Nineties fashion was hard to pin down. A clash of trends screamed for our attention while others were so quietly cool they’re still sartorial staples in our collective wardrobes: slip dresses, Doc Martens, chokers, crop tops.
While the 1980s were all about volume — padded shoulders, puffed jackets, big hair and an obsession with designer wear — style in the early 1990s was decidedly low maintenance.
The slip dress, one of the decade’s most enduring garments, is perhaps the most glaring example of this. Spaghetti straps held up barely-there silk dresses, swapping the frills of the ’80s for minimalist ease.
Weekends were about biker shorts, turtlenecks, high-waisted jeans and baggy, logo tees. Hair was scraped into scrunchies or left as flouncy, unstyled manes.
The ’90s also gave rise to celebrity supermodels, including Linda Evangelista who summed up the industry’s excesses at the start of the decade by saying she didn’t get out of bed “for less than $10,000 a day.”
Evangelista joined Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Christy Turlington for the finale of Versace’s Fall 1991 collection. They walked arm-in-arm down the runway, lip-syncing the lyrics to George Michael’s hit “Freedom! ’90” — the music video for which they had all starred in.
It was a very early-90s moment.
From glam to grunge
By the middle of the decade, however, glamazons had given way to a more relatable type of beauty. A new waif-like femininity emerged, best personified by Kate Moss.