Spring fashion: Thunderous threads
Trickle-down 1980s fashion meets modern this spring
Neon, big hair, acid wash, tight-rolled jeans—smack dab in the middle of the biggest recession in decades, spring fashion trends are hearkening back to the late ’80s and early ’90s, times of comparable fiscal plight. Did we accidentally take a wrong turn in a DeLorean? How do the fashion powers that be expect us to dress current when all our Hypercolor shirts have permanent pit stains and our bare wallets are the accessories of foremost concern?
For Jennifer and Marilyn Ayres, co-owners of local vintage boutique Thunderhorse Vintage, this irony isn’t a problem. The sprightly 23-year-old twin sisters have been fans of ’80s punk and thrift-store vintage since their high-school days in Davis, when the overriding fashion aesthetic was plainly “collegiate.”
They’ve been through tougher times.
Jennifer and Marilyn sport a neon mishmash of punk-infused layers, altered to personal taste and seasoned with a pinch of zany. Jennifer, for instance, wears her hair in an angled modern mullet in bright auburn with shocking turquoise panels. And she’s been spotted behind the counter more than once wearing spandex workout wear Jane Fonda might have coveted.
Her personal style is an authentic expression of who she is: bright, cheeky, unapologetic and obsessed with vintage.
Jennifer started Thunderhorse Vintage in a small room in the back of Bows and Arrows’ gargantuan premises on L Street, but now has her own place at 2522 J Street. Jennifer describes her store’s collection as “artifacts” of the past, boasting an abundance of pristine specimens from bygone but hardly forgotten days. And she continues to unearth the unique Reagan and Bush-era stunners, and a few gems just for giggles. And in case you were wondering, Thunderhorse’s prices are as reasonable as an after-work beer.
For this spring fashion shoot (see photo), Thunderhorse and I took some of the store’s more obviously dated pieces and paired them in a modern way. Some may deem the model’s geometric-patterned tapered cotton pants—formerly known as “Hammer pants,” nowadays thinly disguised as “harem pants”—unwearable, but modernized versions of the pants have reached a definite height this fashion season.
To contrast, we threw on a slim-fitting black tank, a metallic floral vest and a dizzying dose of unpredictable accessories.
Thunderhorse argues that you don’t need to be part of the soulless consumerist machine to stay distinctive and hip. Vintage, a little creativity and a lot of balls go a long way. And the result is a modern silhouette exploding with fun, nostalgia—and springlike overtones of endless possibility.
Amber Mortensen is the editor of local fashion blog www.painfullyhip.com.