In one of the best commemorative events ever, Pop Matters is running a series of essays to celebrate twenty-five years of Purple Rain. In “The Beautiful One: Prince and the Fashion of Purple Rain,” Christel Loar contemplates the lasting effects of Prince’s ruffled white shirt on the sartorial landscape of popular culture in general, and her life in particular. I especially enjoyed reading about her heroic efforts to “evoke Prince” in her everyday, as lovingly detailed in this excerpt:
I wanted to evoke Prince and his aura of appeal more than I wanted to emulate any of the women. I couldn’t have cared less about appearing overtly sexy just then anyway. I was much more concerned with finding a way to make it out of the house in my custom deconstructed (my mother preferred the phrase “ripped and ruined.”) creations, or how exactly to wrap a random piece of lace around my breasts—I possess feeble sewing skills at best—so that it might become a “shirt” that I could wear under my denim jacket in an approximation of some of Wendy’s tougher garb. Incidentally, I finally perfected that trick in 1988, and, perhaps unfortunately, there’s a high school yearbook photo out there that proves it. In 1984, though, I was still young and refused to accept that outfits like a one-sleeved, half-blouse, half coat and brocade slacks might be inappropriate middle school attire.