Thursday, June 20, 2013

Revival of the fittest

What's hip these days? Sure, I alternate between Target sweatpants and J.Crew outlet-store shorts, but I keep up. I do. I don't know why I do, but there it is.

The current look, it seems, is 1990s revival. But that's not specific enough. It's early Elaine Benes crossed with the kids from "Kids"/the boys from my Hebrew school and, later, high school who used to drink 40s and smoke pot on stoops on the Upper West Side. Why has it come to this? It just has. That's what now looks current.

Exhibit A: Emily Weiss. The dress, the shoes. This Frenchwoman, because if a Frenchwoman in 2013 dresses like a 15-year-old Jewish skater kid circa 1995, we must take note. Also: whatever this was about.

Exhibit B: Garance Doré, who basically tells us: this is what's in fashion.

Exhibit C: the persistence of Chloe Sevigny as a style icon.

We could probably blame Isabel Marant as well - in the public eye what with a (forthcoming? so-last-season?) xH&M collection. But all I know about Marant is that a) some 90-euro but otherwise ordinary white t-shirt a friend and I had fun mocking in Paris was a Marant, and b) she's responsible for the resurgence of the wedge sneaker. I imagine Isabel Marant involves some kind of nouveaux JNCOs, but could be way off.

What this does mean, though, is, florals and Converse. No more premium denim, as that wasn't invented until circa 2003. Adidas Sambas, apparently, as someone fashiony I follow on Pinterest has declared. It's not preppy, but it's not really subcultural, either. It's the Gap from before the chain tried to offer more than basics. It's borrowed-from-the-boys, but not menswear-chic. To keep from veering over into cross-dressing - which is nice and all, but not generally Fashion, which merely plays at bending rules - this can be feminized either with a long floral Elaine dress or, more troublingly, with a crop-top. These are back, it seems.

The convenient thing about this trend for me is that I'm not sure I ever did get past 1998-ish in my own style. It's not that I haven't shopped since then, but what I'm drawn to in stores probably is typically that which I'd have been drawn to at whichever formative age. So maybe it's just that the tastemakers are give or take my age, and these outfits say 'the cool kids three grades ahead of me' to them as well.

7 comments:

Britta said...

1) Good thing I've kept my 1997 Gap overall shorts, and 2) too bad my boyfriend just made me get rid of my 1996 wide-wale brown corduroy overalls, although they were probably too baggy for this trend. I like to wear my overalls as more Soviet-realist chic, with a sheer peasant blouse and kerchief on my head.

Rachel said...

Florals and converse I can do (all I need is the converse). Overalls not so much.

On a related note, I feel like this heinous new Miley Cyrus video has both an "early 1990s" and "now" feel going on at the same time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LrUvu1mlWco#at=146

Savages in Memphis said...

Adidas Sambas never went out of style, did they? They've been a wardrobe staple for almost everyone my age since middle school. Of course, that could just be a 90s fad that we never let go of...which might be just as bad.

For some reason I keep buying this brick red lip color that I love, but makes me feel very 1997 so I usually take it off. Maybe that'll come back too, and I can finally get some use out of it.

fourtinefork said...

Vaguely on topic: I saw Parker Posey in my yoga class recently. She had the haircut I had in the late 80s (short, permed, with short permed bangs; it was extremely unattractive on young me and not much better on her.) I honestly couldn't figure out if she was doing it for a role, or if it was just her hairstyle.

Phoebe said...

Wow, and on a post to which I expected zero comments!

Britta:

Baggy corduroy sounds right - think skaters. A peasant blouse, though, is, I think, very Marant.

Rachel:

Watched a few seconds of that, and with the sound off. It looks like a cross between a Birthright Israel trip and an American Apparel ad. Which might well mean it looks "now." Yikes.

Savages in Memphis:

Sambas, like Converse, never became unacceptable, but they go in and out of being trendy. And the dark-red/brownish-red 1990s lip is totally back.

Fourtinefork:

That, too, is back. Unless that ITG post, from April 1, was just messing with us.

fourtinefork said...

Holy crap. Yes, Phoebe, PP totally had Nicole Kidman's hair.



Phoebe said...

Great - now I can stop growing out my bangs and embrace the frizz! (Not that I plan on doing either.)