Directed by Amy Heckerling – known most famously for this specific film – "Clueless" follows main character Cher through adolescent life alongside her best friend and the equally as fashionable Dionne. Becoming an instant hit– when the film was released in 1995– "Clueless" intrigued the audience with not only it's infectious, relatable storyline, but largely in part because of the iconic fashion chosen for each character in the film. Thanks to genius costume designer Mona May, personality, social status, and wealth in the film were represented through each outfit carefully selected for each character.
Both Cher and Dionne are introduced to us as wealthy, popular girls at the very start of the film. In each scene, no matter the circumstance, both girls are dressed in trendy and visually expensive looking clothing. It is through these careful outfit selections that we can validate that Cher and Dionne are indeed both trendy and wealthy, being reminded of it visually in every scene they appear in.
Cher - Pictured on left. Dionne- Pictured on right. https://goo.gl/images/reKRtC
During one scene in the movie, Cher is wearing a maroon dress accented with a maroon headband. Later in the film, another character by the name of Amber is seen wearing the very same maroon dress. These series of scenes alone indicate to us what type of person both Cher and Amber are. Cher being the trend-setting, popular girl at her school and Amber being the popular girl that will follow whatever trend is necessary to maintain her social status.
Amber- Pictured on far righthttps://goo.gl/images/pb7RCe
Fashion is also used in the film as a means of showing a character's transformation. Exchange student Tai quickly goes from burnout to popular girl thanks to the makeover Cher and Dionne so humbly bestowed upon her. This transformation from burnout to popular girl is shown greatly through the clothing Tai wears and the confidence the clothing provides her with. Upon arrival to her first day at a new high school, Tai is shown wearing a baggy graphic T-shirt and a worn looking flannel draped over it with a shy, quirky personality to match.
However, after the makeover, Tai is pictured in trendy, expensive looking clothing like the type of clothing Cher and Dionne would sport. Along with her new fashion, Tai begins to establish herself as one of the popular girls and adopts a sassy, confident personality.
Clueless showcases the impact fashion choice and costume design can have on a film. The fashion within the film not only please the viewer because of the creativity and beauty of each outfit, but also aid in the storytelling of the film and help portray personality, social status, and wealth of each character in the film.
The thought process behind the fashion within this film was most definitely not "clueless."