Everybody ashamed of loving pop: 90′s music

Many times I tried to choose a period when people used to dress the worst way possible, a period when bad taste was the rule, but I always ended up thinking that we can’t choose one because first, fashion is a convention and nothing is beautiful or ugly at all and, second, what now we consider trash and old fashioned, is strongly influenced by what is fashionable today.

Then happens the unexpected: something that once was considered orrible and totally out of fashion, somehow starts to be worn by a few outsiders and then become popular. Things that were considered so orrible that no one even dared to mention and then, in a moment, they turn unpredictably in something cool. Nothing strage as we know that fashion lives of cycles and recycles.

This is what happening lately for the 90’s pop icon look. The stupid and frilly and plastic world that everyone hates and want to forget because it’s strictly connected to our stupid teenage period, is now making its way into fashion statements. So why everybody is ashamed to admit they like pop?

Everyone who, in the 90’s was a teen, has been a victim of pop industry, not only for buying plastic gadget and merchadise of all the boy-girl bands of the moment, but also for buying their album, which is worse. And nothing matters if, a few months later, one was listening to Marylin Manson, believing in a sort of redemption, as he was a fruit of music industry too, but with a darker make up. The sad thing was that also non-pop musician like Kurt Cobain or Bjork, ended up to be considered as pop because Success mechanism can’t prescind from mass.


Eleggere un periodo come il peggiore in fatto di buon gusto è impossibile, primo perché la moda è una convenzione e perciò non c’è un bello o un brutto in assoluto e secondo perché ciò che oggi riteniamo orribile e totalmente fuori moda dipende ovviamente da ciò che oggi va di moda.

C’è poi un momento in cui, ciò che per anni è ritenuto orribile e indegno, preso in giro e scansato come la peste, diventa incomprensibilmente “cool”. C’è un momento in cui, alcune cose escono dalla spazzatura in cui erano state confinate dai “critici del buon gusto” e cominciano a riapparire, prima indossate da qualche outsider e poi sempre più diffuse, fino a diventare commerciali. E non c’è da meravigliarsi di questo, perché la moda vive sul riciclo e vive di cicli.

E poiché le vie del gusto sono infinite, ultimamente (in realtà già dall’anno scorso, come avevo scritto in questo post) quello che sta subendo questo effetto di rivalutazione è quel modo di vestire tipico delle icone pop degli anni ’90 e il loro stupido, colorato, appiccicoso mondo che ci ricorda il nostro periodo adolescente, ovvero quello che tutti vogliono dimenticare. Ma questa è la realtà e allora perché vergognarsi di dire che ascoltavamo le Spice Girls? Perché vergognarsi del pop?

Tutti quelli che negli anni ’90 erano adolescenti sono stati vittima, chi più chi meno, dell’industria del pop, comprando non solo i quintali di plasticosi gadget e merchandising delle varie band, ma anche (ciò che è peggio) i loro dischi. Poco contava che, nel giro di pochi mesi, uno si convertisse al più diabolico Marylin Manson per riscattarsi, perché anche lui era, in fondo, un prodotto dell’industria discografica, solo con un altro trucco. E anche chi non era pop, come Kurt Cobain o Bjork, alla fine finiva per esserlo, semplicemente perché il tritacarne del successo non può prescindere dalla massa.

images sources: lastfm.it; tumblr

1)The outsiders

The outsiders are the real 90’s girl who created new fashion languages not used before like Madonna or Gwen Stefani and Bjork, who also shared the same hairdo. Gwen Stefani was the lead vocalist for the band NoDoubt and she used to wear awful outfits, dyeing her hair of blue or pink or just styling with intricate pigtails and braid hairdo. She also loved fluffy bras, fake tattoos, pvc skirts, plastic wedged shoes and her most iconic thing: bindi face jewelry.

the bindi mania of Gwen Stefani

Face jewelry on the Fall 2012 runways of (clockwise from top left) Miu Miu, Ashish, Chanel, and Jeremy Scott.

MiuMiu and Chanel



here for more Madonna’s 90s look

2) The trashy girl

The english girl band Spice Girls sums all the bad taste of 90’s era. Slutty and trashy outfits made of chunky wedges or stiletto heels, bell-bottoms or baggy pants, cropped tops, leopard or camouflage prints, velvet, satin and sequinned dresses, mini leather skirts and feathered boa. A universe that Jeremy Scott used for his last fall/winter collection.


Another english girl band, The Shampoo, a mix of trash and kinderwhore style, mixed with a lolitesque fake innocence look made of childish print on tshirts, satin dresses and shorts all in a nauseous pastel colours.

3) Kinderwhore

Popularized by Courtney Love, the lead singer of the band Hole, the kinderwhore look consists of of torn, ripped tight or low-cut babydoll dresses or nighties, heavy makeup, and leather boots or Mary–Jane shoes of various colors. Basically it’s a girl who want to dress in a childish way, resulting a bit dishevelled and messy. Meadham Kirchoff based all this spring summer collection on this kind of look.

Courtney with Drew Barrymore, another hit girl in the 90’s

5)Ghetto girl

For the first time in the 90’s started to appear r&b girls band like TLC and Salt&Pepa (even if they were born in the 80’s). Sporty look and heavy make up were their features along with a lot of chunky jewelry.


Aesthete. Art historian & blogger. Content creator and storyteller. Fond of real and virtual wunderkammer. Founder and main author of rocaille.it.

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