Teenage Tropes: Bristol’s Thrifty Fashions in Skins, Generation Two.

What became a phenomenal success from its first season, UK’s Skins continued with its core cast as they became seniors in college for season two. With such explosive popularity among young adults, Skins continued the saga with a new cohort of high schoolers as they introduced season three and four with an all-new cast. To viewers, it’s bittersweet to say farewell to the original cast, but creators Bryan Eisley and Jamie Britton crafted the story of Skins to follow authentic teen experiences through an all teenaged cast. Thus, we have Tony’s younger sister Effy (played by Kaya Scodelario), a bit more grown-up than her silent Season One appearances, as the core member of this next erratic group of friends. The way wardrobe styling relates to each character gives the viewer an introspection to their psyche, their lifestyle, socio-economic status, and their personality. I’ve never been so struck by a television show’s wardrobe decisions; it’s worth examining as we’re watching new shows that may have taken a note or two from Skins.

Pandora “Panda” Moon

My Caboodles pencil case burst open and out came Pandora. OKAY, first of all… who decided her last name is “Moon”? How ethereal. Pandora’s first appearance in Skins was in season two during which Effy’s transitioning into a new private school under a self-declared vow of silence. In short, Pandora is the bubbly counterpart to Effy’s brooding, tortured soul. The two unlikely pair become best of friends.

Effy’s not into donuts. she’s into pills.

Pandora on Effy

In her own words she’s “useless”, but as the series carries on we learn that she is not only a force of joy and innocence but a loyal friend. Her style went from being in a stuffy private school uniform with her wild pigtails to an extravagant array of mixed prints, layers, patterned socks, chunky necklaces and, the cherry on top: a funky barrette in her hair. Pandora is a lovable character; check out some of her best moments in the series.

Manic-grunge-dream girl: Elizabeth “Effy” Stonem

Once famously stated by Lydia Deetz: “My whole life is a darkroom. One.. big… dark… room.” It appears as the series progresses devious Elizabeth “Effy” Stonem transitions from stirring the pot to falling in love, to eventually locking herself up in a manic malaise of collaging… a telltale sign of amphetamine abuse. She does however control her own narrative by wearing grunge in the most millennial way. What does that mean? Grunge has always been more than a music style since audiophiles transcended their playlists into social identification. The grunge exterior is hard but also allows for soft vulnerability, with lyrics that play to your loves, loss, and daily turbulence. Effy’s aloof demeanor paired with an edgy grunge wardrobe keeps her at a distance…emotionally. Ripped tights, motor boots, long tunics, and muscle tees, boyfriend blazers classed up with pins, flannel, and leather bomber jackets are all in rotation for the cloudy Bristol scenery.

Good Twin, Bad Twin: Emily and Katie Fitch

The unbreakable connection of twins is forever foreign to me. Though however similar the DNA of twins can be, one must not assume the two are one and the same. Katie Fitch is an extroverted, loud-mouthed (at times), mean girl… though layered. Her sister Emily is the quieter, manic-pixie type that holds a personal secret: she is gay. Though won’t allow it out until she bumps into her love interest Naomi repeatedly, who coaxes her to look at herself deeply and realize she is not her sister. When searching for style photos, I came across some rare snaps of the cast in the wardrobe department, with notes on their looks for each scene. Katie: a jewelry-clad gal with fitted pencil skirts, blouses, cropped cardigans, and even wears heels to college. Think on par with the Pink Ladies from Grease. Emily: pinafores, colorful tights, loafers, large book bags and dressed up tees; A thrifty gal with her head in the clouds.

Naomi Campbell For Class President

Naomi Campbell… no not the international supermodel, but Naomi Campbell: peroxide blonde teenager who wears many stereotypical hats. At first, she is a lesbian in the closet… though comes out finally at the school’s Valentine’s dance, where she wears this 80s-inspired asymmetrical, tartan/plaid punk dress with a statement charm necklace. She is the resident feminist and undoubtedly outspoken, making her the ideal candidate for class president. Unamused by passive compliments from her male peers, she is quick to realize her attraction to Emily… though hesitant to act upon it. While she is outspoken, she is trepidatious about exposing her vulnerable side. Naomi is layered. Literally. Her style offers a range of color combinations, layering long-sleeves with t-shirts, overall dresses with leggings, and a messenger-style school bag. She is the trendy bike messenger and if she were living in today’s political climate, she would probably work for The Onion. Check out Naomi’s Lily Loveless in an interview on style, Skins, and London’s Carnaby Street.

