Iconic Films of the 90s

As someone who has always been a bit put off by the idea of rescinding into a past decade (namely anything after 1960), I have to say, the Seattle grunge-raised girl inside of me is actually getting a twinge of excitement regarding the return of the 1990’s.

Growing up, the biggest temptation I had did not involve my age-appropriate candy, mix tapes, or coloring utensils… But my older sister’s closet. As the older sister, she was the pinnacle of style, attitude and cool. The days when she’d purge her closet to make a Value Village donation were the best days of my life, and when I inherited the maroon, v-neck sweater that she wore so well, I probably wore it every to every-other day, religiously.

However, when I wasn’t actively trying to access her closet (likely after a few too many “MOM! She’s trying to get into my ROOM AGAIN!”s), I listened to my other idols on the radio: Courtney Love, Shirley Manson of Garbage, Gwen Stefani in her rockin’ No Doubt Days, and the ever-dreamy Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam.

I coveted the idea of combat boots (ask my mom! She finally caved when I was 15), frilly dresses and fishnets, deep red lipstick and leather jackets, layered eyeliner and porcelin skin – I wanted to be a 1990’s super girl.

So now that we’re seeing the return of all things pre-millenium, I have to say… I’m attracted. So attracted, in fact, that my collection of grunge-era duds is already starting to grow (currently wearing ditsy print top and biker jacket!). If you’re afraid of looking “so last century”, however, there is hope in the idea of combining the modern and the old.

First, let’s take a gander at what we’re dealing with. AKA, here are some screenshots of my favorite 90’s quintessential movies:

Firstly, and most applicably, Reality Bites (1994) starring a once-again anxious and confused Winona Ryder, vividly in-your-face Janeane Garofalo, sexy-but-bad-for-you Ethan Hawke and some random appearances by Ben Stiller and Renee Zellwegger. This film exemplifies the idea that hair is not a priority… Unless, of course, your hair doesn’t look like it’s not a priority, in which case, it absolutely is. Frilly dresses, crochet tops and slouchy bottoms are all over this flick.



Next up is lesser-known, but closer-to-my-heart Singles (1992) which was filmed in my hometown of Seattle. Bridget Fonda, Matt Dillon, Jeremy Piven and Kyra Sedgewick all star in this secret film about – you guessed it! – being single. Now, this is the 90’s at its best – lots of leather, lots of black, lots of sheer dark tights, and hats. The special Soundgarden appearance is nice, too…. Oh, Chris Cornell…

Next up, one of my alltime favorite movies, Empire Records (1995). Liv Tyler, Ethan Embry (swoon!), Renee Zellweger (again!), and Rory Cochrane (double swoon!) star in this record store-based film about kids finding out who they really are. Aww. This is one of my favorite fashion films… Ever. Also, Gwar makes an appearance. WHAT COULD BE BETTER? Lest we not forget the super 90’s gothy girl, Robin Tunney, who didn’t even get listed as a “star” of the film on the website I was just looking at. Pish posh, she owns this movie!

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OH REXY! You’re so sexy!

So, basically, as a girl in the 90’s, the goal was to look sugary sweet, but also like you could willingly (and easily) kick an ass or two at the drop of a hat. High heels were a priority for the “upper class”, likely, along with big shoulders and clenching and remaining styles from the 80’s, but as for the youth of the 90’s – it’s all grunge and mess – but a lovely mess it is.

See more awesome 90’s posts!