Dawn Weiner, the awkward 7th grader from Todd Solondz’s Welcome to the Dollhouse, totally captured our hearts with her cropped gypsy shirts and squinty expression.
There is something earnestly awesome about this middle-school girl who’s so shamelessly picked on by everyone around her, her parents included. As a teen in the 90s, we couldn’t help but feel a few pangs of misunderstood sympathy. Didn’t everyone get called “Dog-Face” (or some moronic variant – like Fish-Lips) when they were that age?
The greatest thing about Dawn, however, is that behind all her insecurities is this incredible willingness to be herself, no matter how hard it sometimes is for her. And there’s no better measure of this self-confidence than in what she wears. Costume designer Melissa Toth totally hit it out of the park with this one. Even when Dawn’s self-esteem is microscopic she manages to kill it in a belted, culotte onesie.
Todd Solondz might have killed the character off in his follow-up film Palindromes, but in our heart of hearts we know that Weiner is out there somewhere in fashion-world, putting the finishing touches on some fabulous collection. How else could you explain Balenciaga’s “corporate spy” sweaters?