*I do not own any photos – all are from Pinterest*

Neon Nights: Working At Life is Beautiful

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One of the most anticipated times of the year, for me at least, is when the Life is Beautiful festival comes back to invade Downtown Las Vegas. Last year, after hearing about it from my co-worker, I applied to work the festival in 2017 and received an on call opportunity. Sort of ho hum reaction from myself as I assumed that I wouldn’t be working and would instead be at my real job that weekend. Though on opening day of the festival I got a call to work all three days. Crap! Do I call out all three days from my job? No, I couldn’t do that to my team… so, reluctantly I declined the offer and went on my way.

This year I made a promise to myself, that it potentially being our last year in Las Vegas that I would make it to the festival one way or another. I requested that whole weekend off at the beginning of the year and when August came around I went to the interviews again. Fast forward to Adam and I in Chicago at the ALL IN wrestling event on September 1st, we’re having the time of our lives… I can’t help but check my email and there it is. “CONGRATULATIONS! You’re hired to work the 2018 Life is Beautiful Festival!”

That month passes by with excitement and anticipation for LIB weekend. My friend, who told me about the event staffing, works this event pretty much every year its been in Vegas. So, with experience working in all things customer service from retail to Vegas pool parties, I knew I would be a shoe in. However, it’s competitive! You gotta have a great attitude going in, because the first impression is the only impression that matters for these cattle calls.

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That lineup though…

Besides making money all weekend, I was most excited to just be INSIDE the festival grounds. To walk around and look at all the artwork, food trucks and various stages with all different genres of musical acts… I’m so grateful. The two main groups I was most excited for was French electronic duo Justice and indie rock group Arcade Fire. The whole lineup was pretty spectacular though, with Death Cab for Cutie, First Aid Kit, Wolfmother, Cashmere Cat, Alison Wonderland and so many more… there really is something for every listener. Even the not so “hip with the times” person like myself.

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Photo: From my friend’s instagram @supergluu88 caught the flame throwers going off at my skee ball booth.

My booth, or bar I guess would be the proper thing to call where I was working was on 8th and Ogden street off the main drag of Fremont Street. Though we were pretty quiet during the daylight hours, once the sun went down, we were poppin’ (literally) cans upon cans of beers. In the empty lot we were in, a whole row of neon-lit skee ball lanes were erected for festival goers to enjoy and, spoiler alert, it’s FREE! Unlike anything else in the festival. Well, I guess that’s not entirely true, there were lots of opportunities for free swag. One of the biggest sponsors, Toyota had two tents where they had mini DJ sets of main stage acts performing smaller “secret” sets and drew modest crowds of people. All the while handing out bandanas, screen printed tote bags, ice cream, custom enamel pins, and fanny packs! Seriously, so much swag.

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Photo: Multi-colored sequin interactive art piece right by my booth.

Just being inside the park for the weekend, there was so much to see. Besides the musical talent, there is so many art installations and galleries that are put together just for the weekend. One vacant building, The Western Motel turns into an indoor art gallery, where you can purchase artwork. Empty walls and facades turn into a painter’s canvas. All of downtown turns into one giant art installation of all different kinds of mediums. There are always several murals that pop up during Life is Beautiful that I’ll spot when we’re ever downtown at the bars on a later date.

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Photo: Mural by artist Retna.

This was my first year being a part of this festival as a staff member. Though at times not everyone was on the same page, as with crazy, mega-scale festivals can be hectic, I am so lucky to have had this opportunity. I really scored on the location and the team at my bar. They were long 12 hour days, but it didn’t feel like it AT ALL. At the end of the day, it felt like a hard days work well earned. When I was done, I got to enjoy a few of my favorite bands, live. There is no greater sound or feeling.

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See ya next year!