Gemma Styles - 'Ode to the 90s'
I am a classic, date stamped, 90s kid. All those shirts that say 1990? That’s me right there. Okay, so I might have missed the first eleven months of the decade, but from then on I was right there living it – glitter glued my name on a headband and everything.
In the good old days before now (when half of the nine-year-olds around seem to have an iPod Touch to entertain themselves), the playground was a very different place, with the only electronic beeps coming from a bunch of wildly needy tamagotchis. Before collecting online followers was popular, we made do with Pokémon cards, Pogs, or Beanie Babies. To relax after the stress of almost trading away your shiny Charizard by mistake, there were plenty of less competitive items around: those weird squishy things that kind of looked like a churro filled with water, giant neon hair bobbles (a.k.a. cats cradle) and most importantly the aliens in those plastic eggs filled with jelly. If you stuck them back-to-back then they’d have a baby… or so it was rumoured.
All in all, much of the 90s was spent playing with new and novel bits of plastic, really. Then we’d go home, play some Crash Bandicoot on PS1 and drink enough Sunny D to turn us yellow. Although saying that, I never really had the thumb coordination for Crash. I was more of a Barbie Riding Club kind of girl.
I lived in a village, not a bigger town with all the toyshops, so there was only one shop where you’d tend to get the latest ‘trendy’ thing from. Once you got wind that they’d restocked the packets of Spice Girls collectible postcards, you had to beg to go there immediately after school, or you’d have no chance whatsoever until next week. The man who owned that shop must have felt like a king.
Thing is, being an actual 90s kid means that, as a child, you kind of missed some of what was happening at the time. All of the 90s fashion that has come back around now, we kind of did by accident – which may have been for the best. I remember begging my mum for giant platform trainers and now have pretty weak ankles so… maybe waiting ‘til now is okay.
Out of school time you’d usually find me in a pair of sunshine yellow pedal pushers and a baby pink velour t-shirt – stunning – but in school was where more of the trends seemed to filter in, even for us young’uns. Those chunky, black, lace-up shoes that everyone is walking around in now? I was wearing those when I was ten. What a time to be alive. The great thing about revisiting the 90s as a trend, is that we can now pick the best bits. Leave the over-plucked eyebrows alone but bring back the dungarees, mountains of denim and wearing your hair half-up half-down.
I’m on the fence about butterfly clips… maybe in a nice tortoiseshell, but not rainbow glitter. Those golden days have passed.
If you weren’t of playground age in the 90s, then you missed out on some great (weird) toys, but at least you got to experience the fashion the first time around – all hail 90s queens. If you were too young, then you’re in luck, because the whole decade is back in our wardrobes. Grab one of those swirly plastic chokers and catch it while you can. I for one will be making the most of our 90s nostalgia for as long as possible.
FYI: I have actually gone back and researched the “jelly aliens having babies” rumour as an adult. Yes, really. Apparently, there was originally a more expensive version of the alien toy that actually did have a baby alien inside, then the rumour filtered down to the cheaper version of the toy that everyone actually had from the corner shop. Fun fact.
Now that you've had your 90s nostalgia fix, have a listen to Gemma Styles's spotify playlist, dedicated to the era known for its rock, pop and contemporary R&B, or check out our recent photoshoot with her at God's Own Junkyard, where she modelled our upcoming 90s Throwback range, complete with bomber jackets, bodysuits and crop tops galore!
All images sourced from Pinterest