If you can find a better-looking schoolteacher on television, learn from her. But our money is on inner-city elementary teacher Riley Richmond (Jessica Lucas) from Melrose Place, airing Tuesdays on The CW. She’s chic and glamorous with a bohemian flair that plays beautifully off her exotic looks. In fact, if all educators looked even half as good as Riley, America would have the world’s most dedicated students.
And though we’re pretty sure she’s too good for Jonah (seriously, is that guy ever gonna get a film made?), her simple and unassuming style makes her look like a good fit for just about anyone. She can thank the show’s costume designer, Rachel Margetts, for that. She’s used a combination of traditional bohemian elements – tie-dye, flounces, peace signs – cut in modern silhouettes to imply Rachel has multiple layers but a foundation rooted close to hippie ideals. (Then again, it’s Melrose Place; she might murder someone next week.)
So what can you do to imitate her look without heading to Los Angeles and butting heads with Heather Locklear? Head over to The CW’s style store, and shop by character. There’s not a ton listed right now, but there’s enough to get you on the path to higher learning and better style. Our personal favorite is Riley’s black Talula tube maxi dress by Gypsy 05. The Hollywood-based label has been a hit with celebrities, and it’s no wonder; dresses such as Riley’s are sexy, elegant and cool and look great on a variety of body types. This shoulderless dress is 100 percent silk and features a marbleized dye process that isn’t as repetitive as tie-dye. It’s casual enough to wear out shopping but stylish enough to work just as well in the hottest new restaurant.
Not surprisingly, tunics continue to be a hot seller because of their versatility. And Riley knows how to work a tunic in every direction. Her long-sleeved purple tunic by Single – well-known for its tunics and peasant dresses – is long enough to work as a dress on its own but works equally well with leggings or jeans. Light and airy – it is, after all, pure silk – its combination of marble and pattern print works perfectly for when the gang is lounging poolside on those warm summer evenings. She also has a short Tahitian palm tunic in pink from Tibi, which looks great on her but seems as if it might be a tough sell on anyone without her genetic code.
If you happen to be a little less committed to the bohemian look than our girl, a vintage tie-dye Libertine T-shirt from Wildfox Couture can help bridge the gap. Prominently featuring a red, white and blue peace sign, this short-sleeved crew-neck T-shirt implies you are all for giving peace a chance. And now that Amanda is back on the scene, we can only hope it becomes a complex staple.