Ghost World (2001) A film about youth in revolt.
Above the world, Enid walks around lifeless as she gives up both passion and joy in exchange for living outside of society's norms and above the average person. Becoming the butt of her own jokes as no one gets the irony behind her behavior, Enid is an OG social justice warrior. As you can experience the injustice she feels through nearly every outfit she adorns during her post graduation summer.
Eight Times Enid’s Clothes Talk For Her
1. The Sailor Top
Used to mock gender norms she wears a sailor outfit as she plays the role of bored boyfriend as Rebecca drags her through a housewares store in search of the perfect pieces to fill their new apartment.
Or when Enid wears that same sailor look while sitting opposite Rebecca at a hipster cafe that appears almost bar like. The two girls discuss the men at the counter, judging them as they walk by in complete gender reversal.
2. The Sleuth Trench
Enid changes her appearance for Seymour when she schedules the initial "faux date" with Seymour. Dressed in a large green trench coat and childish sea-cap, Enid appears as a colorful sleuth. She hides in a booth just outside of Seymour's sight, watching an unsuspecting man get crushed by her mean senseless sense of humor.
3. The Date Night Dress
Later in the film Enid's perception of Seymour changes and she decides its her mission to find the quiet oddball a partner. Accompanying him on a night out Enid dresses in a red knit snood, thin gold framed spectacles and a loud zebra print dress. Upon finding a match for Seymour, she slips out of sight and can be seen further back in the bar starting to remove the layers that she was hiding behind.
First taking off her red beanie, Enid runs her fingers through her hair as if freeing it from an uncomfortable guise. She then replaces the thin gold specs with her usual thick black frames. And as she becomes herself again she watches the pair from a distance, in direct reflection of the rest of her life.
4. The Plaid Look ALike Blouse
In contrast to her usual irony and mockery of nearly everyone that does not live and breathe in her same negative self important, outwardly egotistical headspace. Enid dressed in an almost mockingly similar way to her new found obsession. Wearing a green and navy plaid blouse that is reminiscent of a men's pajama top it appears Enid is trying to relate to Seymour on some level. You can see this both when she visits Seymour at his garage sale for the second time and also when she goes to his bedside to explain herself.
5. The Waitress Look
One of the most beautiful moments of irony occurs while Enid is dressed in a short leopard skirt, white feathered headband and a black blouse with a contrasting white collar. Standing outside a diner notepad in hand, Enid takes Stanley’s order as if she’s more waitress than matchmaker.
6. The School Girl Look
Enid bites her tongue and states the obvious both at the beginning and end of summer. First by dressing in stereotypical dress for a particular occasion, i.e. a school uniform for her first day of remedial summer school at at her public high school.
7. The Sailor Top <Re-Visited>
Second, by wearing a sailor top on her last day of that same class as her teacher literally bids them farewell.
8. The Trash Polo
Enid also uses her wardrobe to express her current mood and reference what she is currently doing. A great example of this is her hand decorated purple trash polo that appears to be adorned with oscar the grouch. Choosing to wear this top both when she is shopping garage sales and when she is being somewhat attacked by her pretentious art teacher, possibly making her feel a bit like 'trash'.
Ghost World is not only an amazing fashion film but also an extremely relatable fashion film for today as over the past decade irony has only become more and more prevalent in fashion. To the extent that the 2019 Meet Gala was CAMP themed and major designers like Tom Ford have come forward in past seasons saying that they are over the anti-fashion and just want to make clothes that makes women look and feel beautiful. But this is nothing new as it is well known that fashion is a never ending cycle and as things go out what was once old is now on trend. Things like irony, drama and making a statement have been a part of fashion as far back as records go. One of the most noteworthy moments being the trend of dandyism that spread through wealthy men beginning in the 16 Century. Where men took to what we would now consider feminine styles and extravagant accessories to flaunt their status. Enid is opposed to all such things and uses every moment of this film to express her point of view. Starting with her fully thrifted wardrobe and becoming only more apparent as her looks become more and more on the nose. Teaching us that fashion should not only be fun or a moment but an entire journey.