“Mamma Mia!”: starting cienfuegos all over the place

Courtesy of Nadiah Lacey
Students find ways to express the fashion from Mamma Mia! in everyday life.

Staff Reporter

After a ten-year hiatus, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” was released in theaters this past July. Since its release, it seems impossible to escape the growing trend of flared jeans and the mesmerizing baseline of “Super Trouper.” The sequel serves more as a precursor, telling the story of a younger Donna, how she ended up sleeping with three men in one week and her journey to becoming Sophie’s mother through an array of ABBA songs.

Lily James’s quirky interpretation of a younger Donna brought a vibrant and joyous tone to the sequel. The film, competing alongside other sequels such as “The Incredibles 2” and “Deadpool 2,” served as a lighter alternative to an action-packed summer.

Valerie Pascale, a junior and avid fan of the franchise, breaks into song and dance every time she hears a song from the film. She loves the spirit of the film and the message conveyed on society’s standards of women.

“Put yourself first, you have to do you … you shouldn’t shame yourself for the decisions you make or the way things go down because all you need are your girlfriends, girl power, love and support,” Pascale says.

Donna, who is seen working hard for herself and for her daughter, Sophie, is the main protagonist of the film, showing off her independence and strength through how she handles different conflicts thrown at her. In addition to its female-centric and empowering themes, the film invokes a sense of nostalgia and happiness.

Quirky and dynamic costumes are a focal point throughout the film. Inspired mainly by the 1970s, wearing denim and beautiful blouses are a large component to characters’ costumes.

“I love ABBA. I love that era and the costuming for that film was absolutely gorgeous. Just looking back on it, its stunning and I think that movie as a whole definitely influenced me,” Kyle Atkinson says, a junior fashion merchandising major.

Ashley Paintsil, a professor of fashion journalism at the university, explains the re-emergence of this era of style with trickle-up and -down theories. Wealthier people, runways and media influencers affect the general public’s style, while street style influences those same wealthier people in a cycle. “Mamma Mia!” is part of that influence — people are striving to mirror the same bright style that the characters of the film sport.

“We’re going through a lot of turbulent times right now so when you can see a movie that’s really happy and joyous — the clothes look bright, the people in the movie are bright — you kind of want to emulate that for your real life to escape a little bit from what’s going on around you,” Paintsil says. “I also see fashion as a way for people to express themselves and how they’re feeling about the world, and I think a lot people just want to be happy.”

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