About a decade ago there was a revival of all things 80’s, where if you were a teenager in London, you’d likely be seen in neon jumpers sourced from vintage stores with a ‘too-cool-to-care about the rips in my oversized attire’ attitude. Calvin Harris had released Acceptable in the 80’s which my friends would drunkenly bob along to at house parties and ‘raves’ in Camden. I use air quotes because I think that we both know that it’s an inflated word for underaged drinking in a public venue. I never attended those awful things and now I think about it, my attendance at house parties were few and far in between. It was all made worse by the emergence of 80’s fashion – the silhouettes, gaudy hair, makeup and well everything. Perhaps, the only redeeming factor of the era being that it was the age of supermodels.
But we have digressed. To really bring out the 80’s, my friends would raid their cool parents’ wardrobes. They were ex-musicians, producers, heads of media companies – they were definitely bohemians and party animals back in the day. If that didn’t work out, there were always the endless rows of musky vintage shops for us to rummage around in. If you’ve ever read any of my other posts on vintage fashion, you’ll know that 70% of the time, I despise it. I looked on at the remaining years of the 80’s craze with a sour disdain. Whichever organ in the human body governs taste spluttered with relief when that scene eventually washed out, like one of the many celebrity has-beens from that time.
The 90’s on the other hand – that was my childhood. To me it symbolises the days of iconic looks like almost everything from Clueless. I’m thrilled to see satin slips closer to lingerie than actual dresses (cue 13 going 30: ‘Honey, I know I’m your best friend, but the slip dress is a little…’) and the resurfacing of the everyday-American’s version of preppy. It was about time you had your moment again, A-line skirts and berets! The best thing is that with this resurgence of 90’s hysteria, we won’t just see it in fashion. The inspiration will flow in from TV shows, just think of all the old series like Friends that Netflix has picked up and how new episodes of Will & Grace are finally gracing our screens again.
I’ve found that what’s ‘on trend’ has been lasting a lot longer than it did back when the 80’s fad was still around. It could be many things but some of my thoughts have been: designers are capitalising on what has worked commercially from their last collection or consumers want to slow down and aren’t ready for a whole new wardrobe every half a year. When it comes to 90’s fashion and how long this will last, I think it’s really a matter of how inventive and adaptive tastemakers will be to the many facets of the style. For example, a firm no to those elastic chokers and yes to skinny cat-eye sunglasses, a la Le Specs. But will I go full out 90’s? Only if Britney dons pigtails and prances down my high school hallway.
Shot in Hong Kong, photos by Chrystal, @chrystlm