Close
Date TimeAugust 08, 2018
VoiceThe problem with 90s nostalgia is that the decade was already backward-looking. It’s dress-up and it won’t last
From Rihannas eyebrows to slip dresses: should we embrace the 90s revival?
Now that Rihanna has super-thin eyebrows and slip dresses are in fashion, does this mean the 90s are back? And, as I can remember it the first time round, am I too old to carry this off? Mary, by email
The question is not whether you are too old, Mary, but whether you would want to. Some of us lived our formative years in the 90s and the only reason we wore dresses over jeans, superfluously pocketed trousers from Carhartt, bizarrely patterned Doctor Martens and so on is because there was literally nothing else in the shops. We were sartorially deprived, damn it! And, perhaps more importantly, we just didn’t know better. Now we do. So let the youngsters enjoy their 90s dressing-up box: all those eyebrow pencils and lip pencils, those shapeless slip dresses that looked good on no one but Winona Ryder and Courtney Love, that bad denim and even worse shoes. You and me, Mary, we can stand to the side in our actually flattering jeans and enjoy it from our porch constructed from decaying Britpop dreams.
I have been thinking a lot about nostalgia of late. I recently went to a festival aimed at parents of young children and while the big hitters were on the main stage (Peppa Pig! Mr Tumble! DICK AND FLIPPING DOM!!!), the music for the parents was entirely from yesteryear, scheduled in the not entirely incorrect belief that, as soon as they have kids, people stop bothering with the zeitgeist. So there were some 80s headliners (who most of the parents were surely too young to remember by now, but no matter) and some truly extraordinary relics from the 90s. Jesus Jones were there. So were Stereo MCs. And so were Shed Seven. I’m afraid I had a mini nervous breakdown on the Saturday afternoon, somewhere between Peppa and Connected: was this what my youth had been reduced to? Shed flipping Seven? Oh, the meaninglessness of it all! Fortunately, at that point, one of my kids spotted the bouncy castle and my existential despair had to be cut short.
I don’t mind nostalgia. Obviously, I don’t: I wrote a book about 80s movies, for heaven’s sake, so sentimentalising the past is a state with which I’m very comfortable. And while it’s the 90s we’re now revisiting, that decade was itself a very sentimental time. The music, for a start, was hugely backward-looking, with British guitar bands dividing themselves into weirdly factionalised groups, some obsessing over the Beatles, some imitating the Small Faces and others wanging on about Ray Davies. But with the inevitable exceptions of Blur and Oasis, no one listens to those copycat bands any more. The British music from the 90s that has endured beyond nostalgia is the stuff that was genuinely new: Roni Size, Goldie, Portishead, Massive Attack, Tricky, Primal Scream, the Prodigy and, oh yes, Craig David. Because people always want the original, not the lame-ass rehashed version.
Similarly, the reason I love 80s movies is because no one before had made teen movies like John Hughes did, and no one before had made action movies like Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson, and no one before had ever seen anyone like Eddie Murphy on screen. And that is why I’m rather charmed by Universal/Paramount Pictures’ re-releases of these movies and selected others as DVDs but in their original 80s VHS packaging: these films are great partly because they were so original but it’s perfectly right to acknowledge that their appeal now is decidedly retro. No one is kidding anyone that these movies are new.
Which brings me back to fashion. I just don’t see the point in aping past decades and pretending this is the current look. It’s not: it’s dress-up and, ultimately, it won’t last. When people look back on fashion of the 2010s in 20 or 30 years, they will not think about the 90s rehashes: they will think about yoga clothes and contouring and tracksuits and the Kardashians. That might not be the list you love now, but it is the list of this era. And to quote a certain movie we’re all nostalgic for now but that was, itself, about nostalgia, I guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet … but your kids are going to love it.

