Grease, it’s a Marmite film, sure to divide into lovers and haters, I’m a lover, not least because it has one of my first style icons in it – Bad Sandy.
Grease was one of the first films that I enjoyed as part of a group of friends. I first saw it sometime between ages ten and 14, probably closer to ten as it took me a long time to understand why Rizzo was so worried about skipping school when she said she had “missed a period”, and as I fluffed that pertinent bit of teen meaning I was always confused about the sudden joy that she wasn’t pregnant at the end of the film.
My childhood innocence aside I loved Rizzo, her attitude and the fact she has one of the best songs in the show, There are worse things (I could do), and I’ve always been a sucker for the misunderstood lonely character in a movie.
The coding of clothes is integral to the telling of the story of Grease. They denote who a person is and which tribe they belong to; good girls wear pastel circle skirts with fluffy petticoats, bad girls wear pencil skirts and heels.
It is obvious but it works and there are some fantastic dresses.
Rizzo and Cha Cha’s dresses in the dance-off are beautiful creations that flirt and seduce but the show stopper that we are all supposed to fall for is Bad Sandy.
Bad Sandy isn’t bad, she’s just dressed bad.
Big hair, hoop earrings and a leather jacket with glossy skin tight trousers (Olivia Newton John talks of being sewn into them to keep them snug) and a black off the shoulder boat neck tee. Sandy is svelte and leaving nothing to the imagination, the outfit is a knock-out and Danny Zuko is on his knees at the mere sight of Bad Sandy, it makes clear that confidence can be faked with clothes and seduction can be as simple as asking a man to “Tell me about it stud”
For me, it is the red studded cork heels that make the outfit and though I’ve yet to find my perfect pair of Bad Sandy shoes she lives on as one of my earliest style icons that showed how a woman can exhibit her sexuality through clothes. Of course there’s a whole lot of stuff in there about fitting in and changing ourselves to be popular, but that’s not as much fun as strutting about looking fabulous.
Image credit: IMDB