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THROWBACK THURSDAY: THE NINETIES

16.05.13

This week's Throwback Thursday is particularly of-the-moment, seeing as the 90s is making a real comeback right now. From grungy flannel shirts and ripped denim to the bubblegum pop of the Spice Girls, the 1990s has officially gone retro (making us all feel that little bit older!). Read on for our round up of the decade that brought us the concept of 'anti-fashion' and the brick cell phone.

Film

In 1995 Pixar released Toy Story, the first full-length CGI movie. The family film went on to revolutionise animated films and inspire many future releases, including Pixar’s own film, A Bugs Life; which came out in 1998. The biggest blockbuster of the 90s was Titanic, which became a cultural phenomenon throughout the world. The film went on to become the highest grossing film of all time until 2010 when the same director, James Cameron, released Avatar and it took the title. The 90s was also the era known as the ‘Disney Renaissance’, with films such as Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Aladdin being released.

Music, television and the Internet

Musically, the 1990s was best known for EDM (electronic dance music), grunge, gangsta rap and teen pop. Grunge music was made popular in 1991 because of the success of Nirvana’s legendary record, Nevermind and Pearl Jam’s Ten. In the UK, the alternative Britpop genre emerged with bands such as Oasis, Blur, The Verve and Pulp at the forefront.

The Spice Girls took the world by storm, becoming the most commercially successful British group since The Beatles. Their impact inspired a widespread scene of teen pop acts to appear across the world, such as: the Backstreet Boys, Hanson, N Sync, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera; who shot to fame near the end of the decade and into the new millennium.

Sitcoms were popular in America throughout the 90s, with series such as Roseanne, Frasier, Friends and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air all becoming extremely popular. The Simpsons actually debuted in December 1989, but became a house-hold name and international success throughout the 1990s.

The 90s was an incredibly revolutionary decade for digital technology, with chunky cell phones first appearing in the beginning of the decade without extra features. Only a few million people were using online services in 1990 and the World Wide Web had only just been invented. The first internet browser went online in 1993 and by 2001, more than half of some Western countries had Internet access.

Fashion

The 1990s was the decade that saw the beginning of the rejection of fashion, known as 'anti-fashion'. Tattoos and body piercings shot to prominence, triggering an anti-conformist approach to fashion which remained popular throughout the decade. A casual chic look became popular, which included T-shirts, jeans, hoodies and trainers which continued into the 2000s. The popularity of grunge and alternative rock music boosted the popularity of this simple and unkempt look, making the 90s a far less flashy decade compared to the 80s in terms of trends.

Womenswear

The first part of the 90s saw a continuation of the 80s' obsession with neon colours, oversized sweaters and black leather jackets. As the decade progressed, women started to wear drainpipe jeans, coloured tights and cowboy boots. Other popular footwear choices in the latter part of the decade included flip flops, jelly shoes and novelty wellington boots with patterns such as animal prints. The mid-1990s also saw a revival of 1960s fashion for women from 1994 onwards, with hippie-style floral dresses, turtleneck shirts and Gypsy tops becoming extremely popular.

Menswear

Flannel shirts were a popular choice of attire for men during the 90s, which were padded and loose-fitting for optimum warmth. Guys also wore acid-wash denim, wool sweaters and sheepskin coats throughout the decade. The grunge movement led drainpipe jeans to go out of fashion, in favour of straight-leg jeans which were often distressed and torn. By the late 1990s, the popularity of streetwear grew; with trainers and shoes with built in air pumps becoming a go-to style of footwear.

In Europe, single-breasted three and four button suits became popular in the boardroom in grey or navy. Meanwhile in America, suits went out of vogue as men started to take on a more smart-casual approach to workwear. This was largely inspired by Bill Gates of Microsoft.