Guest contributor Rachael from The Social Butterfly discusses the merits of the nineties…
Things take time to be considered beautiful. For example, cheese, the longer it is left to mature the better it tastes! Then there’s the golden antique rule, an item over 100 years old, is officially classed as an antique. This also relates to fashion, the older a piece of clothing the more valued and beautiful, it is considered to be.
Until very recently the 1990’s was seen as a not so distant, fashion disaster memory. For me, the 90’s involved wearing logo belly tops from Tammy Girl, crystal-droplet black velvet chokers and double denim. Not exactly the look of the stylish trend setter. That’s because I was just about to enter my teens, still layered in my pre-pubescent puppy fat, awkward in my stance and forever pinching bits from my childhood idols that I couldn’t quite put together properly.
There are many subcultural influences that impacted on people’s style throughout the 1990s. The grunge scene, heavily endorsed by bands such as Primal Scream, Elastica and Nirvana, led to a surplus of over-sized knitwear, distressed denim and piercings.
Fashion in the 90’s was strongly led by designer labels. Statement logo prints on shoes and accessories were extremely popular. People wanted to express they could afford to buy expensive brands and were in full recovery of the 80’s recession.
Another huge influencer on womenswear fashion was 90’s American film, Clueless. Cher Horowitz, aka ‘the queen of the knee-sock’ was the girl every teenager wanted to be. Her infamous matching chequered skirt suits and colour co-ordinated fluffy pens dominated the wardrobes of 90’s female youth.
The 90’s saw the rise of many, reputable fashion designers such as Alexander McQueen who stormed and shocked his way into the fashion industry with his ‘Highland Rape’ collection. Shown at London fashion week in 1995, ‘Highland Rape’ commemorated the English slaughter of his Scottish ancestors.
Androgyny was also a dominant focus in the 1990s for both men and women. Designers such as Helmut Lang, Giorgio Armani and Pierre Cardin created lines of unisex clothing pushing gender ambiguity boundaries.
Unconventional, fashion photography, Corinne Day popularised the term ‘heroin chic’ which was influenced by the waif like female silhouettes of the time. Models such as Kate Moss and Erin O’Connor were key examples of this look.
The 90’s was an extremely exciting and diverse era to experience and deserves more recognition for the movements it made in fashion, music and history.