What We Wear
I discovered Polyvore.com a little while ago, and promptly dressed the main characters of When We Wake. Even though I hate writing clothing descriptions, I am fully au fait with procrastinating via playing dressups for my characters.
Ah, our heroine. This is not actually how Tegan likes to dress, given her druthers. Before she dies, Tegan’s hobbies include soccer, urban exploration, and parkeur, so she is not much for restrictive clothes or fancy fabrics that might snag or stain or let her mother know what she’s been up to. (After she dies, Tegan’s hobbies include trying to blend in with future society, avoiding kidnapping attempts, and breaking in to top secret government facilities of unknown purpose.)
What she wants from her clothing is that it be supportive (she has big boobs) and cover her skin, because as a very pale woman in 2027/2128 Australia, she burns like bacon. She likes bright colours, fabrics that allow movement without too much excess flow, and shoes with no or low heels.
Unfortunately, her publicist, Tatia, is invested in a Tegan she can sell to an audience very curious about the Living Dead Girl, and dresses her as Snow White:
“Awakened from a deathlike sleep by a handsome prince,” she told me. “We want people to see you as a romantic heroine, not a leech on our national resources.”
“Do people even watch Disney anymore?”
“There was a revival about ten years ago. That’s long enough that the association will be familiar but largely subliminal.”
This was just great. The Beatles were obscure trivia, but people could still recognize that stupid movie. It wasn’t worth pointing out that I’d been awakened from actual death by a doctor and an army initiative instead of any kind of prince; Tatia was perfectly capable of ignoring these inconvenient facts.
Tatia is kind of intense.
Assuming you were once a young woman into young men, remember THAT guy in your class? He was musical AND smart AND sporty, and outside the crew! Was he excluded or did he exclude himself? You weren’t sure! He had Mysteries!
Oh, and remember the first time you met him you said something incredibly stupid and you thought he hated you but later he saved you from public humiliation? And then you talked him into illegal and dangerous activities and it turns out he likes the Beatles almost as much as you do?
I have been in the past all like, of course I do not crush on my romantic interest characters! They are teenagers and I am a grown-up! That would be wrong!
Well, it is still wrong. But I am just saying that if Abdi WERE a grown up, and also, like, real, I would be all over that, possibly because in my head, adult Abdi looks like a darker Aldis Hodge.
Abdi likes bright colours, like that T-shirt, and jewel colours, and if color blocking were a thing in the Melbourne of 2128 (it’s sadly not) he would be really into it. He has a (fake) leather jacket, because he is from Djibouti City, and to him a Melbourne winter, even a Melbourne winter when the world is several degrees warmer, is way too cold. He would not do well in Siberia, is what I am saying.
I could say that he has those (fake) leather books because when you’re running away from people with guns, sensible footwear is a priority, but to be honest, he has them because I thought it would be cool.
Joph Montgomery is a pretty great person. She’s kind, she’s peaceful and she likes to make people happy. While everyone else runs around getting excited, Joph tends to saunter around getting mildly interested. Which is not to say that Joph doesn’t care about things and take risks. She does! But in a generally tranquil way.
Of course, like everyone, Joph has flaws. One of her less important flaws is that she is a very boring dresser. She’s just not super interested in clothing. Brown leggings? Brown tunic? Brown sandals? She’s good to go!
Bethari Miyahputri, on the other hand, takes a lot of interest in clothes. She’s a cheerleader, a journalist, and an Indonesian Australian Muslim woman who covers. She pays attention to the way clothing can be a performance or a signal, a form of protest or a marker of community. Of the four Main Crew, she is the fashion maven, the one who lends Tegan things to pad out her scanty wardrobe and the one who uses her web presence to discuss fashion as well as politics – because she knows they’re frequently connected topics.
She has a lot of clothes – more than enough to supply Tegan with a complete set of dark clothes when they need to undertake some espionage. Cheerleading, as Tegan observes, lends itself well to breaking and entering.
But when she’s not engaged in uprooting conspiracies, Bethari is all about purple, grey and gold. The future of fashion is colour. You heard it here first!