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Fashion Identity Crisis: The Clash of Y2K and Modern Styles in “Mean Girls”

The newly released movie was highly anticipated by new and old audiences, but did it live up to the hype?
The+%2436+million+project+has+received+mixed+reviews+globally.+
Lilah Manning, Catie Walker
The $36 million project has received mixed reviews globally.

  Picture this: you’re a nervous new student in the high school cafeteria, surrounded by trendy peers. You hear the squeak of pleather pants and the clomping of combat boots and look up to see… Regina George? 

  Released on Jan. 12, the new “Mean Girls” movie misses the mark on the latest Gen Z fashion trends. The ruling girl group of the school, “the plastics” sport uninspired outfits and way less pink.

  For Regina (Reneé Rapp), wearing an all-black leather ensemble is a departure from the Regina we all knew. Where did the classic mini skirts, branded bags and stiletto heels go? Regina’s status as a trendsetter falters in this movie, as her fellow plastics do not sport the same casual fashion. 

  The movie’s designers replace Regina’s characteristic feminine energy with a masculine, dominant presence. Her half-gold, half-pearl “R” necklace, preference for pants and the color black emphasize the change in her character.

  Karen Smith (Avantika Vandanapu) and Gretchen Weiners (Bebe Wood) keep the Y2K vibes alive with mini skirts and cropped cardigans but swap their heels for sneakers. Even their most interesting pieces look like cheap knockoffs. 

  Cady Heron’s (Angourie Rice) outfits were directly inspired by the original movie, with minor changes in color and style. These similarities felt like the original but looked out of place compared to their updated counterparts.   

  The original Janis Ian (Chloe Auliʻi Cravalho) wore maxi skirts with striped socks and Converse as she held her side bangs back with a crooked hair clip. Now, she dons ripped denim jeans and fun eyeliner.

  Janis’s alternative, gothic style that once ostracized her morphed into a more decorated version of today’s trends. The 2004 Janis would not have worn light blue eyeshadow instead of her traditional black, smudged look.

  Out-of-trend colored bra straps mixed with high-waisted pants blur the lines between whether the fashion in the new film is supposed to be inspired by Y2K or modern styles leaving the audience confused. 

  Jumping from modernized trends to older styles failed to capture the iconic spirit of the original movie and let both the current and past generations of fans down.

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  • A

    AmyJan 31, 2024 at 10:36 am

    super interesting article ! thank you for sharing

    Reply
  • S

    ShelyseJan 26, 2024 at 12:46 pm

    I really enjoyed this article!

    Reply