Elf Lyons Says: Strong cinematic role models are SEXY

Sexiness is a bi-product of feeling confident in your own skin, feeling happy in the feel of your own outfit and being in charge and competent at what you do. Although my voice and body may be its least aesthetically sexy when I am shouting and garishly caricaturing myself into characters on stage (in my opinion), I never feel more sexy and in charge of myself than when I am performing stand-up in front of an audience.

The electric feeling of being in my element when performing, overrides any feelings I have cavorting around my flat in my underwear like a ginger, freckled clothes horse - despite how many Cameron Diaz films tell me this is the image I should aspire to achieve.

My new show, Being Barbarella, which I've just done a fantastically fun run of at the Adelaide Fringe, is all about this.

Thus, for this entry, rather than assessing the fashion trends of the year so far, here is my selection of top cinematic babes and badasses who we should take our style tips from. People who are inherently sexy, no matter how flammable their clothes may have been...

The Shining - Wendy Torrence

A weird choice you may think. But think again. Wendy is the ULTIMATE female icon and ultimate fashion hipster. Why? Because who else could not only ward off a demon, Jack Nicholson, BUT ALSO work a polar neck and dungaree combo at the same time? Sexy AND Sane - my two favourite attributes to any human-being.

Wendy Torrance’s iconic look of black bangs, beige polar neck, green flannel shirt and a baseball bat should be incorporated by all. One thing I always ask myself when putting on an outfit is "Could I fight in this?” and I have Wendy to thank for that.

If it wasn’t for loose fitting denim and breathable fabrics, I doubt Wendy would have lived to tell the tail of The Overlook hotel (just imagine Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman trying to achieve the same effect… not in that dress).

Throughout the whole of The Shining Wendy, the fashion mother to Zoey Deschanel in New Girl, reminds us of the importance of DRESSING FOR ONES SELF. Even though she’s tucked up in the mountains with nothing but a psycho husband, haunted hotel and a psychic son for company, Wendy still keeps it fabulous, knowing the rules of keeping style simple with block colours, strong prints and simple lone accessories (such as a butchers knife, cigarette or baseball bat).

Even though her husband is busy being overcome by the devil and all she has to do is check the weather report, Wendy still does it with feminist grace, working a kooky embroidered yellow suede jacket with lumber jack scarf, skinny jeans and cowboy books.

TWO WORDS: FASHION BADASS. Good shoes as well. Let's not overlook that important area… footwear. Who needs heals when you have mountain shoes you can sprint in?

Barbarella - Barbarella

The Ultimate sex symbol and the complete antithesis to Wendy Torrance, Barbarella is an example of the fact that the words: WOMAN, CAREER and FASHION are not mutually exclusive.

Yes, she IS a trusted astronaut sent by Planet Earth to save them and yes she IS fashion savvy at the same time. Yes, she wants to have sex and yes she DOES want to save the planet whilst doing it. What of it? Barbarella is the ultimate multi-tasker.

Her clothes, though revealing, are her armour.  Revealing the aerobic strength of Jane Fonda’s body. Throughout the film you can’t help but gaze in awe at the clear tone and power of Fonda’s body in Barbarella. It’s empowering.

She’s not a doll, she’s a toned, athletic machine who wears her skin and flammable clothing as comfortably as anyone would slip on a pair of old trainers. It doesn’t matter HOW eccentric her clothes may look, it’s the ease at which she wonders around the 16th planet of Tau Ceti that makes them.

As Vadim the director stated: "Barbarella has no sense of guilt about her body. I want to make something beautiful out of eroticism." I think there is something so crucial about this sentiment.

There is NOTHING shameful about feeling sexy and wearing clothes that embody and showcase your sexual confidence. It is YOUR CHOICE. So dammit, if you want to wear a plastic bra over a unitard on the tube, you bloody well do it, and you do it with the confidence you are entitled to have.

As Fonda explained: “[Barbarella] is different. She was born free”. Don’t limit yourself by social constraints, wear what makes you feel in charge of your shape and body.

Labryrinth - The Goblin King

Okay, this is mainly because I have niche tastes and any man who dresses like he’s about to conduct a séance causes me to have a vaginal collapse... BUT I DO BELIEVE that David Bowie is a Fashion ICON in this film.

Yes, the Labyrinth IS a film STARRING David Bowie’s crotch with a CAMEO from David Bowie. But wow, what a crotch eh? Let’s bring back the seventies days of skin tight jeans and breathable polyester materials. Also, that hair. It’s like an electrocuted Lions Mane. And I want to ravage it.

As Brian Froud, the concept designer of Labyrinth said, Jareth is inspired by "the romantic figures of Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights and a brooding Rochester from Jane Eyre and the Scarlet Pimpernel.” These are awesome characters and we need to honour them more in mens fashion. Who doesn't want to see Kanye West in a frilled shirt?

Men should feel far more comfortable to take risks with their fashion. Men have it just as hard as women when it comes to fashion's gender stereotypes and we should all encourage our male friends, lovers, siblings, heck even our dads, to enjoy fashion more and take risks with prints and tailoring.

I am the first to admit that a suit, though classic, can be boring, especially when it is worn by someone who is not at ease in a tie. If frilly white shirts, leather waistcoats and high wasted trousers are your thing: DO IT. First of all, I will faint and want to marry you, but secondly, life is too short to conform if it doesn’t make you happy. Hey, look at David Bowie.

Alien - Ellen Ripley


My heart will never die for Sigourney Reaver and her iconic hero Ellen Ripley.

I’m not gonna beat around the bush when it comes to Ellen. Ellen, the light of my life, the fire of my loins (next to Shane from The L Word), I could not give a toss about Ripley’s boiler suit in these films.

It’s all about the underwear for Ellen. No image influenced my teenage development more (yes, mum, look away now) than the mise-en-scene of Ellen Ripley in white knickers and vest at the end of Alien 1, taking a well deserved stretch after annihilating a penis-look-a-like-beast.

Clean cut, toned, chilled and clean, if there is one thing Ellen knows, it’s how to work a vest. A key staple to anyone's wardrobe. A vest is simple and the sign of a true badass - and the result is sexy. Like Wendy, Ellen is all about comfort and efficiency.

She doesn’t care how she comes across. She’ll smash every glass ceiling she has to.

Her underwear and the way she wears it showcases this. A true feminist. Who gives a crap about bras when an evil Alien is on the loose?! All that matters is that its clean and freshly laundered!

When I first watched this film I felt truly inspired by Ellen’s character. Ellen Ripley is the embodiment of ‘strong = sexy’. Independent and at ease in her shape, she manages to work a boiler suit in a way I never knew possible. #ultimategirlcrush.

So if you're feeling slovenly, unsexy and uninspired when it comes to your wardrobe choices, look to these four cinematic role models for inspiration.

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