Richmond’s Kenneth Close (of design line Flux Rad) and Phil Williams (formerly of DC’s Olympia) are bringing their 90s alt dance night, 240 Minutes, on the road. Tonight at Sticky Rice DJs Kenneth and Phil will blast you with all the hits you stayed up WAY LATE watching MTV for in eighth grade (and also the ones you pretended you were too cool for when they came on the radio). 240 Minutes is a 90s theme night, for sure – but that doesn’t mean you need to show up in a SubPop shirt, flannel in tow. Though it might kind of rule if you did. In that spirit (and also because this IS a style column), let’s all take a moment to be HUGELY INSPIRED by my personal top 3, MTV-approved 90s style icons:
Babydoll dresses, gnarly tights, plastic barrettes; Courtney Love described her style as KINDERWHORE and I (and every other thirteen year old girl I knew) went bananas. She made torn-up vintage dresses, slips, and dark roots de rigeur in 94, and though she’s undergone several style transformations since (managing some high highs and looow lows), I’m kind of pissed that she didn’t just Stevie-Nicks-it and stay the same FORRRREVERRRRRR, because I still look back on that moment in time as STYLE DEFINING for me. PS: That Sassy cover? So fetch.
Reality Bites was all formative and life-changing in ways that I know you all are on board with (see: the soundtrack; Ethan Hawke-circa-1994; REQUITED LOVE), and, as such, Winona Ryder became the end-all, be-all of mid-90s cool. Thrifted clothing! That post-pixie cut! Those granny dresses! DAVE PIRNER! Within weeks I was having to explain to my mother my sudden obsession with chokers and WHY, exactly, I had cut all my own hair off. Related style stars include Janeane Garafolo’s Reality Bites character Vickie (so Goodwill-kooky) and Claire Danes as Angela Chase in My So-Called Life.
Early No Doubt-era Gwen Stefani was almost too much for my ninth grade mind to handle. Harajuku be damned, the “Just a Girl” video kept me up nights thinking about plaid pants and bindi dots, and her personal mash-up of 40s Veronica Lake and 90s Southern California was just so genius and somehow APPROPRIATE. Never before had platform shoes and track pants seemed like an option (and never since, really), but she somehow managed to pull it off. As with most constant style re-inventors, her early 90s look is way dated but aspirational NONETHELESS.
Very Close runner-ups for this list included Alicia Silverstone in the Aerosmith videos (so rebel-teen 90s!) and the amazing Kim Gordon (x-girl 90s!), but time is short and I think I might need to locate some Doc Martens like stat. As ever, add YOUR 1990s style stars via the comments section, and I’ll see you tonight at Sticky Rice….
240 Minutes photo by Karen Seifert.