Written by John Hughes and directed by Howard Deustch, Pretty In Pink is the story of Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald). Andie is a senior in high school from the wrong side of the tracks. She works, does well in school, and takes care of her unemployed father. He still pines away for the woman who left them behind. Although Andie is mature beyond her years and an outsider at school, she longs for the things teenagers long for, a date to the prom. When she falls in love with Blaine, a rich kid, they both become the targets of scrutiny from her best friend Duckie (Jon Cryer) and his best friend Steff (James Spader who epitomizes male white privilege in every scene) as well as their entire preppy crew. Andie has to decide whether or not to stand up for herself and what she wants and pursue a relationship with Blaine. Will they go to the prom?
Marilyn Vance is the costume designer responsible for creating the wardrobe for the Molly Ringwald/John Hughes trifecta, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink. Divine creative madness… You could also say she is partially responsible for my love of vintage, a staple of my youth but more so that she is wholly responsible for my love of refashioning as I first witnessed in the film when Andie endeavors to make the now infamous prom dress . Thank You Marilyn Vance!
While Andie’s best girlfriend went the straight up punk route and the Rich kids were decked out in pure pastel prep through and through, Andie fell in between with her post punk granny chic. There were really only two looks that I absolutely loved on Andie both were pants that I immediately tried to emulate with my own wardrobe – to the amusement of the grocery store clerk. Kids are going to experiment, be kind.
Duckie is perfection. He was the best of vintage shops, so stylish, so sweet and sentimental. He wore his heart on his vintage blazer sleeves along with and pins and brooches, military patches and ofcourse those worn out fabulous Duck shoes (Creepers).
The main style attraction for me in this film is by far Iona. Caring, funny, a post punk new wave chameleon. My wannabe BFF who loves glamour vintage and playing. The “Costume” looks Vance gives her are so simply, BadAss. Iona is the style star of Pretty In Pink. Easily. Blaine and Steff aren’t really worth mentioning, although James Spader will always have my heart. He was and is so good at being bad.
The Prom Dress. Most people hate it. I didn’t. I bought it hook line and sinker. This quirky, very individual girl, gathers up all of her courage and chooses to stand proud and alone at the prom – in this utterly unique design of her own making. Back then there were no sewing blogs, DIY’s, or designer’s latest collections to mimic at the touch of your computer. Back then we had to just have imagination, and read a lot. So yes, I love the extremely creative imagination of this very cool and brave 17 year old girl. I love the dress.
Movies are such a joy. And I love John Hughes films especially because I was growing up when these movies were made. They are a touchstone to my own adolescence. And somehow John Hughes always managed to touch your heart, get real and wrap it up in a never forced happy ending. I’ve been kinda blue lately. I think its time to get out my copy of Pretty In Pink. Cue OMD….