Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Smells Like a Hole bunch of Garbage

I am sure all you bloggers and blog readers out there are aware that the 90's are now in. And quite frankly I am a little disappointed, but not the least bit surprised.

I do have a theory as to why:

I think that all of the junior high and high schoolers got wind that the 80's were in amongst the hipsters. Having found this out by means of facebook, twitter, and super-fast thumb text messaging, they all went out to the thrift stores and loaded up everything 80's they could find, leaving all of the 90's bull crap behind. So when the hipsters went back to the thrift stores last week looking for more 80's junk to sell on Ebay, and finding nothing, they instead picked up an ugly, black, orange, and pink floral dress, a dingy vest, a pair of black tights, and some boots. Mind you, not cowboy (too 80's), but rather something more along the lines of ropers (which growing up in a small Kansas town, I saw way too much of). Then, they slammed it all together, downloaded some Fiona Apple, Hole, and Garbage, and mourned (once again) Kurt Cobain's tragic death.

What are your theories? Do you all hate the nineties as much as I do? Or am I the only one that will still be wearing my petticoat, and patent leather pumps?


stormko said...

I first noticed in the 1990s that some popular styles were beginning to be influenced by the 1970s (ie: flair pants=bell-bottoms). In the 2000s, the 1980s were re-emerging. That's when I had the theory that generations are skipping a decade for inspiration. Now that you are mentioning the 1990s coming back, that theory is holding up. And I think it's because the people who are referencing things from two decades ago didn't live during those decades—or, at least, weren't old enough to really feel the decade was played out when it was over. For example, if you were in high school in the 1970s, you hated bell-bottoms in the 80s because it was outdated. So you have to just miss a decade's styles in order to feel an attraction for it later. And because this is a 20-year cycle, someone in the 2000s isn't going to go back to the 1970s because the 1990s just re-played it out.

But why didn't this cycle start until the 1990s? The 1960s weren't popular in the 80s. I've come to the conclusion that it's because of the mass penetration of cable television, home video, and the beginning of the internet in the 1990s, both which led to a massive amount of TV shows and films being consumed. In the 1970s, you were lucky to have 5 or 6 television channels, so you had to watch what was on. And what was on was an influence on mass culture. But once there were 100 channels, like in the 1990s, you began to see networks dedicated to playing old shows around the clock. There was a big Brady Bunch revival via channels like TBS, WGN, TV Land, etc. There were Brady Bunch themed parties, and there were even two movies made based on the show. On top of that, DJs started dipping back into Disco because House and Techno, which are rooted in Disco, were all the rave...uh, rage. Because of the proliferation of VHS players, and later DVDs, 70s films were making a comeback on home video. And you could learn about all of this stuff on the web, which was gaining quickly. Before the web, how could you really get involved with something that wasn't "in"? Also, Hollywood was hiring younger filmmakers who were referencing their childhood in their movies. So there were all these outlets (and more) where you could experience the culture of past decades—especially the 70s—that you might had missed out on.

As you know, we now live in an age where it's easy to be into times of old. The 1990s saw a boom in thrift store and vintage clothing shopping; the internet allowed people to make web sites devoted to older things they appreciated; eBay had 30+-somethings buying up those toys and lunchboxes that they used to love as a kid. But this theory of mine holds that most people won't go farther back than 20 years or so. There are exceptions, as our group well knows, but so far the theory is holding up.

But the question is, what will people be referencing in the 2020s? The 1990s were really the last decade to have an identifiable style, and that's really more in the first half than the second. Perhaps by the 2020s, we'll see a time where everything goes. I mean, we are already inching towards that now.

I could have written that better, so there might be some holes. But I'm sure you get the general idea.

Affi'enia said...

The 9o's were, erm, special. I think I'll be joining you with the petticoats :o)

livebird said...

You're never alone... I'll join you in your sassy retro army!

Lost in Periwinkle said...

I lived through the 90s once and I refuse to do it again. =)

Nostalgically Yours said...

RE the actual post:
I used to vehemently hate the eighties. I thought everything from that period was tacky and awful. However, as I grew older I began to study costume history and now I appreciate a little from every time period, including the 80s. The 90s are, at this point though, my least favorite decade... I used to think of the eighties as this awkward transitional period between the 70s and 90s, when in fact it's completely the opposite - the 80s had their strongly defined style whereas the 70s and 90s were transitional. This is why I dislike the 90's so much. Also, grunge was never really my thing.

RE Stormko:
I think it's difficult to pinpoint a style for any period when living in it. This has become exponentially truer since the 1960s as individual style became more and more prelavent in fashion. I think by 2020 we'll look back at what we wore now in wonder/disgust just as we do every twenty years.
Also, probably since the French revolution, fashion has been cyclical. Though it's true that the twenty year cycle hasn't always applied, most everything we've seen for the past 200 years has already been done. The 80s specifically revived the 1940s masculine look as well as introducing the Japanese styles which I think many times echoed the 1920s. In the 1870s, women wore bustles to imitate the Polonaise style dresses from a century prior. The 60s brought back the 20s, etc. It just takes a bit of examination.
I do agree, though, that we're headed for a time of anything goes. I believe this century will be a lot more about individual tastes than following trends.

MrsPost said...

As a child of the 80s I can't help but look back on the 90s with pity and horror. We had all the cool stuff and they were stuck trying to make their own look out of our leftovers.

I too will stick with my personal retro style and say to heck with what they're calling fashion these days.

As my friend said: "You don't follow fashion. You stay in your own place and fashion swings around to match up once in a while."

Anonymous said...

I was actually into the 90s in the 90s, lol - and it's not a complete shock that the hipsters are drooling over the styles now. Good theory, definitely plausible.

I, for one, want to sew a nice mini dress with a built in velvet choker like the one I had in the 90s. :)

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I blame it on American Apparel.

Oh yeah, and what Storm said. ;)

tammyO. said...

it's that whole fashion mindset where people think they're being edgy by wearing ugly/unflattering clothes...a la chloe sevigny (sorry chloe you were an obvious target). like the whole ironic mustache thing with men. bleck. i have a special place in my heart for "my so called life" and eddie vedder, but i will not be re-visiting my dad's flannel collection any time soon.

quietandsmalladventures said...

still unsure as to how i feel about this resurgence of 90s fashions. mostly i hate it though. short term lurker here, but one of your dresses at the end of term fashion show influenced my dressmaking and so i linked to your blog here.

Gabriella said...

I do hate the 90s sort of...but I love the weirdo 60s psychedelic and mod-influenced brit-pop 90s styles. Grunge, however, can bite me.