Fashion and “Pretty in Pink”
Team Duckie (Jon Cryer)! Fine, I won’t choose him over Blane (Andrew McCarthy). Screenwriter John Hughes, in making Andie (Molly Ringwald) end up with Blane instead of Duckie, rationalized that this coupling will make audiences think that rich people and poor people can end up together. I do, however, think that Andie chose Blane because he’s career oriented. Even if Blaine gets get said career because of nepotism, he thinks of himself as the heir of so-and-so company instead of his father’s heir, while Duckie will never get his act together. That and that Andie also likes subjecting herself to self-flagellation, going for guys who hurt her.
I do however, want to marry his wardrobe. His outfits remind me of what I tried to look like in high school, consisting mostly of Belmondo on Goodwill, with the hat, shades, pompadour and suspenders. Cryer would have been Ferris Bueller if his voice wasn’t so annoying. He also wears clothes that fits his size, a fashion rule that the rich boys should know but unfortunately not practice. I’m not trying to give him too much credit, but some of his sartorial references are also used both by Andie (military) and her boss, sassy Iona (Annie Potts, who dons a Colonel Sanders-esque suit).
Iona is my fashion girl crush from Pretty in Pink. Most of the characters have a fixed look but she keeps surprising us. She starts of the movie looking punk. She then goes for a Gilbert Adrian silhouette but with expressionist splashes of colour and makes things interesting with a red knitted hair net. Later on, she tries on her 1960′s style pink prom dress with, of course, the bumblebee hairstyle. She then goes all Western with a white suit, a look that Duckie also wears to the prom but in blue. Her fashion obviously reflects her personality, loud and young at heart, but her references to the past show that she’s a woman with her share of mistakes and with the wisdom she’s learned from them.
Andie, however, evokes the early twentieth century like a teenager emulating the impoverished idealist. Her room looks like a Matisse painting with Asian fabrics, geometric prints and sketches of Audrey-esque women in black. She dresses like a suffragette if they wore floral. Like women in that era, she’d wear off-white and have a cameo button fastening the top of her blouse. At her worst she dresses like mom, only able to afford cheap, dull-coloured fabrics, accessorized by pearls that the rich girls made fun of. Strangely enough because when we think of the 80′s, we think of her DIY ethos instead of those rich girls whose outfits I assumed dominated that era’s sartorial discourse.
Then there’s Blane, a guy who never seems at ease with his upper class status so he’d wear greys and browns and with a loose fit. Blane and Andie are a perfect match since they always look like crap. The only time he wears good white fabric, seemingly a favourite among his peers, is to prom, but his suit nonetheless looks costume-y, something his parents might have chosen for him.Wait, he’s also McSweeney from New Waterford Girl? I almost take back all the mean things I said.
I should also mention the other rich kids who seem to be more comfortable about their wealth than Blaine, the kind of girls who would wear their gym uniforms with a belt. While trying on prom dresses, one of the girls complained about looking like trash, like she’s on top of the wedding cake. This is the only time I’d muster some sympathy for these beautiful bullying girls who are constantly reminded that they’re on display. Andie’s exhibitionism, however, seems more voluntary, amateur looking but more fun.