Fashion Soup for the Sartorial Soul: Twin Peaks

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“I’m Audrey Horne and I get what I want.”

This wealthy daddy’s girl from the TV cult classic Twin Peaks is one of many characters from the ‘90s supernatural murder-mystery who became an underground fashion idol for vintage-loving hipsters and “manic pixie dream girls” of the 21st century. Despite the small town’s preoccupation with solving the eerie slaying of local teen sweetheart Laura Palmer, the show’s forerunners still find time outside of their crime-solving antics to look impossibly chic throughout the entire series––making for a memorable cast of unique and quirky style mavens. And though the unfortunately short-lived series ran its course almost 25 years ago, contemporary high-fashion designers and mainstream retailers alike continue to repopularize aesthetics similar to the trends made cool by Audrey and her gang. So, whether you’re willing to spend an entire life savings to emulate the style of Twin Peak’s bombshell beauty or instead opt to keep it affordable, Audrey’s look can be achieved through a few practical, key additions to your wardrobe.

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As Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) attempts to stick her nose in the townspeople’s business and vie for the love of FBI agent Dale Cooper (Kyle Maclachlan)––a hilarious heartthrob and eccentric genius––her varying roles of both a damsel in distress and cleverly seductive bombshell come to light and mirror an equally as dynamic fashion sense. During her time as a run-of-the-mill high school student, Audrey’s getups feature a darling pair of saddle shoes, plethora of modest plaid skirts and cozy pull-over sweaters give her an understated ‘50s schoolgirl charm. But from the moment she lights up a cigarette in the school bathroom and slips into a pair of sensual red pumps, Audrey instantly evolves into a manipulative vixen who dresses like she’s coming to steal yo’ man!

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As the show progresses and Ms. Horne gets further intertwined in the strange events following Laura’s murder, her character becomes even more complex and she is revealed to be a neglected and lost soul who merely desires to be loved by others. But forgetting her negative qualities, fans ultimately adore Audrey for her moments of whimsy (seen in her notable diner dancing scene), genuine––yet often misled––desire to do good, and enviable sense of style.

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Almost two decades later, famous fashion houses are taking note of the Audrey Horne formula by using innocent femininity to convey a sense of head-bitch-in-charge empowerment. For their fall/winter 2013 collection, Louis Vuitton showcased girlish mid-century-inspired garments in muted earth tones. For his last show as creative director, Marc Jacobs sent down the runway a mix of cropped cashmere sweaters, lace-trimmed satin skirts and lingerie-inspired velour dresses. As for beauty, short and thick black wigs sat upon models’ heads while their pale skin was accented with Audrey-esque red lipstick, overly filled-in brows, and grungy black eye makeup. This juxtaposition of intimate boudoir pieces paired with heavy accessories and details evoked the darker side of Audrey Horne, reminiscent of her time as hostess at her father’s sketchy casino-by-day-brothel-by-night, “One Eyed Jacks.”

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That same season, LV’s head-designer extraordinaire managed to create Audrey Horne realness a second time in his Marc by Marc Jacobs collection. Though in contrast to his more sullen looks from the other show, Jacobs produced outfits that mirrored the glamorous though authoritative career women of the early ‘90s. Models donned elongated pencil skirts, boyfriend-fit pinstripe suits, bold patterned dresses –– while also sporting voluminous permed hair and bright red lips. Not to be forgotten, Audrey’s signature tartan textiles was present in the form of handbags, coats, and blouses. When assembled, the clothes conveyed a sense of lightness and ease that paralleled Audrey’s alluring and captivating demeanor.

For those who aren’t willing to spend a fortune on designer duds, find out below how you can get Audrey’s look for a bargain!

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1. Pixie Market, $45 

2. Sephora, $18 

3. Urban Outfitters, $34

4. Deandri, $130

5. Madewell, $32

6. Forever 21, $17

7. Jeffrey Campbell, $135

Words and images by Campbell Gee

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