Tuesday, 12 April 2016

STYLE DISSECTION: JESSA JOHANSSON AND MICKEY DOBBS


I'm cheating a bit today and covering the style of two women at once.  Two girls one post (sorry).  But there's a reason for it!  I am a fan of women being portrayed as messy, flawed and complicated.  We don't see enough of that, it's still the case that a lot of female characters in film and TV shows are foils for the male lead's dysfunction.  He has to change so he can win the girl, because she's a prize.  Or the kooky, yet completely morally and emotionally sound, lady is there to coax him out of his more troubled ways by playing a weird flute she got in Guatemala, or by dancing in the rain to his favourite song.  If the woman is the lead (and I'm mainly talking about in romance or comedy films here) she's got problems, sure, but they're more of the "Why can't I keep a man?" "When will I have a baby?" "Why can't I stop falling over and bumping into things?" "Look how much ice cream I eat when I'm sad - I'm the worst!" type.

Jessa Johansson and Mickey Dobbs are not those women.  They're both addicts in varying stages of recovery.  Now there is a point to be made that possibly the only progress we've achieved is the introduction of a new flaw a woman on TV/film can have - addiction.  So we're still seeing women who aren't outright dysfunctional all on their own, there's a clear cause for it which leads to the idea that all they need is someone to "fix" them and then they'll be manic pixie dreamgirls, but still, it's a bit of progress.  And if you do want to see women who are immoral and do messed up things while not under the influence of a substance then I can sneakily point you to this piece I wrote about unhinged fictional women for Vice.

Aaaaanyway.  If there is a petition doing the rounds for a spin-off from Girls that just shows the lives of Jessa and Adam, I want to sign it.  This season in particular I've been loving her so deep and so strong, and also I feel like her pared-down-earth-child-look is spot on.  She's lost a lot of the floaty styles she was into in previous seasons and instead seems to be dressing a little more simply.  Which I guess makes sense as she's a bit less chaotic.  Although in the first episode she did deliver the line, " I just bathed in the stream and then I ran through the field to dry myself".  But it's been uphill from there (although for the record I've always loved her look).  

I'm gonna start with Mickey Dobbs though.  I actually wanted to watch Love because my buddy Laetitia had written about the style of Gillian Jacob's character on her excellent blog.  In fact if you want you should just go read that instead of the waffle I'm about to lay out for you.  I think it's the first time I've wanted to watch a new show to see the clothes someone is wearing.  Luckily Love didn't disappoint.  I actually felt a bit weird and icky in my feeling place (what a disgusting sentence) after finishing it.  

MICKEY DOBBS 


This outfit is the best way to introduce Mickey - a red swimsuit worn with jeans (agree with Laetitia that they're probably the Levis wedgie ones, or maybe some Reformation 501s) with clogs for when she's going out, and then a big plaid shirt and Adidas sliders with socks when she just needs a coffee the next day.  

What I like most about the outfits for Mickey (and Jessa too) is that they're so easy to re-create or be inspired by.  You probably already have a pair of high-waist jeans in your wardrobe, and if you don't then there's probably a reason for that and you can just ignore this style completely.  Thanks to the excellent work of Patricia Field et al, fashion on TV in the 90s and 2000s got seriously serious.  Even on shows like Buffy or Friends where even the most average looking maxi skirt was probably way out of most of the audience's budget.  Then we got into batshit territory with shows like Gossip Girl, and even Mindy Kaling's character in Mindy, were mainly wearing designer and carrying Chanel.  I have no problem with that, it's cool, but it's even cooler to be able to go online and find the actual shirt your girl is wearing in a scene and then actually be able to afford it.  





A couple of things here.

1. The letterman jacket.  I am a collector of these, and then I feel a bit weird when I wear them in the US as I'm British and bad at sports.  So I like seeing Mickey in one.  I also like that she's wearing it over a denim jacket with the sleeves cut off.  Do people call that a denim vest?  To me vests are thermal and you wear them under  your school blouse. 

2. The rings.  As a person who likes rings and wearing a lot of them all at once, I applaud her fingers.  With my fingers. 

3. The ankle boots.  Mickey wears these with most outfits (except when she's in her clogs.  Love a girl who loves clogs).  Again, this goes back to the point above - it's so nice to see a character looking cool and stylish but not just because an amazing wardrobe person has sourced a new pair of Miu Miu heels straight off the catwalk.  

4. Andy Dick.  He was so good in this episode. 



 

It's just a vest and some frilly shorts (which I think could be these ones from Topshop) and some Minnetonka slippers, but it's perfect for hanging out.  And now we're on the subject, why DO women in TV shows always wear high heels and body con dresses when boys come over?  They've put those high heels on just to walk around on their carpet?  I'm seriously questioning everything I've ever seen on telly shows. 



I could put this outfit together in five seconds without spending a single euro, dollar or pound.  It would involve stealing one of my husbands T-shirts which I think he's actually wearing right now, but he'll get over being topless in public.  Also, the boots again.  And look how dusty they are - she loves those boots, she wears them every day, she'll be gutted when the soles inevitably crack and then she can't find another pair in her size.  The hours she'll burn on ebay trawling "buckle boots chloe inspired black ankle boots" on her phone.  I also really like how Mickey is pale as fuck.  I am also pale as fuck.  But this isn't about me.




So simple, so perfect.  Just some Carharrt dungarees and a white T-shirt.  I also love how her hair is a bit slick, we all get a bit of grease, it's nice to see it on TV.  And it's actually something she has in common with Jessa.

JESSA JOHANSSON


From one pair of dungarees to another.  And look, clogs!  It's so easy to find a pair of navy dungers or overalls these days that I can't believe babies aren't just born wearing them.  I love her plait too, and the ribbed olive roll neck is one of those things I would never think to get, but if I had one I'd probably wear it all the frickin' time.


FYI Alexa Chung's collection with M&S went live today and there's a dress for sale that's a bit like this one.  I like how Jessa (and Jemima Kirke IRL) wears button down maxi dresses like this and then unbuttons it so it's got quite a substantial split.   I dunno, I like when I see how people wear their shiz. 


Jessa and Adam, be still my heart.  And look!  They're both wearing worn out worker boots.  Like Mickey Jessa is a fan of high-waist jeans and an overload of rings.  Oh and it's another ribbed top! 



And it's yet another ribbed top with jeans!  Off the shoulder though - very on trend J J. 

Below is my favourite of Jessa's outfits so far this series.  I had to screengrab it, so apologies for the low quality, but it's SO IMPORTANT TO ME THAT YOU SEE THIS MAGIC. 




It's so simple, just jeans with a bit of kick flare, a yellow and white striped top, and them clogs again.  But damn I love it so much.  No wonder Adam is kissing that denim, it's perfect.

I'm gonna end on a pic of Jessa in a kimono, just to silence all the pre-season 5 Jessa fans out there.  And apologies for the fact I'll be leaving my hair a bit greasy, wearing high-waist jeans, rib tops, clogs (my current favourites are these ones from Funkis, and these ones from Clarks), and letterman jackets for the summer.  Red lipstick too, naturally.


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