Nineties stage a comeback for fashionistas
Ace fashion designer Manish Malhotra says, the beauty of fashion is that it thrives on relevance and reinvention
From dungarees, pleated skirts, flannel shirts, flared pants and slip dresses to accessories like chokers, claw clips, bandanas and fanny packs – which were a rage in the 1990s – have made a comeback and are being readily endorsed by celebrities and commoners alike.
The 1990s made many a fashion statement, and Bollywood celebrities like Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, Sonakshi Sinha, Kriti Sanon and Kangana Ranaut, among many others, are digging into the looks from the era and sporting them with aplomb.
Ace fashion designer and couturier Manish Malhotra, who has been in the industry for over two decades, says fashion thrives on relevance.
"Some fashion trends are so relatable and nostalgic that you can pick up from where you left off. It reminds me of my days in costume styling in the 90s, whether it was Kajol's dungrees from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Karisma Kapoor in cold shoulder dresses and chokers in Raja Hindustani or Urmila in denim skirts from Rangeela," said Malhotra.
Malhotra, who has designed costumes for films like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Dhadak, said today stars such as Alia Bhatt, Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Deepika and other "millennial heroines" are now often flaunting these trends.
"The beauty of fashion is that it thrives on relevance and reinvention – and so it continues to make comebacks when it comes to trends," he added.
Designer Nachiket Barve, who has showcased his work internationally, feels the 90s' fashion trends need to be handled with care.
"Fashion is a giant melting pot today where virtually everything is done. The 90s are the new 70s, a nostalgic sweeter time for the millennials today who look back at it with a new vision. I personally feel trends are over. The future is about making your own stories through the way you style yourself. Today, trends change every five seconds," said Barve.
Other trends which have made their way back are bardot necklines, pastels and earthy tones, high-waisted pants, cold shoulders and twin sets – which have also been seen in some Hindi films.
Actress Katrina Kaif was seen sporting dungarees in Jagga Jasoos, while Sonam was seen donning pastels in Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and Kareena Kapoor Khan rocked boyfriend shirts in Veere Di Wedding.
Asked why people are looking back two decades for fashion trends, designer Monica Shah said: "When it comes to style, it doesn't help to look at time in a linear fashion. Aesthetics from the past always seep into the present and influence everything we see around us, especially in fashion."
"It is from the clashing of these two elements that something unique is born. Some pieces remain classics right since their inception – they transcend time and trends owing to the mood of the current generation, the socio-political climate and so on."
Shah says it does not seem prudent to label these pieces after one particular age, especially when every generation can relate to it.
"What matters through this all is that creators as well as wearers are pushed to carve their own distinct niche, form their own individuality, and give their unique touch to these classics to create something new and original," she added.
Designer duo Sonam and Paras Modisay one thing in fashion which is constant is change.
"The 90s was a time when street style was at its peak. Designers today are adapting to the street style, in their runway representation, it was only about time that the elements from the 90s had to make a comeback. It is a fresh change as trends which were so 90s are relevant today as well," Sonam said.