Surprise, surprise: I’ve found another excuse to talk about the 90s. But this isn’t my fault. Yes, I grew up in the age of Next’s “Too Close.” True, I owned multiple Spice Girl sticker books. But on top of forcing childhood friends to learn the choreography to “Bye Bye Bye” (because if we ever met JC Chasez, that’s how we’ll all win his heart), as people we must recognize how industry’s sense of fashion was timeless. It endured.
See? I’m wearing this exact piece as I’m type right now.
So here’s why any (great) 90s video predicted the best and brightest S/S 2015 trends. You may say the fashion industry's gone dry; that it's indicative of bankrupt imaginations to see barely 15- and 20-year-old trends being recycled already, but I call bullshit. The most interest fashion usually draws from the past and lets us re-appreciate styles we misjudged or dismissed completely. (After all, lest we forget Alexander McQueen's first collection which borrowed from the Victorian era, for heaven's sake.)
So ta da: if you stare at any 90s video long enough, you will find the secret to the upcoming season's success. Or, more specifically, a way to justify wearing a leather catsuit.
Do you know why this is important? Because on top of reminding us all of Barbie’s 80s-and-90s-era heyday, we can live our best Aqua lives, epitomizing the glory of Aqua’s “Barbie Girl.”
I mean. Look. At. This. Shit.
Bright colors, oversize accessories, a plastic-like veneer: both Aqua’s costume director and Jeremy Scott gave us the Barbie worlds we need, and the ones we deserve right now.
Lam, Pucci, and Wu.
Derek Lam, Emilio Pucci, and Jason Wu were just a few of the designers who looked to cowhide for S/S 2015. Or, more accurately, they were the designers to (finally) paid homage to legends like Shania Twain who wore chaps and rode horses in 1995’s “Any Man of Mine.”
Yes, that is a suede vest, motherfuckers. Now let’s try this one on for size:
CHAPS. Why? Because Shania Twain does not fuck around. (She’s from Canada, OK?) And neither does Jewel, whose jacket in “Who Will Save Your Soul” could easily also be a part of Chloe’s collection.
Congratulations to everybody involved with that #artistic camera angle, by the way. Bless you, 1996.
Topshop, Whyred, Margiela, Reformation.
3. Mom jeans
Yes. Exactly like the SNL sketch of yore. Exactly like Topshop, Whyred, and Maison Martin Margiela. And Reformation for that matter. And exactly like Toni Braxton in 1997’s “Un-Break My Heart” (which we covered before because we enjoy true art and the majesty of true style).
See also: Shania Twain, once again, upping the ante in a denim vest, straight out of our 2014-2015 closets.
Somewhere, that belt sits, getting only more powerful.
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Donna Karan, Phillip Lim.
4. Crop tops
As if we’re surprised. As if I didn’t pitch this idea while gazing adoringly at the One Direction shirt I just ordered, daring the weather to ease up so I could wear it. As if Shania’s (see above) didn’t inspire me to update my wardrobe. As if I haven’t been watching shows by Donna Karan and Phillip Lim and thinking, “I can totally wear that.” As if I don’t—to this day—dream of finding Britney’s crop top from the “Crazy” video.
Is there anything more 90s than the crop top? Yes. Lots of things. But in terms of the shiny, happy, plastic-wrapped, almost-in-the-aughts portion of the decade? No: The Crop Top Is God. And now She has returned, and we will bask in Her glory.
Lacoste, Fay, Stella for Adidas.
5. Athletic wear
For those of us with a penchant for stretchy pants, it’s a beautiful time to be alive. Lacoste, Fay, and Adidas by Stella McCartney have helped propel sportswear back into the mainstream, which means we can finally channel Sporty Spice a.k.a. Mel C and/or Britney Spears circa ’98 once more.
Bonus points if you still know the dance moves, and endless respect if you also tried to wear your school uniform like Brit-Brit’s. Speaking of which…
Olympia Le-Tan, Marc Jacobs.
6. School style
This brings me to my next Very Important Point: Britney Spears’ video for “Baby One More Time” is one of music’s greatest gifts. First, we have Britney’s feather hair accessories. Second, we’ve got a modern take on what was probably a standard issue school uniform (which, for the record, is not welcomed in most high schools, as I can confirm based on my own experience trying to “loosen up” my look by un-tucking my shirt in ninth grade). And here’s how B-Squad feels about that.
Fendi, Givenchy, Valentino, Dsquared2.
7. Feathers and lace
Feathers! An accessory we all found in TLC’s “No Scrubs” video, which was surprising since it was set in the future and/or internet. But still.
Equally baffling: Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez’s lace, that looked fantastic, duh, but still seemed relatively out of place within the World Wide Web.
“Fuck your rules.” - TLC, 100 percent.
And they’re absolutely correct. That’s why we’ll look at the feathers used in collections by Fendi and Erdem, the lace seen in Givenchy and Valentino, the metallics in DSquared2 and come up with the most logical answer: TLC’s “No Scrubs” is as important in 2015 as it was in ’99, and designers have finally recognized. Moving on.
The fact that we don’t talk about “Never Gonna Get It” by En Vogue every day is a disgrace. So let’s do it. Let’s first acknowledge the person who likely sweat to death during the filming of this video:
And then let’s acknowledge the ladies’ early-days-of-Motown-inspired mini-dresses that we can assume Chanel was trying to pay tribute to with their S/S pieces. (And if not Chanel, then certainly Valentin Yudashkin.)
I have no idea what Miley Cyrus’ “This Is What Dreams Are Made Of” so let’s say it’s about this. Nightmares, though, are about this:
9. Seventies-era bohemia
And what would summer be without “festival”-inspired fashion and/or a way to make 70s revival seem new, fresh, and exciting? (Answer: not summer.) This year, we have Valentino and Marchesa paying tribute to the easy, breezy angle of the decade (compared with the highly-polished disco era of later years), which was plucked from the archives of the BSB catalogue.
BOOM. Kevin’s dream girl, how are you? And while we’re here, why not extend a warm welcome to the rest of the “As Long As You Love Me” cast who embodied every single aesthetic of 1997.
Life goals. Technically, this piece could’ve just been this photo and a listing of designers, but fuck that, everyone. I refuse to live in an internet without daily mentions of En Vogue.
Givenchy, Marant, Saint Laurent.
Leather in the spring and summer?! Guys, cool your jets, I’m just the messenger. Givenchy, Isabel Marant, Saint Laurent, and that outfit from the En Vogue video are responsible for what will usher in widespread heatstrokes come June.
JK! It’s the Spice Girls’ fault. Them, their video for “Say You’ll Be There,” and Victoria Beckham’s leather catsuit.
Unrelated: witness the power of Emma Bunton’s blue gloves and Mel B’s leopard bustier.
So there you have it: 10 of the season’s biggest trends brought to you by music videos you probably haven’t thought about as much as I have. Remember, whatever you’re wearing, wherever you bought it, and whenever you did, it’s because of the above videos I just mentioned. Even “Barbie Girl.” Especially “Barbie Girl.” And this person:
Anne T Donahue dreams of metallic, stretchy onesies on the regular. Follow her on Twitter.