How To Dress Well: Audrey Horne From Twin Peaks
Besides Agent Cooper's incredible hair, Sherilyn Fenn was the show's sartorial star.
Every autumn, I re-watch David Lynch and Mark Frost’s seminal noir-melodrama, Twin Peaks. So inevitably, every year I try to emulate Audrey Horne’s enviable style.
Twin Peaks may have revolved around dead ol’ Laura Palmer, but Audrey Horne is the most memorable of her schoolgirl peers. Opting for a uniform of tapered sweaters, high-waisted tartan skirts, black-and-white brogues or saucy red pumps, Audrey is a total fox, an innocent femme fatale in vintage-inspired garb. Joining the stylish ranks of bewitching ‘Golden Age’ babes like Ava Gardner — most recently reincarnated as Mad Men’s Joan — Audrey’s look is youthful and classic, harking back to an era before bespoke clothing was merely a hipster trend.
It’s a high maintenance look and there’s no hiding here — everything must fit perfectly. You can wear an oversized houndstooth overcoat, but once removed it’s all about your moves and shapely silhouette. As an adult, wearing pleated or plaid A-line skirts treads a fine line between asexual infantilisation and ‘naughty schoolgirl’-era Britney. Essentially, schoolgirl chic is fine; schoolgirl creep, not so much.
Sherilyn Fenn was in her mid-twenties when she played the high school-aged character on Twin Peaks, so Audrey managed to encapsulate the feminine glamour of a bygone era while looking beyond her years. To similarly avoid creepdom, you need to strike the right balance by wearing the right fit – a tweed skirt must sit impeccably on your waist and knees. So, number one tip: before hitting Etsy, ensure you have your exact measurements written down or the number of your local seamstress on hand.
Yes, Audrey is a total knockout in the face department and this obviously works in her favour. Yes, she’s a doll who, um, fills her sweaters quite well. But her best accessory — by far — is her attitude. In order to channel Audrey’s signature pin-up charm, you’ll need sultry swagger and confidence. I’m sure that there’s a gaudy “I’m Audrey Horne and I get what I want” slogan t-shirt out there, but you can’t buy that kind of sass. You can work on it, though. Perhaps don’t start with amateur sleuthing or trying to seduce an older man (like an FBI agent or, you know, your friend’s dad or something); maybe start small by listening to ‘Audrey’s Dance’ before leaving the house. “Isn’t it too dreamy?” Audrey asks. Hot damn, she’s right.
Other important subtleties include: a manicured bob (no, not that Bob, forever the scariest TV image), some finely maintained arched eyebrows and warm red lipstick. A bit of hairspray, some tweezers and a trip to Mecca – all easily acquired. And if you’re going full-vixen, be sure to grab a packet of Marlboros and Kyle MacLachlan or Billy Zane (either/or) while you’re out.
Stephanie Van Schilt is a film and TV nut. She’s the Online Editorial Assistant for Kill Your Darlings, and has written for Killings, Screen Machine and Cineaste.