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Later, skater 

Roller rinks, bubblegum lip gloss, tight jeans, sneaker skates, vintage Blondie, pre-VH1 special Lief Garrett in his full feather-maned glory. Just a few of our favorite ’70s things. No puke green or polyester. No retro for retro’s sake. And no cynic’s irony. Just the good parts (sure that’s subjective — to a point). Stuff we genuinely like. Because it’s fun.

Colorful satin short-shorts and jackets, tube tops, shiny lips and pastel eyes, ponytails. Imagine three friends, call them Meghan, Kristy and Jo (you gotta have a tomboy) decked out and ready to roll. But these girls aren’t ’70s throwbacks. The look is young, hip (but not self-conscious) and playful. Elements from other eras — ’50s, ’80s, current — are integrated with ease. ’Cause toeing a single retro line is dead, costumey.

For the new millennium, it’s all about choosing your own influences. Anything goes. Torch-red lipstick, an animal-print belt, shiny fabrics, a dramatic hair color. Something in the vintage scheme is wonderfully off.

Tonight feels deliciously junior high. (Again, just the good parts. Yes, there were some.) Holding hands for couples skate, trying out a fancy spin (was it right-over-left?), attempting a group skate, taking an embarrassing fall, with a little help from friends. Scoping for cute boys, then giggling about them. Good thing these clothes are made for skating. Body-conscious but still edgy and fun.

Jo starts her evening off in style in vintage Sergio Valentes, zebra belt and teeny little top, while Meghan dons a skin-tight mini, striped tube and sleeveless blouse. Kristy sports roller-perfect dark satiny capris and matching top. A few laps around the rink and it’s time to shift gears.

This time, the girls go solo, showing off newfound techniques — and outfits. Jo takes an attention-grabbing spill in the ultimate ’70s roller gear, short-shorts. Meghan masters the backward skate in body-hugging tank and skirt. Aerodynamic! Finally, Kristy wows onlookers with daredevil moves, baby T and sexy striped shorts.

Time for one last song, then it’s on to the snack bar for more see-and-be-seen adventures. Who says you have to grow up?

Photographs: Angie Baan

Styling and makeup: Monica Sklar

Models: Tiffany Gazic, Jacquelyn Jones, Lak Kulnthomyotin

Location: Riverside Arena, 36635 Plymouth Rd., Livonia. 734-421-3542.

Clothes:
Ritz, 195 W. Maple Rd., Birmingham. 248-642-5353.
Frankie and Debbie’s, 120 W. Maple Rd., Birmingham. 248-647-4386.
Mother Fletcher’s, 234 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale. 248-398-4816. Christina Kallery is a freelance writer for Metro Times. E-mail letters@metrotimes.com

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