Friday, August 7, 2009

Thank you, John Hughes...

I am saddened today by the passing of John Hughes. He created many memorable movies that spoke to me as a teenager coming of age in the 80's (am I dating myself here?!??) but more importantly for me, he created a template of who I wanted to be - Andie Walsh as portrayed by Molly Ringwald.

Andie was the most creatively stylish female I had seen in film or in life at that time, with her hats, her inventive second-hand and home-made outfits and her curly bobbed hair. I really resonated with her character being from the "wrong side of the tracks", hanging out with friends who did not fit in with the rich/popular crowd AND she drove a Karmann Ghia, a car I dreamed of having.

I loved that she defended her friends from getting picked on, she stood her ground and gave her own father "tough love" about his inability to let go of the past and she stuck up for herself when Blane turned into a coward and wasn't going to take her to the prom after all. She was so fierce in spirit that she STILL made her own prom gown and went alone to show she wasn't beat down, which to me was such a courageous act because NO ONE goes the the prom least not in those days.

Which leads to the prom dress above...

I loved how Andie used two different dresses of completely different silhouettes to create an imaginative and original dress that was all her own. To this day, I still love that sequence in the film because it is a great example of the design process: you look at your materials and play with them, sketch out the ideas and thus the creating begins.

*as a side note, I will, in fact, be working on recreating this very prom dress for a co-worker who is participating in an 80's theme party and this is the outfit she decided on two weeks ago!

I don't know how John Hughes created such a strong female character or what his inspiration was for her but I will always be grateful he did because Andie Walsh was an example of what I could (and often was and still am!) be as a creative individual. Andie made me proud that I hung out with the not-popular folks who, like Duckie, were fiercely individualistic, imaginative, and intelligent and I was proud to call them my friends during my time in high school.

Thank you John Hughes, for creating Andie Walsh as an amazing and creative role model for this Creative Beast to aspire to. Rest in Peace...

John Hughes
February 18, 1950
August 6, 2009


Tinniegirl said...

He was a film legend and iconic to many of us who spent our teenage years in the 80's. I was sad to hear of his death too.

Creative Beast said...

hi Tinniegirl!
thanks for visiting my site - i've been peeking at your blog and love what you're doing.
yes, the news was sad for me and i felt i had to write about it here since Andie Walsh truly WAS a role model for me and Ferris Bueller as well, though in a different way: defy authority! take a day off and enjoy life! ;)
can't wait for Artful Journey in February!!

ChristinaLaFey said...

I loved John for creating this role because I WAS Andie, way before Andie existed. In fact, I was jealous of Molly because she took my role. LOL! It was a breath of fresh air to see a character who I could truly identify with. Kudos to John Hughes for always bringing out his pallet of colorful human characters and not just regurgitating stereotypes. He was an amazing filmmaker, and he will be missed.