An ode to Hilary Banks, the big sister Candle of my dreams

Hilary evolved throughout the series with blind confidence and self-reliance, and when I watched with teenage eyes, it just didn’t seem feasible for someone like me. I was too scared to be myself outside of my room and tortured myself imagining what the world would think of me. I wanted an older sister to talk to about these feelings, knowing that they might have been where I was before. But I had to content myself with watching versions on the small TV in the sanctuary which was my room. Seeing girls like Hilary (followed closely by Denise Huxtable) being shameless themselves and using clothes to further express their personalities helped me discover that maybe I could do the same.

I started experimenting with fashion, trying on stage girl, tomboy, slide-to-ball first-time queen-mouth and many more until I landed on Prepster. My preppy look at the time was far from being approved by Hilary, but it has since evolved into a version that I mastered and made my own. I went from diamond oxford sweater vests and jump collars to fitted tartan skirts and blush colored sweater sets paired with gold chains and a trendy luxury bag.

Season 1 of Fresh prince Gave me the look I think of the most when putting together my own busty candle and preppy looks: a 2 piece red and black tartan skirt with gold trims and a matching hat. She layered it on with thick gold chains and topped it with impeccably manicured nails. Me neither now, I never leave the house without my painted acrylics, perfect and sharp. What about my blush jumper sets? Blame the stunning Monochrome Season 5 look that Hilary wore, a beaded button down jacket and skirt with fur trimmed collar and sleeves. As soon as I saw this the blush became my Color. Hilary was spoiled, stylish, and had unlimited access to high fashion (just like someone else who would later inform my style and live a few trendy miles from Hilary, Dear Horowitz.)

Fresh Prince is five years older than Distraught. Hilary and her team were probably in college when Cher and her family had just entered Bronson Alcott High School. In my mind, their fictional worlds must have collided, with the two crews living in chic ’90s’ three B’s. Older girls like Hilary could certainly have inspired a younger Cher, Dionne and Amber. I can imagine them trying on their plaid skirts and suede pumps, subconsciously shaping their future style. The only problem with my fashionable fantasy is that even though Hilary was one of the influencers, she very rarely gets credit for it.

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