[Best Fashion Moments of the 90s]

Yes, the ’90s are back in a big way, and being the nostalgic group that we are, we couldn’t be happier about it. To truly appreciate today’s trend, we suggest looking back on its origins. Join us on our trip down memory lane as we recount the most memorable fashion moments of the 1990s.



The Supers (1990)

When the ’90s began, the “supermodel” was born. Ladies like Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, and Linda Evangelista—who famously said that she didn’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day—ruled the runways and captivated the world with their otherworldly good looks. The iconic photographs that Peter Lindbergh shot of the supers in the early ’90s are still widely used as editorial inspiration, and George Michael’s “Freedom ’90” video, which features many of the women, is, in our humble opinion, still one of the greatest music videos ever made.


Madonna’s Cone Bra (1990)

Madonna is a fashion icon across the decades, but one of her most memorable (and most copied) signature looks was the cone bra that Jean Paul Gaultier designed for her Blond Ambition Tour in 1990.

Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990)

Girls across America couldn’t wait to try out the looks they saw on the ’90s drama, which featured a group of stylish rich kids from Southern California who were basically living the teen dream. From Brenda’s bangs and floral babydoll dresses to Donna’s scrunchies and eccentric ensembles, fans would tune in to find—and subsequently copy—the biggest trends at Beverly Hills High.

Quirky TV Sweethearts (1991)

A group of offbeat fashion icons emerged in the early ’90s, giving girls everywhere the confidence to be themselves and wear whatever they want. Blossom Russo will forever be remembered for her hats, Clarissa Darling’s mixed prints and oversize Keith Haring t-shirts are the stuff of legends, and Kelly Kapowski could pull off a crop top like no other. Other early ’90s television style stars we remember fondly are Kelly Bundy ofMarried With Children and resident rich girl Lisa Turtle of Saved by the Bell.


Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain (1991)

The king and queen of Seattle grunge, Kurt and Courtney are arguably the most influential couple in 1990s fashion. The Hole frontwoman was known for her torn, sheer slips, dark makeup, and babydoll dresses, and is credited for popularizing the “kinderwhore” look that had a moment in the early ’90s. Similarly, the Nirvana singer arguably started the entire grunge trend, with his mismatched, oversized outfits and shaggy mop of hair. We can’t think of anyone in history who could make a flannel look so good, and with so little effort.


Winona Ryder: Style Icon (1991)

Ryder was the ultimate ’90s “It” Girl. In the early part of the decade, she scored a number of roles in cult-classic films, including Edward Scissorhandsand Reality Bites, and her tomboyish style quickly caught the public’s attention. Her raven pixie cut and all-black red-carpet ensembles became her signatures. Plus, it didn’t hurt that she had Johnny Depp on her arm for a number of years. Say it with us: Winona forever.


The Fresh Prince Effect (1992)

Vibrant streetwear was an early ’90s style staple. Will Smith became a bonafide trendsetter on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air with his colorful tracksuits, Zubaz pants, and impressive collection of Jordans. Hip-hop group TLC followed suit, and often performed in oversized t-shirts and mens’ shorts, complete with cartoonish accessories in crazy colors.

Kate Moss for Calvin Klein (1992)

In the early ’90s, a waifish girl from London came into all of our lives and changed the fashion world forever. The antithesis of the supermodels that ran the beginning of the decade, the teenaged model ushered in the era of “heroin chic,” which celebrated androgyny and incredibly slim figures. One of Moss’ first campaigns was for Calvin Klein, in which she snuggled up with Marky Mark in nothing but her skivvies.mcx-90-fashion-perry-ellis-marc-jacobs-lgn

Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis Grunge Collection (1992)

In a career-defining moment, Jacobs, who was then the creative director at Perry Ellis, showed a grunge-inspired collection for spring/summer 1993 that promptly got him fired. The layered plaids, cashmere thermals, beanies, and Doc Martens that he sent down the runway were the staples of his generation, and they all still resonate today. If you’ve never seen the show in full (and we really think you should), you can watch it right heremcx-90-fashion-drew-barrymore-lgn

Drew Barrymore: Style Icon (1993)

With her unique flower-child-meets-wild-child look, the actress was one of the decade’s most badass style stars. She took elements of grunge—dark makeup, choppy hair, tattoos—and mixed them with bohemian staples like daisy chains for an aesthetic that was all her own.


