Continuing the 90s trend that has dominated the AnOther Loves stream in past weeks, today AnOther celebrates the oft maligned, eternally youthful statement piece that are the dungarees, seen here worn by Claire Danes, AKA Angela in cult TV show This So-Called Life.
The word “dungaree” derives from the term for the coarse, poorly woven calico fabric made and sold in a region near Mumbai, India. As the cheapest material available, it was widely used for clothing by the lower classes, as well as for workwear and sails by sailors. The first literary reference to dungarees as a garment was made by Rudyard Kipling in his poem The City of Dreadful Night in 1891, but since then they rather faded from view in sartorial terms; languishing on building sites and up scaffolding rather than striding down the catwalk. However, all this changed in the 90s with the vogue for youth television such as This So-Called Life and Clarissa Explains It All. The necessity to desexualise their young teenage stars meant that dungarees were a prominent fixture in the onscreen wardrobes of Claire Danes and Melissa Joan Hart, before proliferating out onto the street. Since this brief heyday, dungarees have largely vanished from our screens and our streets; however, with Chloé showing a variation in washed silk georgette in their Resort 2013 collection, and the popularity of this retro version on the AnOther Loves stream, perhaps a return to dungaree chic is on the cards.
Here we speak to Nathalie Olah, Dazed & Confused’s editorial assistant and vehement proponent of dungaree chic, about the inspiration for this controversial Love, her onscreen style icons and custard yellow hair disasters...
Why did you choose to love these dungarees?
I found an old pair last weekend and wore them out. People were either patting me on the back and saying "well done" or wincing and apologising and telling me it would all be ok. I became determined to rehabilitate the trend then and remembered having this picture of Claire Danes pinned to my wall as a kid.
If you owned them, what would you wear them with?
Pink Superga plimsolls, breton TY-shirt and a scrunchie.
Dungarees are occasionally (and totally erroneously of course) considered a fashion faux pas - what has been your biggest fashion disaster?
I once dyed my hair custard yellow and had to shave the whole thing off.
Who are your onscreen style icons?
The girl from the Petit-Filous ads, Julie Christie, Vanessa Paradis and Sheila Hancock.
Who is the 90s TV show character you most relate to?
I want to say Audrey Horne from Twin Peaks, but who am I kidding? I'm Lightning from Gladiators to the core.
What was the last thing you bought?
A pair of pink Supergas.
What is your favourite online shop?
There's a shop in the 9th in Paris called Cancan that I love, which I've just discovered has an online shop. And I really like Karla Spetic too.
Text by Tish Wrigley