For a few choice months in the summer after I graduated college, I subjected every paramour to a viewing of "Twin Peaks."
Usually, we’d start at the beginning: the pilot, in which Laura Palmer’s blue, cellophane-wrapped body washes ashore as Pete Martell ambles to the river bank, fishing gear in tow. If we weren’t making out by the end of the hour, we’d kill a few more episodes, waiting up into the wee hours of the night until I fell asleep or the would-be suitor felt shunned enough to leave. I was usually more invested in the show than the boy (sorry, fellows).
This, perhaps, was the reason why romantic relationships were not my forte at age 22, but those late-night viewings, which sometimes stretched until 3 or 4 a.m., left an imprint on my psyche nonetheless. There’s something hypnotic about David Lynch’s soap-opera/horror-story hybrid, peppered with philosophy, absurdity and characters that echo the full spectrum of humanity.
Everybody has a "Twin Peaks" archetype, whether they know it or not. There’s evil incarnate, in the form of Bob, and then there are weird side plots about beauty pageants and visiting restaurant reviewers. There are fish in percolators and damn fine cups of coffee. And then, there are the clothes, which might make you want to date a weird housebound man who grows hothouse orchids or invent your own silent drape runners. You know, whatever.
Here, I attempted to recreate updated, wearable versions of five characters’ looks, and I’ve linked to similar, purchasable clothes; but let it be known, almost all of what I’m wearing here came from a thrift store, where "Twin Peaks"-era clothes are a dime a dozen.
Here’s the lady who catalyzes the whole show, and while her murder is the series’ central focus, we really only see her in bits and pieces, the incomplete and sometimes incoherent memories of her friends, family, neighbors and sleazy cohorts. Was she a prostitute? Yes. Was she the object of many men’s affections? Yes. Is she an enigma and a symbol and the human battleground between good and evil? Probably.
I opted for the Laura of simpler, happier times, because as much as I love lingerie, my neighbors might’ve found it a little weird if I pranced around in a silk negligee, posing in the backyard. This outfit takes its inspiration from video evidence shown early in season one, when she and Donna had gone for a picnic and James, her obnoxiously soulful boyfriend, decided to film it for posterity.
Audrey’s wardrobe is mostly comprised of cherry red, black and white -- think One Eyed Jack’s, the brothel where Laura Palmer worked and Audrey decides to work undercover.
If you’re channeling Audrey-as-a-saucy-minx, which, of course, I was, look for '50s silhouettes and demure, feminine pieces that fall somewhere between schoolgirl and lady-at-cocktail-hour.
An aside: I’m fairly confident that Audrey and Agent Cooper were meant to be together. But that’s just me.
Here, I channeled several iterations of Donna, Laura Palmer’s best friend. First, there’s the pilot version, where we see her in her high school classroom wearing a truly choice brown plaid button-up (with air tie, natch). In the second season, when she begins seeing Harold, Meals on Wheels recipient, orchid enthusiast and creepy curator of a “human novel” (wtf?), she wears a bright purple wool pencil skirt and a series of plain sweaters.
She’s also known to rock a plaid vest or blazer every now and then. And let us not forget her visit to James during his temporary stint in jail, when she wears sunglasses inside and lets loose her inner vixen.
Margaret Lanterman, aka Log Lady
In the fairy-tale version of "Twin Peaks," Log Lady would be the witch who gets lots of side-eye and lives alone out in the creepy woods until, one day, she comes out with some crazy prophecy, and BAM, suddenly everybody has mad respect for Margaret Lanterman. Let no one decry the boss status of Log Lady, who communes with, um, logs, hears ominous news in the hoots of forest owls, and divines nuggets of wisdom, like this one from the movie "Fire Walk With Me": “When this kind of fire starts, it is very hard to put out. The tender boughs of innocence burn first, and the wind rises, and then all goodness is in jeopardy.”
Her outfits are my favorite, because even in the South in July, I can’t resist a good oversized sweater and cat-as-log prop.
Poor Nadine. First the thwarted experiment with the silent drape runners (hey, we can’t fault her for trying to make a buck). Then there’s the long-ago honeymoon accident that necessitates her eye patch. On top of it all, her honey’s really in love with diner owner Norma Jennings, and after a failed suicide attempt, she wakes up with weirdly brute strength and memory loss that causes her to believe she’s still in high school. Perhaps it’s not all for naught; she ends up dating football meathead Mike, so at least she gets something out of the deal.
Especially after the suicide attempt, her style falls squarely in the cheerleader camp: ponytails, flouncy skirts, Keds with white socks, and after she uses her brawn to become wrestling team MVP, sporty phys-ed T-shirts.
Which "Twin Peaks" character's style do you love most? Are you a super-fan who's going to buy the "Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery" Blu-ray collection that's coming out tomorrow?