PVC jackets and cargo pants galore – marking 15 years since Baby Girl’s film debut
It’s been 15 years since Jet Li and Aaliyah kicked some serious on-screen ass as Han and Trish in Andrzej Bartkowiak’s 2000 martial arts love story Romeo Must Die. Following an age-old Romeo and Juliet narrative, two ‘families’ – Chinese v African-American, both salty over having to share the waterfront – go head to head in an all out turf war after someone ‘cancels’ Han’s troublesome younger brother Po by lynching him. To cut 115 minutes short, there’s a lot of bloodshed on both sides, a bunch of car chases and a neverending rain of bullets and spin kicks. But, Aaliyah's film debut also comes complete with one helluva soundtrack ("Try Again", anyone?!), some seriously slick attitude and a bunch of bangin’ 90s style moments – thanks to the late Baby Girl and costume designer Sandra J. Blackie. Below we raid Trish’s wardrobe and give you six reasons to dig out your VHS copy (or just hit up iTunes) and get ready for some good old fashioned ass whooping – hoop earrings and dragon motifs included.
YEAR OF THE DRAGON
The first time we see Aaliyah as Trish she's not exactly that bad ass. She’s kind of doing this cheesy dance routine in her shop with a bunch of kids. It’s not really explained what they’re doing there but it's probably got something to do with the fact that she’s the biggest sweetheart going around town (see: her dimples). For the first hour or so of the film, she’s rocking one of the most recognisable trends of the 90s – dragon motifs. In fact, she’s rocking it so hard, she’s rocking two – one on her trousers, another on her shirt, topped off with a Geisha. She’s also got enough attitude to shake a stick at, and everyone knows that was a 90s essential.
Enter: a pair of beige D&G cargo pants, something that any millennial worth their salt can vouch for owning (or wanting to). In this scene, Trish sits courtside and does army look so well, you’d think she was recruiting. Cropped sleeveless hoodie, LAPD t-shirt, black briefs on show and a dog tag hanging off her neck. Oh, did we mention she’s handing out ice creams?
Sadness is the key to this look. Pretty low-key and more ‘my brother just got thrown out of a 100 storey building and is now being scooped up from the bottom of the river’ kind of thing. You know what goes perfectly with that look? A bandana. We don’t really see much of Trish here but she does a pretty good job of rocking that headscarf, accessorised with a heavy dose of eyeball daggers.
Step up, Trish! Slaying the 'vixen look' with some serious side part, a belly chain, cropped PVC jacket, thigh slit skirt, and an asymmetrical top in white and blood red. After coming to the conclusion her dad's a pretty bad ass guy with little to no morals, Trish tells him to do one and returns to Han's capable hands. She cries a lot, shares some stories, a car chase ensues, and it turns out that some masked motorcycle assailant wants to take them both out, Kung Fu style. Trish holds it down in one of the best fight scenes of the film.
There’s not a whole lot to this next look, but what do you expect when someone wakes you up mid slumber and throws you into a limo. Essentials: oversized cardigan, tracksuit pants and a trusty bandana. Girls everywhere were thanking Aaliyah for making dishevelled look so good.
IN THE CLUB
Is that the D&G trousers again? Yep. This time, Trish outdoes herself by teaming them up with the sheer hoodie of my dreams. She’s heading out to DMX’s club (king of the “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” comeback in the film’s opening scenes) to pretty much fuck some shit up, so naturally throws on an oversized camouflage sleeveless jacket with orange lining. It’s a bit awkward at the beginning, you know, turning up to an all-black club with an Asian friend while there’s a race war raging outside and it's basically your dad's fault but hey, all Trish has to do is flash that smile. Favourite bit of the film? When Trish mimes Aaliyah's hit “Are U Feeling Me” to Han on the dancefloor. Cute. Cue: more bullets fired, bodies 'cancelled', blood shed and end credits. Happy 15 years, RMD!