We have a never-ending love affair with the early ‘90s; after all, it brought us rock legends like Nirvana and Pearl Jam, grunge style (think: flannels for all), and the Cameron Crowe-directed cult classic, Singles. The romantic comedy encapsulates everything we love about the era, especially the fashion. Bridget Fonda’s character, Janet, appears in everything from ditsy floral dresses to Dr. Martens boots, while Matt Dillon, as Cliff, was never without his biker jacket and ripped jeans. After seeing how the ‘90s ruled designer runways this season too, it was clear the movie was a fitting subject for today’s Currently Channeling.
Singles explores the relationships of young 20-somethings living in the same Seattle apartment building: there’s Janet (Fonda) who’s trying to win over grunge rocker Cliff (Dillon), as well as Steve (Campbell Scott) and Linda (Kyra Sedgwick), who meet at an Alice in Chains show and embark on a tumultuous affair. But the 1992 movie’s as much about the highs and lows of love as it is about the grunge movement taking place in the city at the time, where alternative rock music was thriving: Pearl Jam’s lead singer (Eddie Vedder), bassist (Jeff Ament), and lead guitarist (Stone Gossard) even make cameos as members of Cliff’s band, Citizen Dick. And where there’s grunge music, fashion always follows, leading us to today’s story.
The Sartorial Story
A number of designers showed S/S 13 collections teeming with ‘90s references, but 3.1 Phillip Lim and Dries Van Noten were particularly notable for their sophisticated, cool-girl take on the decade. The former’s moto jacket and Skirt With Shirt Tie ($450) in Antique White features hallmarks of ‘90s fashion—who could forget the shirt-tied-around-waist trend?—with a dose of insouciance. Plaid played an important role in Dries Van Noten’s look too, but the print got a more ladylike spin in the Multi Plaid Coriann Bis Shirt ($395, 312.202.0047), Navy Vanessa Top ($670, 312.202.0047), and Red Siena Skirt ($860, 312.202.0047).
Get The Look
Pins and Needles Lace-Up Back Babydoll Dress ($69)in Maroon
Nothing screams early ‘90s like a little floral dress. But to echo the decade’s grunge aesthetic, team this babydoll-style number with a biker jacket and combat boots.
Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Colour ($24) in Raisin Berry
Take a cue from 3.1 Phillip Lim's S/S 13 runway, where models wore '90s-inspired brown-hued red lipstick. Press one light coat onto your lips for a stain.
Eugenia Kim Brigitte Boater Hat ($285)
A pretty bow lends this charming boater hat a bit of femininity. Wear it to polish off a spaghetti strap dress layered over shrunken t-shirt for a true’ 90s take, or pair it with a crisp button-down and Bermuda shorts for a modern twist.
Zara Checked Crossover Shirt ($80)
Plaid’s been done a million different ways, but Zara’s version stands out thanks to its vibrant checks and universally flattering silhouette. Style it with skinny jeans and pointy-toe pumps for a casual-meets-cool outfit.
Dr. Martens 1461 Shoes ($100) in Black
If you owned a pair of Dr. Martens in the ‘90s, it’s high time to bring them out of hiding. We suggest this lace-up oxford style that elongates your legs when teamed with a mini dress or skirt.
BLK DNM Leather Jacket 1 ($700) in Black
Even if you’re not quite sold on a grunge resurgence, a leather biker jacket’s a closet must-have for any stylish girl. Layer it over a band t-shirt and red skinnies for the perfect concert outfit.
Jansport Denim Backpack ($49)
Remember the Jansport backpack you wore back in high school? The classic style is back in a faded denim wash, which looks best with ‘90s-inspired plaid and floral patterns.
Pearl Jam Twenty ($18)
In honour of their 20th anniversary, Pearl Jam and Singles director Cameron Crowe released a DVD containing hours of rare concert and interview footage. They’re undoubtedly one of the most iconic grunge rock bands, so your entertainment—and a mini ‘90s musical education—is virtually guaranteed.