Music Video Fashion Moments That Defined the ’90s | lpwsshjmal
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Music Video Fashion Moments That Defined the ’90s

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When you think of the ’90s, what comes to mind? Was it the loud colors, the grunge-inspired fashion, or the great music that defined the decade? The ’90s was a musical and style powerhouse, and no decade before or since has quite managed to capture our memories the way the ’90s did. But which music video fashion moments in the ’90s were most memorable? From pop divas to boybands, here’s a look back at some of the iconic music video fashion looks that kept us all mesmerized!
Music Video Fashion Moments That Defined the '90s

1. The Sartorial Soundtrack: Unforgettable Fashion Moments in ’90s Music Videos

  • The Good Life – 3LW ft. Lil Wayne (2000)
  • Wonder woman – Lil Kim (2000)

The ’90s was a decade dominated by fashion in the world of music videos. Music videos of the time were often formulaic, with record labels wanting to show off the latest fashion trends and artists from the world of hip hop to pop stars, all wearing the latest in clothing, accessories and styles.

From the sensational style of 3LW’s Good Life to the sultry street style of Lil Kim’s Wonder Woman, the haute couture of Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch’s Good Vibrations to the classic label swagger of The Notorious B.I.G’s Juicy, fashion was always at the centre of the ’90s music video.

The fashion industry would have been wise to seek the influence of the music video to boost trends, as much of the style seen in the videos bled into mainstream fashion and culture. From high waisted jeans with oversized jackets to platform sneakers, much of what was seen on the screen was being spotted on the streets.

The often-theatrical styling gave the music video an added dramatic touch, setting the perfect backdrop for the song’s narrative. While some videos gave us a glimpse into a world of fantasy and extravagance with designer labels dominating the scene, others favoured a raw and realistic style, blurring the lines between high fashion and ready-to-wear.

Whether they were donning a Versace suit or a simple crop top, ’90s music videos were the perfect place to spend a nostalgic Saturday morning with your friends, ogling at the most memorable fashion moments.

2. Cracking the ’90s Style Code: Iconic Fashion Statements in Music Videos

Going back to the ’90s fashion statements in music videos is like turning a time machine to the fashion era of statement pieces, flowing outfits, and sometimes, just a little bit of craziness. We’ve gone through the music videos, and rounded up the best looks from the ’90s.

Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Girl

Gwen Stefani started the trend of bold looks in many of her songs, led by her iconic Harajuku-inspired outfit. Bright primary colors and equally vibrant accessories marked her unforgettable look. What was perhaps more memorable was her troop of back-up dancers dressed in a similar fashion, emphasizing Gwen’s Harajuku style. Who could forget the signature manga t-shirts, oversized purses, and particular headpieces from her music video for “What You Waiting For”? Right here, Gwen Stefani set the tone for ’90s fashion statements in music videos.

Spice Girls’ Print Maxi Dresses

The biggest girl group made of five members each donning distinct looks, the Spice Girls (known as Posh Spice, Baby Spice, Scary Spice, Sporty Spice, and Ginger Spice) created the preppy-pinup girl look. Think bright and fun sundresses, with polka dots, florals, stripes, and more. Maxi dresses suddenly became the in-thing. Maybe their best-known music video is their hit song “Wannabe”, featuring Summery outfits that you can now easily immanent in the streets. They undeniably left their mark on the ’90s fashion in music videos.

Britney Spears’ School Girl Outfit

Who could forget the iconic performance of Britney Spears in her music video “Baby One More Times”? The pop star was seen in a girl-next-door school look wearing a pleated skirt and a crop top paired with a tie, wherein she schooled us all on style. Britney went through more than one outfit in the video, from a wedding dress to cheerleader and leather chaps as well, but the school look was perhaps the most immanent and memorable one from the video that stuck for years.

TLC’s Baggy Outfits

TLC was the epitome of ’90s R&B style. For their hit song “No Scrubs”, they embraced the 90s baggy androgynous look with oversized denim jeans, white tees, and retro-inspired bright colored tees like green and pink. They’re louder than life attitudes were shown through their street-style apparel. Some of their more memorable looks from the era include their colorful and vibrant long coats with bags, and shimmery fabric for the midriff baring outfit in “Waterfalls”.

