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Beauty in the Movies: Clueless

This week for Beauty in the Movies I’m featuring the best ’90s teen film ever, Clueless, which in many ways defined a generation and proved that not all teen movies are created equal.

Clueless catapulted Alicia Silverstone to fame overnight (she was previously referred to as simply “Aerosmith girl”) in the role of Cher Horowitz, the wealthiest, most popular and prettiest airhead in her Beverly Hills high school. Cher is based on the title character in Jane Austen’s novel Emma, and while you can definitely enjoy Clueless without knowing the plot of Emma, it’s pretty fun to draw comparisons.

Cher, like Emma is well-intentioned but completely oblivious to the feelings of those around her—even her own. With the help of her best friend Dionne (Stacey Dash), Cher plays matchmaker to a pair of lonely teachers and then sets about making over new-girl Tai (Brittany Murphy), who is the equivalent of ugly duckling Harriet Smith in Emma.

It takes a while for Cher to realize you can’t force people to be something they’re not, and that in trying to help Tai, she has actually created a monster of sorts. The adaptation was pretty brilliant of Amy Heckerling since Emma really is a clueless teenage girl (ok, she’s 20, but still). Clueless proves the versatility and timelessness of Austen, but also that teen movies don’t all have to be about sex and stupid antics, they can be smart, funny and enjoyed by all ages. Clueless paved the way for films like Mean Girls and (another update of a literary classic) 10 Things I Hate About You.

I saw this film in theaters when it was released in the summer of 1995. I was 11 years old and not yet a teen myself, but the impact it had on all the girls my age (whether you were a popular girl or an outcast) was massive. I remember going back to school that September and suddenly all the girls were wearing knee socks and mini-skirts. Clueless changed fashion almost instantly.

It was the age of grunge, Nirvana, My-So-Called-Life and doc martens, but Clueless brought an infusion of color, of girlishness that was in total opposition to the style that was dominant. I myself, maintained Angela Chase as my role model, but secretly loved the ’60s revival that took hold in the mid ’90s—though at the time I wouldn’t have been caught dead in a pair of knee socks.

The amazing thing about Heckerling’s writing is that she takes the stereotype of the rich, spoiled, popular girl and instead of making her a bitch (like we expect) she makes her endearing and likable, even if she’s shallow at times.

As much as costume designer Mona May deserves credit for changing the face of ’90s fashion, Heckerling has to be praised for the effect she had on ’90s language—specifically slang. “Whatever”, “as if”, “not even”, “I’m Audi”, Heckerling didn’t come up with these phrases (she hung out with teens at Beverly High to get an idea of the language they used) but featuring them in Clueless made them part of American teenage (and general) vernacular.

Hidden among the snappy dialogue and the colorful outfits, Clueless has a pretty important message about acceptance, self-awareness and peer pressure. Not pressure in relation to sex or drugs, but the pressure to be a certain way, to hang out with the right people (even if they’re jerks) and to wear the right clothes. Clueless is as relevant today as ever, the kids who were born the year it came out are exactly the age of these characters now, which makes me feel really old, but I hope they’ve all seen this movie, it’s a modern classic that remains as funny and honest today as it did 16 years ago.

Also, RIP Brittany Murphy, and may you forever be rollin’ with the homies.

Clueless

Clueless by justinez featuring cotton blouses

Dolce Gabbana white cut out dress
875 GBP – matchesfashion.com

Calvin Klein spaghetti strap dress
314 GBP – farfetch.com

Clemens en August cotton blouse
$98 – theoutnet.com

Sheer top
$65 – modcloth.com

H by Henry Holland yellow cardigan
18 GBP – debenhams.com

Petite Collection cotton cardigan
18 GBP – debenhams.com

Dolce Gabbana plaid skirt
$361 – theoutnet.com

D G pleated skirt
329 GBP – profilebrighton.co.uk

Acne ripped jeans
172 GBP – net-a-porter.com

Vanessa bruno
26 GBP – theoutnet.com

A P C Madras mini skirt
$68 – lagarconne.com

Fogal cashmere tight
80 EUR – pret-a-beaute.com

Plaid skirt
$35 – modcloth.com

Mini skirt
$26 – chloelovescharlie.com

Knee high socks
$15 – topshop.com

Over the knee socks
$13 – delias.com

Old Navy plaid skirt
$9.97 – oldnavy.gap.com

Delighter
6.90 GBP – irregularchoice.com

Ernesto Esposito mary jane pumps
208 EUR – luisaviaroma.com

Biviel t strap pumps
$99 – endless.com

Christian Dior fur handbag
bagborroworsteal.com

Aspinal of London vintage handbag
495 GBP – johnlewis.com

Leatherbay leather bag
$130 – endless.com

Tarina Tarantino lucite necklace
$70 – tarinatarantino.com

Forever21 flower necklace
$7.80 – canada.forever21.com

Jewelry
$4.99 – debshops.com

John Lewis Women black hat
29 GBP – johnlewis.com

Gucci Classic Logo Rucksack
570 GBP – profilebrighton.co.uk

Ivy & Moon Long Camisole (Big Girls)
$12 – nordstrom.com

Hair Scrunchie (optional)
3.95 GBP – harrods.com

MARLENA GREY+SILVER -ARMOR LAMPER
$120 – dmusastore.com

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Beauty in the Movies: 200 Cigarettes

Tonight is New Year’s Eve! So in celebration of another year ending, it seems appropriate to feature one of the best (and only) New Year’s Eve movies out there, 200 cigarettes.

