It’s becoming apparent that somewhere towards the end of the 1990s in some mystical, Indiana-Jonesy jungle, Courtney Love, Winona Ryder, Kate Moss and Tori Spelling formed a coven and uncovered the Holy Grail. The fabled golden goblet that claims to hold the secret to eternal youth. To infinite virality. To forever great skin. But, it seems, just as Mossy went to take a swig, Ryder and Love got into a scuffle and alas Grail juice went everywhere. All over every last sequiny, spandexy, platformy, slip-dressy, chequered-flannely, Doc-Martiny piece they had dripping from their It-girl silhouettes.
It was then that the doom was set. What should have been fleeting trend-couture was suddenly embalmed and preserved for all designers for all eternity. Never would the world be free from the threat of a Tencel jean invasion. From the risk of an ironic oversized Planet Hollywood t-shirt flare up. And it would only take the smallest #throwback to send cargo trousers and slip-tops into a neo-norm.
One could argue that Jane Birkin, Farrah Fawcett and Bianca Jagger discovered the Grail long before those of nineties infamy and cast the same spell, for their closets of suede and fringe have remained on suspicious rotation ever since. Or that, in 1989, Michelle Pfeiffer, Madonna and Elle Macpherson spritzed the Holy tipple on to their shoulder pads and bubble skirts before it was too late. These decades seem strangely more palatable, however. We’re able to relish in the romantic retrospection of the seventies and eighties but the nineties are still a little raw for those of us who lived it as our coming-of-style-age. It’s not a forget-where-we-came-from, fooled-by-the-rocks-that-we-got situation but rather a whiplash from the era’s premature glorified hindsight. We’re. Just. Not. Ready.
But ready or not, here they come. Donatella’s usual golden slickness was fraught with roughed-up Nirvana grunge this season, while Miuccia’s Addams Family ethic re-delivered lace-and-boots emo-culture. Lanvin’s new director Bruno Sialelli hit us with flip-back-brim hats (you know, like Blossom’s) while Virgil dared to reinterpret chequerboard squares for Off-White – last seen in 1999 all over everything at General Pants. Jeremy Scott gave us moto-denim with Courtney Love cuddling up to him post show and Anthony Vaccarello blew new life into neon feathers for Saint Laurent with Kate Moss cheering from the front row. Hmm, the coven returneth.
With season after season hitting us with nineties glory, perhaps it’s time to accept our cyclical fate. Ride out the redux in Prada’s combat boots, Simone Rocha’s grungey petticoats and Miu Miu’s sky-high platforms. It’s all getting pretty chic anyway, we might actually enjoy it. Just, for God’s sake, keep the Grail away from the Kardashians. No one wants that shit again in 30 years.