Clueless turns 20 | As If!

Hard to believe as it may be, Clueless celebrates its 20th anniversary this July. To mark the occasion, Jen Chaney conducted interviews with the cast and crew, and compiled the results in the encyclopedic paperback As If! The more-than-300-page book covers everything, from how they got those tiny flowers into Dionne’s braids to initial screenings of the film. Here are seven facts about the costumes worth noting.


The budget was fairly low, considering the number of costumes needed. 

“I think [the budget] was like $200,000,” said costume designer Mona May. “Which was nothing. To have the main character have 63 changes, and you’d have all the big female characters have that many changes in the film, plus all the supporting cast and the background that I had to dress head to toe: That was really not a lot of money.”

Cher’s plaid look didn’t come easy. 

Finding the Jean Paul Gaultier plaid skirtsuit that Cher wears for the first day of school was no easy task. Writer and director Amy Heckerling describes the search to find the right outfit for Cher’s first in-school appearance as a struggle for May, until the JPG number appeared and just clicked. “For that scene, we probably tried 10 or 15 different outfits. They were all plaid. Different colors: little dresses, little jumpers, or just different things. Once we put the yellow on—I don’t remember if it was number five or number 10 or whatever—but it was like, ‘Wow. Here it is,’” May said.

Those knee socks are inspired by Cabaret.

“The over-the-knee socks have just been an obsession of mine my whole life. You know, because of Cabaret, and movies from the ’20s where they have the roll-down stockings,” said Heckerling of the inspiration for Cher’s go-to socks. “When Liza Minnelli is singing ‘Mein Herr’ [in Cabaret] with the short black shorts with the over-the-knee stockings, I go, ‘Well, that’s the best outfit a girl could wear, ever.’”

Alicia Silverstone kept all her clothes, but you’re not going to like what she did with them.

“I didn’t do a very good job at saving any of them. I was stupid about that whole thing. I think I gave them all away,” Silverstone admitted.

Elisa Donovan, who played Amber, wore the same lipstick in every scene. 

“She was game for anything,” explained Alan Friedman, the film’s makeup supervisor—except for maybe her lipstick. “She generally wore the same lipstick for every scene, but she would let me sort of go at it.”

Paul Rudd wore his own clothes for several scenes. 

“I had only gotten out of college a few years before. I think they just kind of wanted it to be like what I would wear,” mused Paul Rudd. The Amnesty International tee his character, Josh, wears was Rudd’s own, as was a tee he picked up from a band in Minneapolis. “In one of the scenes, I was wearing a T-shirt from this band called Trip Shakespeare, that was a band that I loved from Minneapolis.”

Cher’s closet was inspired by Victoria’s Secret.

Cher’s infamous wardrobe was actually built in a pool house on the property where the movie was filmed and was inspired by the look of Victoria’s Secret. “I recall painting her room in pink and white stripes, which was basically—the inspiration there was the box from Victoria’s Secret,” noted production designer Steve Jordan.134bf408e300363641948b821b22a1d8

Jean Paul Gaultier

“From the moment you arrive in the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition you realise that all of his creativity, theatricality and originality is going to be on display. Clothes can often look dull when sitting there motionless, but there is nothing dull for one minute about this collection, which is a riot of sound, movement and colour.”

– Alexandra Shulman


After visiting Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition today I couldn’t agree more with Alexandra Sculman. Clothes sometimes can appear dull, confusing and misleading when presented on catwalks. However, with this exhibition today his garments proved me completely wrong. I have a new found love and appreciation for Jean Paul Gaultier, the exhibition was fantastic, his garments exquisite and three-decade career absolutely amazing.

Using video projection, the mannequins throughout the exhibit at the Grand Palais have been given expressive faces, they speak to visitors, smile and sing. One such figure – dressed in a long skirt and striped top – is projected with an image of Gaultier’s own face.

The exhibition works through different themes of Gaultier’s design classics, starting with the iconic Breton stripe. The first galleries show its various incarnations – as a long sequin sheath dress, a huge hat and as a cropped top for men. A room labelled Punky Cancan explores Gaultier’s love of London’s street culture, which he first encountered on frequent visits in the 1970s. Kilts, tartan, ripped denim and camouflage are included, but reappropriated into ballgowns and smart suiting for an unexpected, and very French, chic.

The 150-piece exhibition featured some of Gaultier’s most iconic pieces most famously – Madonna’s original cone-bra bustier tops and bare-breast suspenders. This was without doubt my favourite room of the exhibition. Surrounded by corsets the detail on each of them was unbelievable. I was astonished by the shapes and innovation with each one and definitely couldn’t pick a favourite. I loved them all!

If you are in Paris or visiting Paris I couldn’t recommend this exhibition any more. Its a once in a lifetime experience. It will change your view on Jean Paul Gaultier and maybe even make you consider a corset one day!

Buy tickets now: Jean Paul Gaultier | Grand Palais

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Jean Paul Gaultier in Paris

The Jean Paul Gaultier retrospective exhibition, which began its world tour in Montreal in June 2011, has already drawn 1.4 million visitors. Tonight, it opens its doors back home, at the Grand Palais in Paris. Remarkably, the show’s 10th stop marks the first time the Grand Palais has welcomed an exhibition devoted to a fashion designer. For this leg, the scenography has been tweaked slightly—it’s the exhibition’s biggest iteration so far, with more pieces, more muses, 10 hairstyle creations by Odile Gilbert, and more techy touches, including about 50 more custom-designed mannequins. This morning, the designer took a few moments to answer questions.

