Throughout history, decades in fashion have fads that are usually coined by the necessary style to be en vogue: the ultra mini skirts in the ’60s, wide flared pants in the ’70s and puffy shoulder pads in the ’80s. The ’90s, however, was the decade of the “anti-fashion,” a dismissal of a defining trend.
Style icons of the ’90s were social misfits, celebrated for their blase attitude and rejection of fashion norms. Courtney Love, wife of Kurt Cobain from the ’90s rock band, Nirvana, was the archetype of “grunge” style. She made it acceptable to be feminine yet “undone” with disheveled hair and lace ruffle skirts being her standard. On the Spring 2017 runways, designers attempted to match her mastery of making romantic edgy. Christian Dior paired intricately embroidered tulle skirts with basic white tees adorned with strong slogans; Coach 1941 contrasted a feminine Peter Pan collared ruffled lace dress with a studded oversized leather jacket.
Another style icon that had a major impact on that decade was Kate Moss. Moss catapulted into fame in the early ’90s, launching the questionable “heroin chic” fashion trend. Her “waif-ish” looks were almost offensive, yet her personal style and fashion choices have been celebrated and consistently launched trends ever since. One look she championed that will forever be synonymous with Moss in the ’90s is the slinky slip dress. For Spring 2017, Prabal Gurung debuted show-stopping chartreuse bias-cut panels with diagonal panels that enhanced the bias even more, along with a ruffle hem for an added flirty quality. At Valentino, a spaghetti-strap, floor-length gown would have been almost too simple, but the jaw-dropping, deep-V gives it that ’90s rebel appeal.
Take advantage of the freedom to mix fabrics this spring. Rock a sexy silk nighty as a top and pair it with ripped jeans and sneakers or sport a lace evening gown with a leather moto jacket. Take risks, have fun and pay tribute to the era that refused to conform.