“It’s 1997, Emily and Kim are writing notes to each other in math class cracking up over goofy drawings and ridiculous crushes. They’ve just started High School, Kim is wearing a floral dress over pants, a hoodie and striped Adidas sneakers, Emily is in an outfit from Contempo Casuals, her favorite new velvet skirt clashing against Spice Girl platform shoes. This year they might get over their crush on Leonardo Di Caprio, but after Baz Luhrmans 1996 hit, Romeo and Juliet, Leo’s been pretty unforgettable. They daydream of becoming Claire Danes in the role of Juliet, Leo kissing you under water in a fountain, pouring his heart out, and it’s painful. Will any boy ever love them as much as that, they wonder? After school, in the evenings when their homework is finished, they anxiously await a new episode of the Real World, reality TV at it’s peak, the characters makeup free and yelling over lazy roommates, it’s as 90’s as it comes. As you grow up you don’t acknowledge the things that will shape who you are, that will define your tastes and create lasting impressions, but looking back it’s easy to see just how influential even the most mundane activities were, your era’s entertainment can change how you look at things. These girls loved it all in the 90’s and were inspired every day by so many things, The real world, Romeo and Juliet, Leonardo Dicaprio, 90210, The Spice Girls, Adidas, Delias, Skater Boys, Winona Ryder, Reality Bites, Alicia Silverstone, Aerosmith, braided hair, shell necklaces, Spring Break, Ren and Stimpy, Sunflower dresses, Diet Pepsi, Britney Spears, Hanson, The Macarena, River Phoenix, Love Line, MTV, Judy Blume, Karaoke, the list goes on forever. Today the girls live their dreams while designing clothes, they use their 90’s experience and adoration to create a collection based on High School, the feeling of walking the halls, binders under arm, daydreaming of kissing Romeo.”
The story of “Romeo and Juliet” was a big deal for Emily and I in High School. We met when we were 12 at a summer stock camp, acting as Mole and Toad in “The Wind in the Willows”, so theater was a driving force for our friendship. In High School we read the tragic, beautiful Shakespeare play and it seemed so logical that Romeo would kill himself over Juliet, at only 15 those things seemed to make sense, “of course he wanted to die over his one true love! Of course he drank the poison!” We were dramatic, lanky, swooning teenagers, lost in love and our own small tragedies of American adolescence. We lived for drama, for the stage, for acting and our friends, and when Baz Luhrmans translated Romeo and Juliet perfectly by casting Leonardo Di Caprio and Claire Danes, he made us all weep in the theater. So began the obsession, a Star Crossed Lover haze… the dream of Leo.
Now, 29 years old, things look a tiny bit different. When we read Romeo and Juliet we find ourselves second guessing the young characters judgment, “You are 16! You have only known each other a few days! Don’t do drink the poison! NO!!” We find ourselves wondering what if? What if these two kids actually survived!
Fall 2012 is based on this alternate version of the Star Crossed lovers, the Capulets and Montagues; best friends who got away! A road trip through Italy, a 90’s extravaganza of Italian inspired clothing, a dream of roses and Cherubs, emerald green, gold, pink, turtlenecks, and giant, romantic plaid dresses! Would R&J have lasted over time? Or would they have realized, inevitably, that it was just a fling and their teens are meant for road trips, stories, late nights, skinny dipping, strip poker, falling in love with everyone you meet, and most importantly best friends forever, getting over breakups and learning all about what makes you happy!