As a teenager, I was obsessed with the Sixties and Seventies – from miniskirts à la Mary Quant, to the futuristic Courrèges, to the infamous Yves Saint Laurent “Mondrian Dress”, to platform shoes and the print of the “Pril-Blume” (the flower logo of a dishwashing liquid by the German company Henkel). When my parents noticed my passion, they could only roll their eyes – “Why would you want to look like that?” “Because it’s so cool, Mum! You don’t appreciate it because you have lived through it.” I was 13, the Sixties and Seventies seemed ages ago back then and there was just something about them.
For quite some time, I have noticed a trend among Gen-Z’s. The Nineties are now “retro”. Can you believe it? It feels that 1999 was just five years ago! This retro trend involves girls in bootcut jeans, white sneakers, crop tops and the pigtails which Emma Bunton, the Spice Girl, turned into a fashion trend. I even spotted the ugly Buffalo platform trainers again. “Why would you want to look like that?” Probably, because young people today find the Nineties as cool as I found the Sixties and Seventies.
When I look back at my fashion moments of the Nineties, I cringe. I badly wanted the Buffalo platform trainers as well. All the cool girls in my school had them. I begged and begged and begged my parents. In the end, I found a pair of “Go Sexy” platform sneakers which looked similar to the Buffalos. In this case Nomen was clear not their Omen. The platform of these sneakers was about two centimetres at the front and then twelve in the back. As a 13-year-old, my experience in walking in high heels was limited, let alone in platform heels. When I walked out the door, I was so proud that I did not realise that I was walking like a baby giraffe which is just learning how to walk.
The “Go Sexy” sneakers were white and black and I paired them with boot-cut trousers in shiny baby blue and a stitched flower rim at the bottom of the legs and a T-shirt with the signature blue Fishbone- brand stripe. I added a final touch with the Fishbone necklace which I got for free with my purchase. Yes, I was literally wearing a fishbone around my neck. (Does anyone else remember brand?) I thought I looked great.
Our school was divided between the “Skaters” and the “Ravers”. The latter wore bootcut trousers and platform trainers. Skaters wore baggy pants, Vans or Airwalk sneakers and hoodies. I was somewhere in the middle of that spectrum – never really a Skater, never really a Raver and I had friends in both groups. (Polarising – some of my friends listened to Ludacris, the others to Gigi D’Agostino!)
Two years later, I gave away the “Go Sexys” to my cousin whose heart skipped a beat like mine when I got them. She immediately put them on and walked out of the door in them. There was another giraffe who felt super proud. I laughed because she looked so funny. At this point in time, I had already moved to the next fashion trend: crop tops, jeans jackets and white sneakers. I was in no position to laugh about my cousin.
Fashion trends come and go and it is amusing how cyclical the industry really is. I remember my pair of Adidas Superstars with silver stripes which I wore until they almost fell apart. Our parents hated the look – we wore white trainers with everything. Does this sound familiar? I regret not keeping my Superstars and selling them on ebay right now, I am sure I could make a small fortune.
If I could say one thing to the Nineties-obsessed Gen-Z’s: Don’t do it! You will look at the pictures the way I look at mine and you will later think they were your worst fashion moments ever. And there is one little fashion prediction I will share with you here: If you ride the Nineties-wave, the 2000s are just around the corner. And you know what that means: I will see you all soon in ultra-low-cut jeans with a sneaky view of your colourful G-strings!