Related Stories
Graham Norton Reveals Surprising Formula To Building The Perfect Sofa Line-UpGraham Norton Reveals Surprising Formula To Building The Perfect Sofa Line-Up
Prince estate calls out Trump for playing his music: Rihanna, the Rolling Stones and many more have done the samePrince estate calls out Trump for playing his music: Rihanna, the Rolling Stones and many more have done the same
I couldn’t be a sellout: Rihanna says she turned down Super Bowl over Kaepernick'I couldn’t be a sellout': Rihanna says she turned down Super Bowl over Kaepernick
Princes Estate Blasts Trump For Breaking Agreement About Using Purple Rain At RalliesPrince's Estate Blasts Trump For 'Breaking Agreement' About Using Purple Rain At Rallies
Latest News
Failure To Tackle Westminster Bullying And Harassment A ScandalFailure To Tackle Westminster Bullying And Harassment 'A Scandal'
Buttigieg Claims Warren and Sanders’ Medicare for All Is ‘Infringing on Freedom’ in New AdButtigieg Claims Warren and Sanders’ Medicare for All Is ‘Infringing on Freedom’ in New Ad
Google Maps Banned on Sardinia? Mayor Wants Service Blocked After Putting Tourists in DangerGoogle Maps Banned on Sardinia? Mayor Wants Service Blocked After Putting Tourists in Danger
Syria Kurds keep Turkey at bay in border town: monitorSyria Kurds keep Turkey at bay in border town: monitor
The Family That Worked for Jeffrey Epstein—and a TrumpThe Family That Worked for Jeffrey Epstein—and a Trump
Russian troll freed in Belarus after arrest for US election tamperingRussian troll freed in Belarus after arrest for US election tampering
A Direct Threat to the U.S. Military: Chinas New Hypersonic WeaponsA Direct Threat to the U.S. Military: China's New Hypersonic Weapons
This church in Pennsylvania holds a ceremony to bless gunsThis church in Pennsylvania holds a ceremony to bless guns
Paltry fines and spineless words helped create the poison in Sofia | Barney RonayPaltry fines and spineless words helped create the poison in Sofia | Barney Ronay
In Japan they call it doryoku – but effort alone won’t beat South Africa | Andy BullIn Japan they call it doryoku – but effort alone won’t beat South Africa | Andy Bull
Celebrities
Ariana-GrandeAriana Grande
American singer
Jay_ZJay-Z
American rapper
Justin-BieberJustin Bieber
Canadian singer-songwriter
BeyoncéBeyoncé
American singer-songwriter
Ellen-DeGeneresEllen DeGeneres
American comedian
Kylie-JennerKylie Jenner
American television personality
Taylor-SwiftTaylor Swift
American singer
Miley-CyrusMiley Cyrus
American singer-songwriter
Lady-GagaLady Gaga
American singer-songwriter
Selena-GomezSelena Gomez
American singer
Oprah-WinfreyOprah Winfrey
American executive
Khloe-KardashianKhloé Kardashian
American media personality
MadonnaMadonna
American singer-songwriter
Jimmy-KimmelJimmy Kimmel
American television host
Stephen-ColbertStephen Colbert
American comedian
Kim-KardashianKim Kardashian
American media personality
Jennifer-LopezJennifer Lopez
American singer
Related Stories
Graham Norton Reveals Surprising Formula To Building The Perfect Sofa Line-UpGraham Norton Reveals Surprising Formula To Building The Perfect Sofa Line-Up
Prince estate calls out Trump for playing his music: Rihanna, the Rolling Stones and many more have done the samePrince estate calls out Trump for playing his music: Rihanna, the Rolling Stones and many more have done the same
I couldn’t be a sellout: Rihanna says she turned down Super Bowl over Kaepernick'I couldn’t be a sellout': Rihanna says she turned down Super Bowl over Kaepernick
Princes Estate Blasts Trump For Breaking Agreement About Using Purple Rain At RalliesPrince's Estate Blasts Trump For 'Breaking Agreement' About Using Purple Rain At Rallies
