I’ll admit, finding inspiration to write about fashion has been hard lately. Even with waves of Fashion Week’s taking place around the globe, I struggle to find that one new trend that really stands out. The key word here being “new”. And while its true that fashion always repeats itself, I fear we may be stuck on a skipping track…
Fashion has somehow become stuck in the 20th century.
Take the 90’s revival that’s happening right now. Or rather, has been happening. For the past 3 seasons. Its painful enough to look back on my fashion “moments” in high school, so I’m pretty much the last person in a rush to relive any of them. Not to mention its beyond amusing (and slightly annoying) to watch today’s teens load up on Nirvana shirts considering most couldn’t even name one of their songs if you asked them. I know this, because I have. One even asked who Kurt Cobain was…
Seriously- I swear on my Starbucks.
But before we get carried away with everything that was wrong about the 90’s, lets skip the PTSD and talk about some of the things that were oh so right. After all, there has to be something about the era that makes it so hard for us to let it go, even if we only revisit it one trend at a time. So instead of turning to the runways for the same predictable fashion forecasts this season, I turned instead to my own personal experience- and remembered the things about the era that molded me into who I am today.
Like Supermodels. As in, the original Supermodels. The term alone oozes global domination, and this was THE decade where legends were made. Cindy, Kate, Claudia, Naomi, Helena…just to name a few. These women were not only catwalk perfection, they were our original #SquadGoals. Never again will we see such a reign of naturally striking beauties, as Supermodels have now been replaced over time by a constant rotating barrage of “It Girls” instead. George Michael’s Freedom is now Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood. Revlon’s Cindy Crawford is now Maybelline’s Gigi Hadid. GUESS’s Claudia Schiffer is now Balmain’s Kandell Jenner. Beautiful? Sure. But ICONIC? Sorry girls… Not. Even. Close.
But speaking of It Girls, the 90’s did have some of the most notable when it comes to original fashion. After all, these are the very looks everyone’s trying so hard to replicate today. And this was way before celebrity stylists really became a thing. So its worth noting that these ladies were the ones who truly brought them to life in the first place.
Like Kate Moss. Her campaign with Calvin Klein was really the first nudge towards the super slender models we’re used to seeing today. Almost boyish in figure, who can forget her next to “Marky Mark” (that’s a whole other subject….). Not only was it brilliant, it would also mark the beginning of the androgynous look dominating today’s modeling industry standards for runway.
And then there’s Courtney Love. For those who still don’t know (and believe me- there are still plenty that don’t…. ), Courtney was married to Kurt [Cobain]. As a couple, their “IDGAF” fashion attitude would create and ignite an entire generation of grunge. But the real beauty with these two is that they weren’t even trying to make a statement. In fact, quite the opposite. Polar opposites of the aforementioned Supermodels, they defied the then current beauty standards by doning torn slip dresses, flannels and dirty hair. Nobody dressed them, or told them what to wear.
It was the true, most honest, literal form of “I woke up like this”, and it was amazing, though tragic- drugs probably played a major role in both parties choices of attire. Sadly, Kurt would eventually succumb to his use, leaving behind only his music and personal style as an influence for many generations to follow. I often wonder if he were around today, would he still be committed to his perfectly imperfect ensembles? I’d like to think so.
So next time you want to rock a Nirvana t-shirt, understand that what you’re wearing deserves more significance than just another passing trend. Its more than just “cool”- Its a nod to both fashion and musical genius.
But if we can thank Courtney Love for the slip dresses that have remained so prominent this year, then its Drew Barrymore who deserves all the credit for the revival of the babydoll. THE 90’s Flower Child of sorts, she embodied a girlier, prettier, more feminine version of grunge by incorporating soft touches like daisies and red lips into her trademark style. With her wild, impulsive nature, she was her very own fashion muse, perfectly balancing chunky Doc Martin’s with a crop top and a peace sign.
So when you think of the 90’s from here on out, this is what I want you to picture…..
But it was certainly more than just the It Girls of the era that makes this generation so enticing and influential. Much like today, television played a huge role in visually defining the generation and time-stamping the 90’s style. But there were 2 shows in particular that would become part of our visual fashion bibles, often dictating what we would wear to school the next day- Beverly Hills 90210 and My So-Called Life. So when you need some style inspiration, forego the fashion magazines and have a Netflix binge night instead. Not only are they accurate examples of all that was major, they’re HELLA good. The only remaining question will be- Team Brenda or Team Kelly?
And while your getting your Netflix and Chill on, you cant forget the about the holy grail of 90’s fashion- Clueless. Not only would this movie ignite a passion for pleated mini skirts and matching knee high’s, it also gave us our first glimpse at what a “real” wardrobe would look like- I’m pretty sure I even asked for a rotating closet for Christmas that year. Plus, the slang alone is worth the watch.
So while there are a lot of things from the 90’s worth leaving behind- scrunchies, frosted tips, and pretty much everything The Spice Girls wore– there were some pretty major trends that are certainly worth investigating again. At the very least, Halloween is right around the corner, giving you the perfect excuse to slay it as Cher one more time.
But please, above all else, remember THIS: If you want to show your love for the 90’s by rocking a band t-shirt, go for it! But have some respect and do your homework first. Or you’ll go from on point, to poser, real quick. And that’s never a good look.
And finally, while the 90’s were great, I’m excited for the trends still yet to come. And beyond ready. If you’ve been paying attention to the Fashion Week’s in NY and Milan, you already know SS/17 is looking pretty damn amazing. So enjoy the grunge resurgence while it lasts. It may be a long, long time till we see it again.
Yeah, I know-