Fashion, Inspiration, Licentiate Columns

Licentiate Column 15/03/12: So long to Skins

Let the bells toll, don a black veil; Skins, the highly representational, painfully true-to-life documentary series on E4, has been cancelled. Ahem. The (actually incredibly unrealistic) fantasy teen drama will bow out at the end of it’s seventh season in 2013, which will possibly feature much loved characters from the first four series’.

I was too old for Skins even when Series One started, but I loved it then, just as I love it’s particular brand of sex, drugs, infidelity, teen pregnancy and A Level homework now. Every cycle of two years someone will die, someone will have a nervous breakdown and someone will experience long term social or learning disabilities. Life, eh? It’s a rich tapestry.

Even though my teens (and those of many a Guardian commenter) resembled The Inbetweeners more than the unrelenting hedonism of Skins, it remains a guilty pleasure, even more so now that the show has undeniably run out of steam.
But, this is a fashion column and not a television one (and thank goodness for that, because I know too little about BBC drama and too much about Buffy the Vampire Slayer), so let’s crack on with a by-no-means-comprehensive list of the best dressed Skins characters.

1. Effy (Seasons 1-4): Our first glimpse of Effy is of her strolling home after a massive bender, resplendent in mini skirt, bikini top, heels and smudged lipstick. After sneaking in to her house, she hurriedly pops on her school uniform. She is about fourteen or so. As she progresses through the first four series, she evolves in style from Lavigne-esque party girl to a cool, collected, enigmatic proto-Alexa Chung. Black, leather and lots of accessories, from cascades of pearls to a tux jacket covered with vintage badges were her trademarks.

2. Cassie (Season 1-2) : Cassie competes with Effy for most memorable debut in the same episode and clearly comes out tops. In a men’s tailcoat, gold lame dress, seamed stockings, watch around her ankle and (weirdly) a tiny skateboard keychain hanging in place of a fob, her slightly deranged expression and casual pharmaceutical consumption seems almost normal. Cassie is a true original, due in no small part to her enviable vintage wardrobe and the ability to wear two mismatching pairs of socks at the same time without seeming more mentally disturbed than she actually was.

3. Cook (Season 3-4): If you watched season 3 and 4, then you were either Team Cook or Team Freddie. At the end of Season 4, Freddie was beaten to death with a baseball bat, so I felt somewhat vindicated for siding with volatile, obnoxious Cook. Cook is a throwback from the 80’s but in a very good (non-Boy George) way. He’s found mostly in football yob attire; Sergio Tacchini polos, sharply creased chinos, loafers with no socks, Beckenbauer trainers and Harrington jackets.

Honourable Mentions: Graces ladylike chic and Franky’s androgyny in Season 6, Sid’s hat and glasses combo in Seasons 1-2 and Freddie’s skater boy(band) look in Seasons 3-4.

Back of the class: Jal’s unremarkable everything in Seasons 1-2 and Pandora Moon’s cheese-grater-on-the-eyes forced eccentricity in Seasons 2-4. Even sixteen year olds are too old for THOSE denim skirts.

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4 thoughts on “Licentiate Column 15/03/12: So long to Skins

  1. Cassie is and always will be my favourite character. A large chunk of that has to do with her style.
    I still wear chunky boots with dresses and I think it has a lot to do with Effy (even though she annoyed the crap out of me in the later series). I pined over those boots for so long, still do. But alas, could never get my hands on a pair. Might rekindle that search.

    I adored reading this post, it brought back a lot of memories and has made me think about re-watching the whole thing from series one. Plus, you’re spot on with everything!

  2. Cassie is and always will be my favourite character. A large chunk of that has to do with her style.
    I still wear chunky boots with dresses and I think it has a lot to do with Effy (even though she annoyed the crap out of me in the later series). I pined over those boots for so long, still do. But alas, could never get my hands on a pair. Might rekindle that search.

    I adored reading this post, it brought back a lot of memories about loving some characters styles and has made me think about re-watching the whole thing from series one. Plus, you’re spot on with everything!

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