1995 to 2015: Fashion Goes Full Circle
When I was a teen in the 90’s, the hair was fluorescent, the patterns were dark plaid and the lipstick was dark purple. Large, overexaggerated sunflower prints on shift dresses were in – a nod towards the 60s. All of these trends have reached their zenith yet again in 2015. I find this both amusing and bewildering, like being in a strangely deformed time capsule, where I’m looking at 20 year olds who are all walking around on the university campus wearing the same clothes I used to wear when I was listening to Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins.
To my dismay, the other day I witnessed the quintessentially 90’s look of: the white t-shirt and black spaghetti strap dress combo that was originally sported by Rachel on Friends and copied everywhere. Still to this day that trend mystifies me, but it was a thing and when you’re 14 you tend to follow every trend.
Living in the shadow of sirens
I think being a teenager during any era, you walk in the shadow of beautiful women who grace the covers of magazines. These women’s faces feel so familiar to me and that’s because as a young girl I would read these magazines and inadvertently pay homage to the beauty of these women if only because I paid attention to the magazines themselves.
What We Realise As Grown-up Women
However quite fittingly, as an adult I realised that beauty, fashion and models were simply gorgeous inanimate, passive props selling an idea or aesthetic, just like a hat or a fur stole.
All of these women were the fashion world’s equivalent of animal trophies hanging on a wall or stuffed with sawdust in a museum. Viewers will marvel forever at their physicality, prowess, natural beauty and youth captured in perpetuity in images, but yet there reality is waiting in the wings.
We also need to remember that these women all undoubtedly lived their lives away from the lights and cameras, they all had careers, husbands, children, they travelled, saw things, had real lives, hurts and triumphs. Yet here they are immortalised forever as perfect young things wearing great clothes and appearing like this is it. It’s like a gigantic sneaky lie!
People are young – then they get older – then they get really old – then eventually they die! Does fashion accept this though? Never! Fashion in a scrambling denial of our mortality, cries out for younger fresher blood and meat.
Supermodels from the 90’s: Nostalgia and Mortality Smack-Down in 5,4,3,2…
Despite this, these models’ faces make me feel nostalgic for a time where I knew absolutely nothing about the world, felt raw, restless and dangerously impulsive. It’s uncanny seeing their smiling faces for the first time in so many years, as though entering into a time capsule and seeing a friend I used to know.