In many ways the ‘90s were my favourite decade because it was during those years that I got into music and started to develop my own sense of style. However I am completely flummoxed by the ‘90s revival which has been the dominant influence over fashion, music and pop culture in general for a couple of years now.
I experienced the ‘90s in suburban Britain, not the Juergen Teller/Seattle/Kurt-and-Courtney/Reality Bites/My So Called Life/Kate-and-Johnny fantasy version which everyone is so enthusiastically ‘referencing’ at the moment. For me, while the ‘90s were fun, they most definitely weren’t cool and I’m afraid to imagine where this madness will end.
We’ve already had to endure the return of Birkenstocks, flatforms, bomber jackets and even, God help us, pool slides and I’m scared that those who are truly committed to the ‘90s revival might try to slip a few more monstrosities through. Here are the beauty trends which must, repeat must, stay firmly buried in the past where they belong.
1. The Rachel Cut
Isn’t it funny how fashiony types are eagerly adopting other hairstyles from the ‘90s – particularly the shaggy, flipped-over curtains sported by Leonardo DiCaprio, Kurt Cobain etc – but no-one seems interested in reviving the Rachel cut? Jennifer Aniston made Rachel the hottest, funniest character on our TV screens in the '90s, but that feathered, straightened-within-an-inch-of-its-life hair dated very quickly. Poor Rachel cut.
2. Spermy, overplucked eyebrows.
You might already know how I feel about these. I curse my teenage self every single day for being so overzealous with the tweezers and not listening to my mum who begged me to leave my eyebrows alone. Why did everyone seek to get rid of their eyebrows in the ‘90s?
It wasn’t even as if we were emulating the pencilled-in arches of the stars of Hollywood’s golden age or anything vaguely understandable like that, I honestly can see no rhyme or reason to the spindly monstrosities most women sported at that time. Luckily, Cara Delevingne seems to be single-handedly preventing this particular ‘90s motif from resurrecting its spermy head, so I think (I hope) we are safe from its return.
3. Dark lipliner and frosted lipstick
Just horrid. I don't even get the theory behind this one - is it supposed to make your lips look fuller? I seem to remember Eminem's wife Kim Mathers was a pretty enthusiastic proponent of this particular make-up trend.
4. Sun In
I get it – some lemon-juice-type substance, sprayed into the hair, should achieve delightfully natural-looking sunkissed, beachy highlights, right? WRONG. I attempted this the summer after I finished my GSCE’s – my friends and I were off on a wild week’s holiday in... Canterbury (I don’t think I’d even heard of Ibiza) and I enthusiastically Sun-Inned my hair. It went gingery and frazzled. Not chic.
5. Two spindly strands of hair hanging down in your face
Why did we do this? WHY? So unflattering, so pointless. In my case, the two strands were ALSO treated to a liberal dose of Sun In and THEN dyed red. I have no explanation for this madness.
Oh and some ‘fashion’ that must stay dead and buried too:
Fisherman’s hats – as worn by Oasis, Ocean Colour Scene and their fans.
Black nylon bootcut trousers (often from Jane Norman or Morgan). Even Buffy couldn’t make these look good.
Sean the Sheep backpacks. You still see quite a few of these in Brighton actually.
Are there any I've missed? Do share your worst '90s fashion and beauty memories and make me feel less alone, please!