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Fashion in Film: Clueless (1995)

You don’t understand, this is an Alaïa! It’s like, a totally important designer!

When Clueless hit theaters in July 1995, costume designer Mona May had no idea the impact the film would have on the fashion world. Girls everywhere adopted the closet staples of Beverly Hills teen, Cher Horowitz, including her signature plaid, mini skirts and knee socks; Karl Lagerfeld sent models down the runway clutching the same portable phones that were specially designed for the movie; and publications like Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily lauded Clueless as the fashion movie of the year.

May looked to European designers like Jean Paul Gaultier and Azzedine Alaïa to draw inspiration for the costumes, choosing to stray as far from the then-popular grunge phase by incorporating girly silhouettes and bold colors.

"I took from the trends, picking and choosing from that moment in fashion," May said. "But I didn’t want to date the movie with certain trends, which was easy to do in the ’80s and ’90s. We wanted to make it timeless, and it really stood the test of time. I can watch Clueless now and there’s still stuff we can wear.”

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