Latest News
Failure To Tackle Westminster Bullying And Harassment A ScandalFailure To Tackle Westminster Bullying And Harassment 'A Scandal'
Buttigieg Claims Warren and Sanders’ Medicare for All Is ‘Infringing on Freedom’ in New AdButtigieg Claims Warren and Sanders’ Medicare for All Is ‘Infringing on Freedom’ in New Ad
Google Maps Banned on Sardinia? Mayor Wants Service Blocked After Putting Tourists in DangerGoogle Maps Banned on Sardinia? Mayor Wants Service Blocked After Putting Tourists in Danger
Syria Kurds keep Turkey at bay in border town: monitorSyria Kurds keep Turkey at bay in border town: monitor
The Family That Worked for Jeffrey Epstein—and a TrumpThe Family That Worked for Jeffrey Epstein—and a Trump
Russian troll freed in Belarus after arrest for US election tamperingRussian troll freed in Belarus after arrest for US election tampering
A Direct Threat to the U.S. Military: Chinas New Hypersonic WeaponsA Direct Threat to the U.S. Military: China's New Hypersonic Weapons
This church in Pennsylvania holds a ceremony to bless gunsThis church in Pennsylvania holds a ceremony to bless guns
Paltry fines and spineless words helped create the poison in Sofia | Barney RonayPaltry fines and spineless words helped create the poison in Sofia | Barney Ronay
In Japan they call it doryoku – but effort alone won’t beat South Africa | Andy BullIn Japan they call it doryoku – but effort alone won’t beat South Africa | Andy Bull
Celebrities
Ariana-GrandeAriana Grande
American singer
Jay_ZJay-Z
American rapper
Justin-BieberJustin Bieber
Canadian singer-songwriter
BeyoncéBeyoncé
American singer-songwriter
Ellen-DeGeneresEllen DeGeneres
American comedian
Kylie-JennerKylie Jenner
American television personality
Taylor-SwiftTaylor Swift
American singer
Miley-CyrusMiley Cyrus
American singer-songwriter
Lady-GagaLady Gaga
American singer-songwriter
Selena-GomezSelena Gomez
American singer
Oprah-WinfreyOprah Winfrey
American executive
Khloe-KardashianKhloé Kardashian
American media personality
MadonnaMadonna
American singer-songwriter
Jimmy-KimmelJimmy Kimmel
American television host
Stephen-ColbertStephen Colbert
American comedian
Kim-KardashianKim Kardashian
American media personality
Jennifer-LopezJennifer Lopez
American singer
Interest rates will stay low for 20 years – Bank of England expert
Samsung set to unveil next flagship Note smartphone
Emilia Clarke boyfriend: Is the Game of Thrones star single? Who has she dated?
Cristiano Ronaldo: Juventus star’s girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez nearly spills out of top
Egypt's second sphinx FOUND: Ancient statue discovered during ROAD WORKS
You know aging in Hollywood is rough when Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt get Photoshopped
Weird, 570-Million-Year-Old 'Leaf' Fossil Is Actually from an Animal
Melania Trump's parents are now US citizens
Assange 'considering' testifying in Russia meddling probe
Lombok earthquake: new quake hits as death toll from earlier tremor tops 300
Police warn Drake fans against doing 'Shiggy' dance on road
Chelsea announce agreement to sign Mateo Kovacic on season-long loan
Carrie Underwood is pregnant, tells fans she is 'over the moon'
Professional golfer Jarrod Lyle dies at age 36 after battling leukemia
Tweet threatens to ‘waste’ everyone at town hall event for Devin Nunes’ opponent
Prince William and Theresa May join ex-soldiers to celebrate Battle of Amiens which signalled beginning of end of WW1
Argentina holds historic abortion vote as 1m women rally to demand change
US confirms Russia DID order Salisbury nerve agent attack and promise REVENGE sanctions
Gaining control of Portugal wildfire will take days, prime minister says
