The 90s were a glorious time for fashion, the world embraced supermodels, drag queens, hip hop music and so much more. The film world also made sure it was not left behind creating iconic movie figures that are still fashion inspirations today. Let us take a look at some of the most stylish 90s films.
Clueless - 1995
Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, and the all-star cast of Clueless really epitomize a unique 90s fashion. The film's costume designer Mona May told Vanity Fair that her and director Amy Heckerling predicted the future of fashion when they made the costumes for the film. "For the movie, I mixed thrift store with designer because I did not have a lot of money in my budget to buy designer things," said May. "It was about taking fashion from all different sources and predicting what would be on the street six months ahead, like a fashion designer would." In 2014, Iggy Azealia paid tribute the film’s iconic fashion in her music video for hit song ‘Fancy’. From Chanel inspired plaids to accessories any teenager would die for, this film really deserves a spot in our top ten stylish films of the 90s.
The Matrix - 1999
Black leather never looked so good as when The Matrix brought this futuristic and edgy vibe to the fashion world in 1999. From Trinity’s PVC bodysuits to Neo’s classic trench coat, the fashion of the 90s inspired many designers from Christian Dior to John Galliano. Look at the fashion runways and street style today and you’ll see an ever-growing influence from the futuristic Matrix.
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion - 1997
There are so many hilarious moments in this classic high school reunion movie, but the fashion moments really take the cake. Romy and Michele played by Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino, may have not been popular in their high school years but their return to their high school reunion as exaggerated fake versions of themselves is truly iconic. The film trails their fashion faux pas from the 80s right up to the cotton candy ostrich feathers on their matching metallic pastel dresses and let us not forget about their matching “business-woman” formal pantsuits. It’s no wonder the movie became a cult classic.
Poetic Justice - 1993
Tu Pac and Janet Jackson inspired a whole generation of black and brown kids with a cool sense of style and poetry. From “those” braids to the high waisted jeans and hats, the street style in Poetic Justice pays a stylish tribute to 90s hip hop and urban street culture. And who better to represent but two icons like Tu Pac and Janet.
B*A*P*S - 1997
Before Weaven Steven, the hair artist for the gawds, there was Nisi (Halle Berry) and Mickey (Natalie Desselle) from B*A*P*S. Not only is this film a hilarious ode to 90s fashion, it really takes fashion to the next level with the most hilariously OTT outfits, hair, make-up, and bling. Nisi and Mickey exuded a confidence we all wanted to possess with their bold choice of colours, textures, and fashion pieces that leave a lasting impression.
The Craft - 1996
Who can forget the line in The Craft where the bus driver says to teens: "Girls, watch out for the weirdos." And Nancy replies, "We are the weirdos, mister." That iconic line resonated with so many alternative teens that the characters quickly became cult classics and fashion icons for their low-key goth influenced grunge style.
Tu Wong Fu - 1995
Vida Boheme (Patrick Swayze), drag novice Chi-Chi Rodriguez (John Alberto Leguizamo) and Noxeema Jackson (Wesley Snipes) will always have a special place in the hearts of many queer people for their fabulous portrayals of three drag queens traveling to LA for a drag competition. Not only do these iconic actors transform so wonderfully into beautiful glamazons, their heartwarming journey is filled with so many laughs, impeccable fashion, outrageous hair, make-up and of-course a little shade for good measure.
Pulp Fiction - 1994
Quentin Tarantino’s classic Pulp Fiction is one of the most beloved movies of our time and its fashion is still in high demand especially during Halloween. Uma Thurman deserves all the glory for that short black bob, classic white shirt and flared pants complete with a cigarette in hand. It doesn’t get more iconic and more 90s than this gem.
Romeo and Juliet - 1996
1996 was a great year for fashion and film. Just look at the breathtakingly beautiful fashion, art, acting and fashion in Baz Lurhman’s Romeo and Juliet. With an all-star cast led by Leonardo Di Caprio in amazing Hawaiian shirts, the film depicts a cool, modern, post-rave, edgy version of the classic Shakespeare tale. Its fashion story captures so many elements of 90s fashion in a bold mix of old and new. The film combined a modern 90s aesthetic with traditional religious/cultural imagery, with crosses shaved into the characters heads and chains hanging on their necks. Most of the costuming influences come from the differences between the Montagues and the Capulets.
New Jack City - 1991
No one tells the African American 90s story like Spike Lee. In New Jack City starring Wesley Snipes and Chris Rock, Lee showcases New York’s gang culture with style, grit, and grace like we’ve never experienced before. There are so many fashion moments in this film that it would be difficult to highlight all of them. The characters don classic double-breasted blazers with polo necks embellished with OTT jewelry and 90s haircuts to match. The colour blocking is on point and the fashion choices pushed this film to new levels of iconic.
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