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*

Cool Girls Making Cool Sh*t

Since being on the Instagram, it has had its ups and downs as a creative platform. Its developed personalities that were born on the likes of MySpace and Buzznet into full fledged entrepreneurs over the matter of a decade in the information age. I wanted take this moment to pay my respects to some of my favorite creators and designers out there making things and working the work.

1) Tiny Thunder Design

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Photo: @tinythunderdesign

I first discovered this eclectic table of jewelry trinkets in Seattle at a market full of creators called the Bad Will Market. This gal Phoebe hand makes most, if not all, of her inventory, which is pretty spectacular since her Etsy store runs about 300+ items, from mainly jewelry to random vintage clothing. What I love about her items is that you can find anything from: pizza slice earrings, witchy crescent moons, crystals and resin pendant necklaces with many pop culture references. If your a fan of 90s cult classics like Twin Peaks, Jurassic Park, anything grunge or Pacific Northwest related. Give her a follow!

2) Moon Soda Co.

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Photo: flat lay of Moon Soda Co.’s first t-shirt design available for order (blondewednesdayaddams)

After searching for this particular Barbie x Forever 21 bodysuit, I finally saw it on this lovely girl’s Instagram while she was frolicking through The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Disney World in Orlando. I learned more about Sarah, aka Blonde Wednesday Addams, which is her Instagram alias and her blog space by giving her a follow. She is all about Halloween, anything Harry Potter (hello, fellow Ravenclaw!) or Disney related she has it, as well as Sailor Moon and Studio Ghibli paraphernalia. Her photos are beautifully edited, like Tinker Bell blew stardust all over them and she has knack for storytelling while being straight forward and pleasant all at once. Alongside entrepreneur Planet Pinwheel came up with Moon Soda Co. (store coming soon) as way to sell accessories with hints of classic and nostalgic Disney. Her first t-shirt design pays homage to familiar Disney Original movie hit Halloweentown, which I vaguely remember, as I was part of that 90s-2000s cohort.

3) Jini And Tonic

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Photo: @jiniandtonic

While I was wandering the streets of Logan Square, a neighborhood of Northwest Chicago, my friend who so graciously hosted me, showed me this lonely storefront called Flair. Inside was a small vintage round rack and a whole wall of enamel pins, sassy greeting cards and patches. Twin Peaks seems to come up A LOT in this blog, well anytime and of course there were some pins reminiscent of the Log Lady and Agent Dale Cooper speaking with Diane. The brand: Jini and Tonic perfectly meshes cult classic phenomena into wearable art. While some are pop culture references, a lot of designs played satirical keys of today’s wild politico world. The storefront has since closed due to lack of foot traffic in the area, however you can find her pins at various shops, pop-up markets in and around Chicago and of course online: Jini And Tonic.

4) Tesseomancer: Art By Tessa Tigges

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Photo: This beer kooze is one of the many cute, yet macabre things sold on her shop! (@tessatigges)

About a year into being a Vegas resident, I got a serving job at a cool place inside the Hard Rock Hotel. The girl who trained me happened to be this talented artist! She quickly left the desert life and is now based in Los Angeles. Her style is beautifully haunting and gothic just like her artwork. With intricate line work, her art features various desert-scape scenes, blended with all seeing eyes and alchemical symbolism. She pays homage to her Arizona origins with images of saguaro cacti, agave and other desert flora and fauna. Currently, she is sold out of most of her art work, but offers various homewares, like tote bags and mugs that feature her illustrations. You can find art by Tessa at Tasseomancer online and peep her Instagram for pop up markets.

5) Hunt & Orchard

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I have been following these two best friends for a few years now. Shining on through the downfall of their previous brand Gypsy Warrior, Nicla DiCosmo and Michel Bezoza started their more jewelry focused brand: Hunt & Orchard which offers new and vintage jewelry, talismans, accessories and manifestation kits. What I love about them is their branding. They are constantly updating their inventory as they find vintage pendants, rings and gem stones. From having so much success with Gypsy Warrior, they have kept strong relationships with their clientele, major plus if your developing a new e-commerce shop. Brands that manage to keep and grow their customers from a previous endeavor to a new project are doing it right. Hunt and Orchard periodically hold contests and flash sales, so give them a follow! I’ve been lucky to score from time to time.