Welcome to the first of a series of posts showcasing the highlights (and lowlights!) of the fashions of SMK. I’ll be swimming in the shallow end of the SMK pool – nothing deep and meaningful here; just a bit of fun. Plus I am the world’s most unstylish person, but I am opinionated. Feel free to be rude about my taste (or lack thereof). I’ll include a few polls so you, Iswod’s wonderful readers, can vote for your favourite fashion horrors (and best moments).
Thanks to Iwsod for allowing me to “host” this series of posts and to KC for technical advice and being a sounding board for me.
Initially, I’ll be covering seasons one and two. And to start off: two posts on the disguises and uniforms of SMK. The second post will cover Lee’s uniforms and disguises. But hold onto your helmets for that second post, because first I’m covering disguises used by three other SMK characters. As Miranda would say on with the show:
First up is Francine dressed up as Amanda in Filming Raul – or what she calls “suburban frump”. Curlers under a headscarf. Lovely….Meanwhile, back in the car , Lee and Amanda are having a ‘steamy’ moment .
Next is Francine in Spiderweb as the ticket seller at the theatre. Did ticket sellers wear outfits like that in the 1980s? Anyone remember? Anyway, it’s a good look for her. Even with her snarky facial expression. And those big bows were very popular. (Worryingly, I’ve seen a few similar bows in Australian mothers’ hair recently – in pale florals!)
In, Life of the Party, Francine (rather unsuccessfully) is forced to get in touch with her domestic side: first as a maid. Look at those heels. Perfect for stamping on a baddie’s instep; not so good when whizzing around with the vac (does she realise that’s a vacuum cleaner?) And later as a waitress. I have to say, I like the refined French plait compared to her usual “styles”.
Next Billy! And as far as I am aware, the only time we see Billy in “deep” disguise as an African dignitary (Mr Ngamo) in the same episode. Why didn’t they get MS to do more of this type of thing? His facial expressions and hand gestures are hilarious.
His bottle shop owner in The Three Faces of Emily is too similar to his normal outfit to merit more than a brief mention here…I’m more interested in the age of that cash register. Was that a mid-eighties cash register? Had it been in the shop for 20 years before it was seconded by the Agency as “retail” grouping furniture?
Then there is Dotty as “Mrs Marston” and Phillip and Jamie as intelligence operatives at The Agency in Amanda’s “dream” in Delirious on Arrival – OK they weren’t in disguise, they were “real” in Amanda’s chicken-sandwich-poisoned brain.
How long did BG spend in the hairstylist’s chair having her hair “set” to achieve that hairstyle (and how many cans of hairspray did it take?).
I think Jamie makes a more earnest spy than Phillip – Phillip with his snazzy hairstyle and jacket over his shoulder looks like a mini-playboy (Mini-Lee?).
No post on disguises would be complete without Lady Emily Farnsworth and her “three faces”. Except I found four faces (other than her “normal” face). Am I having problems counting ?
Here is the “real” Emily, intelligence operative posing as evening party guest.
First is her KGB interrogator look: it’s all about the posture and the facial expressions: I’d be pretty scared if I was a baddie:
Then she’s a rich old lady choosing paint with her personal assistant (Lee – pictured in next post). She just can’t decide what colour to choose (and she doesn’t like any of the options in the hardware store) but she manages to keep an eye on Amanda. Love that hat… and the glasses make me remember my mum’s in the 80s.
Her next look is a bit of a come down: maid Emily-style. She looks more comfortable with the equipment than Francine does (plus I’m sure she’s wearing comfortable shoes – maybe a certain brand as Amanda favours??)
Finally, Emily’s best disguise: the homeless woman (bag lady?) in the above-mentioned bottle shop. Is that an old-style tea cosy on her head? I gather her outfit was sourced from the 70s (the unremitting brownness).
Now for the vote. Who’s your favourite?
That’s all for the first disguise post. Please vote and let us know which is your favourite!! Anything I’ve missed out on? Comments and suggestions are very welcome! Bye until Lee in Part 2 .
Emily as the “rich old lady” is a big favorite. My youngest and I get the biggest kick out of the whole “Rrrrrreddd! I want Rrreed! Red and Goold!” lines. It’s almost a bit over-played, which is hilarious.