How does it feel to be headlining your exhibition at home?

For me, retrospectives were always for dead people. But the curators [Nathalie Bondil of the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts and Thierry-Maxime Loriot] convinced me otherwise. I think of this [event] as more of a collection: I wanted it to be life and show life as I like it. I wanted it to be like a party—the perfect occasion to do a kind of perfect show. This time it’s very personal because it’s in Paris. Coincidentally, it happens that I staged my first show in the planetarium at the Palais de la Découverte [located in an adjacent part of the Grand Palais complex], nearly 40 years ago, in October 1976.

The show is the thing for you, isn’t it?

I’ve wanted to do shows ever since I saw the 1945 Jacques Becker film Falbalas when I was about 12 years old. The défilé, the catwalk scene, was a huge part of wanting to become a designer. This [exhibition] is a new adventure, a collection of themes that are dear to me. It’s everything I believe in.

Is it fashion as art?

Fashion is not an art—it represents a bit of what’s happening, it’s a figuration of what is happening out there in society at large.

What is different about the Paris show?

Paris can’t be the same [as everywhere else], but the foundation is the same. We added parts of my childhood—pictures and the first muses with outfits from the first three of four collections—in the first room. It’s the only part of the show that’s chronological. Also, elements from backstage, especially from the amfAR gala in L.A. in 1992. There’s more about my muses, the men and women who inspired me, morally, visually, who formed my opinion on fashion. And there’s a bigger mix of models, both famous and forgotten. It’s the realization of a childhood dream that led to working with people like Luc Besson, Peter Greenaway, and [Pedro] Almodóvar.

What, in your opinion, is the takeaway?

There is beauty in differences. Thanks in part to the media, we spend so much time trying to hide our so-called flaws. Tics and differences should be brought out. There is no one beauty, there are lots, you only need to see it. There’s no reason to have to retrain your gaze. It’s the multiple beauties that interest me. Likewise, life is full of art. You have to see art where it’s not obvious, sometimes. There are people who are works of art themselves. Art is everywhere.

Braided Corset, Jean Paul Gautier Couture Jungle

Jean Paul Gaultier - Amazing, love this corseted dress, think we'll use this as a bit of inspiration for our next series of corsets... mmmm JPG i love you!

Do you feel nostalgic?

No. But to be honest, I really asked myself how I was going to show the clothes here. There are a dozen pieces from the first three or four collections. There’s androgyny, piercing, tattoos, various ethnicities. And in the end, it all stood the test of time. This is like a new fashion collection—I love it.

Lots has changed for you since this show started in September 2011…

Times are changing. Today, the fashion that I loved has changed. At one point I was designing 18 collections a year; last year, I put on my last ready-to-wear show. In between, I had the extreme good fortune of being free and creating my own limits. Now the groups are bigger and I am too old to go through filter after filter [of marketing]. Couture is a lab to explore new adventures. I will be doing a Klimt-inspired show for the Life Ball AIDS charity event in Vienna next summer. And perhaps a capsule collection from time to time.

Now that you have stepped back, where do you see fashion headed?

There are always things to pick up from street styles. All creation is the reflection of a social desire. I think that what Rick Owens did with his men’s show is really very interesting. Right now we’re seeing much more of the bourgeois fashion that we tried to beat in the ’80s. Society is quite divided. But when you have such a conservative side, it ultimately lets creativity explode. Given everything that’s going on now, fashion is going to bring out something because it’s a mirror of society. Get ready for a new punk movement!

Yves Saint Laurent said he regretted not inventing jeans. What about you?

I regret not having invented rubber.

What comes next?

For the show, Munich is the next stop. For me, I wouldn’t mind doing a revue like the Folies Bergère!

My First Week

After feeling slightly overhwelmed I’ve somehow survived my first week in Paris.

After getting settled into my apartment I started at my school IFA Paris – International Fashion Academy.

As I entered the building I had absolutely no idea where I was meant to go or what I was meant to expect but when I eventually entered the correct room I was welcome but a whole group of friendly faces. Once the whole class had arrived we went round and each introduced ourselves. It’s was absolutely amazing, every single person was from a different country wth a completely different story and reason how they had eventually landed in this class to start a masters in Fashion and Business.

From what I can remember there was a girl from: France, Italy, Germany, Costa Rica, Thailand, Belgium, California, Argentina, India, South Africa, Brazil and Russia….

After all the introductions we got given our timetable wich look so interesting. With half our lecture in Fashion and the other half in Business there is a real mixture of what we will be learning. the Fashion of course sounds the most exciting to me with each lecture actually doing what they are teaching as their profession, for example – my lecture in Buying is given by a lady who is a buyer for Gallery Lafayette, the Selfridges of Paris!!

Although classes aren’t always all day they still are everyday some being in the morning some being in the afternoon, so far the classes are great fun and so much more relaxed than university although I feel that soon it will change and the real work will begin.

So at the end of my first week I am very happy, completely exhausted from making friends, exploring and constantly getting lost in Paris, not to mention attempting to speak French at any given moment.

I’m very happy, I think it’s going to be a great year!

For my first day at IFA I wore my new black patent loafers from John Lewis and got lots of compliments. Click below to shop more loafers that I would just absolutely love to have: