It feels like a decade ago but it belongs to another century and another millennium. People born in the 90s are now 30 years old! Feeling old yet?
However, we can’t just forget 90s fashion and what it meant to those of us who were adults then and to those of us who are exploring the era for the first time now. Even though it was only a decade it was so full of trends that one little article is not enough to talk about all of them.
It started with rejecting the 80s excess as minimalism became the new luxury. Calvin Klein’s slip dresses were the stars of the runways in New York, while in Milan a quiet revolution was beginning by Jil Sander’s simplicity in line and colors.
Even the rising technology had a place in fashion in the 90s. Helmut Lang live-streamed his collection, a trend we see now in 2021. Alexander McQueen on the other hand presented for fall/winter ’99 a molded bodysuit lit up with LED lights for his new role at Givenchy.
All of the above and much more appear in Colleen Hill’s new book “Reinvention and Restlessness; Fashion in the 90s”. The presentation of the decade and all of the opposing movements that took place during it, make the 90s even more appealing.
Moreover, it makes us realize how close icons in the 90s were to the future. Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana, was promoting gender fluidity by wearing floral dresses, and at the same time Marc Jacobs, now an advocate for non-binary fashion, was fired for his 1993 grunge-inspired collection as the designer of Perry Elis.
Concluding, the 90s heavily influenced the future of fashion. More and more people decided to follow fashion studies and Central St Martins in London seemed to produce icon after icon like Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Stella McCartney, and Hussein Chalayan. Also, sustainability was not in the dictionary back then but it sure was a practice and a great example of it was Bjork, a muse for many designers, who wore a sweater of intact army socks.
Thinking about the 90s makes us wonder: do we want to go back or do we accept the gifts that the decade offered us and we move forward? Nevertheless, it is difficult to ignore this legendary decade, hence we adopt the 90s fashion trends once more.
Words by: Vasiliki Roussou