Brad Pitt says he loaned $8 million to Angelina Jolie, paid $1.3 million in child support
NASA's newest spacecraft will fly through the Sun's scorching hot atmosphere
Chelsea sets $91m record for goalkeeper
'Dear Ivanka': Celebrities target Trump's daughter on Instagram
Indonesian earthquake: Death toll rises to 347 after powerful jolt to resort island
Oscars: Academy to add achievement in popular film category
CW Network Casts Ruby Rose as Lesbian Batwoman
From Kong to Kirby: Smash Bros' Masahiro Sakurai on mashing up 35 years of gaming history
GOP Rep. Chris Collins charged with insider trading
Tlaib wins Conyers' seat; Congress to get 1st Muslim woman
Kim, Khloé shade Younes Bendjima after breakup with Kourtney
Key takeaways from Ohio special election and primaries in four other states
Kansas GOP governor primary too close to call; Kobach, Colyer send supporters home
Jarvis Landry delivers epic speech in season premiere of HBO's 'Hard Knocks' with Browns
Manchester United turn down Barcelona offer for Paul Pogba
International Cat Day: 15 facts about moggies
Indian political icon Muthuvel Karunanidhi dies at 94
Dina Asher-Smith and Zharnel Hughes storm to 100m Euro gold
Blackhawks legend, Hockey Hall of Famer Stan Mikita dies at 78
Theresa May calls on Boris Johnson to say sorry for burqa remarks
Elon Musk Might Take Tesla Private in a Move That Values the Company at $82 Billion
'Bachelorette' Becca Kufrin Explains Why Arie Luyendyk Jr. Was Cut From Finale (Exclusive)
Shaun Weiss: 5 Things To Know About 'The Mighty Ducks' Star, 39, Who Was Arrested
Wilbur Ross alleged to have siphoned more than $120 million from associates, Forbes reports
Kathleen Turner discusses Trump's 'gross' handshake, Elizabeth Taylor's 'awful' voice in tell-all interview
Chelsea to pay £71.6m for Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga
Ruby Rose cast as The CW's Batwoman
Ohio special election, Different point of view
Google honours Muslim philosopher Ibn Sina
Margot Robbie's scary good Sharon Tate transformation for 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'
Britney Spears will keep her fans dancing 'til the world ends - Brighton Pride review
Man City transfer news LIVE Pep Guardiola's hunt for midfielder and latest on Joe Hart's Burnley transfer
Trabuco Canyon brush fire: Fast-moving blaze burns 4000 acres, prompts evacuations
Don’t you dare let Paul Pogba leave, Rio Ferdinand tells United
Diamondbacks OF David Peralta's shoulder injury not a major concern
Later this year, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch its biggest batch of satellites yet
Director of Trayvon Martin documentary says teen’s shooting was ‘turning point’ for U.S
Bachelorette Becca Kufrin picks her man and Bachelor Nation does not approve
Sweep of Yankees shows Red Sox can do 'damage,' too
Hothouse Earth: Runaway global warming threatens 'habitability of the planet for humans'
Stan Kroenke makes £600m offer to buy ‘100% ownership’ of Arsenal
Robert Redford confirms retirement from acting
Bernard to have Everton medical with club set to win battle for Brazil winger
Facebook, Apple, YouTube and Spotify ban Infowars' Alex Jones
Paul Manafort's 'right-hand man' Rick Gates to testify in fraud trial
Actress Charlotte Rae dies
Beyoncé reveals she is 'descended from a slaveowner'
Indonesia earthquake: Lombok hit by SECOND earthquake today - Bali rattled
SpaceX set to re-fly first Falcon 9 Block 5 booster Tuesday
Facebook to Banks: Give Us Your Data, We'll Give You Our Users
NFL's first male dancers will hit the sidelines this season
Trump re-imposes Iran sanctions 'to change, not topple Tehran'
Bologna EXPLOSION: Massive fireball rockets into sky near Italy airport – shock footage
