Roller Disco

LANE: I’m gonna get a soda, anybody want anything?
LORELAI: Yes, the night of my 14th birthday back so I can right the green-hot-pant-roller-disco outfit wrong.

A roller disco is a skating rink where the dancers wear roller skates to move to disco music (or any modern dance music). The concept originated in the 1970s and peaked around 1980, although they are still held now as retro entertainment.

Lorelai’s 14th birthday was in 1982, so she was already slightly behind the trends when she chose her roller disco outfit (it actually fits better with Amy Sherman-Palladino’s 14th birthday in 1980). It’s not clear whether her birthday was celebrated at a roller disco, or she just thought it would be a good outfit to wear to her party. Let’s hope the first one.

Pretty Women

LORELAI: I mean, like was she [Rachel] a Catherine Zeta-Jones kind of pretty, or a Michelle Pfiffer-y pretty or –
SOOKIE: She was an Elle MacPherson kind of pretty.

Catherine Zeta-Jones (born 1969) is a Welsh actress who found success on the stage and in the British television series The Darling Buds of May (1991-1993). She established herself in Hollywood with films such as The Mask of Zorro (1998), Entrapment (1999), and Traffic (2000), often chosen for roles where her sex appeal could be used to advantage.

Michelle Pfeiffer (born 1958) is an American actress, singer, and producer. She began her acting career in 1978 after winning two beauty pageants, and her breakout role was in the 1983 crime film Scarface. She had leading roles in films such as The Witches of Eastwick (1987), Dangerous Liaisons (1988), The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989), Batman Returns (1992), The Age of Innocence (1993), Dangerous Minds (1995), and What Lies Beneath (2000). She is considered to be one of the most talented actresses in Hollywood as well as one of the most beautiful.

Elle MacPherson (born Eleanor Gow in 1964) [pictured] is an Australian supermodel, actress, television host, and businesswoman. She rose to fame during the 1980s with her girl next door image, was often chosen for swimsuit shoots, and became known as The Body because of her figure. Lorelai seems to be quite threatened to discover that Luke’s ex-girlfriend is an “Elle MacPherson kind of pretty”.

Pucci

MADELINE: There’s this great store under my therapist’s office who has the best vintage clothes. I found an original Pucci top for practically nothing.
LOUISE: Oh Pucci is very big right now.

Pucci is an Italian fashion brand originally founded by Emilio Pucci (1914-1992). Pucci clothing is synonymous with stretch-knit clothing in bright, geometric designs, and when Madeline says she found an original Pucci top in a vintage store, she means one that would have been designed by Emilio Pucci himself.

There are quite a number of vintage clothing stores in Hartford where Madeline might have found the top, but it seems unlikely they would sell an original Pucci top for “practically nothing” (the one in the picture costs nearly $200 today). She got very lucky that day.

We also discover from Madeline’s casual statement that she regularly sees a therapist. This might come as a surprise, as Madeline seems to be very cheerful and unconflicted by nature, but perhaps that’s because of all the therapy?

Fugazi

LANE: Wh-what kind of music do you like?
TODD: I don’t know – whatever.
LANE: Fugazi?
TODD: What?
LANE: The band on your shirt.
TODD: Oh. Huh, pretty cool picture.
LANE: You don’t know what’s on your shirt?
TODD: It’s my sister’s.

Fugazi is an American punk rock band formed in 1987, consisting of Ian MacKaye, Guy Picciotto, Joe Lally, and Brendan Canty. Their first album was released in 1990, and their most recent album from Lane’s perspective is End Hits (1998), which looks to be featured on the tee shirt Todd is wearing. The band has been on hiatus since 2003.

Fugazi are famous for not selling or licensing merchandising, creating an enormous market for bootleg tee-shirts. Presumably Lane knows that the shirt Todd is wearing is unofficial, but can’t see the point of discussing it with him.

Brooks Brothers

LUKE: It’s a nice tie.
EMILY: It’s Brooks Brothers.

Brooks Brothers are the oldest men’s clothing company in the US. Founded in Manhattan in 1818, Brooks Brothers have outfitted 40 of the 45 American presidents. Their neckties are made in either Britain or Italy. In 2000, Brooks Brothers was owned by British firm Marks & Spencer.

There are a number of Brooks Brothers store near Hartford where Emily might have bought Richard’s tie – their store at the mall in Farmington is only about 20 minutes drive away. However, it is just as likely that she bought it from a department store in Hartford.

Saddle shoes

LORELAI: Hi. Things bad out there, huh?
RORY: It’s crazy. There’s snow coming down everywhere, and let me just tell you, saddle shoes are not the best all-weather footwear.

Saddle shoes are casual two-toned Oxford shoes that have a distinctive “saddle” shaped decorative panel over the middle; they were popular footwear in the 1950s. They are often worn as part of a school uniform. You can see Rory’s black and white saddle shoes throughout her years at Chilton.

Parka

LORELAI: Ah, we’ll need to pull out the sleds, people might want to sled. Ooh, and the parkas, we’ll need the parkas.

A parka is a thick heavy waterproof jacket with down (or synthetic down) lining and a hood, often trimmed with fur or faux-fur. Originally they were traditional garb for Inuit women, so that they could breastfeed a baby in the freezing conditions of the Arctic.

Apparently the Independence Inn keeps spare parkas for the use of guests who might have forgotten to bring their own, or been surprised by unexpected cold weather.