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STYLE ADVICE

90s style icons

By Sarah Kershaw, 6 September 2015

Guess what? The decade that refuses to die has risen from it’s very shallow grave once again to influence the hottest trends around for AW15 – and we’re all loving it. Worn your bucket hat all summer? Copped an oversized flannel shirt or CK-logoed sweat recently? Got your eye on a parka for winter? Yep, you’ve been bitten by the 90s bug, too. Here are the celeb guys that influenced the street style of the era and continue to be a fixture on designers’ moodboards today. 

90s style icons

Picture: Getty


Will Smith – all things bright and beautiful

Ahh, the Fresh Prince. He holds a special place in all our hearts. Bounding onto our screens like an over-excited puppy in 1990, his moderate fame as an MC was about to blow up, making him one of the most recognisable faces of the 90s and still one of our most successful movie stars. And with it came a bright, bold, OTT injection of colour to match those famous graffiti graphics – clashing stripes, neon patches and primary-coloured caps all featured in his wardrobe. Ridiculous shirts and shellsuits aside, Smith’s dungarees, drop-crotch trousers and flat-top fade are all back for this season. Chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’ all cool, indeed.  

90s style icons

Picture: Getty


Jared Leto – grungy teen heartthrob

As Jordan Catalano, the emotionally unavailable love interest in mid-90s series My So-Called Life, Jared Leto broke a million teenage hearts and spawned a million knock-off looks. Working a Kurt Cobain-lite vibe, he was all about oversized checked shirts, sweaters and shearling, with a penchant for messy, shoulder-length locks and leather chokers. It’s a very wearable look for autumn – just add ripped skinnies and beaten up boots to bring it up to date (and maybe lose the choker). 

90s style icons

Picture: Getty


Johnny Depp ­– haywire Hollywood hipster

In arguably his best on-screen period, which engendered gems like Cry Baby, Edward Scissorhands, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? and Donnie Brasco, Johnny Depp was also Hollywood’s hottest – in a big way. The antithesis of clean-cut child stars, his more, shall we say, ‘naughty’ proclivities just served to make him cooler. Along with a pretty face and a bad attitude goes an ice-cool signature style – his slightly scattergun approach to dressing worked in his favour, meaning he could pull off anything from 50s greaser to leather-jacketed grunge king with aplomb. 

90s style icons

Picture: Getty


Tupac Shakur – hard-edged hip-hop pioneer

If Will Smith was the family-friendly face of 90s rap, Tupac was the darker, more dangerous side of the coin. He was one of the first high-profile artists to sport the tatts that now seem to be a basic career requirement for any rapper, with a giant ‘Thug Life’ piece across his stomach and ‘outlaw’ on his forearm stating his allegiances loud and clear. His look was made up of hip-hop staples – heavy bling, backwards snap-backs, huge hoodies, basketball jerseys and other sports-inspired paraphernalia, plus his signature headscarf bandana. But he could also throw on a suit, a brocade jacket or a leather waistcoat and somehow make it look good. 

90s style icons

Picture: Getty


Liam Gallagher –­ Britpop ’n’ roll star

While America may have been all about grunge artists and rap beef, on this side of the pond one of the biggest influences on menswear in the 90s came from a couple of brothers from Manchester with a love/hate relationship. Noel may have had the songwriting talent, but Liam had the swagger, with his ubiquitous parka, round-lens sunnies and mod-revival haircut making him one of the most recognisable figures in music. The nu-lad new wave currently sweeping through fashion owes a lot to him and his Britpop cronies, who were inspired by gritty urban landscapes, terrace casuals and the Quadrophenia 60s mod look. Wear your parka with pride because you’re standing on the shoulders of fashion giants. 

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