Tag Archives: Outfit recap

The Evil Twin: A Sweet Valley High Costume Celebration

5 Jan

No-one can deny that the awesomeness of The Evil Twin is largely attributed to Margo Black. However, this Magna Edition also produced some killer outfits, outfits so fantabulous that I can justify an entire post solely dedicated to bringing them to life. Sadly, nearly all the items below I happened to own. Most were tucked away in boxes at my sister’s, grandmother’s and parent’s, but nevertheless they were there. One exception is Jessica’s New Year’s gown, which is probably my favourite Sweet Valley High outfit EVER, and the trigger for the complete and utter Wakefield-envy which plagued me for much of my childhood. My 12-year-old self would be thrilled to know that I picked up the sequinned frock at Samaritans for the bargain price of just $4.00. Get jealous.

 Just then, Elizabeth’s eyes came to rest on one of her favourite outfits, a fancy tuxedo shirt with matching bow tie, trousers and vest.

Elizabeth sighed. She’d just as soon put on an old pair of khakis and a polo shirt; she didn’t feel particularly festive.

Elizabeth slipped out of her robe and pulled a red v-neck top and black skirt out of her cupboard.

 Jessica chose an outfit that was appropriate for the last day of school before Christmas vacation – a short, forest-green knit dress with long sleeves and a scooped neck – but she did it without really thinking.

Somehow, I don’t think “appropriate” was the best choice of adjective.

“Trust Dana to make even an elf costume look like this year’s hottest fashion!” Elizabeth said laughingly to Todd. Dana Larson, lead singer of the popular SVH rock band The Droids, was wearing a bright green minidress and red tights and gloves. She’d even tinted her short blonde hair red and green for the occasion.

“What on earth am I going to wear?” Margo wondered, looking around the room at her skimpy wardrobe, much of which was lying crumpled and dirty on the floor. Since arriving in Sweet Valley, she’d purchased a few items of clothing and shoplifted some others; she’d also filched various accessories from the Wakefield twins’ drawers. Margo wrinkled her nose. Nothing she owned was quite right for this special occasion. Nothing was good enough for Todd.

“I want something new,” she announced. “I want something unbelievably sexy.”
In Margo’s opinion, she was taking over in the nick of time; Elizabeth’s image definitely needed an overhaul. Now Jessica understood the advantages of high hemlines and low necklines – she wouldn’t be caught dead wearing jeans and an oxford shirt on a date. When Margo was in charge, Elizabeth would adopt a much better style…and tonight Todd Wilkins would be treated to a sneak preview.

Lila agreed on a teal-blue dress with a deep, U-shaped neckline and a very short, flouncy skirt.

I had to consult my sister on this one:  Is teal pale blue-green, like aqua, or a darker shade more like turquoise? I realise now that the ghosties painted quite a fuzzy picture in my head of Margo-as-Elizabeth’s date outfit. Both of these fit the description, but somehow the latter looks far too medieval to be sexy. It does, however, catch the glittering light of the butcher’s knife very nicely…

“Hmm…” Lila eyed a bright red miniskirt with a matching, sailor-style jacket. “Cute. Too cute,” she concluded, pushing it aside.

 James turned away from the railing…and there she was, hurrying down the pier in his direction, a slim figure with pale hair covered be a baseball cap, her chin tucked into the collar of her denim jacket. “Jessica!” James cried, his heart almost bursting with joy.

James, you fool. The real Jessica would never be caught dead in that.

At least she’s up and dressed, Elizabeth thought, noting her sister’s oversized green sweater and black jeans.

 Almost immediately, Elizabeth was sound asleep and dreaming. Once again she was going to the Jungle Prom, and once again every detail was vivid and precise. Wearing her light-blue dress, Elizabeth stood looking at herself in the mirror, arranging her hair and putting on her jewellery… The simple, flowing lines of the silk allowed her natural beauty to shine through; her eyes reflected the ice-blue shade, sparkling like gems.

What on earth was she going to wear to Lila’s ball tomorrow night? Elizabeth remembered asking herself the same question before the jungle prom.

The dress that Elizabeth and Margo apparently wear to Lila’s ball is described as below:

Elizabeth* considered the selection and then pulled a short, strapless fuschia dress from the closet. Jessica raised her eyebrows. The dress was new, and so daring and sexy she hadn’t even gotten up the nerve to wear it yet herself.

“Wow!” Jessica exclaimed. “That’s not exactly your usual style, Liz. But sure. Go ahead. I guess you’re planning to start off the New Year with a bang, huh?”

A secretive smile curved Elizabeth’s lips. “A bang? You might say that, yes.”

