25 Jun 2024
Style in the City: Stockholm’s love affair with the 90s
Fashion & Beauty Lifestyle

Style in the City: Stockholm’s love affair with the 90s

A new-rave wave is hitting the shores of Stockholm. That’s right, the nineties are back, baby! YLC’s Victoria Hussey reflects on the good, the bad and the neon from this most questionably stylish of decades.

90's fashion1Photo, from left to right:  AcneBack S/S 2014, Carin Wester (photo: Kristian Löveborg).

Remember the 90s? If I didn’t already start the memory ball rolling last week with Downton versus grunge boots, let me remind you of the decade that was.Back in ol’ Blighty in the early 1990s I spent my after-school time making a blue, eco-warrior hedgehog jump over palm trees and leaping piranahs, while in the background, upbeat, piano house music sounded out of the radio-cassette player. I wore spaghetti strap tops, butterfly clips in my hair and looked up to grown-up people wearing tie-dye, dizzying sunflower prints and shirts with cartoon-big collars and cuffs.

With such an eclectic (and odd) mix of reference points it may seem odd that I’m hailing the return of the nineties. But I am and here’s why.

The beginning of autumn has seen an army of beanies, dungarees and bomber jacket combos hitting Stockholm’s streets. Remember the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and those crazy print shirts that are best described as a bad 80s geometric print hangover. Yep, they’re here too: namely in Götgatan, Södermalm. Those hipsters, huh? What a bonkers bunch.

Kudos to them though as they are undeniably the group who have also spearheaded a resurgence in grunge circa Nirvana ’93 with unkempt, unwashed hair, stone-washed denim, lumber-jacket shirts and rave-ready sunglasses. With Swedish designers such as Ann-Sofie Back trudging the path of grunge with loose-fit denim, graffiti prints and attitude, love for logos and punches of traffic-cone neons for this and next season, the city’s style-conscious were no doubt soon to catch on.

You may be wondering about bomber jackets; the skinhead-favoured nylon cover-ups with cuffs and collars in khaki and black. Well, love them or hate them, they’re set to get even bigger for spring. Every catwalk at Stockholm Fashion week wasn’t complete until an anarchic young man or pretty, androgyny-loving girl had worn one. Tiger, Whyred and Carin Wester all showed them for spring/summer 2014.

If you’re struggling with the mere thought of wearing a bomber jacket, fear not, for spring they will be in peachy tones akin to cocktails and lipstick and in soft leather or waffled cotton. A little gritty but super girly – what a covetable combination.

Grunge has of course been making a come back for a while. On the international fashion radar, nineties grunge was given a sophisticated makeover for spring 2013 by Belgian designer, Dries Van Noten whose gritty prints, slouchy knits and beach-bum shorts in heaven-spun silks were more than just a little feminine. 3.1. Philip Lim’s also just gone nouveau grunge for next spring/summer too.

And don’t forget, we’ve already had iconic 90s crop tops and according to Alexander Wang and Fendi, fashion’s penchant for navel-skimming clothing is not set to end any time soon. And they’re getting shorter. Brrrrrrr, the very thought, in this weather.

Back in chilly Sweden, Stockholmers may have retained their love for Doc Martens throughout the decades but now other clumpy but über cool shoes are attacking the high-street; platforms and wedged high-top trainers are already the shoe du jour on Stockholm’s pavements.

Spice Girls revival anyone?

So if laid-back, half-dressed grunge is too boyish for you, there are girlier alternatives. If not the Spice Girls – which I’ll admit has it’s potential down-falls (animal-print bras, PVC catsuits and Union Jack dresses are not wholly appropriate autumn-wear) – consider early Gwen Stefani.

Remember the No Doubt Don’t Speak video? Girly Tea dress, bindis and Kurt Cobain cropped, blonde locks? The look was a little off-the-wall but very, very pretty.

When you consider that Swedish fashion, arguably, began in the 1990s with the birth of Acne, J. Lindeberg, Whyred amongst others, this is a trend befitting of it time and place. Yep, I’m afraid there’s just no stopping this one boys and girls.

But what next? Scrunchies? Cher from Clueless knee-high socks and Mary-Jane heels?

Well, I’m game if you are.


Victoria Hussey

A self-confessed country-girl, Victoria studied English literature and fashion writing in the UK and Milan and then swapped English village life for city living in Stockholm in April 2013. She has spent the last five months swotting up on Swedish fashion and exploring her favourite part of Sweden; its national parks. Victoria enjoys travelling to far-off lands, alternative music and wishes someone would invent some kind of socially-acceptable breakfast ice-cream.

Follow Victoria and Your Living City on Twitter!

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