Friday, August 2, 2013
90s Fashion Is Now Vintage . . . And I'm Okay with That
The technical description of vintage is clothing from at least 20 years ago. Months ago, I had an argument with a student about whether his early 90s Calvin Klein coat was vintage. I was adamant that it wasn't . . . until I did the math. Yep, that's 20 years. Anything from 1993 or earlier is vintage, my friends.
After I got over the initial outrage (Am I really that old?!), I settled into nostalgia. After all, the 90s was MY DECADE. I can give you lots of reasons why I love the era: Grunge, Riot Grrrls, 'zines, combat boots, babydoll dresses, ripped fishnets, Clueless, Singles, Reality Bites, flannel shirts, Hole, Sleater-Kinney, The Breeders, Veruca Salt, Alanis Morrisette, 10 Things I Hate About You, etc etc etc.
I mean, that's some quality pop culture. I could compare it to today's pop culture, but I'll start to sound like an old lady waving her cane at the kids on her lawn.
My nostalgia for the decade turned into the realization that vintage = hip. And that means that perhaps the 90s could now be long enough ago to be due for a complete resurfacing in pop culture.
If you think about it, the idea of a 90s resurrection is highly appealing. I'm not talking just about fashion. Yes, the some of the 2012 and 2013 runway shows had a distinct Grunge vibe. But bringing back combat boots and granny dresses is possibly the least interesting impact 90s nostalgia could have on today's zeitgeist. Think about it: what if Riot Grrrl came back from the dead in all its glory? Music could really use an influx of the angry, indie grrl variety.
From a feminist standpoint, there seems to have been some regression in our movement since the 90s. When I look back at videos from the 90s (Veruca Salt's Seether from 1994 is a great example), I'm struck by how comfortable the women seem in their bodies, how little concern they have for trying to look "sexy." (And yet, they are really freaking sexy.) Did they get manicures and bikini waxes before shooting that video? Hell no.
Seether will be 20 years old next year--hey, that's vintage! Meanwhile, Veruca Salt is in the midst of a reunion. If I were a newspaper, those two facts (coupled with the recent mild interest in 90s fashion) would be enough for me to write a trend piece declaring an imminent Riot Grrrl revival. I don't think it's that simple, sadly. But even a little injection of that 90s spirit into music, art, fashion, and literature, would be amazing (for lack of a better word).
What do you think, readers? Is it time for a neo-90s movement?