Everyone is getting in on the 'Let's look back on the decade' palava in addition to the usual 'end of year' round ups. 'Best of the Noughties', 'Noughties Review', 'What the first decade of the new millennium did for us' etc etc…
In my head, the year 2000 only seems like yesterday and thus looking back on the noughties in retrospect is a bit bizarre when so many things are still fresh and bubbling up at the top of the brain's cauldron. Actually, come to think of it, the 90s, containing my tender teenage/formative years also, only seems like yesterday but I think when I received this invitation to a 90s' Vintage event that will be held at Selfridges in conjunction with Rokit and Beyond Retro in January, it finally thrusted the nail in that decade's coffin. That the 90s wasn't 'only yesterday', that in fact, it was over ten years nearly twenty years (see what I mean about me forgetting that the noughties happened?) ago and that I've grown a lot older than I thought I had in my head. The event at Selfridges is really I guess meant to be an affirmation that the 90s as a period can now be considered somewhat 'old'.
In the typical referential nature of cycles that run in fashion, things were already starting to head in that direction anyway and for the past years, little nuances referencing the '90s' have been dotted about in various guises on the catwalks. The real fact of the matter is though, that people who were barely toddlers in the 90s are now able to pick out items of clothing and say very briskly "Oh, that's so 90s!", thus referring to the decade as if it were something before their time, something remote and distant. I'm not sure where these 90s impressions come from if not from pure memory but perhaps the re-runs of Saved by the Bell, Beverley Hills, ye olde Google Images and seminal films like Clueless etc help things out.
But what of the peeps who do remember that period in time and I'm not just talking about my generation either. It seems like all decades get attributed with style cliches. Sixties = miniskirts. 70s = flower power. 80s = legwarmers etc etc etc. Of course, any person living through each particular period will know that each decade throws up a plethora of style variations with lesser-known sub-cultures, micro-trends perhaps going undocumented. The internet will certainly lay bare the amount of stuff we were into during the noughties, so much so someone will probably build some sort of Wikipedia-like compendium. The 90s falls in that tricky in-between period and I'm hoping it doesn't go the way of decades before where pork pie hats, bomber jackets and Brit-pop parkas become the 90s cliched signposts.
Not being in any way representative of the 'generation of the 90s', I'd love to hear your thoughts on what you recall of the 90s. You can leave comments here or email me. It could also be an image too or perhaps an outfit made up of pieces from the 90s' that no doubt fill racks of many vintage stores today. (Please send images to firstname.lastname@example.org)
For me personally, it was a pretty tumultuous decade that started with fake Disney printed tracksuits forced upon me by my mother (my sister had matching ones in a different colour…) and ended with pretty much the foundations of my personal style that hasn't really shaken much in spirit since 2000. By that, I mean that by the time I was 16/17, my attitude towards style was geared towards the sole aim of making myself happy. Somewhere in the years spent at an extremely enclosed girls' school environment, I started being fed on an inspiration stream of Camden markets, J-17, Japanese/Hong Kong magazines, Claudia Kishi, shopping in Hong Kong and DIY tutorials found in old Bunty annuals that I bought from jumble sales. Pragmatically speaking, I had also developed an affection for skirts over trousers and discovered that layering was one way of counter-acting the fact that I didn't have a 'sexy bod'. So the 'spirit' of my 90s memories results in something like this… an updated version of what I wore involving quite a few items originating from the 90s, what with all the charity/vintage fodder accumulated in the noughties that of course could only really be classified as 90s second hand rejects.
(Uniqlo stripy top, vintage 90s floral lace body, vintage floral trousers from Market Publique, Miss Sixty net skirt from charity shop, H&M knee highs, Vivienne Westwood Rocking Horse rubber platforms)
So, yes contributions please if you do happen to physically recall that decade… and well, for the peeps who can't remember a thing, perhaps if this blog still exists in ten years time, I'll have the urge to recall the noughties…
*I do realise that it's a bit crass of me mentioning Clueless without of course saying the obvious… RIP Brittany Murphy. I don't wish to bestow an outpour of false affection but it has to be noted here, that her famous Tai line from Clueless, "You're a virgin who CAN'T DRIVE!" did forever haunt my formative years up until I err… wasn't a virgin anymore. I still can't bloody drive though!