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Five Style Lessons We Can Learn From Clueless

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Cher Horowitz may have been Clueless but she was also style savvy. In fact, though it is 17 years to the day since Alicia Silverstone lit up our screens as the quintessential Beverly Hills blonde, there are still some seriously valid sartorial lessons we can learn from her rites of passage.
I thought that I'd need to watch Clueless again to research this piece. I didn't. That's not say that I didn't dig out that glorious 1995 relic, just that when I did I practically talked along word for word. Because such is its lasting influence on girls of a certain age that its lines remain fiercely embedded in our brains in a way we fear wrinkles will one day be on our faces.

Cher Horowitz you see, is a goddess in the manner of Diane Kruger and Grace Jones - someone who we will always hold up in awe and would love to be but secretly fear we could never quite pull off. Cher may have been dizzy, and naïve and prone to making mistakes when it came to love and life and friendship, but she was also self-assured, devious, unapologetically materialistic yet curiously well-meaning, and with hair to die for. And we could learn a lot from her, when it comes to fashion at least. Honestly it's true. Here are just three stylish lessons we've picked up from the film...

1. Alaïa is like, a totally important designer
Dior, Prada, Yves Saint Laurent - oh well all recognise those big fashion names, but thanks to Clueless the lesser known but hugely influential Azzedine Alaïa gained appreciation from a whole new generation. Because after having absolutely mastered tight, curve-embracing dresses in the Eighties, by the mid-Nineties he was more of an insider's favourite. How many young fashion fans would have missed out on knowing about 'the King of cling' had Cher not been held up at gunpoint and tearfully begged her assailant not to make her lie on the floor because she was wearing an Alaïa and to ruin than dress would be sacrilege?

2. Always choose the guy with the classic wardrobe
In Clueless Cher chases after fashion-forward Christian, with his jaunty hats, tight tees and patterned jackets before having an epiphany (complete with a light-up fountain display) and realising that plaid shirt and jeans wearing Josh is the man she loves. He is of course, the right choice and looks suitably sharp in a tux at the end. But more importantly, today, decades later - Josh aka Paul Rudd is a major movie star who has retained his good looks, and no one even knows what happened to the actor who played Christian. Is he still working?

3. You can wear anything so long as someone credible designed it
Want to wear something outrageous but worried of being judged? Make sure it's by a big fashion name. Edina and Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous may be have been parodies with their protests of 'but it's Lacroix' but you'd be surprised how much the simple words 'it's by Balenciaga' changes most people's opinion. It even works on non-fashion fans. In Clueless, Cher comes downstairs in a tiny white slip and her clearly sartorially indifferent father barks 'What the hell is that?', 'A dress' replies our heroine, 'Says who' he retorts. 'Calvin Klein' shoots back Cher. She leaves the house in the dress (and a sheer jacket that in no way covers it).

4. Shopping is good for the brain
Upset from a row with her friend Tai (RIP Brittany Murphy), and all kinds of confused about her love life, Cher goes for a walk to clear her head. She's not making much progress until she spots a cute dress in a shop window and nips in to investigate. It's only once she resumes her stroll, new purchase in hand, she is able to make a breakthrough - she loves Josh and needs to be a better person. Of course.

5. You can't drive in platforms
You just can't. Cher tries, she ends up first driving on the wrong side of the road a la James Bond, and then failing her test. Fortunately. Because the film is perfect just the way it is, all failed motor skills and Tai's ultimate burn to Cher 'You're just a virgin. Who can't drive.' That one still stings.