Is Dionne The True Style Star in Clueless?

Dian S. Hicks

Clueless, the 1995 cult classic, celebrates its 25-year anniversary on Sunday. In the same way that we relish the Chanel boots from The Devil Wears Prada and the leopard print coat that Edie Sedgwick’s character (played by Sienna Miller) wore in Factory Girl, we could go on for hours about Cher’s yellow tartan mini skirt suit and the sheer shirt she wore — accessorized à la Madonna — for her driver’s test. And that Calvin Klein mini dress? It would, like, totally work in 2020. But while Cher’s aesthetic is basically canonical for nearly every fashion-minded 20-to-30-something, most media outlets have yet to praise the sartorial genius of Cher Horowitz’s right-hand woman Dionne Davenport in length. InStyle, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, and more have all broken down the best (and worst) style moments from Cher. But, after a quick Google search, only Fashionista and HelloGiggles have come up, for covering Dionne specifically. 

Dionne checks off all the same style boxes that Cher does: pleated mini skirts, monochrome co-ords, bold red accents, and more. But what Dionne does style-wise that Cher doesn’t, is accessorize. And as tennis pro and style icon Venus Williams once said in an interview with The New York Times, the key to a good outfit is to “accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. If you don’t accessorize, someone else will.” 

Take her first scene of the movie. Cher stops in front of Dionne’s house after hitting a lawn ornament with her “decked out Jeep.” From the front door of a Beverly Hills Tudor-style McMansion comes Dionne, running down the lawn in a black-, red-, and-white plaid ensemble that is completed with a cropped red cardigan and an oversized hat. Up close, you can see that she’s added a slew of silver chains and pendants, silver hoops, and a nose ring that has me rethinking the one I took out back in 2015. Trends, after all, are cyclical.

The look was so good that Lupita Nyong’o recreated it for Halloween circa 2018, right down to the hoop in her nose. 

Later on, Dionne wears a sheer top, with a bandeau bra, a striped beanie-beret amalgamation, and a pair of leopard print pants that look like an earlier version of those worn by Maddy’s character in Euphoria (played by Alexa Demie). The outfit would also fit right in with TikTok’s fashion crowd, and the red-and-gold hat she paired with an orange-and-yellow striped knit to set up Ms. Guist looks just like the fuzzy caps spotted on the streets of New York during Fashion Month in February. And we’re only in the first 15 minutes — just wait until gym class. 

In a sea of betties wearing black-and-white, Dionne and her retro bandanna, paired with a dickey styled over a long-sleeved T-shirt and track shorts (I mean hello!), is a step above the rest. It’s no wonder Bella Hadid copied the look on her trip to Mykonos last year. 

Throughout the remaining hour of the movie, Clueless viewers can feast their eyes on everything from neon button-downs with peekaboo bras to terry cloth polos with matching stretchy headbands. In fact, all of the biggest hits of today — from flower embellishments and chunky gold hoops to fishnets and sweater vests — make an appearance throughout the film, not only on Cher but on Dionne, too. Exaggerated collars, barrettes, knee-highs, and more 2020 accessories also made the cut. Which begs the question: Did Dionne singlehandedly inspire the comeback of every ‘90s-era trend? We’d be willing to bet big that the answer is yes. And for that, we tip our hats to her, the real style star at Bronson Alcott High School.

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