Welcome to Now You Know, Eric Wilson’s column that will help you become a fashion know-it-all in one quick read. Each week, he’ll take a look at an endearing fashion influence and why it’s relevant right now. Enjoy!
The news this week that Twin Peaks, the cult television phenomenon from 25 years ago, will be returning with a nine-episode series on Showtime in 2016, got me thinking about its long and mysterious legacy, especially as it relates to fashion. When it first aired, the show happened to capture the essence of American style as it transitioned from preppy mall clothes and twinsets of the 1980s to more regional grunge and disaffected posing of the Pacific Northwest of the 1990s, just as major changes in technology and communication were beginning to take shape.
For designers, Twin Peaks represented a lost moment. I would not call it a moment of innocence, given the bizarre and sometimes terrifying subject matter of the series, but one before things became so complicated by business demands, information overload and the conquest of instantaneity over suspense. Besides, David Lynch’s vision for the show was so visually arresting that it remains a fashion touchstone, one that has made countless reappearances in collections as sometimes shockingly literal inspiration.
In 2005, more than a decade after the show’s original two-season run and a subsequent movie, Veronique Branquinho, now one of the major stars of Belgian fashion, made one of her first presentations at the Pitti Immagine fashion fair in Florence, Italy, in a set that was inspired by the creepy “red room” from the show (pictured, above). The men’s wear collection, shown on everyday men rather than models, nodded to lumberjacks and hunters, along with duffels and brown and burgundy tuxedos that recreated looks and characters from the memorable dream sequences, a show dug up from the archives this week by the deep memory of the British journalist Charlie Porter.
“I thought the atmosphere in Twin Peaks was the right mood to have in the performance,” Branquinho said at the time in a video interview. “It’s the perfect match for what I wanted to do.”
I’ve seen characters from Twin Peaks on so many designer mood boards and in magazine editorials over the years that it’s hard to remember them all. Camilla Staerk, a Danish designer who came to New York in 2006, showed a first collection here that was inspired by Laura Palmer and Donna Hayward (pictured, above right). Odilon, a collection designed by Stacey Clark, had a hit in 2012 with sweaters that carried a message from the show: “The owls are not what they seem” (pictured, above left). And the Kenzo designers, in their fall collection this year, collaborated with David Lynch on their show, prompting numerous references to his work, such as Twin Peaks ponytails on the models, created by the hairstylist Anthony Turner (pictured, below).
There have also been more literal translations of fashion from the series, particularly in Europe, where the Spanish label TitisClothing that dedicated its fall collection to the quirkier aspects of the show (including a model carrying a log, after the “log lady”), and, naturally, in Japan, where the label Black Weirdos is selling a “Killer Bob” parka. You can have a field day looking over the references at the fan site welcometotwinpeaks.com. And as they say in Twin Peaks, it is happening again.
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