What with the 1994 period piece The Wackness set to open this weekend, Mary-Kate Olsen's penchant for hosting well-documented flannel parties, and the whiff of My So-Called Life and Eagle Eye Cherry in the air, it should be pretty obvious to all pop culture consumers that we are on the crest of a massive wave of 90s nostalgia. It's been happening for a while, actually. VH1 has already moved on to the aughts–a clear indication that the 90s revival trend is about to trickle down to suburbia, which means that 90s Dance Party will soon replace 80s Nite as the new "fun" weekly event at Tampa's finest strip mall nightclub, and Career Opportunities and Clueless will soon usurp Pretty In Pink as the hilariously dated slumber party movie of choice for teenagers all around the country.
All of which is fine. There's nothing really wrong dipping your toe in the pool of 90s nostalgia and revisiting the decade through songs or movies or TV shows of that time--even if the enjoyment never goes beyond "I remember this (admittedly terrible) song!" There is, however, something very, very wrong with diving headfirst into the 90s nostalgia pool and emerging covered in chunky shoes, matte brown lipstick, flannel (in all forms), leftover Spice Girls costumes, and in general dressing like it's 1995. To put it another way, if you listen to "How Bizarre" on your ipod you're only hurting yourself. But if you wear a Hypercolor t-shirt, you're basically punching everyone who sees that neon, heat-reacting, early-90s relic in the harsh sunlight of 2008 right in the eye.
So we should all be very concerned about this:
Can we all just agree to not do this? The 80s fashion revival gave us leggings and nouveau Members Only jackets. The 90s revival is only going to be worse: streaky, sweat-marked Hypercolor tees and giant plaid sack dresses as far as the eye can see.
Fashion should really have a buffer zone of about 50 to 100 years before its allowed to be re-purposed ironically. Society needs recovery time. If American Apparel wanted to bring back crinoline slips and angora cardigans or, even better, frilly parasols or giant floppy hats with feathers, it would be much easier to stomach.