Personal Style: Blue Snakeskin & Breaking Bad
c/o AllSaints leather jacket, vintage heels from Kokorokoko
c/o Ray-Ban Wayfarers, TopShop enamel skull ring
My inspiration for head-to-toe snakeskin was first piqued when I saw Hannah MacGibbon’s Fall 2011 collection for Chloé. I thought her presentation was a bit one-note, as snakeskin deserved to be explored at a deeper conceptual level if it was going to be the sole reference. Slathering it across chiffon and leather in predictable boho-chic silhouettes is just plain lazy. I’ll tell you the truth – the only reason I was excited to see MacGibbon’s snakeskin overloaded collection was because it looked inspired by Tuco Salamanca.
I know what you’re thinking.
Who the hell is Tuco Salamanca and what the hell does he have to do with Chloé?
Well, dear reader, unless you’re a die-hard Breaking Bad fan I wouldn’t expect you to know who Tuco Salamanca is. For being a meth-snorting psychopath who “beats his homies to death when they ‘dis’ him,” Tuco is by far the most fashionable character in Breaking Bad. Aside from Jesse, he’s the only character with a discernible sense of style. After all, you’ve got to admire his penchant for snakeskin-printed silk and bedazzled shirts… Yesterday morning when I walked into my closet to get dressed, I saw my Siwy jeans and Equipment blouse within eyeshot of each other. I immediately remembered how I felt when I first saw the photos of Chloé Fall 2011 on Style.com. And so I channeled my inner Tuco for a full-on outfit inspired by one of TV’s most epic villains.
I went with a color palette dominated by the dual landscapes of Breaking Bad; the steely grays of industrial Albuquerque; and the icy blues that are central to the series’ lush visual storytelling. If there’s one color that dominates Breaking Bad, it’s blue. Fifth Season episode “Fifty One” is fully submerged in blues, from the pool that figures prominently in a crucial plot twist to the clothes Skyler wears. Even the core of the series, the substance that catalyzed Walter’s disintegration from family man to homicidal maniac, is ‘blue’ meth. One of the reasons Breaking Bad is the best show on television is how the visual elements of storytelling are just as important as the plot.
I thrifted these Siwy jeans during my trip to New York in September when Rhianna led me on an afternoon jaunt through the Lower East Side constellation of thrift & consignment shops. I’d never owned a pair of snakeskin pants before because I never found the right pair. With these, I love how subtle and cool the print is done in a metallic dye that shimmers in the light like scales. I loved the way these two snakeskin prints blend together quite seamlessly. Different enough to avoid being matchy-matchy, but similar enough to make it work. A skull knuckle ring? Surely Tuco would wear one if there had been a TopShop in Albuquerque…
My “PanAm” heels from Kokorokoko lent a graphic, angular touch while staying within the color palette of grays, whites, and sky blues I envisioned for the look. The sharp edges and abstract design have a Southwestern vibe that I can’t quite place. In my memories of childhood trips to the American deserts in New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona, the architecture had a strangely cosmic twinge, like humans only recently settled the area. Why does ‘Space Age’ imagery always look perfect in deserts – could it be something so simple as the landscape mimicking the rocky, crater-ridden surface of astral bodies like the moon and Mars? This photo of Jesse and Walt wearing their futuristic lab suits in lawn chairs perfectly encapsulates the color palette I’m trying to describe with words, but is better explained visually…
Sometimes it’s best to let photos speak for themselves, no?