*actually Margo

Yet, on the cover, we have this:

It’s kind of conservative and bridesmaid-ish.  I can’t really imagine Jessica being too modest to get around in this. Then again, given the shit that went down in this book, a minor outfit inconsistency probably isn’t our greatest concern.

Also Margo shoplifts her copy of the dress, and then slashes the saleswomans’ tires with her pocket knife. Just for kicks.

Margo was wearing the strapless fuschia dress she’d “bought” that afternoon from Lisettes; her glossy blonde hair was swept up on one side and secured with a single rhinestone-studded barrette; her soft, golden skin and blue-green eyes were highlighted with just a hint of natural-looking makeup. I look beautiful, she thought, her lips parting in a self-satisfied smile.

And now, for my all-time fave:

 Jessica zipped up her dress and then padded in stockinged feet to examine the effect in the bathroom mirror. When Amy had called that afternoon, Jessica had confessed that she had nothing to wear to Lila’s ball. Ten minutes later Amy showed up with a sequinned cobalt-blue dress that Jessica had always been crazy about. Jessica smiled again, giving the gown’s ruffled taffeta hem a flirty flip. The sequins, the bare spaghetti straps – the look was both sexy and elegant, Jessica’s favourite combination.

 

Pamela looked terrific in a strapless plum velvet sheath that seemed moulded to her slender figure.

[For the record, I’m a Bruce-Pamela fan]

 Lila gave the skirt of her flouncy black chiffon dress a little flip. “Just a little something from Paris,” she said lightly. “Glad you approve.”

“Hi, how are you?”asked Elizabeth as she stepped up to Enid’s side and put out a hand to touch the sleeve of her friend’s dark-green velvet dress. “Enid, this is beautiful,” she said. “It matches the colour of your eyes exactly.”

I can’t finish on Enid, I just can’t. So here’s the cobalt-blue number to see out this costume bonanza.

Prince Albert is the Wakefield’s dog, but Prince Arthur is their toyboy, or SVH #91 In Love With A Prince

25 Oct

I always liked Dana Larson. She was spunky, smart and her own person [not a pseudo-individual like Olivia Davidson or Dawn Schafer], and best of all, she didn’t fawn over those bloody Wakefields. But in this book, she morphed from Democrat to Monarchist, and totally lost her soul to Elizabeth’s penpal, Prince Arthur de Castillo of Santa Dora.

The TV version was even more awful – in the absence of Dana, Prince Arthur hooked up with Jessica, and the character who was called Lila but behaved like Caroline Pearce revealed his engagement to a Santa-Doran dutchess at a bash at Fowler Crest. Sheesh.

The outfits were definitely the high point of the book

Jessica paused to check her reflection in a plate glass window. She was wearing a crisp white linen minidress, a pink blazer, high heels and more gold necklaces and bracelets than Dana could count.

Dana had thrown on a baggy black cotton sweater and flowered leggings, a casual outfit that had earned her a disapproving look from Jessica when she’d squeezed into the twin’s jeep.

Lila stared down at her, her hands on the hips of her red-and-white polka dotted minidress.

“Besides,” Dana added with a smile, looking down at her bike shorts, hi-top sneakers and wacky t-shirt, “When all is said and done, I’m not really the princess type.”

The plot is definitely the low point:

Elizabeth’s penpal, Prince Arthur [you may remember him from Sweet Valley Twins, so 10 points for continuity], is coming to visit from Santa Dora, which is described as being “a tiny kingdom on the Mediterranean seacoast between Southern France and Northern Spain”. Now, I checked with google images and this is all I found for “Santa Dora, Mediterranean”

I recognise this from my 4-year-old niece's stocking last Xmas 

I checked google maps, too and nope, nothing. Must be incredibly tiny. Or a figment of Fran-Pasc’s imagination.

So Arthur’s coming to town and Jess and Lila have their claws out, despite the fact that Jess is dating Sam Woodruff, and Lila was molested by John Pfeifer in the last book. I always thought Lila’s response to her assault was quite realistic, but now I see it was delayed by a good four books in which she continued to chase boys.

Liz is, of course, Arthur’s first choice for an American hook-up, but she actually resists his charms and sticks with Todd for a change. I hate Arthur already. Also, I wish Margo had sped things up by five or so books so she could ruin him.

Anyway, we have an all-American welcome dinner at Casa de Wakefield, which is attended by the usual crew-  Ken, Terri, Enid and equally dull date, and Maria Santelli who cant stop fawning over Arthur. Personally, I would have gone for the bodyguards Arthur has in tow, Justino and Paulo. They sound kind of cute.

Dana Larson will have none of it, ‘cause she’s tough-ass Dana and immune to Arthur’s flirtatious charm. At SVH the next day, when she starts spouting her anti-royalist sentiments, Creepy Collins encourages her to aggravate their new guest and have a political debate. Idiot.

