mid-day 38th anniversary: Style trends from the '90s that are still going strong

Jun 23, 2017, 14:45 IST | Shweta Shiware

As defining as Seattle's grunge bands was the '90s slip dress. That and other style trends we refuse to abandon

mid-day 38th anniversary

Fashion of the '90s was everything, from grunge to glamour, heroin chic to hero worship, maxi to minimalism. Ramps turned into a creative playground for the likes of John Galliano, Victor & Rolf, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Commes des Garcons.

Back in India, the first contingent of design talent, Rohit Khosla, Shahab Durazi, Tarun Tahiliani, Ravi Bajaj, Suneet Varma, Rohit Bal, Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla and Wendell Rodricks reckoned a fragmented identity into what's known as the Indian fashion industry. "It was an important gestation period for Indian fashion, which led to the formation of Lakmé India Fashion Week in 2000, the country's first consolidated fashion event," says Rodricks.

The DIY approach to the dress became the norm in the '90s, giving the wearer the freedom to choose and indulge in self-expression through style. "It was a leveling period for the public as well as designers. The '90s taught us to pick-and-mix clothes and styles, not be slave to the head-to-toe branded look," he adds.

It was also the time that gave us a lasting universe of style staples, some of which remain unquestioned till today.

Reinvented with a dash of R&B, denim finds itself in an exciting place right now. While cropped jackets and slim-cut jeans will never go out of juice, designers are making a case for dressed up denims in embroidery and patchwork in airy, wide leg, off-duty options available in athleisure, kick flair cropped ankles, and tailored pleated-front avatars. Today's denim is distressed like it was in the '90s, but it's also sophisticated.

We'd like to believe that this trend has less to do with Sporty Spice, and more about an attitude shift toward easy elegance that's making athletic-inspired tracksuits, super-fine cricket sweaters, bomber jackets, skater hoodies and fencing uniforms, widely delectable.

Victoria Beckham's Ready to Wear Spring Summer 2017 collection at New York Fashion Week saw her serenade velvet
Victoria Beckham's Ready to Wear Spring Summer 2017 collection at New York Fashion Week saw her serenade velvet

Part punk, part-working class, grunge was inarguably the biggest movement of the '90s. It offered an education in putting together a slovenly-uncoordinated look with distinct edge illustrated by Nirvana's frontman Kurt Cobain in tatty tees and sneakers, moth-eaten sweaters, shredded jeans. It's now interpreted in sub-genres like indie grunge or grunge chic. Aside from its off-kilter impact, grunge took a stand on the politics behind clothing, repurposing the "anything goes" anti-fashion mantra of the '90s.

Sex and the City
It's been 19 years since its debut episode, but Sex & The City's Carrie Bradshaw's quirky style influences how we talk, walk and wear fashion. This series embodied urban fashion trends as much as it introduced them, with each character's style prompting immediate personality indicators (Carrie name necklace). It gave women legit permission to aspire to Blahniks, Louboutins, the Fendi baguette handbag, and made the Apple Macbook look incredibly stylish.

The slip dress
Thankfully, this innerwear-as-outerwear trend now finds itself without the fitted T-shirt that saw fantastical success in the '90s. At once recalling the decade's minimalism with heaps of oomph, the soft lingerie-dressing look conveys a confident message in bias-cut styles and romantic fabrics like lame, satin and leather. In one clean sweep, the slip dress shunned the restrictions of the 1980s. Kate Moss wore it best, at a 1993 do: a sheer number offset by black bikini underwear.

A model wears a plaid hat at Prada Spring/Summer 2017 at Milan Men's Fashion Week

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