a sheer top with suede studded pumps for a serious look or grunged out with a leather jacket and combat boots for fun.
And finally, prom night. For grown-up Andie’s prom dress, I did in fact go with pink AND lace, but in more of a blush/neutral with a geometric crochet style textile to update Andie’s lace insert. The fit and flare silhouette also mimics that of the dress she created in the film and the lace-up front gives it a sexy little wink.
While Pretty in Pink was supposed to take place in a suburb of Chicago, this LA gal recognized the cool, but not popular, places Andie, Duckie, and the crew hung out. That is because me and my small, slightly ragtag crew hung out. While most of the girls in my affluent-ish school were trying to look like the ads for Robinson’s, Broadway, or even Zody’s (none of which are still around BTW), I was trying to make my outside look like my inside felt – different. And when you are 12, 13, 14, 15, feeling different can be a difficult thing.
A lot of that changed with the movie, Pretty in Pink. Suddenly ragtag became the “it” look, and the fact that I had been cutting open the tops of vintage pillowcases to make unique skirts was no longer weird, but “cool, just like Andie” according to the popular set. The lesson I learned from all of this, was to just be me and not care what anyone thinks. It worked out well for Andie, and for me too.
What would Andie wear? This is a question I have asked myself repeatedly whenever I need to get out of a style rut, so it seemed natural we should tackle this for the blog. My work look is entirely from the secondary market, from the vintage Halston peach pants and Escada purse from Etsy to the no-name floral blazer from a thrift store. The satin Victorian-style blouse came from a private sale from a costume designer here in Austin when she was cleaning out her amazing inventory.
My brunch look was inspired, not by Andie, but by her confidant, Iona (played to perfection by the totally underrated Annie Potts). The dress is actually a vintage Bill Blass slip I found at Goodwill. I threw on a vintage kimono and finished the look with tie-dye socks and platform sandals, I look I have wanted to try for a while, but wasn’t sure how to go about it since it is a bit out of my comfort zone. I think Iona would approve.
And finally, on to prom (or cocktails). The silver dress has a funny story attached to it. This is a true 80’s prom dress. One I wanted to wear to a dance in the actual 80’s, but my mom did not approve. Well mom, ha! I own it now (and clearly I need to get over this as I am an adult and it has been decades……). I paired it with YSL earing and Chanel heels to give it a more modern feel. For a modern take on Andie’s dress, I styled up this Cleobella dress I purchased a few years ago for a gala because it reminded me of her. The lace inset with strategically places pink flowers just screamed Andie. And of course, my favorite new/old trend, the scrunchie!
Part of AFL is about women who view fashion as one important tool in the story they tell the world. We are careful to say that we know it is not the only tool. But for many women, fashion is a place to start. We personally feel better about giving a work presentation if we are confident in what we are wearing. And in the case of Andie in Pretty in Pink, seeing our love of fashion on a movie screen helped two impressionable young women stay true to themselves and not follow the crowd. Sometimes fashion is more than fashion. And that is more than okay.
Photography by Breezy Ritter