Oh my gosh. I sooo agree the way she says ‘on that’s Rrrose! I want red. Rrrrred!!’ is just comedic genius!!!! and the way she uses her hands to emphasise the drama.. just hilarious!! I don’t know how Mr Wilson kept a straight face 😉
I just gotta post an image of it here!
If anyone else wants to revisit this hilarious moment HERE is the post. I think I need to watch 3 faces of Emily again tonight!
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So sorry to be late to the party. These disguises are so much fun to look at when they are all put together in the same place. I, too like Francine in the 40’s look, and even as a maid she looks nice. It is when she is trying to be a fashion statement that I get tripped up.
Billy as an African dignitary cracks me up, I just can’t get the jelly role eating, trench coat clad boss out of my mind.
But Emily is my favorite. I love the red lipstick and the severe pulled back hair of the Russian KGB interrogator.
Thanks so much for this post, Learjet.
Great post, Learjet! Loved it. Francine’s theater disguise in Spiderweb reminds me of something from the 40s and looks so good. I always liked it. I’m wondering if it was one of those retro theaters that only showed old movies. I don’t remember anyone wearing anything like that in the 80s.
Loved this post Learjet! I forgot about some of Francine’s outfits. She careened between the awful and then, just to fool us, once in awhile had a surprisingly good look. But mostly, her looks were over the top outfits on a regular day. Her disguises seem so subdued in comparison 😉 I remember the bows in the 80s. Power suits with enormous shoulder pads on one end, huuuge bows in the hair on the other. Talk about schizophrenic messages…
I was amazed looking through all her outfits that Francine actually looked really good more often than we give her credit for. More in Francine’s Fashion Faux Pas, coming to your computer some time in the next couple of months 🙂
I agree Learjet, for the time, Francine would have been often been considered “fashionable” if a bit, ahem, more extreme than most. It’s her personality which brings out that extra special factor and makes her seem oh so snark-worthy and moo-ish 😉
Can’t wait to see your next post! Cheers!
whooo hoo!! I’m so excited to finally see one of your posts published Learjet!!! congrats!! 🙂 Hope you are enjoying it!
LOL.. for me the lowlights are a lot of the highlights! 🙂
Oh yes.. I’m with you – just because I have an opinion doesn’t mean I actually know anything 😉 lol.. I figure when it comes to fashion it’s a matter of personal taste – there is no absolute fact (err other than Amanda’s ear buttons deserve to be burned)
Whoooo a vote?! fun!!!
Okay.. let’s see who’s nominated!
Umm I”m pretty sure you just said something about curlers and Francine.. but you mentioned Lee and Amanda having a steamy moment and all thoughts have gone right out of my head.. fashion? what’s that?!
For Francine- I think ticket sales lady is actually half decent! Francine out of disguise is super scary!
Francine gets to wear two different kinds of aprons in Lotp. Fabulous!!!!
Ohh hooo love that shot of Mr Ngamo!!! I agree – hilarious!! I don’t know why they didn’t go with that more often.
Dotty’s hair helmet is during a dream sequence.. so I can excuse it!
Wait a minute.. Looks like Jamie had an ID badge!! Winking smile he gets one before Amanda??!!!! whahahahaaa..
Emily rocks.. she makes that episode (3FOE)! Ahhhhh the fabulous Tatiana Federovna Romarcheva- I think this is Emily and SMK at it’s funniest.. Tatiana’s dishipline!!! and Falcon Ving just crack me up every time.. and the way she scowls at whittsit is just inspired!!!
What is my favourite SMK disguise? oh dear.. I need some kind of criteria here Learjet.. how are we defining favourite? or is it whatever or however we want?! eeeek!!!
How is everyone else choosing?? favourite why?
I’ll think on this.. how can I choose a favourite?!!
I guess I can’t not vote for Tatiana!!!!!
shtop shinking so hard about your vote, iswod 😉 I won’t be performing any reliablity tests between polls 😀
Going through these disguises, I can’t help thinking that the SMK powers that be underused both MS, MS and BG. It would have been great to see more breadth in their characters, instead of hints of what they could be.
phew!!! lol.. yes gotta switch off the training! 🙂
I’ll second your thoughts on the support cast – they were full of possibilities.. could have done with a bit less of stunt Lee chasing down a baddie on a dirt bike, jet ski, car, horse, or whatevs….
