In July, ‘90s cult classic Clueless celebrated its 25th anniversary, thus inciting many a conversation on how to celebrate. Obviously, most fans rewatched the film starring Alicia Silverstone, Paul Rudd, and Brittany Murphy, while reminiscing about Cher’s immigration speech and Dionne’s hats. Shilla Kim-Parker, the founder of online vintage marketplace Thrilling, and Mona May, the costume designer behind the film’s iconic wardrobe, had a better idea.
On Tuesday, the two announced a collection of Clueless-inspired vintage pieces, all of which were hand-sourced by May using Thrilling’s lineup of small, mostly female- and Black-owned vintage stores. Even better, the entire collection is size-inclusive and, no matter how you’re planning to celebrate this year, perfect for Halloween. Which means you’ll no longer have to buy fast-fashion items to recreate Cher’s yellow, checkered skirt suit or Tai’s workout look just to toss them away on 1st November. Plus, after seeing all 500 (yes, 500!) pieces, we’re happy to report that this collection, titled Refashion! Remix! Repeat!: The Future of Sustainable Fashion, will work for a lot more than just costumes — and beyond 31st October.
The inspiration for this collaboration came to Kim-Parker after hearing about Clueless’s anniversary and remembering how fond she was of the costumes worn in the film. “I fell in love with Mona's work as soon as that yellow plaid outfit appeared on screen,” she tells Refinery29. “I mean, every woman on the planet is obsessed with Mona's work, probably because it’s a palette cleanser for your eyes; a breath of fresh air.” ( May also designed costumes for Never Been Kissed and Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion, among others.) After working up the courage, she thought, Why not? and sent a DM to the costume designer on Instagram, thinking there was no way that May would respond, let alone be interested in a partnership. “To my surprise, she responded and was completely engaged,” she says. Turns out, May was just as much a fan of Kim-Parker as Kim-Parker was of May. “She's a warrior for the cause,” Kim-Parker says. “She's all about sustainability, supporting women, the authentic expression of individuality and personality through clothes, the bending of rules, and making sure that everyone feels welcome.” Suffice to say, they hit it off immediately.
For the collection, Kim-Parker gave May full reign of Thrilling’s vintage offerings. In total, she pulled from over 150 stores across US 30 cities. On the day of the shoot, "racks and racks of items," none of which May had pre-styled or edited, were wheeled into the studio. “I just pulled it together,” May says. “I just was in my element and the inspiration came.”
“That’s signature Mona — just mixing and matching as she goes,” adds Kim-Parker, laughing. The result is a homage to Clueless, but without the high price tag that comes with shopping at Westside Pavillion, and with a more extensive size range, which was a key factor for both women. “It's hard to find plus-size clothing, especially if you’re looking for it to be secondhand or vintage,” says May. This collection was meant to showcase that it doesn’t have to be, and that all women should be able to feel empowered in their clothing in the same way that Cher was on-screen. “When we're empowered — when we feel good about ourselves — we exude that energy to everybody around us,” says May. “It's like we are changing the world just by changing ourselves.”
As for the pieces themselves, expect a selection of ‘80s- and ‘90s- inspired fashion items, from, yes, plaid skirt suits, and Madonna-esque looks à la Cher, to more grunge-inspired outfits reminiscent of Tai. According to the duo, the gym scene from the film served as inspiration for the athleisure part of the campaign, which shows a model wearing a FILA sports bra paired with a pleated skirt; as did the party scene when Cher wears a little red slip dress that still today is on every woman’s want list.
Starting on Tuesday, all 500 pieces from the Refashion! Remix! Repeat!: The Future of Sustainable Fashion collection will be available for purchase on Thrilling. And with Halloween just over five weeks away, that gives you ample time to get all your Clueless-inspired vintage costumes sourced and ready to go.