Dedicated to the art of movement, this month is all about the journey to body awareness, and what it really means to devote energy to wellness, exercise, and self-love in 2019.
There is a 2003 action movie that I must ruefully admit has informed my sartorial selections more than any other piece of content. That film was 2 Fast 2 Furious. I know…
Hear me out: It’s one of the most famous franchises in film history (we are currently at the 12th installment) and, as such, it’s known for its low-brow comedy, predictable plots, and inconceivable stunts. Despite the often ruthless critique, I remain a firm fan—all because Devon Aoki’s drag racer character Suki in The Fast and The Furious sequel held my admiration in a vice-like grip.
Then seven-years-old, I had no idea as to Aoki’s trajectory in fashion. The Asian-American model and muse to various major designers had become the darling of the industry when she was cast in her first major film role. For this reason, costume designer Sanja Hays selected the starlet to showcase the 2F2F‘s raciest (no pun intended) styles. This entailed hot pink, low-rise jeans that threaded together at the crotch and thigh (they matched her Honda S2000 convertible), tartan school-girl skirts paired with studded belts and more cut off crop-tops than you could cop at an Opening Ceremony sale.
The most iconic look, and perhaps the reason I was so hooked on Aoki’s style, was a pair of fuchsia leather lace-up chaps. They were worn over denim shorts, paired with two scissored singlet tops layered on top of each other, and were the star of all the sequel’s promotional imagery. Why did a child living in small-town New Zealand so connect with what was a Y2k, Coyote Ugly-esque appropriation of cowboy culture? Perhaps it was the danger: the risk of ridicule in making such a statement, worn with could-care-less confidence. It was the kind of style decision I could, by no means, relate to, and the exoticism of such a choice was enough to spark an obsession that endures, almost two decades on.
There is no shortage of bad girl characters woven throughout pop culture, and they’re usually (unfairly) signaled to audiences by their proclivity toward raunchier colors and skin-baring styles. Suki faced the same plight in 2F2F, but simultaneously managed to transcend this treatment. She is impossible to pin down, neither the Madonna or whore, the mean or nice girl. She simply is. Whether this can all be credited to Aoki, I’m unsure, but I know that Suki will remain my style and general inspiration for many years.