Oh and I had a thought. there was a moment in DOA where Francine was disguised as a real normal person and trying to help Amanda! 😉
And let’s also not forget Francine as an almost normal person in SBTB when she goes to Amanda’s to tell her to tell him she’s her friend!
Great post Learjet.
Take away the huge bow and Francine’s ticket seller uniform in Spiderweb really is quite stylish. Very nicely tailored.
Is it possible that Dotty is wearing a wig in DOA?
Jean Stapleton was such a versatile actress – I wish she had been in more episodes.
I always thought Jamie looked more like Lee, but both boys share some aspects of Lee’s personality. (But that’s a whole ‘nother AU fanfic 😉 )
Maybe Lee was their “secret father” 😀
Yeah, only fanfics where L&A met or knew each other before TFT always kind’ve kill the magic of the story somehow. I can see Philip as Joe’s son, but Jamie – I figure he just came from the stars and is more Lee than Joe.
(BTW Learjet, sorry about S.A. getting beaten by Pakistan in the cricket.)
Okay – no way I can do that one…not even in an AU…
Yep i’m with you BJo! The only way this can work for me is if time travel is involved..
Each to their own I say.. and it’s great if people explore these ideas etc in fan fic.. why not?!
But.. I do find it fascinating that there may be a fan or two out there who is looking for a way to reconcile that Phillip and Jamie have Lee for a father rather than Joe Shmoe..
I always thought that it was strange that Jean Stapleton wasn’t in more episodes, especially since they went to all the trouble of giving Emily so much back story in Three Faces of Emily. Maybe she was supposed to come back at some point but had other projects and couldn’t.
Too funny, Learjet! Great job – enjoyed your post! 🙂
With Francine’s outfit and hairdo as a ticket seller, she looks more like something out of the 50s or 60s – like that case register in TTFOE that Billy gets to punch.
Love Billy as Mr. Ngamo! He always makes me laugh when I see him in that dashiki with his fake accent that the Georgetown grad student can’t even see through – what do they teach them at Georgetown?
You can wonder about the number of hairspray cans it took to get Dotty’s hair like that in DOA, I wonder how many applications of shampoo it took to get it all out!!! 😉
Emily’s costumes are the best – As the Russian baddie it looks like she’s wearing a push-up bra – that or she’s stuffing hers! LOL!
I just realized that Francine as Magda didn’t make an appearance! I guess she looks too much like her regular self? Hahaha – actually I do kind of like her coat at the botanic garden or wherever it is they pull that switcheroo.
So is Lee next? I wonder which Lee outfit will get my vote! Rubbing my hands together in anticipation!
Thanks for the fun post!
I’d forgotten about Francine as Magda. Should have added her in – she’s as much in disguise as Billy as the shop cashier.
Prepare for a rollercoaster with the Lee post – some very, very unfortunate Lee moments, but I’ve has taken care intersperse these with swoony images.
I like Billy as Mr. Ngamo, but I have to wonder whose idea it was. I love his grumbling to Lee about making sure that he plays someone who speaks English from now on. 🙂 But, how did he end up getting that role without his consent? Maybe Billy needs to assert his authority more.
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Loving this. Very sad to hear about giant floral hairbows coming back. Maybe they were all part of a convention celebrating all things 80s?
Sadly, the bows that I’ve seen are definitely more dowdy mummy than 80s Madonna. But then, I don’t exactly live in the fashion capital of the world.
Love it! Nice job, Learjet! 🙂
BTW — Emily’s “rich old lady” look always reminds of Dame Edna Everage. Hello, possums! LOL!
Spot on, KC! I knew she looked familiar but couldn’t work out why. We’ve got a CD of Dame Edna narrating “Peter and the Wolf” (complete with lots of “possum” comments) and “A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra”
But Scarecrow — even Scarecrow posing as houseboy for the “rich old lady” — makes a really bad Madge Allsop. Wah hah hah!
That Scarecrow moment made the cut for the next post 😉
BTW, I’ve started a thread with a photo of Dame Edna (and her South African cousin) at Neds in the SMK section.
Yes, exactly my thoughts KC. Very Dame Edna.
Thank you Learjet. You did a great job!!
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