Fashion Journal: 1990-1999

We have finally reached the last decade of the fashion journal series, and while I’m sad to see it go, it was a ton of research and writing to conduct! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I’ve loved putting it together. Anti-conformity was a huge part of the 1990s aesthetic, influenced by the popularity of grunge and alternative rock. In the western world, the 90s saw the mainstream introduction of tattoos, body piercings, and various other forms of body modifications. A lot of the 1990s fashion recycled trends from previous decades, like the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. With that being said, you may see some familiar shapes and colors!

Left: A silk lilac number paired with summer sandals in 1995

A notable style from the 1990s was the underwear-as-outerwear trend. Baby doll dresses, which drew inspiration from the 1960s, were printed in shiny fabrics like satin, sequins, silk, and vinyl. Dollskill once again has caught my eye with this 90s-inspired slip dress with a pretty feather trim. I also love that the model on the right looks straight out of the 1990s- chokers, tattoos, bleached hair, and big earrings. The garment has been updated to have adjustable straps, and, of course, the feather embellishment. I think the slip dress is a graceful nod to the 1990s aesthetic, and I love the direction Dollskill decided to take it.

Top: Acid-wash shorts, circa mid 1990s

As I said, previous decades had a heavy influence on the trends of the 1990s. The hippie movement in particular made a comeback with the grunge subculture, as seen in these 90s acid-wash shorts. I love these shorts because they’re decorated with DIY-slogans and pictures, celebrating the psychedelic style of the 1960s while still remaining very grungy and punk. The shorts on the bottom are sold by Poshmark, and are similar in regards to the wash and cut. The Poshmark shorts also drew inspiration from the handmade-inspired prints, like the flowers and a peace symbol with the word “love”. The modern shorts, however, are a lot less colorful and overwhelming than the 90s ones, so I don’t consider them to be an exact copy or replication. Rather, Poshmark took inspiration from these grungy shorts, and put their own modern spin on them.

Left: Vintage 1990s Jill Sander dress

I couldn’t talk about the 1990s without bringing up the gothic subculture, which is one of my personal favorites to draw inspiration from. Gothic fashion peaked in the late 1990s among American, British, and German youth, who wanted to break from the preppy mainstream style. On the left is a 1990s Jill Sander sheer gothic dress with bell sleeves, and on the right, a more modern adaption. The dress has been updated to have a lace-up front, and it’s much shorter, but the thick bell sleeves are still the iconic statement of the piece. The dress has also incorporated a flowy, free figure- a popular silhouette in the 1990s. I absolutely adore that vintage Jill Sander dress- too bad it’s $672!




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