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.
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?).
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?