Alicia Silverstone as Cher in Clueless
Today that seminal teenage cinematic bundle of fun Clueless
celebrates seventeen years since its release, and if it seems as if July 19th 1995 is just too implausibly far in the past for that to be true, it’s probably because we’ve literally never stopped talking about it.
Dionne (Stacey Dash) and Cher walk down the school corridors
By we, we mean pop culture fans, fashion junkies and women of a certain age (basically anyone over 25), because though some elements of the hit movie now seems hideously outdated (the Luke Perry references, Cher’s almost comically primitive wardrobe computer), there are so many that continue to be totally relevant – the handsome but everyman appeal of Paul Rudd (the romantic lead), the zinging one-liners (‘Do you like Billie Holliday?’ ‘I love him’), and that now infamous scene where our heroine, Cher Horowitz begs her mugger not to make her lie down on the ground because she’s wearing an Azzedine Alaïa
dress, and it’s ‘like a totally important designer’. A truth that will never die.
A robber holds up Cher, who begs him to spare her Alaïa from being ruined by lying on the floor
A satirical take on vacuous Californian teens, Clueless takes its plot from the Jane Austen classic Emma
, with the literary character taking on the guise of Beverly Hills-dwelling high school student Cher, who lives a materialistic life with her rich father in a palatial mansion. Cher likes to play match-maker to her friends and family and throughout the course of the film she sets up two of her teachers (successfully) and her new, less urbane friend Tai (the ill-fated actress Brittany Murphy in an early role), with disastrous results. Cher’s own love life is less clear-cut, - she is clearly destined to end up with her ex step-brother Josh (the aforementioned Rudd) but doesn’t get her happy ending without some soul-searching and a seriously misjudged attempt at romancing the clearly gay Christian.
Josh (Paul Rudd) and Cher finally get together
Among the many treats the film gave us are Cher and best-friend Dionne’s matching plaid skirt suits, the inaugural on-screen appearance of party game suck and blow, Cher’s father telling her date he has a ‘45’ and a shovel if his daughter is mistreated, and Tai spitefully telling Cher that she’s just ‘a virgin who can’t drive’ when the two fall out.
Star Alicia Silverstone, who portrayed the iconic blonde has struggled with her career post Clueless, finding it difficult to establish other characters under the spotlight of Cher, the person everyone wants to pretend she is. The problem is that Cher is truly a product of the Nineties, suspended in time when the Cranberries were a valid music choice and clashing patterns was a sartorial no-no and not a prominent fashion trend, she’d probably find it hard to enjoy the painfully politically aware, Frank Ocean-soundtracked, Balenciaga wearing 2012.
Cher ponders in class with her fluffy pen
Still there are some things we can steal from her style that work more than happily fit in with today’s fashion forward woman. Her mini-kilt for one thing. Her arm candy for another. And there’s a scene where Cher is writing in a notebook with a fluffy pen. It’s a sweet, girly moment that kind of sums up her ditzy charm. And flicking through the pages of farfetch.com recently we came across this similar version by Maison Martin Margiela
. Well, we say similar but it’s actually a glossier, chicer and more grown-up version. Just like we hope we are now! But it’s the perfect little trinket for showing a flash of your inner Cher…