It started as an ironic niche a few years ago. The progressive-regression of nineties appreciation has since leapt from simple F.R.I.E.N.D.S. reruns to a completely infiltrated wardrobe. Cropped tanks, overalls, slip dresses and logo tees have all found their way from ‘discarded and done’ to ‘most wanted’. Infamous cuts of the original grunge vs. glam era have thrived within the latest collections of major design houses, while a brand new generation has become inspired by fashion legacies of 90s icons such as Winona Rider, Liv Tyler and Kate Moss.
Now establishing itself as another recurrent Holy-Grail fashion moment, 1990 was the new dawn, nipping at the heels of its predecessor, taunting it to tighten up its hemlines, reveal navel-low cleavage and go vampishly monochrome. And to personify this sexy shock-of-the-new, the first supermodels exploded into being. A now-iconic group of women (think Cindy, Naomi, Claudia, Helena, Christy, Stephanie and Linda) famously went from being models of the 80s to the Super kind of the 90s. Brandishing long limbs, high volume hair and Amazonian heights they made clothes and sex interchangeable for the first time. Their campaigns for labels like Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Valentino and Versace became head turning not only for fashionistas, but suddenly for everyone within billboard eye-view.
So, call it pedestal-held nostalgia or simply our love for an ironic redux, the nineties (this time with generous eighties and noughties overtones) is big business once again. Likely adding fuel to this pre-millennium obsession too, is the supermodel new-gen. In particular, the fresh branches on some of the world’s most famously fashionable family trees. Ingénue model Kaia Gerber, who is a time-machine version of her mother Cindy Crawford and has already walked for Prada, Saint Laurent and Chanel among others. Bella and Gigi Hadid who, cut from the cloth of their former-model mother Yolanda Hadid, can create an ironic fashion trend as easily as they can a headline. And Hailey Baldwin, the Off-White muse and face of Guess, who was born into one of the most famous nineties surnames of America, is the epitome of 1995-done-now.
But, of course, this nineties resurgence is not new. We’ve seen the new-old street grunge, we’ve bought the bias-cut slip dresses and brandished well-known logos all over our ready-to-wear…so what’s next?
On the cusp of everywhere right now is the return of the low, low front jean and the ‘boob-tube’ bandeau but it’s the revival of the little, little black dress that has us inspired. The micro-mini evening frock that is equal parts daringly sexy and dashingly elegant. Its snug fit and Pretty Woman- esque length are revisiting the legs-for-days thing and creating a svelte silhouette that would be right at home in a Robert Palmer video. Think Victoria Beckham’s Posh Spice uniform, Jennifer Aniston when she was but a sitcom star, Drew Barrymore in her devil-may-care era and Winona Ryder emerging as the it-girl she has remained.
Of course, design houses like Saint Laurent, Balmain and Givenchy have rarely strayed from this femme fatale figure. Their designs have long preached the power of the little, little black dress. The SS18 and FW18 collections of both these, and modern era labels like Isabel Marant, Redemption, Alexandre Vauthier and Alexander Wang, have all showcased versions of the micro mini.
And the new-gens are drinking the Kool-Aid. Repping this head-turning look down runways and at just about every A-List event.
It’s a style likely to reach fever pitch during our cooler season, as the northern hemisphere hits their heat. However, when the mercury drops here, simply wear your LLBD with another vintage favourite: sheer black pantyhose. Along with a set of mid-rise stretch boots or a pointy kitten heel, sleek hair and a bold lip, your style will be fiercely on trend…and possibly all-to-familiar. At least if not to you, then to your mother.
(in gallery above) Zara dress, $39.95 SHOP NOW; Sir the Label ‘Margot’ dress, $250 SHOP NOW; AJE ‘Arkaba’ dress, $495 SHOP NOW Ellery ‘Holey Sunshine’ dress, $750 from Desordre SHOP NOW; Zhivago ‘The Forge’ dress, $595 SHOP NOW; By The Way ‘Gianna’ dress, $83 SHOP NOW; Isabel Marant ‘Zeller’ dress, $US1216 from Matches Fashion SHOP NOW; Jacquemus ‘La Robe Conga’ dress, $560 from My Chameleon SHOP NOW