It would be an understatement to say we aren’t a bit nostalgic for the ’90s. Films like Clueless still garner an audience on movie streaming services and inspire a wave of Halloween costumes every season. One of those hit cult-classics is turning 25, Empire Records. Although initially a movie-theater flop, the film gained cult-status, because what it lacked in plot, it made up for in amazing costuming.
I first saw Empire Records last year. Although record stores are a thing of the past, I love the concept of the employees working together to halt a large chain from taking over the store during one hectic day. The film is packed with huge stars, including Liv Tyler, Renée Zellweger, Ethan Embry, Robin Tunney, Johnny Whitworth, Debi Mazar, and so many more. Although I remember enjoying the movie, it was the fashion that struck a chord. More than twenty years later, these style trends are still really cool. I even tried to re-create Liv Tyler’s look for Halloween, blue cropped cardigan and plaid skirt, but it definitely didn’t work out.
Twenty-five years later, the looks in this film still resonate with the general public. Corey’s (Johnny Whitworth) plaid shirt and sweater combo is seeing a resurgence along with other ’90s trends. Black mules and combat movies that almost every character rocked are now sold in stores because that grunge look is back. However, we have to credit the costume designer Susan Lyall. Her other works include Molly’s Game, Amazon original series Red Oaks, Music and Lyrics and many. We have to credit her for styling each character in their own unique way. Each actor rocked an outfit dedicated to expressing part of their character. Liv had her baby blue sweater for her “good girl” personality, Deb- the resonate bad girl- with her shaved head, cropped tank top, black sweater, an baggy pants, Mark with his disheveled oversized t-shirt symbolizing his easy-going nature. While every actor looked put-together is was in an overtly obvious way.
The wardrobe from Clueless is iconic because there are just so many items. But Empire Records is only one day out of these character’s lives. There are no crazy costume changes, what you see in the movie poster is what you get, and 25 years later, the clothes still inspire fashion choices standing the test of time.