No, I don’t want to knock out (and nearly die!) in a case of mistaking my drug of choice for what Vincent has in his jacket pocket. Neither would I want to be married to Marcellus, he’s kinda scary. But Jesus, do I wish I had her style.
Mia Wallace, where art thou? In a haze of the basic nude colored bodycon dresses and minimalist streetwear chic donned by all of us muhllenialls nowadays, surely there must be room for the kinda-sexy, kinda-utilitarian mainstays of one Mrs. Mia Wallace. How is it that we DON’T see girls posted up wearing white button downs, black blazers, and the perfect black trousers that just stop short of the ankle? Some may think it takes a certain je ne sais quoi to pull off such a simple look. But I happen to think that the outfit, the LOOK of Mia Wallace in general, is what defines her, what GIVES her the je ne sais quoi.
In a movie that is largely style over substance (in Tarantinoland, style IS the substance. It’s wonderful), Mia Wallace stands out. Among the crazy characters of Vincent Vega, Jules Winnfield, Butch the boxer, Pumpkin and Honey Bunny, hell, even people barely in the movie like Fabienne and Esmeralda Villalobos (who, btw, super-interests me, like WHAT is her deal? What is her story? Why does she want to know what it’s like to kill a man?!?!) Mia stands out somehow. She’s barely in the movie herself, at least compared to other characters, but that doesn’t even matter! Because it’s not Jules or Vincent on the movie poster. It’s Mia Wallace, goddamn it, lips painted classic red, cigarette slow-burning in her silky little hand.
The concept for Mia’s effortlessly cool wardrobe was all Betsy Heimann’s. Betsy was the costume designer for Pulp Fiction, and decided to style Mia after another iconic Tarantino film, Reservoir Dogs. She said Mia was a female Reservoir Dog and she should dress accordingly. See, this was still one year before the advent of Clueless in the Year of Our Lord 1995, so the movie studios didn’t really know how 90s women dressed, or WANTED to dress. What Mia wore in the movie wasn’t exactly the height of 1994 fashion, but THAT was all good in the hood, because it made her who she was, it made her Mia. It made her Mia just as much as her dancing to Chuck Berry in Jack Rabbit Slims, it made her Mia just as much as her ketchup joke, it made her Mia just as much as getting an adrenaline shot in the heart.
All of Tarantino’s girls wear the iconcoclastic black and white suit. My girl Jackie Brown (more on her and that Perfect Film in another post!) wears it in the department store in the Del Amo Shopping Mall after stuffing money in a bag in the dressing room, and she looks fly as hell in it. Elle Driver, my favorite character in Kill Bill, wears it whenever she kills Budd with the snake, and she accessories it with an eyepatch.
But Mia like, invented that suit. And I think it’s high time for girls to bring that “contemporary Mia Wallace” thing out to play.
In 2017, I think that Mia Wallace would opt for a darker lipstick. This one happens to be the super cheap Wet N Wild Megalast in Cherry Bomb, a lipstick I’ve actually finished and repurchased TWICE which is unheard of. There’s the woven fabric choker I bought at a hole in the wall thrift shop just outside Chicago. The white button down, a tasteful number that is actually one of my work shirts (but we’ll say it isn’t), a careful smokey slight cat eye with black eyeshadow and setting spray, and finally, a copy of Albert Camus’s The Stranger, because I don’t own any cool pulp fiction books from the 50s, and also, just like Ren and Stimpy, Camus is Way Existential, word to Cher Horowitz, and I think Mia would love it.
Aaand that’s a wrap.