THROWBACK THURSDAY: The 90s
I love reading.
Recently, I have been reading a book called Champagne Supernovas by Maureen Callahan. It covers the rise of three greats in this era: Kate Moss, Alexander McQueen, and Marc Jacobs. Each chapter alternates between these three to give a comprehensive overview of what it took for them to get where they are today.
Kate Moss, the first person that we are introduced to, is described as thin, waifish, and elven look. She came from a poor home and is portrayed as desperate for attention and affection that she did not receive from her mother. She was signed to a modeling agency where a photographer, Corinne Day, took photos of her for the cover of counter culture magazines like i-D and The Face.
Corinne was obsessed with juxtaposing beauty with decay and would take photos of models, including Kate, in their hotel rooms, cigarette and alcohol in hand, with their make up fading, surrounded by chaos. Eventually, Kate was picked up for the Calvin Klein campaign in the early 90s and thus began her meteoric rise to stardom. She started a tumultuous relationship with Johnny Depp that lead her to spiral ever deeper into drugs and partying.
Her rise marks the end of the Supermodel era from the 80s and the transition to the heroin chic look of the 90s. Many commented on her that they had not seen a model so thin since Twiggy. Ultimately, she came to epitomize 90s fashion.
Marc Jacobs had a similarly tumultuous upbringing and eventually lived with his grandparents in New York. He attended an Arts and Design High School before enrolling in Parson's The New School where he felt that he constantly had to compete with an earlier graduate, Isaac Mizrahi, as well as Tom Ford. After leaving Parsons, Marc took a position at Perry Ellis but was later fired due to the underperformance of his lines.
Throughout this time, Marc also designed for his own line, selling his first collection while still enrolled at Parsons. His own lines thrived despite faltering at Perry Ellis and he was ultimately appointed to Louis Vuitton. His first collection for Louis Vuitton did not fair well, but the success of his own line gave the managing members of LVMH the confidence to continue with Marc.
Marc Jacobs legacy in the 90s is marked by his Grunge collection, which was meant to be "exactly what people wanted at that time". Grunge was still the dominant trend and he designed this collection to be the epitome of it. However, as soon as the collection hit the runway, all of the major celebrities in line with the grunge trend abandoned it and it was designated a failure. Later, this collection would define the 90s.
McQueen was the opposite of both of these and will be covered next week. Stay tuned!