Tiger Woods moves on to PGA Championship as Justin Thomas wins Bridgestone by four shots
Liz Peek: Obama stiffs Ocasio-Cortez as Democrats weigh whether she hurts or helps them in November
Hiroshima marks 73rd anniversary of atomic bombing in World War II
Apple removes podcasts by Infowars' Alex Jones
Man charged with murder of midwife Samantha Eastwood
France LOSES OUT on Brexit billions: Belgian and Dutch ports picked for new Irish route
Police chief orders use of force review after Portland protest
Saudis expel Canadian envoy, freeze new trade deals over tweets about rights activist
14 hours in Chicago: 44 shot, 5 killed
At least 317 killed in ongoing protests in Nicaragua
Hundreds crowd beach, await rescue after massive quake in Indonesia
Theresa May confident of reaching Brexit deal, sources say
Sublime Manchester City sweep Chelsea aside to lift Community Shield
Lady Gaga apologizes for calling Rick 'Zombie Boy' Genest's death a suicide
Hall wins Women's British Open for 1st major title
Kellyanne Conway: 'I don't believe journalists are the enemy of the people'
Patrick Stewart stuns fans with 'Star Trek' return
Radio telescope picks up new frequency in space
Old-time plane crashes in Swiss Alps, killing 20 on board
6.9-magnitude quake hits Indonesia
'The Americans' Wins Big at TV Critics Awards
Entertainer Barry Chuckle dies at 73
A flat tire started the deadly Carr Fire and days of devastation in California
UFC 227: TJ Dillashaw reveals strategy for second Garbrandt KO, declares himself BW GOAT
Randy Moss wears tie during Hall of Fame speech as tribute to slain African-Americans
Emilia Clarke: Game Of Thrones star flashes the flesh as she gives fans insight into break
Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho plots £80m deadline-busting raid for Harry Maguire
Trump may want a ‘Space Force’ but the Pentagon has a different idea
Venezuela's Maduro: Drone attack was attempt to kill him
Convicted child rapist escapes from Kansas prison three days after arrival
Melania Trump contradicts her husband on LeBron James
Meghan Markle dazzles in navy as she arrives for wedding of Prince Harry's close friend
18 killed after Russian helicopter crashes in Siberia, airline says
Urban Meyer says he knew about and reported 2015 incident of alleged abuse by assistant
Astronomers discover a free-range planet with incredible magnetism
Facebook Dating will be a feature, not an app; here's a peek
Barack Obama Day: Former president's political home state of Illinois kicks off holiday
Mission Possible: How To Hike Pulpit Rock Like Tom Cruise Onscreen
Cristiano Ronaldo: Juventus star thought Real Madrid exit was humiliating for one reason
Weekend Box Office: 'Mission: Impossible 6' Making More Honey Than 'Christopher Robin'
Europe's record temperature of 48C could be beaten this weekend
First woman fined in Denmark for wearing full-face veil
President Trump bashes LeBron James over CNN interview: Don Lemon made him 'look smart'
Melania Trump shows of incredible figure in tight white jeans with husband Donald
'Zombie Boy' Rick Genest, tattooed muse to Lady Gaga, dies aged 32
More than 100 goats invade Boise neighbourhood, chew on everything they could find
May and Macron hold 'informal' Brexit talks in France
These 9 Astronauts Will Fly the 1st Flights on SpaceX and Boeing Spaceships
Judge Denies Larry Nassar’s Appeal For New Sentence
Ella Mai: ‘If it were up to England, Boo’d Up definitely wouldn’t be where it is now’
Travis Scott will drop new album this week
Barcelona complete signing of Arturo Vidal for £27m from Bayern Munich
My son, Osama: the al-Qaida leader’s mother speaks for the first time
Donald Trump hits back at criticism: 'DISGUSTING! I was EARLY and waiting for the QUEEN!'
