In honor of the recent passing of the king of coming-of-age-movies and the coincidental re-birth of the power silhouette, we decided to channel one of the fashionable films that was always top pick at our slumber parties and girls-nights-in: Weird Science. Although John Hughes' other titles might offer more nuanced female protagonists, Weird Science's Lisa-who is played by the bodacious Kelly LeBrock-has such standout style that we simply had to focus on this 1985 masterpiece. After all, not only is Lisa incredibly pleasing to the eyes of her co-stars/creators (two fifteen-year-old boys who design the "perfect woman" on their computer), her fantastically fun wardrobe is stuffed with outfits that are completely relevant for fall!
While there is loads to discuss about Lisa's look, we know that some of you might not remember the "era of opulence" or still have yet to catch up on "the classics," so we'll give you a quick rundown of the kooky comedic world of Weird Science first. The movie follows two nerdy teens, Gary and Wyatt (Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith, respectively), who desperately want to have dates with girls on Friday evenings. One night, after viewing Frankenstein and attempting to shave their beardless faces, they decide to put their braininess to use and cook up the perfect girl on their computer. Naturally, a belief-suspending scenario ensues (involving lightning hitting the house and spontaneous combustion of electrical appliances) and suddenly their experiment comes to life as Lisa, a bombshell in a cut-off shirt and boy briefs.
Unsurprisingly, our scientifically-minded heroes have limited experience with girls-let alone one they can control-so they're delighted when Lisa takes charge and gives them a teenage boy's dream of a makeover, complete with fake IDs, fancy cars, and cool clothes. What ensues is a roller-coaster of high school antics, Blind Dog bourbon shots, fiascoes at the mall, and of course, the raging house-party thrown to Wyatt's simultaneous horror and surprise. Lisa's driving goal is to instill Gary and Wyatt with a sense of self-confidence, and her mission is tested when the boys face a showdown with some tough bikers. Thrillingly, the duo bravely confronts these enemies, sends them packing, and this display of courage wins them the affection of the prettiest girls in school. Hooray!
Plot details aside, the most important reason to watch Weird Science is to observe the era's visual stylings-from a wardrobe perspective, of course! One of the best elements of the movie is the fact that it offers a spectacular montage of eye-catching costume changes. We see Lisa's clothing choices in all their over-the-top eighties glamor: dresses adorned with oversized bows, oversized button-down shirts worn with black lace tights, and shoulder-padded silhouettes in spades. Plus, the film is stuffed with tantalizing textures galore, with lingering close-ups on everything from velvet gloves to sequined dresses to statement rhinestone brooches. These types of embellished ensembles and androgynously sexy looks are exactly what designers like Giorgio Armani and Alexander Wang are serving up for fall, so it's only fitting that we spotlight Lisa in today's installment of Currently Channeling.
French Connection Lashes Clutch ($78)
When Lisa encounters cool-kid Ian (Robert Downey, Jr.) for the first time, all she has to do is shoot him one arch glance and he chases her up and down escalators and across the mall. We like to think this elongated white cotton clutch packs a wink and a smile that is just as powerful as Lisa's look. The lush-lashes graphic is coyly kitschy and the aqua-blue hue is a nod to the eighties eye. And let us not overlook the fact that this shimmering shadow is designed from sequins for that small, but essential, touch of glitz. In short, this clutch, is the perfect purse to add polish to jeans and a blazer or a little irony to your LBD.
See by Chloe Pleat Pocket Dress ($595)
When the perfect woman throws a party, she really knows how to dress for the event: in an eye-catching mini of course! Bearing this movie-truth in mind and a burning image of Lisa in a stunning black-and-silver sequined dress, we were thrilled when we found this See by Chloe number. It's nearly an exact replica of our muse's stunning festive fare. The fancy frock has been updated in gold and given a modern twist with slant hip pockets. We could easily see fashion front-runner Taylor Momsen wearing it with black lace-up boots, or Sienna Miller pairing it with opaque tights and heels for a red-carpet-ready look.
Alexander Wang Off Shoulder Shirt ($325)
The celebrated decade that brought us such cinematic gems like Flashdance also popularized the off-the-shoulder ensemble. Accordingly, when we saw Alexander Wang's boyfriend-shirt version of that eighties staple, we were thrilled. In addition to having that shoulder-revealing silhouette, the shirt has the added bonus of the black bra straps, so that it stays perfectly put while still seductively baring skin. Pair it with black patterned tights à la Lisa or wear it with a knit vest adorned with pins for a fashion-forward look.
Free People Bow Driver Leather Gloves ($68)
In the history of fashion, gloves have always had a strong presence, and this season they are re-emerging once again. These lined, wrist-length leather gloves are straight out of an old-school MTV video yet still look incredibly current. We love the peek-a-boo-meets-bow detailing that makes these both sexy and demure. They are completely practical too and will keep your hands toasty and germ-free when you're making the rounds at your evening soirees.
80s Purple Inventor Round Vintage Glasses with Flip Shade ($10)
Gary and Wyatt may have donned bras on their heads to summon inspiration when creating the perfect woman, but we'd like to think they'd have conjured up an equally fashionable creation in these round frames. Luckily, you can snag this fabulous, flip-pair to create your own vision of smart style. One part kooky, one part cool, these sunglasses take the round sunnies trend to a whole new level and will impart any fall outfit with scientific spirit.
Rojas Tube Skirt ($96)
Some items, like the black pencil skirt, instantly add polish to any ensemble, while never going out of style. We spotted a quilted version of this wardrobe essential on Balmain's fall runway, but we love the Rojas interpretation featured here. The ruched paneling gives the skirt a bit of edge and personality, plus it's the perfect piece to help you transition from day-to-night. Wear it to the office with a tucked in button-down, then swap out the prim shirt for a leather bustier and you're ready for a night on the town.
Topshop Boyfriend Blazer ($120)
The boyfriend blazer has been a closet staple for some time now, and judging from the fall runways, it's not going anywhere soon. That's because this optimal outerwear adds a sleek sophistication to any ensemble, plus it's what Lisa dons for her "serious chat" with the boys! We like Topshop's version for its silk lining and already appropriately rolled-up sleeves. Wear it with your distressed jeans and a tee to upgrade a casual look, or try it as an alternative over a girly dress for a little boy-meets-girl action of your own.
Leonor Greyl Mousee au Lotus Volumatrice ($36)
Big shoulders. Big bows. Big clip-on earrings. Everything in the eighties was excitingly exaggerated, so it's no wonder that the hair should follow suite. Lisa and all the other fabulous females are never without some crowning inches to their coifs, effectively balancing out their bold silhouettes. Apply the same science to your own hair with volumizing mousse to help you hold your head up high. We prefer to juge and tease with Leonor Greyl's stylist-approved formula that's all natural and alcohol free, as it imparts our hair with soft and shiny volume.