My Hair Crush: Twin Peaks’ Audrey Horne

This ‘90s style icon was clearly channelling ‘50s era Elizabeth Taylor – and Layered editor Amanda couldn’t get enough

Lockdown has heralded a few landmark moments, from the scary to the tragic, with some black humour thrown in to keep us all sane. But in the midst of all this shut-in insanity was an anniversary that, when it popped up on my screen, left me gooey warm and ice cold within the space of 10 seconds. That was the 30th anniversary of the broadcast of seminal, soapy, weird-yet-wonderful drama, Twin Peaks.

The warm fuzzy feeling? Seeing the images from the show, so saturated in colour (the ruby red lips, the emerald green Douglas Firs) and remembering teen me being glued to the portable TV in my bedroom, virtually tasting the damn fine coffee and slices of cherry pie. The cold shiver that followed? THAT WAS THIRTY DAMN YEARS AGO. Where the hell has the time gone?

Well, not very far when you look around and see just how much ‘90s inspiration is running through style and fashion still. And top of my ‘90s style crush list? Only one answer – Audrey Horne.

Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Audrey was the poor little rich girl of the town of Twin Peaks – sneaking stilettos and cigarettes into school, sharing a knowing wink under those arched eyebrows to any onlooker. In the pilot episode, she’s akin to her namesake Hepburn, an elfin crop sported alongside the plaid miniskirts and snug mohair sweater.

But when the series kicked off proper, the real Audrey came put to play, and this one channelled another ‘50s icon, a far more dangerous one. With a thickly luscious curled bob, Audrey was clearly referencing Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’s siren of sex, Elizabeth Taylor.

Jack Nicholsons in The Witches of Eastwick

For a young teen stuck in the sticks, desperate for a way out and surrounded by Debbie Gibson wannabes, I was intoxicated by this dark-haired vamp. “THAT’S what a woman should look like,” my brain computed, and low, out came The Body Shop brown henna hair packs (mixed up with damn fine coffee for extra punch) and my mum’s hot rollers (also from the late ‘50s). I started sporting a pencilled-on beauty spot by my newly arched eyebrows too. However, the effect was less Audrey Horne and more Daryl Van Horne, Jack Nicholsons the devil in The Witches of Eastwick. Never tweeze with abandon, dear reader…

Still now, Audrey Horne encapsulates a sophisticated allure of dark romance. The infamous scene of her at One Eyed Jacks, tying a cherry stem into a knot using only her tongue and a ‘come hither’ glance, guaranteed she would be seen by many as a wanton seductress.

Yet the truth was the opposite – she was naive, virginal, romantic and desperate for love (never forthcoming from her own family). The deep side parting ensured that she was often looking up from under a sweep of hair, questioning, yearning. I was clearly not alone in my obsession with Audrey. I’ll always remember interviewing hairdressing genius Luke Hersheson about his salon’s latest service menu (all with brilliant names like Wavy Gravy) and one of the shots (pictured, left) made me catch my breath as he started talking about Twin Peaks and Audrey as his reference. I fell in love all over again.

But like so many of my hair crushes, Wonder Woman, Jessica Day (all brunettes), the style would never mesh with me. With my 001 skin tone and freckles aplenty, I just couldn’t rock Audrey’s burnt cocoa chic. Of course, it just makes me want it more. And here I am, 30 years on, still obsessed, still questioning if I could do it… I’ll go and make myself a damn fine cup of coffee until my senses return.