Friday, August 16, 2013

The Fashion Sense of Good Girls Who Go Bad


Recently, I came across an interesting analysis of the Jossverse character, Cordelia Chase, portrayed by Charisma Carpenter. Written by Jenny Crusie, "The Assassination of Cordelia Chase" gave an in-depth look into the changes endured by and inflicted upon the character from both "BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER" and "ANGEL". One of things I found interesting about Ms. Crusie's essay was a comment she had made about Cordelia's character in Season Four of "ANGEL"

"From there, things only got worse. Cordy came back dressed like Elvira Queen of the Night and slept with Connor, Angel's sulky son. (A good topic for another essay: Why do the Good Girls Gone Bad of the Whedon Universe--the Bad Willow, Buffy from Cleveland, Cordelia the Beastmaster, and Blue Fred--always wear too much eyeliner and dress like dominatrixes? Where's the subtext, the humor, the subtlety?) That Cordy came back with bad fashion sense was a real betrayal; that she came back and cuckolded Angel with a boy she'd considered her son was just gross."

Ms. Crusie pointed out an interesting thing about many of the female characters in the Jossverse. Whenever many of the "good" females turned dark or evil, they seem to adapt a rather bizarre appearance . . . or simply bad fashion taste. And this was not only apparent in two of the Jossverse television series - "BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER"and "ANGEL", but also in another WB series, "CHARMED" and the third Indiana Jones film - "INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE":


First, we have Cordelia Chase's metamorphasis from good/snarky leading lady to evil skank possessed by power-hungry deity and Winifred "Fred" Burkle (Amy Acker) inhales the essence of an old demon named Illyria, dies and has her body used by the latter, turning into a blue Seven-of-Nine without tits:

Cordelia, before her fateful decision in "Tomorrow" (3.22)

Cordelia, Queen of Skank in "Players" (4.16)

Fred . . . perky and pretty in "Just Rewards" (5.02)

A blue/leather Fred/Illyria in "Shells" (5.16)


In this series, Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Geller) goes butch in the dark alternate universe, created by Cordelia's wish for Buffy to never live in Sunnydale . . . and Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan) becomes the ultimate dominatrix when she turns dark and evil, following the death of her lover, Tara:

Buffy .. . before Cordelia's deadly wish in "The Wish" (3.09)

Buffy Goes Butch in "The Wish" (3.09)

Willow . . . Before Tara's Death in "Entropy" (6.18)

Darth Willow in "Two To Go" (6.21)


With the exception of Piper and Phoebe (Holly Marie Combs and Alyssa Milano) in the Season Three episode, "Bride and Gloom", whenever the Halliwell sisters became evil, their fashion sense goes out the window. Of course . . . to be honest, they never really had much fashion sense between Seasons Three and Eight:

Prue before marriage to a warlock in "Bride and Gloom" (3.13)

Goth Queen Prue following her marriage to an evil warlock in "Bride and Gloom" (3.13)

Piper and Phoebe before becoming influenced by Prue's marriage to the warlock in "Bride and Gloom" (3.13)

Piper and Phoebe remain tasteful, while evil in "Bride and Gloom" (3.13)

Phoebe and Paige (Rose McGowan) are evil and tacky from mirror universe in "It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World - Part I" (6.21)


Some critic once commented that the costumes for the Dr. Elsa Schneider character (Alison Doody) goes tasteful to tacky, following her revelation as a Nazi collaborator:

Elsa Schneider Meets Indiana Jones and Marcus Brody

Elsa Schneider, Nazi Commando

It is easy to see that Ms. Crusie knew exactly what she was talking about.

No comments:

Post a Comment