Jessica Stein’s kissing style has the ultimate 2000s appeal


Enter Helen Cooper, played by Heather Juergensen. Cooper is the epitome of a downtown New York knockout: killer clothes, work at a hip art gallery, list of men who think of her, not the other way around. One of the first scenes with Cooper opens with her entertaining three very different suitors at a gallery party, then hooking up with the messenger on a bicycle in the back room. She is dressed in leather pants to take off and a very small bespoke fitted blazer.

Bruning’s visual research for the character of Helen Cooper. Photo: Courtesy of Melissa Bruning

Stein and Cooper are yin and yang in both lifestyle and fashion. And yet, they meet through a classified ad and eventually – spoiler alert – start dating. The movie isn’t so much an LGBTQIA+ tale as much as a coming-of-age story about someone finding themselves. Throughout this, we see two women reuniting. For Stein, that also includes finding his style.

Make their first date. Cooper sits at the bar in a semi-sheer fuchsia top – could it be Gucci? – with a matching thin scarf around the neck, super skinny jeans and stiletto boots. Stein, on the other hand, looks straight out of a Nine West catalog in a stiff gray dress and cream cardigan. (Later in the film, Cooper would refer to her as “Jewish Sandra Dee.”) After a few drinks, Stein relaxes, as does her wardrobe: her cardigan slips slightly to reveal the strap of her dress.

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