Zenon: Fashion Icon of the 21st Century
She was so ahead of her time. She wore full-bodied pink spandex and platform sneakers and holographic skirts. She wore metallic shoulder pads and had Zooey Deschanel bangs before Zooey Deschanel. Her best friend wore Slinkys instead of scrunchies. Her crush had spiked hair. She lived in space. She was so cool. She was everything.
What is an uber-cheesy but still amazing DOM (Disney Original Movie) has inspired fashion until this very day. Even looking INTO THE FUTURE, she looks cool. Comparing her and Nebula to the rest of society they’re totally advanced. Her earth nemesis, as we should definitely call her, Margie, was way behind with the whole fluffy collar thing. You are thirteen. Stop it, Margie. On the other hand, Zenon was adorable. Plus she pulled off wearing her hair in two little buns on the top of her head.
The hours I’ve spent on Pinterest looking for how to do this are endless. For that alone, she deserves the praise. Because goodness exists in the world, this film is now readily accessible on YouTube and now I think is the time to fully appreciate the genius that is Zenon.
The hair, though… SO WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MAJOR. The hair in this film…may have influenced my entire life’s hair. Before Zenon, I didn’t really care much for dealing with my hair mainly because of the tear-infused fits it produced or even, ya know, bathing but after I bought a hair straightener and my life changed. I bought it simply because I couldn’t try to do those weird little buns on the top of my head if my hair is super curly. I tried to lift my hair up on the sides with butterfly clips because it was the nineties and I was like eight and it took me approximately 17 hours to achieve, but worth it for the simple fact that I felt like Zenon. I also got bangs. Not the best of my ideas, but I’m glad I tried. I could relate more to Nebula’s hair flare that included ponytails held together by non-elastic bands and household items. She wore Slinkys in her hair, an absolutely horrible idea for me but did I try it? YES I DID!! The end result was gruesome indeed.
Holographic accessories Clearly made with the finest of textile, Zenon and Co. seriously tapped into my psyche and revealed my absolute obsession with holographic materials in the late nineties. I have absolutely no idea why it looks so futuristic as it’s just a multifaceted, 3D-ish fabric/material but Zenon took advantage of this whole thing. It is literally the back of a CD but I was obsessed. I grew up very close to a mall in Florida and there was this futuristic store that my brother was obsessed with and all they had was holographic posters. If you wanted a massive holographic depiction of a tiger leaping towards your face, this is where you got it. It was quite handy during the 1999 holiday season. In any case, the fact that she had an entire skirt made of this magical fabric blew the entirety of my mind. This was before I ever got a computer so I couldn’t look up how to possibly posses such a high-quality piece of attire but did I indeed parole the mall by myself looking for it? Yes. Yes I did indeed. Moral of the story is that this skirt was wonderful and the Internet is beautiful.
Flatform shoes These have come back in a major way, at least across the pond in the UK, and I’m giving all the credit to Zenon. In the opening scene when she’s running around late for school, she’s got on what looks like 4-inch platform sneakers, what could be seen as an early form of the Creeper, a platform more commonly sold at Urban Outfitters. They’re cool and upside(!) make you taller without anyone noticing/falling on your face. Practical yet completely unnecessary, Zenon and her bff Nebula pulled them off over ten years ago and also like 50 years ahead…..if that makes sense.
Vests Much unlike my mother’s fern-rowed vest from Cracker Barrel, Zenon wore these little cropped vests over her full-bodied spandex and it looked great/so much better than any vest I’ve ever seen. With a little holographic lining on the shoulders and pockets, her and Raven-Symone (Best Actress of the 21st century) were the best dressed on the space ship, not hard noting everyone else was in ill-fitting onesies. Her earth crush, Matt (lame), was wearing jorts. They simply were not meant to be. Also, noted, they took their little matching but not really routine from Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, the saints of the nineties until they went to NYU for fashion something something merchandise selling making millions blah blah blah….
Full-bodied spandex A fashionably daring ensemble and also one of my favorite groups of words strung together, Zenon was wearing pink Under Armour before it even existed. Under a miniskirt and a shoulder-padded vest, she’s untouchable except for that weird subplot about her civilization blowing up in space where old men often try to physically harm her/touch her face. There were men following her apparently and…the plot isn’t important. It involved a little CD and…I don’t really know. Although it physically cripples me to say it, there is not a chance that I could ever wear this. Wish I could, like really! But only a prepubescent Zenon and Nebula could do this. And bless them for that.
By Rachel Lubitz
Feature image Courtesy of Disney Channel.