OK, so this piece should actually be titled Style Dissection: 'This Is England' and 'This Is England 86', but that just isn't as catchy, and you guys should know - when it comes to titling I am ALL about catchiness. I want them to be bouquet-caught-at-a-wedding-in-a-rom-com catchy.
I've been keen to do a style dissection of some of the outfits in Shane Meadows' utterly brilliant creation for a while now, but was worried it might seem incredibly reductive to, well, reduce into outfits some of the most fantastic drama seen on our screens (both silver and plasma) for such a long time. Plus the issues dealt with in his work - racism, sexual offences, murder, suicide - don't neccessarily lend themselves to, "OMG look how cute her top is!" style-posts. But then the style on display is wonderful. The incredible costume design - by Jo Thompson - is a huge part of what makes 'This Is England' so visceral, rich and in keeping with the time it's set in. So I've done it. I've left out '88 as Lol's story is so hard to watch I didn't actually think I could see it again yet, but here are my picks from the film and the '86 episodes.
I will also be re-creating some 'This Is England' looks myself soon, and I can't bloody wait to get in some braces.
Oh and if you haven't seen 'This Is England' please do, it's stunning. Watch it with a friend though. And maybe don't read this post yet, as it contains some spoilers.
OK, so Lol (above). Lol is girlfriend of Woody (these names, jeez) and she's strong, clever and beautiful. That's reflected in her style which is very androgynous and tailored. I'm quite open about how much I'm in love with Lol, she's one of the best female characters around.
This is her in the centre with her best mate and sister, cutting newcomer Shaun's hair. In the film, which is set in 1984, they all favour Fred Perry polo shirts, braces, acid wash denim, straight leg jeans, and boots. It's all about the boots - DM's or get out.
Well, except when you're wearing fishnets, white socks and cherry red loafers. And hopefully having a kickabout.
Lol loves her jackets and coats. Harringtons and single-breasted wool overcoats are her outerwear of choice. She even wears one on her *SPOILER ALERT* almost wedding day.
When it comes to hair Lol is very brave. She showcases some powerful haircuts, such as the bleached blonde above, and the everything-shaved-except-the-fringe-and-pieces-round-the-face below.
I love Smell's (centre) style too, it's pure charity shop Madonna.
Also, it must be so great to be able to share your wardrobe with your boyfriend.
By 1986 Lol has branched out into wearing vests and a lot more shirts, which are always ALWAYS buttoned up to the top.
While Lol is my favourite, there's something for everyone. Each of the characters in the show has their own unique style - they're a gang you desperately want to be a part of (if you could get past feeling totally intimidated by them).
Can't wait for 'This Is England '90'.