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Brooke Shields: ‘At Studio 54 I just wore whatever my friends were wearing’ | Fashion

I’m not known for wearing outfits that are as completely covered up as this. Often, you are uncomfortable on the red carpet, worried that something is going to pop out, unzip or break. There was something about this look that felt like protection and armour to me. I wore it to the 2018 CFDA fashion awards and I loved how extreme it felt: chic and strong, slightly androgynous but with a femininity to it. It came together nicely with no stress – until I was in the car, when I realised I was having some kind of allergic reaction to my makeup! One of my eyes swelled up right before I was stepping out on to the red carpet. I panicked and put on my reading glasses to camouflage the fact that one eye was almost completely shut!

As a teenager, my relationship with apparel was fraught because I never cultivated my own style. My mom and I bought everything from thrift shops – I would wear the same jeans all year and then cut them into shorts – but every time I would go on a set I would be decked out in designer clothes. There was a disconnect: clothes were just something belonging to other people that I would embody, and then shed.

When I was modelling, my ungroomed, unkempt natural eyebrows became a focal point. It never occurred to me to do anything to them – agencies wanted me to bleach them, but my mom was adamant that I shouldn’t and they became sort of untouchable.

Brooke Shields in the 1980 Calvin Klein jeans advert.

Brooke Shields in the 1980 Calvin Klein jeans advert. Photograph: Calvin Klein

We weren’t trying to be risque with the Calvin Klein campaign [which included 15-year-old Brooke saying, “You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.”] – it was just in the right place at the right time. We also did a minute-long commercial for movie theatres and they pulled it – they said people would never watch adverts at the movies.

When I went to Studio 54 I just wore whatever my friends were wearing. Someone would come back from Europe and say: “Stonewash jeans are really in!” and we’d all get a pair. I never tried to dress like [Shields’s close friend] Michael [Jackson] but I recently saw a photo of the two of us and it’s amazing that I would kind of wear the same shoes as him and the same big shoulder pads, the slightly military style. It was a sign of the times!

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