For most of my 20s, I’ve been your archetypal hypochondriac (let’s just say a good old MRI really calms my nerves), but lately, my Woody Allen-like fear of the end has morphed into something even more frightful: the end of my youth. I’ll be 30 next April—a milestone I’ve been dreading since I turned 27 (which, let’s be honest, was traumatic enough). Most say the best is yet to come, but from where I’m sitting, my impending existential grapple with miniskirts has pushed me down a road of teenage wardrobe nostalgia where crushed velvet, neon and over-the-top everything reign supreme.
Fashion’s ’90s streak couldn’t have come at a better time. For me, the ’90s represent a period in my life when my biggest priorities were decorating my room with posters of Leonardo DiCaprio, sneaking into 14A movies like Cruel Intentions and The Craft and lining up outside MuchMusic to see The Backstreet Boys. Fast-forward to today and the ’90s couldn’t be more pervasive. Crop tops and Birkenstocks are street-style staples, witches are the new vampires and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is, well, fresh again. And while for many it may feel early for a ’90s redux, the evidence says otherwise: Cher Horowitz’s, like, totally important Alaïa moment happened 19 years ago. Aaliyah has been dead for 13 years. And Marc Jacobs’s infamous grunge collection for Perry Ellis? That was 21 years ago.
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