Friday, November 7, 2014

Alicia Silverstone is the Virgin Queen in 'Clueless'

Amy Heckerling & Alicia Silverstone on set of 'Clueless'

That woman in the black shirt, blue jeans and high-top sneakers is Amy Heckerling, the director of the ultimate "girl" movie, Clueless. The blonde in the black down jacket is then 17-year-old Alicia Silverstone, who stars as the spoiled and sheltered Cher Horowitz in Clueless. Doesn't Amy look like the mother? And Alicia as her obedient daughter? Amy could easily be asking Alicia to clean her room. This messy room is what Cher's room would look like if she didn't have a computer to pick out her clothes.

Cher uses a computer to place clothes on a photo of her full body. The outfit she chooses for school is     a blazer with notch lapels and a drop waist pleated mini skirt. The whole outfit is in yellow and black plaid. It's a riff on the preppy school uniform but the Starburst color, midriff cardigan and knee socks with Mary Jane heels feminize the prep uniform and emphasize the shape of a woman's body, just as Cher says, "it makes people think of sex." The knee socks and Mary Jane's are also great illusion, resembling knee-high boots. Cher digs in the prep toolbox and creates an edgy look, and isn't that what being a teen is about: one foot in adulthood and the other in childhood?

After getting a bad grade, Cher leaves the yellow behind for black: she wears a sheer black midriff shirt with ruffled cuffs (sort of witchy, like something out of The Craft) with a white tank top underneath, and black pants. The sheer shirt is loose-fitting, but Cher makes sure that the one thing that clings at her body (the tank) is showing. This outfit is also one of many times that Cher wears a midriff but wears a shirt underneath so that no skin shows. In other words, a tease. A suggestion. 

While Cher's best friend Dionne sports "courageous fashion efforts" (duly noted by Cher) that include tight leopard pants and full navel, a hat with a hot pink flower & bow--that is its own warped version of Audrey Hepburn's wide-brimmed hat in Breakfast at Tiffany's--Cher keeps it conservative. For the first half of the movie she wears jumpers, oxford collar shirts with sweater vests (not unlike the most popular boy in school Elton and her dad Mel), and when she has the opportunity to be full-on sexy in a camisole, she wears a T-shirt under the camisole. She's a virgin, you see. You know what it is, Cher dresses like a goody-two-shoes. 

Then the goody-goody decides to wear red. That red Azzedine Alaia mini-dress. Straps that hug the shoulders. A U-neck line trimmed in embroidery that shows off her cleavage. And those princess seams outlining the curves of her body. Then there's the H-back revealing skin, but not all of it, of course. 

After Dionne's "hymenally-challenged" comment, Cher leaves the T-shirt skin blockers and shows some skin. Spaghetti straps here we come! The famous Calvin Klein mini-dress, pure white and skin tight. Another red mini-dress, but it's a halter dress this time. All of these fashion choices are for a guy who dresses like James Dean and wears a pompadour. 

Cher's catty rival Amber spends the movie trying to throw Cher off with her gonzo style--midriff army jackets, combat boots, dog tags, red sailor jacket and sailor hat--but even she can't resist Cher's subversive preppy style, even donning the same burgundy mini-dress with empire line ribbon. Cher even gives her distinctive style to dowdy, flannel-wearing Tai molding her into a preppy goddess. 

So, wondering how Cher ends her fashion journey? Well, she ends it in a carnation pink mini, matching bolero and big hair. She went from clueless to pretty in pink. 

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