Happy 20th Birthday Clueless

Monday, July 20, 2015

Justin Walker as Christian and Alicia Silverstone as Cher in Clueless.

How has it been twenty years since Clueless was released already? By now it certainly needs no introduction as I'm sure you're familiar with Amy Heckerling's fashion-obsessed comedy which was a huge hit in 1995 and is still incredibly popular today. When the movie came out I was in fact the same age as Alicia Silverstone's ditzy LA princess Cher, and quickly became fascinated by her shiny world, especially her amazing wardrobe.

While the internet is currently going crazy celebrating that all these years later we're still buggin' about Clueless, I wanted to share how this movie changed my life in a way that I hadn't expected but I'm still grateful for today. So, let's set the scene, it may be hard to imagine now with the global fascination with fashion and the massive amount of blogs on the internet about it, but New Zealand in 1995 wasn't exactly fashion forward. Grunge was still in its hey-day thanks to the likes of Nirvana and Pearl Jam, hardly anyone had the internet yet and my source of fashion inspiration came from television and the teenage magazines like Girlfriend and TV Hits that I was occasionally allowed to buy at the local supermarket. 

My sense of personal style hadn't really evolved yet either and much like many fifteen year olds I was still figuring out who I was and who I wanted to become. I was interested in clothing but my go-to outfits as a teen involved baggy plaid shirts, loose jeans, long slip dresses and floral maxi-skirts. Nothing fitted, muted colours and lots of black, it was comfortable, bordering on androgynous and pretty much disguised the fact that I was slowly turning into a young woman. That was a deliberate act on my part as I was extremely shy as a teenager, it was only drama and dance classes where I briefly came out of my shell.  

Then, in the midst of my uneventful teenage existence along came Clueless, and in amongst Cher's 56 fabulous outfit changes I had a fashion epiphany, this adorable blonde with her cute, colourful outfits had changed everything for me. She made it ok to dress like a girl and embrace all things pretty, bright and feminine which was a revelation for me and I promptly fell in love with fashion. All of a sudden I couldn't get enough of short plaid skirts, fluffy cropped cardigans, sheer shirts and mini-dresses. I wanted her style and everything she had in her wardrobe and I wanted it now. 

But where to find such outfits in the suburbs of Auckland? Well, as much as my budget didn't stretch to Calvin Klein or Alaia, I managed to source suitable substitutes from my favourite stores at the mall. As thankfully for me Sportsgirl, Max, Esprit and Principals were also learning to embrace Clueless' fun approach to fashion and it wasn't long before my pocket money disappeared on a wardrobe that Cher would definitely have approved of, right down to the white t-bar heels, knee socks and silver backpack, which quickly became my most prized possession. Not to mention the sweet pink cardigan I bought from Esprit which was the first time I had owned something pink since I was a child and another step in rediscovering my femininity.

As my wardrobe expanded with cute, girly pieces my confidence certainly grew and as much as clothes definitely don't define a person, they send a message to the world about who you are and I was growing more sure of myself and this new me. It wasn't long after my sixteenth birthday that I had my first proper kiss and I began to feel like my transformation from an awkward teenager to a more self-assured one was well on the way and helped shape who I am today. As I've grown older I've continued to embrace my love of dresses and pretty things which is evident at first glance of this blog. In case you're wondering if the plaid shirts and baggy jeans ever made a comeback - as Cher would say 'As if?!' - fashion went from being my first love to my career and I've never looked back.  

Isn't this still every girl's dream wardrobe?

That Calvin Klein dress was even re-released in 2010 to mark Clueless' 15th anniversary.

I was so proud of myself for re-creating this ensemble along with several others of Cher's.

Images from random places on the internet.

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