The single best thing about fashion is that it is ever-changing. Constantly shifting. Patterns morph from diagonal stripes to polka dots, colors fade from deep magentas to pastel pinks, textures transform from heavy wool cloaks to sheer summery crop tops. Each new season brings about fresh sprouts of inspiration, reinvention, and revolution. Fashion has turned itself inside and out and then repeated the cycle back again.
New York City is no exception to this natural wave of washing up and reusing old trends. The twenty-first century has recently been facing a resurgence of 90s style trends that appear to have been deemed à la mode, thus resurfacing on the streets of our city’s fashion-forward districts.
The twentieth century grunge look was once popularized by the Seattle grunge music scene, and consequently spread like wildfire throughout the country as fans sported loose flannel shirts paired with black beanies. These articles of wear have been popping up across the pages of fashion magazines and celebrity wardrobes once again, along with the infamous Doc Martens and combat boots to complete the look.
Ripped, torn, distressed. Basically anything that looks as if it’s just nearly escaped the jaws of a rabid bulldog have also hit the market as haute couture in the form of jeans, T-shirts, and overalls. Paired with crop tops once worn by all your favorite 90s stars, (Think All That, Rugrats, The Amanda Show…) and you would think New York City fashion week’s models had walked straight out of a time warp.
And no, harem pants did not suddenly spring up on the racks of that discreet little Soho boutique that always seems to have a fresh stock of the most compliment-worthy pieces. Parachute pants, also known as skidz or zubaz were vibrant, patterned pants with drawstrings that became a unanimous hit after MC Hammer debuted them in his hit music video “U Can’t Touch This.”
Not only are A-list celebrities currently attempting to bring back the fanny pack in everything from Chanel to nylon, but bandanas as well as bucket hats seem to be cropping up in the accessories department once again after being briefly overshadowed by floppy hats and floral headbands.
Pop art prints in neon colors were all the rage throughout the 1990s, having resurfaced from 1960s color block themes. Unfailingly, the harlequin checks and black/white patterns have once again hit the runways in the form of body-con dresses, biker shorts, and oversized tees.
To counteract these bold wardrobe choices, romantic floral prints and lacey pieces added a touch of femininity to 90s style. And it appears as if these particular pieces never quite went out of style, as they now take the shape of shawls, blazers, maxi dresses, and more.
So, before you trash last season’s buys take a second to consider the pennies you’ll save by boxing away the same exact threads and dusting them off in a few years’ time!