The 90s are back! Yes, again. It takes at least three revivals before the final traces of the confusing, noisy mélange that characterises present-day reality is filtered out, and we are left with the true essence of an era. This process boiled the hoary old 80s down from its original state (a tediously complex mess of contradictions which accurately reflected the experience of anyone who was there) until all that remained was a go-to psychological montage of a man on a trading floor shouting into a giant mobile phone intercut with some stock footage of Pepsi Shirlie wearing ra-ra skirts.
If I asked you to think about the 80s for a moment, some variation on that sequence is probably among the first search results your grey matter would return. It’s immaterial that neither of us is likely to have ever been on a trading floor or enjoyed a poolside piña colada with Wham’s backing vocalists.
Once, when I had the opportunity to quiz an actual Beatle about being an actual Beatle, I asked Paul McCartney whether he remembered the experience from the inside out or, like the rest of us (even those of us who hadn’t yet been born), from the outside in. Did he remember running down that train platform filming A Hard Day’s Night or the edit that made the cinema screen? It was the latter.
As Napoleon observed: “History is a pack of lies agreed upon.” This is never more the case than when it comes to fashion. We are at the right distance from the 90s to have selected the fabrications that will constitute its aesthetic chemical formula. So, regardless of what you were wearing at the time, that means: slip dresses, crop tops, logos, dungarees, plaid, platforms and minimalism. The people doing the selecting include the brains behind the spring/summer collections at Alexander Wang, Rag Bone, DKNY and Victoria Beckham, which all showed a strong 90s influence.
If you want to shop this look and have the cash to splash, you can get a slip dress just like Kate Moss used to wear from Haider Ackermann at Net-a-Porter. For a more purse-friendly option, try Mint Velvet.
Crop tops and logos were huge on the runway this season. You can reference both with Mango’s tee in homage to Alexander Wang’s “Parental Advisory” sweater (I’d argue logos should come with a warning sticker of their own, but I don’t want to spoil the fun), or try a “bralet” from Topshop. American Apparel and Asos are doing 90s dungarees, there is cute plaid to be had at APC, and you can spice up your shoe cupboard with some platforms from Whistles.
Alternatively, if all that seems like too much hard work, remember that minimalism is also back in. This pretty white frock from Hobbs will solve all your problems, so long as you stock up on stain remover.
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