Boeing and SpaceX delay first crucial test flights of new passenger spacecraft again
Colbert Mocks Paul Manafort’s Wardrobe: Looks Like ‘A Blind Pimp Got 100 Wishes’
Black pastors see Trump bringing 'new hope' -- but still need to convince their flocks
395 people sickened in McDonald's salad outbreak
Suspected Russian spy caught working inside US embassy in Moscow
Urban Meyer placed on leave as Ohio State investigates what he knew about alleged abuse
Virat Kohli’s brilliant century frustrates England in India fightback
Trump received letter from North Korea's Kim on August 1: White House
Ivanka Trump: Migrant separations a ‘low point’ and journalists are not ‘enemy of the people’
May prepares for talks with Macron that could make or break Brexit plan
Stonehenge mystery SOLVED: Who built Stonehenge? Latest study on stone formation REVEALED
Naomi Campbell, 48, stuns in two bikini photos, shuts down pregnancy rumors
Iran deploys 50 small boats to Strait of Hormuz for large-scale 'swarming' exercise
Thousands march in Jerusalem Gay Pride amid surrogacy uproar
Elon Musk Shares Image of Reusable Falcon 9 Blazing a Trail in the Night
Kim Kardashian Disses Kourtney As 'Least Exciting To Look At' In Brutal Fight
Papa John's founder says he has 'no confidence' in current management team, including CEO Steve Ritchie
Apple is now worth $1,000,000,000,000
There's a very simple reason Trump wants to sit down with Mueller
NASA says we can't terraform Mars. Elon Musk disagrees
Giant hands lift new Vietnam bridge toward heavens
Bank of England poised to raise interest rates
Mount Olympus: Google doodle celebrates Greece's Mount Olympus and its heroic climbers
BREXIT LIVE: Remainers turn AGAINST EU and warn 'don't offer May Brexit FUDGE'
Life Needs Sunlight — and That Could Change Where We Look for Aliens
Reddit hacked, despite SMS two-factor authentication
Tesla Doubles Loss, but Burns Less Cash Than Expected
Colbert Finds A Way He Could Actually Vote For Trump
Madonna Reveals She Fled To Portugal To Escape Trump
US threatens raising tariffs to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods
Ex-wife of Ohio State assistant fired for abuse says Urban Meyer knew of case
Protests in Denmark as 'burqa ban' comes into effect
Manafort put himself 'above the law' to fund his expensive tastes, court hears
LONDON BLOODBATH: One man dead and two injured after triple stabbing in Camberwell
3 Russian journalists killed while filming documentary on private Russian security group in Africa
Bermuda Triangle mystery 'solved,' scientists claim
If We Ever Want to Walk on Mars, We'd Better Get Serious About Planetary Protection
Mother of missing Iowa college student recounts last text she sent to daughter
Former President Obama Endorses 81 Candidates For Midterms
Tiffany Haddish Says She Was Raped By A Police Cadet When She Was 17
‘Friends’ Cast Had An Adorable Backstage Ritual When Lisa Kudrow Was Pregnant
US sanctions 2 Turkish officials over detention of US pastor
What to Know About Gerda Taro, the War Photographer Celebrated By Today’s Google Doodle
Tommy Robinson freed on bail as court orders retrial
Trump pushes Jeff Sessions to end Mueller's Russia investigation 'right now'
Meghan Markle so ‘DEEPLY HURT’ by father Thomas Markle the Queen might get involved
NBA trade news: Lakers told Kawhi Leonard move failed because of LeBron James
Mexico plane crash: 103 people onboard but all survived, say officials
‘Not good, not nice’: At Florida rally, Trump says China has ‘targeted our farmers’
John Kelly says he will remain Donald Trump's chief of staff until 2020
Facebook removes accounts amid fears of Russian meddling in US midterms
Kevin Hart bans phones during Florida comedy performance
Mars Is At Its Closest to Earth Since 2003 Today! It Won't Be Closer Until 2287
Watch Obama and Biden surprise bakery staff
Kim Kardashian: 'I have nothing bad to say about the president'
France bans smartphones from schools
Guardians of the Galaxy cast signs open letter in support of James Gunn
Trump says he would meet with Iran without preconditions
Lady Amelia Windsor: Royal's 'most beautiful member' takes a dip on Ibiza beach
Glasgow fire: Huge blaze erupts at school - firefighters race to scene in Crookston Road
MH370 report says someone deliberately 'manipulated’ plane’s controls
Can We Terraform Mars to Make It Earth-Like? Not Anytime Soon, Study Suggests
IBM's blockchain app store wants to help banks cut costs
Video shows moment harasser slaps woman on streets of Paris
Dillian Whyte and Joseph Parker should have been a DRAW
'A fire tornado': death toll in massive California blaze rises to five
There May be Water on Mars but Don't Pack Your Bags Just Yet
Trump Again Threatens to Shut Down Government
Tour de France 2018: Geraint Thomas wins to make sporting history
Russia's navy parade: Big show without substance?
CEO of broadcast giant CBS Les Moonves investigated for sexual misconduct
Carrie Fisher will be in Star Wars: Episode IX
Vogue's Rihanna cover photographer accused of cultural appropriation
Pope Francis accepts resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick over sex abuse allegations
Close