A few days ago I taped our third segment for the radio program “KUOW Presents;” this one was about teen fashion, the bottom-up theory and two films that demonstrate the evolution and growing influence of street style versus designer style. The piece just aired, and it’s always kind of wild for me to listen to the conversation edited down after the fact. (I also have to say there is nothing weirder than listening to myself talk about teenagers and my students like I’m some hip old broad who’s totally down with “kids these days.” I’ve no doubt that every 13-year-old who is forced to hear this segment while trapped in their parents’ car will label me a majorly out-of-touch nerd.) Still, I feel like there’s so much more I can say (and clarify, natch) about this topic! But host Jeannie Yandel did an awesome job catching the core ideas behind the films, as well as my own gushing reaction to one of my favorite films when I was a teenager: Valley Girl.
Click here to listen to us chat about James Dean’s cool style in Rebel Without a Cause and how Nicholas Cage stole my 12-year-old heart in Valley Girl. For more suggestions on films demonstrating great style, visit the Cinemode link. Valley Girl is my personal favorite film of the early 1980s, but a host of other films—Fast Times at Ridgemont High being chief among them—tell the story of 80s teen fashion equally well.