A fresh-faced Kate Moss in a semi-transparent slip dress, Princess Diana in casual sportswear and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy in straight jeans topped with a fresh white shirt; the ‘90s clearly left an impressively enduring mark on the fashion world. Fast forward more than 20 years, and the style is making a triumphant return, with many top models and influencers lapping up the ‘90s look. Contemporary designers are also giving the nineties a modern upgrade. Why has the iconic nineties style chosen 2020 to make its comeback? We did some digging.
The ‘90s then: back to minimalism
After the eccentric and glamorous looks that dominated the 1980s street scene, the ‘90s ushered in a welcome period of minimalism, abound with clean designs. The nineties offered a clean slate; fashion had a certain purity, championing comfort and minimalism as opposed to glamour. Everyday looks were worn with gloriously natural flair, resulting in a relaxed yet singular style. From the OG Supermodels (the likes of Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Cindy Crawford) in semi-transparent slip dresses and party girls like Paris Hilton in velour tracksuits to stylish off-duty model looks with loose-fit jeans and oversized blazers; the style icons of the ‘90s were disparate but above all, authentic.
‘90s style in 2020: a focus on comfort
Fashion is repetitive by nature. And yet it is striking how, in many ways, the famous ‘90s style appears to be the perfect fit for the current times. In 2020, the nineties are once again bringing a breath of fresh air to the industry, in a period in which uncomplicated designs are more than ever in demand. Contemporary fashion houses are giving a modern twist to the hottest nineties trends, which are beginning to populate the wardrobes of many. From oversized blazers to chunky boots and leather trench coats; various styles are making a comeback, inspired by the looks of Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston (aka Rachel Green from hit series Friends), circa 1998. After the most significant trends? We’ve got you covered:
The leather trench coat
The futuristic film The Matrix had a massive impact on ‘90s fashion, and it’s at it again in 2020, with the long leather trench coat. The item has been spotted on countless supermodels and street style stars, and is in the collections of brands including Selected Femme and Noisy May. These labels prove that the practical coat offers a classic yet daring twist to your nineties approved autumn wardrobe.
The slip dress
If there’s one dress that’s synonymous with nineties style, it has to be the slip dress. Great as casual daywear or as an evening dress, with the best-known incarnation being the semi-transparent offering worn by a young Kate Moss in 1993 (the ‘naked dress’). Brands like Setre and Y.A.S have updated the dress design for 2020, adding colourful, practical silhouettes.
Inspired by the looks of the late Lady Di and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, the addition of an oversized blazer brings undeniable nineties style to every look. The casual item is making an impressive comeback, being combined with both tight jeans and baggy trousers for a flawless style, as seen at fashion labels including Peppercorn and 2nd Day.
This season’s most sought-after boots are once again – befitting of the ‘90s style – a blend of comfort and fashion statement. The result: the popular chunky boot. As demonstrated by our favourite ‘90s style icons, the shoe design is both stylish and practical. In 2020, brands including Nikkie and Just Female are reinventing the boot with a high, narrow shaft and rubber soles that (believe it or not) are even more robust than back in the nineties.
Written by Lara Oliveri