“A debate is the perfect solution,” Winston looked pointedly at Maria. “Maybe it will give people, especially of the female persuasion, a better perspective on this royalty thing.” Right on, Winnie!

At The Droid’s band practice that night in Max Dellons’ garage, Lynne Henry [the Linda Rondstandt lookalike who won over Guy Chesney] wants to rehearse a song for Prince Arthur called “Rule My Heart”. Yawn.

The next day, Dana puts together a well-constructed argument about how the De Castillos are corrupt and how Sweet Valley’s democratic society is like, way better than tyranny. She champions for the poor masses who fund Arthur’s glitzy lifestyle while he lounges around and doesn’t pay a cent. Uh, no offence Dana but I rarely see you turning down a bash at the Fowlers.

Arthur blabs on about his philanthropic causes and how he works, like, totally hard.

If you sensed sexual tension…you were correct! At another Wakefield party the next evening, where they are eating hot dogs and slutting around in stars-and-stripes bikinis, Dana and Arthur actually dance. We never find out what she wore, however. Boo.

She does let us in on something though: “I haven’t felt like this since…since the last time I fell in love!” Up here for thinking, Dana.

And so we have our whirlwind, fairytale romance, with electric shocks and various other clichés. Arthur even takes Dana to La Maison Blanche, which must have changed its name in four years because it was definitely La Maison Jaques in SVT. Either way, I’d pegged Dana as more of a Kelly’s Roadhouse kind of chick….

Oh yeah and she actually considers his marriage proposal. Dana has really lost it this time.

But all’s not well – the Sweet Valley News phones Dana, and it turns out that according to Santa Dora tradition, Arthur is only pursuing her because needs a wife by his 17th birthday. Yes, evil Lila did some research and leaked the story.  [GO LILA!] If it’s not Dana he marries, Arthur will get hitched to some mole called Tracey he’s betrothed to back home. So Dana feels used and abused, and tells Arthur and Liz where to go. [Go Dana!]

But then….Arthur grows a spine and calls home and tells Daddy to abandon the custom which has only been around for, you know, hundreds of centuries. He asks Dana to marry him, “not now but someday”, and she says….NO!!!!

Suck it, prince –

For once someone in Sweet Valley realizes that having a boyfriend isn’t the be all and end all, and that there might actually be some things she wants to do before she settles down. Dana is alright after all, I’ve decided. Back to her kick-ass feminist ways.

But it wouldn’t be Sweet Valley without a sappy ending, so I’ll leave you with this disgusting pash in the final scene, when Dana says goodbye to her royal fling:

She lifted her face to Arthur’s for one last kiss. It was warm and gentle and salty; they were both crying.

Ew.

Last note: This was on the back cover, heralding the start of a new age of Sweet Valley: werewolves, vampires, magic jungle prom punch and of course, evil doppelgangers and their identical twins….

Go back to College, Steven or SVH # 135 Lila’s New Flame

18 Oct

Before I forget, the TEAM MARGO shirt is still up for grabs here

There is so much I love about this photo. It could only be better if the Chuck Bass of Sweet Valley [yes that’s you Bruce Patman], walked into the frame at that moment.

Since SVH junior year has reached 1997, there’s also some awesome outfits in this one:

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You can’t be a hippie and a jock, or SVH Super Edition #9 “Mystery Date”

7 Aug

Before I recap the absurdity that is this book, let’s first take a moment to appreciate some of the awesome outfits it produced:

Read on for outfit snaps and Ken doing some serious birdwatching..

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Jessica Wakefield: Fashion Guru

12 Jul

Like all good ideas, it was born out of a sibling rivalry. You know, like the Jungle Prom, or the Miss Teen Sweet Valley Pageant, or the Margo-Nora contest to kill Jessica first.

On a cold Tuesday evening recently, I went over to my sister’s new place after work, [trying not to mention that the brown-walled bathroom kind of resembles the Hershey Bar]. I guess I was dressed fairly conservatively, in black wide leg pants, a coral blouse and a black cardi. Swap the pants for some chinos and add some barrettes and a lavaliere, and I suppose the outfit may have been slightly Elizabeth-an. Regardless, I was still pretty insulted when my sister gave me the once over and went “I’m so the Jessica Wakefield in this family.” Uh, scuse me? Following a fairly heated argument on the subject, we decided to put it to the test. Between us, we selected the thirteen best Jessica fashion moments of Sweet Valley High proper, and gave ourselves one Saturday morning and $100 bucks to recreate 6 each. Op shops, garage sales and grandmother’s dress up boxes were all fair game.

137 mothballs and a parking ticket later, here are the results:

[The first few belong to my sister]

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