Accidental Style Icon: Speedy Gonzales
Or rather, who wore it best?
I don’t know many Mexicans who dress like Speedy Gonzales nor do I know many mice who wear its oversimplified conception. Furthermore, I’ve yet to come across a red-nosed, black and white cat who is constantly in pursuit of a meal that seems to perpetually take the shape of the sombrero-wearing, red-neckerchief doling cutie-pie of a rodent. That I should feel compelled to cite a rodent as not just cute, but “cutie pie” presents a point of victory, I think, when considering The Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies.
Tell me you grew up on those guys.
Sometimes I wonder whether my imagination would have afforded me the same tendencies had I not believed that all rabbits boasted Brooklyn accents and were unanimously popular wise-crackers who failed in the romantic depot. To that note, would I have been able to sympathize with the Man Repeller movement as comprehensively if Lola Bunny didn’t emanate that no-bullshit attitude?
Would my current affection for Taylor Tomasi Hill’s hair color be as poignant had it not been for Yosemite Sam? By goodness, come to think of it, would Chanel have been able to cultivate that impressively accurate atmosphere in Dallas last week had it not been for Sam’s effusive antics?
All skunks are not created equal. Pepe le Pew just wanted to love. And maybe Wile E. Coyote wasn’t always hungry for Road Runner. Maybe he just needed someone to talk to. As for Porky Pig, is that where the prospect of a career in speech pathology began?
But back to Mr. Gonzales.
It occurred to me — or rather, to my friend Roxana — about two weeks while I was sitting at a restaurant in Nolita with her that I’d been taking unwitting style cues from the Mexican mouse.
Clothed in a red neck scarf (this was on the heels of my story on how to wear them), a yellow felt hat (I know it sounds unusual but it’s actually more ivory than it is yellow) and a white sweater (fine, this too was more ivory than it was white) that I had worn multiple times that week, it was hard to refute her assertion. Not that I would want to — I pride myself on a proclivity to pull style cues from unlikely places. (See also: The Lion King).
But this one, this one I really wanted to knock out of the park. If fashion lets us assume different identities and clothes are the vessel that actualize that transformation, what we’re left with is simply choice. Which identities will we evince and why?
Lately, I’ve wanted to evoke the spirit of something indelibly jovial which is why after Roxana’s shrewd appraisal of outfit, I went home, picked through my closet and recreated an even more accurate depiction of the Looney Tune’s look.
With a vintage Jean Paul Gaultier blouse that Kate gave me as a holiday gift, Rosie Assoulin pants, a proper panama hat and a red ribbon (not unlike the one from my sadistic childhood favorite, The Girl with The Red Ribbon), the outfit became what I want to call a really accurate depiction of my favorite theory: that fashion doesn’t have to be serious to be really, really good.
And with that, I encourage you to try your best Marvin the Martian.
Also, obviously, do let me know who you think wore it best — never mind who can run faster.