dressed up like a lady: Almost Vintage: Alias

Jan 13, 2014

Almost Vintage: Alias

I'm sure that plenty of people have explored the idea by now, but I was officially inspired by the concept of Almost Vintage by the Tumblr Nearly Vintage. It's awesome and fun and the images are always impeccably chosen. I highly recommend it.

Anyway. MC has us watching Alias.

I didn't catch Alias' original run from 2001-2006, but MC did though, and he's suggested quite a few times over the years that we should watch it together. He claimed it has the perfect combination of excellent TV writing, gorgeously crafted character development, and absolutely bonkers, over the top, sometimes self aware, borderline kitschy, always 100% badass spy action.

Of course, he was totally right.

Being from the early 2000's, Alias is perfectly situated in time, as we watch it in 2014, to look dated. But I have to say, it kind of looks dated in an awesome way. First of all, ALL of the main character's pants are low rise. Even when she's wearing a suit, the waist band sits so low that you're guaranteed to see a strip of midriff. 

But for the most part, the civilian clothes on Alias are tasteful. Where the campy/badass paradigm manifests is the fact that protagonist Sydney Bristow (who is a super smart, hardcore ass kicking CIA agent/badass motherfucker) is constantly putting on sexy costumes to hide her identity and/or distract some dude with her hotness while she roundhouse kicks him in the head. It adds a Barbarella-esque dimension.

The "Latex Barbie"

The "Cyberpunk at Renn-Faire"

The "Sexy Soviet" (a variation on The "Hot Nazi")
It also provides so, so many amazing opportunities for night-time sunglasses, Rose Ceremony dresses, and coordinated millennial clubwear.

The "Infrared J-Lo"

The "These Were My Mom's"

The "MILF"

The "B-Girl"

The "Sex in the City Movie"

The "Sue Sylvester"

The "Sexy Lisbeth Salander Halloween Costume"

The "My Contract Says I Get To Sing in At Least One Episode"

The "Hot Topic"

The "Chas Tenenbaum"

The "Regina George"

The "Dollywood"

And for some reason, Sydney wears a LOT of big, cozy sweaters. Even though she lives in Southern California.

Also, Sydney is played by Jennifer Garner, who in addition to bringing just a metric shit ton of presence to a series that might otherwise feel like a cheap first-run syndicated Sam Rami show (shit that I also love, but that's for another day), is also just ridiculously beautiful.

So anyway, the whole thing is on Netflix Streaming. Get on that.

I didn't take any photos for this, so to speak, but I just wanted to say although the reasons above are right, my biggest reason for wanting us to watch Alias was that Cammila reminds me so much of Sydney! 
The physical similarities are there -- same height, same build, dark eyes, similar bone structure. But it's the character herself more than anything. Being a spy, Sydney talks all the time about compartmentalizing her emotions. But you notice in Garner's performance that she really doesn't do that. Her badass, sharp shooting, cool-in-a-crisis, tactician self is fully integrated with her loving, open hearted, playful self. Whether she's holding a gun or someone's heart, she is always one thing: capable. That is so Cammila. 
And I hope I'm not revealing too much, but Cammila and Sydney look and talk exactly alike when they're fuming mad. The smoldering eyes like daggers, the gritted teeth behind the pouty lips, the stinging stream of hyper-articulate verbal evisceration. I noticed it the first time I ever saw Cammila be truly angry and I've made an effort ever since to not get it directed at me. ;) -MC 
Angry Sydney/Cammila:
Feel free to forward to the 30 second mark.


  1. OMG I was such an Alias fan!! How far into the show are you???

    1. We're almost done with Season 03. It's totally crazy how addictive this show is. :)

    2. Sorry I went MIA in the middle of this covo! lol Is season three the amnesia season? It was SO hard to wait the whole summer for that one after the cliffhanger ending of the prev season. I am glad you are enjoying this great show!

  2. Hahaha, wow. I used to watch this show but didn't realize/remember just how ridiculous the styling was. I'm going to have to watch it again.

    1. It's funny how "techno" is sort of the theme for the whole series. They're CONSTANTLY infiltrating enemy lines by way of a party or a club where people are rocking out to Prodigy or Orbital and wearing stuff from Hot Topic or Gadsooks. (Remember Gadsooks?!)


Leave a comment. It's good for our relationship.