This Formerly fashion thing gets tricky sometimes.
Yesterday, we filmed the hopefully-soon-to-be-viral video to promote my hopefully-soon-to-be-well-received book. The scene involved a Formerly weeding through her closet to figure out what still worked, and what would best be donated to Goodwill for some 20something to discover and decide she invented the look.
For the box of old clothes the main character was to go through, I scoured thrift stores to find the appropriate inappropriate, clearly unwearable, outdated items. Then Marika, the actress playing the beautiful and thankfully wise Formerly, and I hit H&M for a pair of ridiculous, crippling shoes that we figured there was no way a Formerly would ever wear, now that she is capable of rational decision-making with regard to footwear. Just for fun, I snagged an acid-wash, three-tiered mini skirt, of the variety Tiffany would have worn in her shopping mall tour in 1987.
So we’re filming the scene, and Marika whips out the acid washed skirt, which I intended to be the visual punchline. I mean, really! What screams Valley Girl cliche louder than a three-tired acid wash denim mini? Picture it paired with a polka-dotted pumps, a matching floppy hair bow, a mesh tank top and big, plastic neon earrings. Oh, and don’t be stingy with the hair mousse.
“Hmm…no. I don’t think that’s working,” said Jocelyn, the woman whose title I can’t remember but she was in charge of keeping track of all the shots and holding the clapper thingy in front of the camera before the director says action. Plus lugging heavy equipment. She’s 31. “That’s too in.”
Marika, who is 42, and I looked at one another, surprised. We prepared to gently overrule her. I formed my words in my head, something to the effect of, “Oh, honey, you probably don’t know this, because you’re too young to remember Tiffany except from a Vh-1 where-are-they-now? type segment, but really, acid wash jeans scream “Thank the two Coreys that the 80s are over for another 70 years!”
But before I could speak, Ava, the camera woman who was probably a year or two younger than Jocelyn, concurred. “Yeah, no, totally,” she said. “People are wearing that.” Jocelyn added: “I have friends who wear stuff like that. They probably shouldn’t, but they do.”
Just like that, the acid wash three-tired mini was plucked from the box, and later returned to H&M. Marika and I shook our heads in disbelief that in our lifetime, a fashion trend that was God-awful the first time around is back, and will only be considered retro in another 20 years. A Formerly Moment if ever there was one.
But then I silently reminded myself that for every 600 20something hipsters wearing a three-tired acid wash denim mini skirt, only two will look remotely good in it. That was as true in 1987, when I was 20, as it is now. Some things never change.