Oh Phoebe, you’ve done it again. Yesterday ‘Vans’ and today it’s all about ‘Birks’. Albeit the fur-less, mortgage-less, version.
Well it seems I’m as nostalgic for the 90’s as she is and I got me a pair via ebay via Germany for $55 door to door. I bought white, but for a shoe this cheap will probably get black as well.
I can’t choose between my three little pics of inspiration (thank you, theyallhateus.com), although the third probably aligns more with where my life takes me. However, I do particularly love the contrast between clothes and shoe in the middle outfit, and I can’t take my eyes off the red bag in the first.
As for this whole 90’s thing, it sort of feels like a weird perspective to think of looking ‘back’ on it.
I was a child in the 60’s and 70’s and so I don’t have any personal memories, so these are certainly decades behind me.
On the other hand, I was a full shoulder pad wearing participant in the 80’s, but they were so tangibly, distinctly extreme and unflattering in style, the ‘bad memory’ aspect makes them feel like a long time ago.
(I also, really can’t imagine them every being truly revisited as a whole – beyond a shoulder detail here, a peplum there).
But the 90’s were different to all these decades. From personal experience, but also stylistically.
Sure we went from an overarching label on the outside to label on the inside sensibility as a push back on the penalties of conspicuous consumption. But really, the cultural influence of grunge still felt a bit like the 70’s re-jigged, some of the clean lines alluded to the 60’s, and by the end of the decade if my memory serves me correctly, we started seeing each new year refer to all previous decades of the 20th century. The ‘free for all’ that is so much more a part of fashion now really started in the late part of the 90’s. Ultimately, the 90’s didn’t seem to have any statements so big or noxious – like nylon in the 70’s or acid wash and shoulder pads in the 80’s – that rendered them embarrassing or particularly memorable. It’s also true that I still have and would wear a number of items of clothing purchased in the 90’s. This is certainly not true of the 80’s.
So for me, the 90’s don’t feel so much style-past as any other decade, because in themselves they were such a hybrid, aspects of the 90’s have never gone away.
These days to me it seems so much more about nuance than nouveau. What do you think?
(If anyone is interested in the ebay shop where I purchased my birks, just ask).