Will Smith’s Shorts Look

Finally, no ’90s fashion statement is complete without a mention of Fresh Prince himself. Will Smith in his music video for “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” embodied the classic ’90s haircut and dapper-casual look. Essentially he was wearing sweat shorts and an oversized shirt, but he carried it off with utter confidence and a wild smile. This was, hands-down, one of the most iconic looks of the 90s. Revisiting this look, it’s a classic.

As the ’90s entrenched in, music videos quickly became a source of inspiration for all things fashion. From the fashion to the hair to the accessories to the choreography, music videos served as an outlet for the latest and greatest trends of the age. Here are a few segments of ’90s music video fashion that made waves.

  • Ripped Jeans and Bold Logos: Amidst the ’90s grunge style, ripped jeans, bold logos, and overalls were all the rage. Kurt Cobain of Nirvana certainly started the trend himself, wearing destroyed jeans paired with statement shirts and graphic sweaters. A-list celebrities such as Pamela Anderson and Courtney Love followed, donning ripped jeans and larger-than-life logos.
  • Sports Attire and Printed Blouses: With their sharp outlines and athleisure attitude, sports skirts and shorts were a major fashion craze in the ’90s. Not to mention, the appeal of a 90s girl donning a printed top, cropped long-sleeved blouse, or sports jersey was overwhelming, as seen in Brittany Spears’ hit song “…Baby One More Time.”
  • Designer Suits: Who could ever forget the alluring sight of a designer suit? Iconic figures such as Johnny Cash, Michael Jackson, and George Michael made designer suits a wardrobe staple in ’90s music videos. After all, dress shirts and perfectly tailored slacks were far from passé, and hip hop artists from the ’90s often donned these ensembles for a well-dressed street look.

In the later ’90s, baggy trousers and flannel shirts made quite the appearance in hip hop and R&B videos. Likewise, matching outfits were every girl’s go-to look for a night out on the town. The Spice Girls, Kiesha Cole, and TLC band members were just a few of the many stars who made the matching coordinates trend popular.

The inventive fashion of ’90s music videos gave rise to some truly iconic trends. Incorporating clothing items from the era, such as coastal-bleached jeans and floral polka dot prints, can bring any wardrobe back to the ’90s spirit.

4. From Grunge to Glitz: How Music Videos Transformed ’90s Fashion Forever

The world of 90s music videos was one of wild and vibrant fashion. From the flannel of grunge to the flashy neon outfits of Spice Girls, music videos were at their own creative peak. Everywhere you looked, directors, producers, musicians and fashion designers were pushing the boundaries of self-expression through fashion.

Grunge Fashion

The musical movement that was dominated by Nirvana and their frontman whose untimely death cast a great tragic-poetic light on the movement, Kurt Cobain, was as impacting on fashion as it was on the airwaves. It brought to the mainstage a style made up out of vintage items, decent coloured dresses, mesh shirts coupled with the highly recognizable plaid flannel that was popularized in hit videos like Smells Like Teen Spirit.

Many modern fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, and Gucci have looked up to the style of the 90s rock aesthetic as something of inspirations. An interesting fact in the world of grunge being the already established icons of the modern music fashion sphere going out of their way to pay homage to the movement.

Hip-Hop and R&B

  • The casual attitude of rap and R&B music came with its own fashion style that made its video presence felt through the likes of Aaliyah, LL Cool J or TLC, among many others.
  • It was all about oversized clothes, flamboyant hats, gold chains to ultimately cover the 1990s male or female body styled with denim.

The combination of baggy apparel was no accident, it was a statement. It represented a world of careless ecstasy which soon made its way to mainstream, appearing on shows such as Friends or Seinfeld and then eventually in hip modern designer’s catalogs.

Pop Bands and Music Videos

The 90s was also the time of boy bands and girl bands. The world of the Spice Girls was an innovative mix of punk and girly style, the jeans and sneakers look with independent-girly touches with parades of tartan trousers, combat boots and flashy neon colors. Pink and green with outstanding long leather coats were all the rage, capturing the mind and look of future generations. The wild mix of fashion was something that surely put its mark in the fashion world.

It’s impossible to underestimate the importance of ’90s music video fashion in the annals of style history. From the cropped tops of the Spice Girls to the beaded braids of TLC, every one of these iconic clothing moments represents a time of joyful, creative expression. Whether you’re a fan of the ’90s music and fashion scene or not, it’s hard to deny that these moments have truly defined the decade.

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