As the iconic film turns 30, IG account @fantasydressup imagine what the bitchy high school trio – and Veronica – would be wearing now
Fuck me gently with a chainsaw: Heathers is 30 years old. The darkly comic tale of teenage violence, suicide, and alienation which made stars of 16-year-old Winona Ryder and Christian Slater has gone on to become a cult classic in the three decades since its release – and for good reason. Offering a razor-sharp look at the nuances of high school life (in such a way that we’re unlikely to see again), it also features a really, ridiculously good line-up of costumes.
Long before Cher Horowitz donned a yellow plaid two-piece, the Flawless Four coordinated their minidresses (and alibis), and Cady, Regina and co. adopted pink as their Wednesday go-to, the Heathers were pacing the halls of Westerburg High in what can only be described as #lewks.
On the line-up for Heather McNamara, Heather Chandler, and Heather Duke were a series of broad-shouldered suit jackets, wide, waist-cinching belts, pussy-bow blouses, and neat, low-heeled court shoes, all in their assigned colours of red, green, and yellow respectively. For us, though, it’s fourth Heather Veronica Sawyer who’s serving the most in a wardrobe of black, grey, and navy – like any self-respecting teen movie outsider (s/o to you Ally Sheedy, and basically the entire cast of The Craft).
What unites all four of the Heathers isn’t their bitchy attitudes, their overwhelming priviledge, or the grisly end they come to, though (well, it kind of is, but stay with us here, okay?) Though filmed over 30 years ago, not one of the film’s characters – that is, the Heathers, Veronica’s murderous love interest JD (Christian Slater), and any number of the supporting cast and extras – wouldn’t look out of place on the catwalk in 2018.
With that in mind, as the film hits cinemas in celebration of the 30th anniversary of its release, we enlisted the duo behind IG account @fantasydressup to reimagine the cast’s wardrobe with a series of new-season looks. It’s Heathers – but make it 2018.
VERONICA SAWYER, Y/PROJECT
When JD switches what’s meant to be a ‘hangover cure’ of orange juice and milk for a big old cup of blue drain cleaner and Heather Chandler (spoiler!) meets her maker, Veronica Sawyer is a lot more chill about the whole disaster than you might necessarily expect a high schooler (or anyone) to be. It makes sense, then, that she also demonstrates a healthy disregard for Chandler’s rule that she must wear blue, and flashes only glimpses of the hue in the form of lace tights, ruffled skirts, and embroidered kimonos thrown over t-shirts and slacks.
At the beginning of the movie, though, she does have a certain preppy edge which aligns her with the rest of the Heathers, but as things progress and the shit properly hits the fan, she becomes more and more dishevelled (we’re not entirely sure putting together a lewk would be high on our list of priorities either, given the circumstances). Veronica’s whole thing is her duality: she's the Heather who doesn’t want to be a Heather, the good girl on the cusp of being bad, and this look from Y/Project’s AW18 collection perfectly encompasses that. It’s a little bit prim, a lot subversive, and, a presumably a bit like Veronica’s nerves, a little bit all over the place (although, in the ensemble's case, in a really good way). Add to that the fact that Y/Project’s Glenn Martens is something of an outsider who came to shake up the Parisian fashion scene, and Winona Ryder is the queen of the 80s movie outsiders (and just a queen in general tbh), and you have in front of you a match made in heaven. As for those thigh-high Uggs? We’re guessing it wouldn’t just be drain cleaner Heather Chandler was gagging on when she saw them...
HEATHER CHANDLER, CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC
“Fuck me gently with a chainsaw, do I look like Mother Theresa to you?” Heather Chandler asks Veronica at the start of the film, and it quickly becomes apparent she is basically as far from being as selfless and holy as MT herself as it’s possible to be. Chandler really is that bitch, fearlessly leading the Heathers through the halls of Westerburg High via a mixture of fear, razor sharp put-downs, and withering looks – and with her seriously lethal looking shoulder pads, she is clearly ready to take out anyone who stands in her way.
Cut to 2018 and we doubt she’d be ready to relinquish those wide shoulders, or the preppy, all-American look so beloved by 80s high school movie bullies – which is why she’d likely have her eye on Raf Simons’ SS19 Resort offering. Not only would wearing a look from the not-even-dropped-yet collection put her one step ahead of the other Heathers (AW18? Ew), but the university logo nods to the Ivy League-er she’d likely have married if she hadn’t met an untimely and gruesome end. The pièce de résistance? Those savage looking boots add a flash of Chandler’s signature red hue, acting as a none-too-subtle reminder as to who’s in charge.
HEATHER MCNAMARA, GUCCI
It’s evident pretty early on that Heather McNamara might be Heather in name, but she’s not so Heather in nature – as the most subservient, sensitive member of the group, Westerburg’s head cheerleader bears the brunt of Heather Chandler’s wrath (and later Heather Duke’s) on the regular.
“God has cursed me I think. The last guy I had sex with killed himself the next day. I’m failing math. I was supposed to be cheerleading captain…” she complains to Veronica in the toilets, as she attempts to take an overdose. Veronica – ever the voice of reason – convinces her otherwise, and the two skip school to head to the mall. The first store on the list? Gucci. When your friends are dropping around you like flies and you’re (unsurprisingly) not coping too well with it, wrap yourself up in the soft, safe, powder pink folds of one of Alessandro Michele’s oversized puffer jackets, pair it with a matching mid-length skirt and pussy-bow blouse, and bury your head in the sand until it all blows over.
Though she appears timid, shy, and a bit of a bookworm initially, the deceptive Heather Duke has designs on Heather Chandler’s crown – or at least her red scrunchy – as the Heathers’ queen bee, and proves herself to be just as cruel and ruthless as Chandler in the wake of her untimely death-by-liquid-drain-cleaner. She’s also assigned green by the supreme leader of Westerburg High, the only non-primary colour within the group. This reflects her low ranking, and, like, really suits her, because – you know – envy.
Fast forward to now, and we can see Duke in a business up top, party down below look from Demna Gvasalia’s AW18 Balenciaga collection. The prim, checked jacket – which is 3D printed, FYI – acts as a cover-up for her truly nasty persona, while the skirt incorporates flashes of her signature green hue, and larger red poppies, symbolizing her thirst to take over from Chandler. Which she does, briefly: until Veronica swoops in to take back the scrunchie, declaring “Heather, my love, there’s a new sheriff in town.” Surprise, bitch!
Okay, so he’s not a Heather, but this round-up wouldn’t be complete without the inclusion of murderous Jason ‘JD’ Dean. Where in 88 he was all about oversized plaid shirts, seen-better-days denim, and a boxy leather jacket, in 2018, we’d hazard a guess and say he’d likely opt for a look from Vetements AW18 offering (his OG look is pretty Vetements in itself, tbh). Okay, so the label is a little expensive, and JD isn’t as privileged as the Heathers, but given he’s killing off students left, right, and centre, we’re guessing he wouldn’t be adverse to a little shoplifting, too. Demna came to shake up the establishment, and JD is as anti-establishment as they come.