Troop Beverly Hills (1989) is the Clueless of the eighties - the film portrays the most decadent slice of LA life of that decade, especially the fantastic fashion. The movie stars Phyllis Nefler (Shelley Long), the original Beverly Hills housewife and shopaholic, who is separated from her wealthy husband, Fred, but not from his bank account.
Fred accuses the fabulous Phyllis of being an airhead with no sense of purpose, and she vows to prove him wrong by signing up to be their daughter's Wilderness Girls troop leader. Considering her skills are more haute couture than hiking and camping, many hilarious hijinks (and fahhhhhbulous fashion moments) ensue.
High Fashion Cred: Where do I begin? First off, the film's costume designer was the legendary Theadora Van Runkle who was responsible for another Haute Hoosier fave, Bonnie and Clyde.
Fun Fact: During the court scene, when Phyllis takes the troop on an excursion to her divorce proceedings, she explains that her new ensemble is a "Van Runkle." Designing the costumes for this film would have been a spectacular undertaking considering the sheer volume of over-the-top ensembles Phyllis Nefler wore, let alone the rest of the cast.
For instance: Karina Bong's (Lily's mother) character was modeled after Imelda Marcos, former First Lady of the Philippines. There are a few references made about Karina's husband being a dictator of an unspecified Southeast Asia country and how Karina has thousands of pairs of shoes.
One of my favorite dressed characters is Vicki Sprantz, friend of Phyllis and mother of Claire, one of the girls in the troop. She's a romance novelist based on Jackie Collins, so her wardrobe is also amazing, obviously.
A box of them would be so nice (buy some), cheap at even twice the price (try some). It's cookie time, it's cookie time!
And let's not forget that the movie includes many fabulous Beverly Hills locales, such as the Beverly Hills Hotel, and legendary Rodeo Drive Giorgio boutique where "Cookie Time" was filmed. Unfortunately the store is no more, and the spot is now home to a Louis Vuitton.
Best Dressed: Phyllis reworks her hideous troop leader uniform in a variety of ways throughout the movie, but during a fashion show she planned, she unveils a gold lamé lined cape and matching outfit. Who said khaki had to be boring? If only I had her tailor for my horrid Brownie uniform. Two words: brown culottes. Not Haute.
Where are they from, Mars? No, Beverly Hills!
Recognize anyone? Yes, that would be a young Tori Spelling,
who plays the sidekick to the main Red Feather chick
Substance score: 7. I might be biased because this was one of my favorite movies growing up, but this movie is a must see. It's a little sappy and silly at times, but the fashion is phenomenal and there are some hilarious jokes I didn't even catch until watching it as an adult.
Fur and champagne? Now that's what I call camping.
Another fabulous uniform rendition
Yep, her estranged husband is Coach.
Check out the Phyllis Peplum. This is just too good.