Fashion had more to do with the expression of a personal style than the old fashioned "proper" way to dress like a lady or a gentleman. The effect became a wider range of styles to choose from, and an understanding that fashion was a way to signalize who you were, on a deeper level.
The silhouette was minimalistic, straight, oversized or boxy. You could have a messy and casual grunge look, be punk, hippie or goth, be a clean modern preppy, smart casual, or business casual, be a playful or classy minimalist, have a colorful and oversized hip hop style, or just wear flashy fashion statements. Depending on what group you belonged to, "the choice was yours".
All of the 90's featured many styles never publicly accepted before, and definitely added a new twist to the ideal of beauty with it's anti-fashion mix and match clothing, silly hats, platform shoes, as well as the start of the tattoo and piercing trend (You no longer had to be a rocker type to have one). But, the biggest change of the 90's was probably the new acceptance of the edgy or quirky look as a fashion style. With the help of iconic anti-heroes in television, film, and the fashion icons embracing this look, being a "misfit" quickly turned into "cool individualist".
This change opened the door to a more relaxed and playful form of beauty and a new type of woman.
In the beauty department, makeup and hair trends dictated that the skin should appear matte and flawless, eyebrows defined or super thin, noses very narrow and small, "sucked in" cheeks was hot, body glitter and bedazzling was cool, and lips were supposed to be full with a deep red lipstick or frosted with a pencil outline.
The Rachel haircut became a big hit throughout the entire 90's and then some. Other popular hairstyles were slightly odd, messy, crimped, straight or just plain natural, and both men and women started to cut their hair short.
The 1990's had two main beauty ideals. On one side there was the glamazon super model, such as Elle Macpherson, Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell, with their athletic, but curvaceous figures. On the other side there was Kate Moss who marked the beginning of the ‘waif’ look (A physical presence of youth and extreme
thinness; a fashion style featuring this look), and started a revolution not only in modeling but also consumer fashion. Off the runway the ideal could be divided it into four accepted looks. 1. The thin, straight figure (Brick and Column), 2. The athletic (Cornet), 3. The chesty but slender (lollipop and goblet), and 4. The slimmer fit version of the classic hourglass (hourglass and vase).
At this time it was still considered to be a sign of overweight to have a large bottom or thick thighs in the western society, and the pear-shape was a negative word. Larger women were basically never cast as the "hot girl" which sent the message, "only skinny girls are beautiful" (Although, plus size modeling was already a profession).
The 90's was really big on skinny, short skirts, cropped tops, bellybutton piercings, the braless look, and large knockers, so the pressure to having perfect boobs, slender long legs, a flat tummy and abs was huge.
I did not take long before the plastic surgery and dieting trend eventually started to blossom, and the pressure kept rising all the way into the new millennia.
ICONS OF THE 90s
Super models Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Cristie Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Eva Herzigova, Nadja Auermann, Carla Bruni, Tatiana Sorokko, Helena Christensen, Yasmeen Ghauri, Stephanie Seymour, Carolyn Murphy, Amber Valetta, Shalom Harlow, Tyra Banks, Jennifer Anniston, Pamela Anderson, Catherine Zeta Jones, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Princess Diana, Bjørk, Michelle Pfeifer, Katie Holmes, Christina Appelgate, Shannon Doherty, Juliana Marguiles, Neve Campbell, Gillian Anderson, Keri Russel, Teri Hatcher, Jenna Elfman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Calista Flockhart, Kellie Martin, Melissa Joan Hart, Tiffani Amber Thiessen, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Lisa Bonet, Courtney Cox, Jennie Garth and Heather Locklear.
The next post is: BEAUTY IDEAL OVER THE DECADES part 5 : THE 80's