Films supply us with fashion moments for every occasion; the return to school/college/university is no different. So here at The Mancunion we have to decided to take a brief run through some of our favourite school movies and the fashion inspiration they offer.
Mean Girls (2004)
A sad truth about mid-noughties fashion is that we don’t yet—yet being the most important word—appreciate it with nostalgia. As much as Mean Girls is a classic with near enough all women born post-1990, some of the outfits are not yet a la mode. Thankfully Mean Girls did bequeath some gifts to the fashion world beyond over accessorising. Would we be able to cope without the guidance of the plastics? “On Wednesdays we wear pink” ensures that at least once a week a friendship group can match outfits. Or how about the Mean Girls’ attitude to Halloween, they unapologetically vocalised the long hushed approach to female fancy dress—wear little clothing and stick on some animal ears. For those in doubt at Pangaea take inspiration for either the white rabbit or the Cheshire cat!
Now this is a film that has fashion at its core. Every aspect of Cher’s life relates to style: Be it the people she chooses to makes friends with, who she crushes on, or how she lifts her mood. Aside from making us all aspire to a computerised wardrobe that would alleviate the daily dilemma of picking an outfit, Clueless also luxuriated in reminding us how fun fashion should be. Clothes are free to be transformative; they can turn you from an average girl to an irresistible goddess who can lure any number of Christians or Joshs. A yellow plaid mini skirt and blazer in most contexts would have been a horrific no, but in the fashion daydream that is Clueless they became a worldwide sensation.
Some may see Sandy’s style transformation in Grease as her submitting to the male gaze, altering her style so she is more appetizing to Danny and the Pink Lady aesthetic. But that assumes that Sandy has changed forever, and I do not for one minute believe she stays in those black high waist pants til happily ever after. Nobody could. Sandy swaps girlie skirts and frills for raunched-up black and cigarettes; she shows that she can be ladylike one moment and sexually assertive the next—all by swapping an outfit. Less controversial is the Pink Ladies’ jackets. Their pink satin bomber jackets are a clear inspiration behind the mass of satin bombers currently on sale, an easy transitional jacket. I only hope they imbue the wearer with as much sass as Rizzo.
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