Slipping into the 90s (in a 90s slip dress)

It was on the cards for some time. We saw hints of a 90s revival in the ouevre of Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent whose departure from the brand was confirmed last week (say hello to Anthony Vacarello); flashes of early grunge at Chloe with vintage-inspired Bauhaus tracksuits and power-dressing at Acne Studios, teetering on the precipice between 80s and 90s but never quite looking costumey. This is the decade that brought us yellow Sony walkmans, Saved by the Bell (hello Mario Lopez) The Macarena,My So Called Life, Ace of Base and green slime (oh, so much slime. And flubber). It also brought us Kurt and Courtney – the ultimate couldn’t-care-less couple, the absolute antithesis to today’s perfectly preened rock stars. Fashion’s newest muse is unapologetically dishevelled in her 90s slip dress; think Courtney on her wedding day – anything chiffon or see-through will do.  The requisite bling? A tiara of course. It’s a lot less Paris Hilton, more Love or Moss. The hair is greased and ruffled – more ‘walk of shame’ than ‘come to bed’  except this heroine doesn’t ‘do’ shame. She’s far too cool for that.

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Bless me father, for I have sinned (Give us an aul 90s slip dress, so)

I have a confession to make. I am not domestic. Nor am I tidy. Or organised or neat. I do not like polished. I like to be a little undone. I like rough around the edges. I like wrinkles and chipped nail polish and freckles and scars. I like sausage rolls and I don’t care who knows it. And while I can concede that the gigantic flares I wore in the 90s, the paperbag waists and the vintage track tops were not the height of fashion, I kind of like that. Which is probably why I adore new hot-right-now label Vetements so much. New Balenciaga recruit Demna Gvasalia recruited his friends for the label’s spring summer outing and what a squad! Shaved-headed heroines that could give Tilda Swinton a run for her money in the fierce stakes, their bare-faced chic anything but basic. This new direction for fashion can only mean one thing; we are moving away from the uptown Stepford Wives look and embracing our inner bitch. Always a good thing, in my opinion. If I want to wear my lingerie with a scowl, I will. It’s my nightie and I will growl if I want to. Give me my 90s slip dress and GIVE IT TO ME NOW!

All she could think of was where she was going to get the next sausage roll 

From Coffee Shimmer to Velvet Teddy: The 90s slip Dress Revolution

When barbed wire chokers, Mom jeans and brown lipstick re-emerged from the sarcophagus upon whence they had been banished, I was initially horrified. Memories of Rimmel’s coffee shimmer lipstick, crimped hair and life pre-GHDs began to permeate my thoughts. Flashbacks of practical jokes revolving around Adidas rip-offs were the frequent stuff of my nightmares. Forget Charlotte Tilbury, someone called Constance Carroll made my makeup but it didn’t seem like an endorsement I wanted to be proud of. I had a sneaking suspicion that Mrs. Carroll spent her days boiling ham on Marlborough Street and made industrial strength concealer in her spare time. Had I forgotten what the spirit of the 90s was? I had lost track of myself with envy of the girl who had never had to live through life B.GHD (before GHD); who burned lovebite-style scars onto her neck from actually ironing her hair and wore brown lipstick with blue eye-shadow in a totally un-ironic way. I had lost sight of the little things: The 90s girl had to contend with bad hair days so she used glitter, hair mascara, clips and gadgets to decorate her mullet. She didn’t have the same teeth/orange skin tone/gel nail manicure/curly blowdry as the world and its mother so she had to develop her own signature style whether that was, like me, the faux dreadlocks look I so carefully cultivated with Bryl Cream on a night out or the ‘messy bun’ in an age before hun buns even existed. Isn’t there something a little bit brilliant about not caring that your mascara is smudged, your eyeliner is running and your tights are ripped? I certainly think so. All hail the return of the 90s slip dress, I say.


Photography: Malcolm McGettigan

Styling and concept: Me

Hair and makeup: Lisa Smyth of Emma Farrell Creative Studios

Outfit Details:

Silk bomber jacket: H&M, €70. Currently in store.

Slip Dress: Topshop, €40.

Nike Air Force 1s: Office, JD Sports, Asos etc.

Jewellery (just seen): Juvi Designs.

Tiara: George’s Street Arcade.

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