Looking at fashion can be demoralizing and distancing, reminding us so often of who we’re not. How many of us will ever sprout the come-hither brows of Cara Delevingne or the gap-toothed kittenishness (or pedigree) of Georgia Jagger?
Jamaica Plain designer Meghan Hughes brings fashion down to earth with lines that let people focus on attitude and style, instead of mimicking models. For instance, her latest line, called Wild Child, honors Punky Brewster and Pippi Longstocking.
“The plaid designs [are inspired by] Pippi. Anything neon is Punky. Along with the Spice Girls, these are my earliest memories of females, rebels, girl power,” says Hughes.
The line features plaid and neon short-shorts, denim miniskirts, lightweight color-blocked cotton dresses with alternating colored pinstripes, blue cotton checked shirts with chest and arm ruffles, and blue checked pants with bright-red belt loops.
Hughes, 26, studied fashion design at Newton’s Lasell College. She sells her clothing on e-commerce platform Nineteenth Amendment, which was founded in Boston. The site spotlights independent designers, who sell directly to customers and manufacture their products domestically. Nineteenth Amendment prizes fashion “as an experience,” says its website. Hughes says that she was one of the first designers recruited by the online startup.
Fittingly, her earlier designs also have an engaging pop-culture hook.
“This is a way for people to connect with fashion, to relate to pop culture,” she says.
A previous line, Starstruck, honored David Bowie with metallic rompers, gold leggings, and leather miniskirts.
“I was finishing my last piece when he died,” she says. (Her favorite Bowie tune is “Heroes.”)
A mod collection, with high-waisted indigo stretch pants and neon crop tops, looks straight out of 1960s Pan Am and was inspired by Nancy Sinatra. Another line, Spellbound, was designed to appeal to a work-friendlier crowd with simple black, white, and lavender dresses that call to mind the movies of Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter.
“My designs are bold, fun, and colorful — while still being wearable in everyday life,” Hughes says.
We can be heroes, indeed.