Every generation has its high school movie, and every high school movie has that one look that makes it into the canon. Heather Chandler had the blazer and scrunchie. Cher Horowitz had plaid skirts. Josie Gellar had that white feather boa. Regina George had a sexy Santa bustier. And now, Booksmart's leading ladies are here to join that elite fashion club.
Say hello to Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy's (Kaitlin Dever) matching boiler suits! Gigi's (Billie Lourd) leopard coat and tiara! An absurd sequins! And one very good Yale sweatshirt.
Olivia Wilde's directorial debut, which tracks two best friends embarking on a wild night to cap off senior year before they head off to college, is at once familiar and entirely refreshing. It takes the well-worn high school buddy comedy and spins it on its head — including the costumes worn by its colourful cast of characters.
"People sometimes assume that comedies can't be really stylish and beautiful, but of course they can," Wilde says in an exclusive clip bringing us behind-the-scenes on the sartorial decisions for the film.
Costume designer April Napier, whose past work includes Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird because of course, used mostly vintage clothing, paired to create looks that would fit each character's distinct personality.
Class president Molly, for example, wears a mustard turtleneck and blazer on the last day of school — when everyone else is wearing shorts. Best-friend Amy, whose summer plans include volunteering with underserved women in Uganda, rocks a jean jacket covered in feminist slogans. And party girl Gigi's "Penny Lane" vibe includes a lot of faux-fur, rhinestone sunglasses, and a particularly glam pearl fascinator.
But what's so intriguing about the looks — and the movie as a whole — is that they don't feel typed. Wilde's characters are full and vibrant, and their clothes are just another way of expressing that.
"April Napier loved the idea of telling a different kind of female friendship, a real depiction of girls who are different but not nerdy," Wilde says in the clip.
Watch the full clip below, debuting here on Refinery29 — and catch Booksmart in cinemas on May 24.