Monday, January 2, 2012

OG Brooklyn Hipsters: The Fashion of Ghostwriter

Ghostwriter aired on PBS from 1992 to 1995. It was an educational show that taught kids the importance of reading, writing, vigilante justice, and communicating with ghosts.
Every week, the multi-ethnic, middle-school-age crew would traipse around the streets of Brooklyn unsupervised (not unlike the kids from Nickelodeon's Hey Arnold), sticking their little Ghostwriter noses in everyone's business and killing it with their cutting edge outfits. 
Jamal, the leader of the group, loved his Cross Colours. But even when he wasn't wearing "post hip hop nation academic hard wear" he stuck to the brand's green-yellow-red-black color scheme and urban aesthetic. Sometimes he'd put on a Malcolm X shirt or some chunky ethnic beads because he was in touch with his heritage. Other times he'd carry around a baseball glove because he was in touch with his boyness. His flattop was high enough to be fly but not so high as to be unsophisticated. 
Jamal also had some kind of futuristic word processing program that turned his computer screen totally blue.
Latchkey kid Lenni Frazier was not only the most fashion forward girl in Fort Greene but was by far the most fashion forward kid of the '90s. (Clarissa Darling wished she looked this fresh.)
She was a budding musician and had that kind of bold, artsy, singer-songwriter, I-live-above-a-bodega style. Lenni, who was definitely the coolest member of the group, owned the sickest green Dr. Martens.
If I ever stop being poor, I'm going to buy a pair of these, for sure. Just look at the reaction they get from the fellas!
Humunuh, humunuh, humunuh boner!
Alex (or Alejandro) usually just threw on some over-sized tee and called it a day but from time to time he'd dip into his silk, printed button-down collection. Once he wore one of these super classy numbers while sitting in an incredibly natural position and decoding a message written on blue paper. (Blue paper and blue computer screens were all the rage among preteen detective necromancers.)
I can't even begin to explain how much I loved this kid. He was cute, tall, wore a gold chain--basically, he had everything I wanted in a boyfriend when I was 9 years old.
Gaby was Alex's little sister and, of all the Ghostwriter kids, her style was most in line with the kind of stuff I was wearing to elementary school back in the day. For Gaby--and also for me--1992 was all about gigantic shirts and spandex. She, however, rocked her spandex with a lot more panache than I did. What I appreciate most about Gaby's style is that there wasn't anything pretentious about it--she was a genuine around-the-way-girl. I also really appreciate her enormous, backwards sleep shirt.
 I'm thinking about wearing one of these out and about. IT LOOKS THAT GOOD!
Tina, Gaby's BFF and Alex's crush, dressed liked a Cosby kid. If I could raid the closet of any member of the Ghostwriter team it'd be Tina's--her button-downs are the stuff of dreams. Oh, and these shoes...
yeah, I used to have, like, 15 pairs of these.
Rob, the sensitive transfer student, wrote poetry and palled around with homeless peeps. The bandannas that he loved so dearly covered a gorgeous '90s-boy-center-part.
If we don't count the time Jamal wore this wonderful ensemble...
Rob was probably the best dressed guy on the show.


Ghostwriter Season 1 fashion highlights















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19 comments:

Megs said...

I definitely dressed most like Gaby. But I WANTED to dress like Lenni and I wanted to date Rob and I'm trying very hard not to think about the fact that you noticed that kid's boner and is that even legal and ohgod ohgod I want to never have seen that. Why would you do that to me? Why?

Amiee said...

My eyes hurt in a good way. I think my fave was Leni, I still own cherry docs, they are timeless.

Ashton King said...

I totally had a pair of Tina's shoes. They were the ish back in the day.

Lovers, Saints & Sailors said...

Ah, the 90's boy centre part. *Swoon*.

Misty said...

This cracked me up!

Michelle said...

Love this! I wanted to be Lenni SO BADLY when I was young, but probably dressed more like Tina. That music video is something I will never forget - I still find myself getting the song stuck in my head from time to time even though I haven't heard it in years (until now!).

Faith McKay said...

It's funny because when I looked at the first photo under the "season 1 fashion highlights" I clearly remember the outfits in this picture. I always wondered about the way the people on this show dressed when I was little! I dressed more like the kids on Full House, but I always wished I was a cool enough artsy kid to be like the girls on this show, heh.

Trisha said...

WOW, those clothes are classic! I don't think I ever saw this show but this post makes me want to hunt it down :)

Bite The Beat said...

I'm forever depressed that they replaced the first Gaby.

I attempted to dress like Claudia Kishi and Clarissa Darling, but my style was a hodgepodge of neon slap bracelets, printed sweatshirts, colored corduroys, and shoelaces that matched my hair accessories.

Erin likes it hot. said...

I want you to know a few things.
Thing one, you inspire me.
Thing two, I nominated you for most distinct voice on 20sb.
Thing three, you really, really, should have won.

This is just one of many posts that prove it.

Ashley Ashbee said...

I remember this show! Your detailed examination amused me.

And now it's clear that television corrupted my perception of "cool" in the early '90s. Fortunately, I had the good sense to keep on wearing my Bugs Bunny sweater.

Jes said...

I was obsessed with this show and my favorite episode was totally the one where the kid was seeing his prized possessions for drugs and they were using like fairy tale clues. I was also so obsessed with this who that when William Hernandez who played Hector showed up on the Real World Philly as "Willie" I new exactly where he was from before he said it. Also I was totally in love with Rob and his side part.

Kat said...

I don't know what or why this blog is. I don't know why I just dedicated about two hours of precious sleep-time to reading it. But now I am twitterstalking you and watching this page for updates, and I'm really not sure I can do anything about that.

Kayleigh said...

The center part gives me a lady boner. All my 90s crushes rocked that do.

Reve said...

Apropos of the nineties, if you haven't seen this list, you should:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/pictures-that-perfectly-capture-the-90s
It is wonderful even though APPARENTLY the subtitle originally began with "Gag me with a spoon!" as you can tell if you look at the comments.

Erin likes it hot. said...

What the frig, it's been too long since your last post. Plus I tagged you in a thing and you should totally check the post and answer the questions, I think you could do a lot with it. Please? It's fun!
Ok, muwah!

Munk said...

Where has my favorite blogess gone?

Jennifer B. said...

I'm Boiling hot, I'm burning hot...one of the best dressed characters imo. That weird puppet who said something close to that.

Hazel said...

This looks amaaaaaazing