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Fashion
February 18, 2019

Revisiting The ’90s Through These Comeback Style Trends

Photographs by Debarati Sanyal. Styling by Akanksha Pandey. Assisted by Shweta Navandar. Hair and Make-Up by Jean-Claude Biguine Salon, India. Model: Sana Thampi at Feat. Artists

Neon shades, halter tops, mom jeans and curly tresses… all our favourite items from ’90s closets make a comeback

Pre-millennium fashion balanced on the extremes of bold statements and sartorial insouciance as young, cosmopolitan Indian women became more exposed to international style trends, particularly through MTV and Channel V. We revisit some of the biggest hits that trickled down into their closets – neon shades, halter tops, mom jeans and curly tresses – with model Sana Thampi, and infuse fresh energy into these now-vintage looks

Neon Green

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the ’90s?
Definitely the sitcom Friends and what they wore on the show. That is what the ’90s were for me, though I was really young at that time, maybe five or six years old. The characters’ outfits resonated well with the laid-back, grunge vibe of the decade, but my personal favourite would have to be the slip dresses.

Do you have anything in your wardrobe that was picked up in the ’90s?
I have one of my mother’s shirts that I still wear, and these baggy jeans from the 8th standard. I also have a few tops from Fabindia that are not too fitted. I am not a very frequent shopper and since I pick up clothes on a budget, I am very careful with the way I handle them. I don’t throw things away just because they have some defects, but instead, I make an effort to mend my outfits.

Curls

Were you comfortable with the big mop of curly hair during the shoot?
I was absolutely comfortable! I think big, curly waves add character and a softness to your face. My hair has gone through a lot of phases; it went from straight to super curly, and now I have soft, beach waves. I like curly hair more than a slick mane. In Kochi, where I spent my childhood, curly hair was the norm. A lot of people (I know) have struggled with them (curls) and tried to straighten their hair using unnatural treatments and products. Today, however, people have realised the importance of natural and untouched beauty.

How would you describe your personal style?
I stick to a very uniform colour palette when it comes to my wardrobe, and there’s nothing too flashy; mostly whites, blues, earthy tones, military and olive greens. I prefer relaxed and boxy fits, and you will never catch me wearing a body-con dress. Synthetic material is also a big no-no — I usually wear 100 per cent lightweight cotton fabric. Since I prefer my clothes to be a bit oversized, I mostly pick up shirts from the menswear section. So, my closet also comprises of my father’s and brother’s T-shirts.

Halter Tops

How do you choose your outfits every day?
Since I have moved from Kochi to Bengaluru and now live in Mumbai, I think cities affect my everyday wardrobe. Comfort is key when I am putting my look together. In Kochi, I wear a lot of roomy, long-line silhouettes, since the weather is humid. Similarly in Mumbai, I don’t like to wear jeans, and I tend to pick up a lot of dresses on an everyday basis. I usually complete my look with sneakers.

What kind of fabrics would we find in your wardrobe?
I look for fabrics that are soft and breathable. Even when it comes to designer labels, I prefer the ones that work with sustainable materials. I choose clothes based on their composition, and I check the tags to make sure that I am not picking any blends. Sometimes blended fabrics have the same feel (as a pure weave), hence, it’s important to check what you are investing in.

Mom Jeans

Is there a trend from the ’90s that you can still pull off?
Mom jeans…. I have worn a similar pair in the shoot. I would style them with a loose, oversized shirt, my watch, stud earrings and a single, dainty neckpiece.

Jeans have gone through a lot of iterations since the ’90s. How has your taste evolved over time?
My relationship with jeans has been very special. If you look at pictures from my childhood, you’d mostly find me wearing dungarees. In fact, my mother tells me that growing up I had this one pair of jeans that I refused to let go of. As I got older, I started moving towards easy fits. I don’t like the stretchy material that a lot of brands use for jeans, and I keep going back to Levi’s.

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