“The Rachel” Haircut (1994)

On the early seasons of Friends, Jennifer Aniston’s character Rachel Green became famous for her layered, choppy haircut, created by stylist Chris McMillan. It remains one of the most iconic hairstyles of all time, and was the most requested celebrity cut of the ’90s.mcx-90-fashion-gwyneth-brad-lgn

Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt’s Red Carpet Reign (1994)

As one of the most beloved couples of the ’90s, Brad and Gwyneth’s relationship was well-documented until the pair parted ways. The duo was often photographed on the red carpet in coordinating outfits—and for a short period, matching haircuts—and their looks spanned the spectrum of ’90s trends, from stark minimalism to grunge.

The Spice Girls (1995)

A mid-’90s British invasion came in the form of five bubbly ladies in some seriously flashy outfits. The Spice Girls celebrated girl power and individuality, so Scary, Baby, Ginger, Sporty, and Posh each contributed unique looks that young women all over the world admired. We can credit the Spice Girls with the popularity of platform shoes, pigtail buns, and, of course, lots of body glitter.mcx-90-fashion-gwen-stefani-lgn

Gwen Stefani: Style Icon (1995)

The face of the SoCal ska-punk movement in the mid-’90s happened to be a bleached blonde ball of energy by the name of Gwen Stefani. The No Doubt frontwoman was known for her athletic build and style, often performing in nothing but cargo pants and a cropped beater, topped off with a bindi and a head full of tiny buns. Nearly two decades later, Stefani still has the best abs in the biz.

Tom Ford’s Gucci Revival (1995)

In 1994, Tom Ford became the creative director at Gucci after many years designing for the brand. He debuted a sexed-up, jet set-inspired collection for fall 1995, complete with a provocative ad campaign styled by Carine Roitfeld. This collection is credited with saving Gucci from imminent collapse—in the year after Ford’s show, sales at Gucci increased by a whopping 90%.mcx-90-fashion-clueless-alicia-silverstone-lgn

Clueless (1995)

Cher Horowitz, who singlehandedly taught the world the importance of Alaïa, will forever be one of the most celebrated style icons in film. Plus, who wouldn’t want her revolving closet?mcx-90-fashion-empire-records-lgn

Empire Records (1995)

Liv Tyler was the ultimate ’90s babe—who could forget her role, alongside Alicia Silverstone, in the ’93 video for Aerosmith’s “Crazy”?—and her look as Corey in this classic flick made her an instant icon. The cropped fuzzy sweater, plaid schoolgirl skirt, and lace-up combat boots that she made famous are now all wardrobe classics, and were even back on the runways last season.


Gianni Versace’s Final Couture Show (1997)

Versace was one of the most influential fashion designers of the ’90s, and he staged his last couture show—which is still widely used for inspiration today—at the Ritz in Paris, less than a year before he was tragically murdered at his Miami home.

Sex and the City (1998)

Two words: Carrie Bradshaw. We can’t even begin to count how many trends that Sarah Jessica Parker’s character singlehandedly started, but many of the world’s most well-known fashion brands (we’re looking at you, Manolo Blahnik) owe her quite a bit of thanks.mcx-90-fashion-pop-princesses-lgn

The Pop Princesses (1998)

The late ’90s ushered in an era of bubblegum pop, with Britney Spears leading the pack. Her sexy, belly-baring schoolgirl uniform in the video for “…Baby One More Time” paved the way for the low-slung jeans, navel rings, miniskirts, and bedazzled tank tops that would characterize the end of the decade’s style. Shortly after, ladies like Christina Aguilera, Mandy Moore, and Jessica Simpson would debut their own twists on the tarted-up look that was every father of a teenager’s worst nightmare.

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