Fashion has a lot in common with a bunch of monkeys getting sprayed with cold water. Wait, come back, let me finish! Start with a cage containing five monkeys. In the cage, hang a banana on a string and put stairs under it. When one of the monkeys (inevitably) goes towards the banana, spray all of the monkeys with cold water. Repeat this process for several days. Eventually, any monkey that goes after the banana will be attacked by the others, even if the water is turned off. Now, replace one of the original monkeys with a new one. It’ll go straight for the banana, and the other monkeys will attack it to stop it. Replace another of the original monkeys with a new one, and the others (including the first new monkey) will attack it too. Keep replacing monkeys and eventually all the monkeys will stay away from the stairs, even though none of them was ever sprayed with cold water. Psychology lesson over.
So why am I talking about monkeys? Well, you can see above that the new set of monkeys all act in a certain way without knowing why. The same is true of street style – despite being (sometimes) completely unaware that a look has previously existed, people will adopt it as their own. Occasionally, enough of these occurrences will take place to signal a full scale revival. And guess what? It’s happening right now; we’re re-entering the ’90s.
People have this idea that the ’90s sucked and…for the most part, they’re right. But while pimply teenagers in Huddersfield were rushing home from playing POGs in Wimpy’s to record New Kids on the Block (holding a tape recorder up to the radio, shushing their dad whenever he came in the room, natch), American directors were creating some of the most enduring teen films of all time - Never Been Kissed, 10 Things I Hate About You, She’s All That etc etc. By far the greatest of these movies was (d’uh!) Clueless, a movie I’ve watched like nine (hundred) times. As I rewatched last night, I began to notice that the fashion in Clueless matches up with a lot of trends that will be hitting it big in A/W 2012. Like, totally.
If Cher Horowitz was around today, she could totally be the quintessential fashion blogger. Check her out in the picture above – just add a little pink dip dye to those blond locks, and you’ve got a look that could get about 30,000 notes on Tumblr (maybe tag it ‘hipster’ ‘goth’ ‘hot’ ‘girl’ ‘urban outfitters’ ‘topshop’ ‘style’ just to get the ball rolling).
But look! Cher could totally do the ‘proper’ fashion blog thing too – that outfit is so ready for the FROW. No wonder Mashley Olsen (I can’t tell the difference so I just refer to them as one person) is giving her a look like ‘you go, girl’. Or ‘bitch stole my outfit before I was even born’, I can’t tell. When Cher writes up events she can even find some way to work stuff in about how Ren and Stimpy are ‘way existential’, which is more profound than some of the stuff today’s fashion bloggers write…I recently saw this one dude ramble on about monkeys for a whole paragraph, can you believe that?
Hey, remember earlier this year when Tatty Devine freaked out because Claire’s Accessories ‘stole’ a bunch of their designs? Check out the above picture and you’ll see that Amber had pretty much the same necklace in 1995. Hmm.
Even the crazy skateboard fashion on the fringes of Clueless is becoming relevant again. Sure, most guys are wearing their baseball caps facing forward right now, but close enough, right? With tribal patterns and Mary Katrantzou-esque prints being so popular in S/S ’12, I have no doubt that colours will only get brighter and more garish as the year goes on.
Want to check whether or not you think I’m right? The video above (watch out, the volume is kinda loud…) shows every outfit Cher wears in the movie in 60 seconds – can you see yourself wearing anything similar in the months to come? If you say no, look in the mirror in seven months and try telling me the same answer…
p.s. Etsy totally agree with me – Cluess Fashion.