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Twin Peaks: an inspiration

It haunted my childhood. I was in elementary school yet I would stay awake until 10pm, every Thursday, to watch the show together with my sister and my parents. I know it sounds strange that a child was allowed to watch David Lynch’s masterpiece, but I will forever thank my parents they did. Yes, it was terrifying, but it was also intriguing, dreamy, inspirational, formative.

Audrey Horne's portrait

You can imagine my excitement to hear that geniuses David Lynch and Mark Frost are creating a new chapter in the universe of Twin Peaks. In May, we will watch agent Dale Cooper returning literally to the scene of the crime, probably facing another mysterious murder case. I cannot wait to see what the creators have in mind for the much-loved characters, and to observe their mastering of scene setting, cinematography and costume-design.

From Angelo Badalamenti’s eerie instrumental theme music, to the uncanny setting and out-of-this-world characters, the show was mind blowing. Before there was Stranger Things, Twin Peaks ruled popular culture. The series defined TV, and showed how the small screen can also host art. Never before was a ‘whodunit’ so avant-garde, so multi-dimensional. The show became a reference moment in western popular culture, and even today it keeps influencing fashion and the arts.

The heroines of Twin Peaks on the cover of Rolling Stone - October 1990

The original show aired in the turn of the decade (1990) and its aesthetics were of impeccable precision. They succeeded in creating an assemble of complicated characters; no one was who they pretended to be. The protagonists that could barely keep it together, were placed in a postmodern film-noir environment. They were facing supernatural attacks, insanity and dire middle-America values. Not only did they have to deal with Killer Bob- a demonic entity who possessed people to rape and murder, but also with Hell (Black Lodge) hiding in their forest. The latter housed the Red Room; a form of purgatory where sinful souls passed through, probably the most iconic set in TV history. With its black and white zig-zag floor and red velvet curtains it has informed and inspired fashion shoots for decades.

Dmitry Loginov's Arsenicum Photo Shoot

Lynch’s go-to outfits for most of his characters were oversized, with over the top layering, and ridiculous styling. His heroines’ make-up many times looked like what a 1950s damsel in distress starlet would wear. Sometimes he would delve into camp; who can forget Nadine the eye-patch woman? Nadine is an uncanny fashion icon that could put to shame RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants. Add to the mix the hairbands, the frills, the glasses and the twin-sets and you got pretty much a Gucci runway show…

Nadine Hurley: still from the series

For those who are still wondering how relevant this aesthetic is right now, I ask them to look at all recent catwalks. The 80s-90s style amalgamation that Twin Peaks was pioneering fits right in with the “decade-style-confusion” observed today. As you know, before we were allowed to settle in with the 90s-angst revival, Vetements has pushed for a more opulent 80s silhouette exaggeration. And it seems like everyone is following. Yes, that mean shoulder pads are back people!

The men of Twin Peaks in their knitwear: stills from the seriesThe Women of Twin Peaks in their Cardigans: stills from the series

The Log Lady was not what defined the show. It was the knitwear. It had a life of its own, so much so that New York Magazine devoted an article to it. Recently we have been seeing an increase of interest in anything knitted. Just like in Twin Peaks, for Autumn / Winter 2017 designers heavily depended on oversized cardigans and chunky body knit wraps to hide and protect. They see a Maddy Ferguson in all of us; a well-meaning innocent character who is in grave danger and needs a hell of an armour. I am expecting to see more of this “protectiveness” feel coming through in future catwalks, as our centre of gravity continues to ever shift both politically and socially. Just like the Twin Peaks characters our moral compass, and in many cases our actual life is in danger with the increase of hatred, fake news, hate crime, terrorism and anti-liberal ideology.

The heroines of Twin Peaks rocking sweaters: still from the series

“One day, the sadness will end”—The Log Lady

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