200 Cigarettes takes place in New York City on New Years Eve in 1981. It’s the story of how a group of people, who are invariably connected in different ways, all make their way to the same New Year’s Eve party. Among the many characters there is a hostess anxiously awaiting the arrival of her guests, two teenage girls from Ronkonkoma Long Island, a smooth cab driver, punks, yuppies, artists, art-world snobs and many more. It’s a movie that I’ve loved since it came out in 1999, it has a great soundtrack, and a fun plot line with the costumes to match. Sure, it’s silly, but that’s what I think makes it so great.

It’s nice that this is a movie about New York on New Year’s Eve but without all the ball dropping hoopla. The whole movie takes place in and around The Village far from the times square madness. It’s a great little movie about people and characters doing their own thing and living life and it features many prominent Village landmarks, some that no longer exist. It’s fun to see how these people’s lives entwine and cross in strange ways, all culminating in a party we never really get to see—because you know, the interesting part is how they get there right?

This movie features some actors who were already big names—Courtney Love, Christina Ricci, and some newcomers who would soon shoot to stardom, Kate Hudson, Casey Affleck, even Dave Chapelle. Sure, Christina Ricci’s accent is almost an insult to Long Islanders, but she’s cute and tries hard so I’ll forgive her. It’s also nice to see Courtney love at her most pulled together and displaying her own sense of goofy charm. Most of the film consists of great indie actors like Martha Plimpton and Janeane Garofalo who are always amazing, plus there are cameos by 80s music icons like Elvis Costello and David Johansen of The New York Dolls.

I love this movie because the characters are actually relate-able despite how over the top they may act. Every time I have a party I think about Martha Plimpton’s character in this film, and I feel exactly like her. Nobody shows up at the designated time, you’ve worked your butt off making way too much food that people might never eat, and by the time everyone does arrive (if they ever do) you’ve worked yourself into such a state of worrying, drinking and rationalizing that you question why you ever decided to have a party in the first place. The desperation of New Year’s Eve, the excitement of the city, and the anticipation of a party all come through in this film.

I actually hate New Year’s Eve, it’s depressing, I have post-christmas let down and since my birthday is the 30th I have post-birthday let down too. New Years is the last celebration before we descend into January and the epic cold darkness of that long winter stretch until Spring. New Year’s Eve makes you look back on the last 364 days and think about everything you’ve done and haven’t done and reflect on what you want the next year to be. It can be a time of regret, but also a time of hope, but before we make our lists of resolutions and promises for the coming year, we can agree to put it all aside, and just for December 31st, indulge one last time and celebrate another year lived.

200 Cigarettes is one of my favorite movies because it shows the timelessness of the New Years tradition, the need to be with people, loved ones or anyone, and enjoy the fact that we made it through the year and are given another chance to start again. Come January real life picks back up—it’s back to work, back to school, and it all starts over. So, just for tonight, indulge a little, pat yourself on the back for making it through the year and let those you love know you’re glad they made it through too—drink some champagne, tell someone you love them, and let all the old year’s troubles be forgotten, tomorrow is a new year and a new beginning.

Happy New Year Everyone! May 2011 bring you all happiness, love, joy and success!!

200 Cigarettes

Cashmere turtleneck dress
$237 – theoutnet.com
Cashmere dresses »

Tiered Strapless Dress
$148 – jessicasimpsoncollection.com
Vintage dresses »

Black feather fur coat
65 GBP – dorothyperkins.com
Fur coats »

Metal Studded Motorcycle Jacket
$30 – canada.forever21.com
Motorcycles jackets »

Peacock
$85 – reissonline.com


Hot pink 70 denier tights
5 GBP – dorothyperkins.com
Leggings tights »

clockwork ring
20 EUR – shopfriiscompany.com
Rings »

Button Clip On Earrings 2cm – Black Faceted
$7.31 – make-me-beautiful.co.uk
Black earring »

Fingerless Lace Gloves w/ Bow
$4.80 – canada.forever21.com
Fingerless gloves »

Plum Glitter Nail Polish
$2.80 – forever21.com


badge The Cure
vkontakte.ru


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Filed under Beauty in the movies