There’s only one name that comes to mind when the word “fabulous” comes up in conversation—and that’s Cher Horowitz.
Clueless, an adaption of Jane Austen’s 1815 novel, Emma, hit theatres in July 1995, and it has been an iconic film for generations since. By the time the world was introduced to Cher, Dionne, and Tai, the ’90s revolution of fashion, lifestyle, and slang was well under way.
That being said, everything cool about the ’90s could only evolve from Beverly Hills, the place to be in the mid-’90s. When the movie opens with “Kids in America” by The Muffs, suddenly it doesn’t look so bad to not only be a kid, but one in America to boot.
Clueless is still making headlines 20 years later. In 2014, Australian rapper Iggy Azalea introduced herself to the music scene in her debut music video, “Fancy”. The video, a parody of the film, featured Azalea wearing the classic yellow plaid suit fans have come to know and love, and re-enacted a few easily recognizable scenes. She even went as far as to get a few lookalikes from the film to play Cher’s long-lasting buddies.
Clueless follows Cher, a privileged, wealthy teenager in the midst of sunny, unpredictable California. Boys love her, she can negotiate for higher grades, and she has what it takes to mold her newfound friend, Tai, into a walking, talking version of herself. But the thing is, she’s clueless.
Cher isn’t dumb, stupid, or out of the loop. She’s just clueless—maybe there are better secrets to the way she lives her life, or maybe there are some steps she should have skipped along the way. Probably because she makes way for new girl Tai.
Literature fans will forever be worshipping the Clueless legacy. Emma by Jane Austen follows Emma, who befriends Harriet—from whom Tai has inherited the dull, impressionable status written all over her face—and it’s only much later that Emma realizes her matchmaking, which is her signature pastime, must be put to a stop.
It’s your regular teen movie—but it also isn’t. The plotline seems as simple as any young generation rom-com to make its way into theatres. But the film serves as an essential fashion metamorphosis, starting trends like plaid-everything, headbands, and feather boas all over.
Alas, when her stepbrother, Josh, claims that Cher’s life has no direction, Cher tries to convince him otherwise. “Yeah,” he replies, “towards the mall.”