I was doing a bit of mothbusting today - I'd noticed a couple of the blighters in our bedroom and decided to refresh all the clothes moth killers, even though the ones I'd seen looked too large to be clothes moths - and one of the places I tidied up / checked contents for damage was my bedlinen trunk. As well as duvet covers and pillowcases, it's home to the few items of 1990s clothing I've kept. I thought it would be fun to share a couple of favourites.
We were pretty hard up when I was a kid, so when I was in my late teens and earning money as a waitress during the holidays and getting a student grant in term time, I was still pretty careful what I bought, and I really looked after my clothes. On the one hand, this did mean I wore some of my absolute favourites to destruction, but others have survived in rather good nick. It's funny, even though I never felt part of mainstream culture, looking at these does show how much mainstream culture can impact on the style of a subculture.
First up: the tie-dye dress. Yup, this dates from the very early 90s - 1990, in fact, the era of Madchester, the Second Summer of Love and all that guff. So, it predates grunge! And while Iwas a goth, in its tie-dye you can see influences from the whole Madchester thing. I bought it at Snetterton Market, a procession of tatty stalls selling counterfeit band T-shirts, cheap homewares, leather jackets... I'd never bought anything quite so me, quite so little like the things everyone around me liked. It could be worn with the narrow bits tied up (first photo) or hanging loose (second photo) - it's really rather short when they're tied, but when did that ever stop a teenager? I know it must have been in 1990 because I wore it to a Fields of the Nephilim gig at UEA that Autumn, and I still have the T-shirt from the gig, complete with the date. The T-shirt is in rather sorrier condition than this dress.
The Neph still tour, and because it's large and stretchy this dress is the one item from my tiny-torsoed youth that I can still get into. I've debated going to see the band perform and wearing this dress, but I dunno - I'm not the same, they won't be the same, and perhaps the experience would kill the memory.
I've got a few other odds and ends, but as several pieces are black velvet, there didn't seem to be any point in photographing them. As any photographer will tell you, you use black velvet as a background because it absorbs the light and no details show - and so photographing black velvet items is a bit pointless! There's a handkerchief-hem velvet and lace skirt and top from Etam that's quite something, though, I wish it photographed better as you'd get a good laugh out of that!
Have you kept any treasures from the 1990s or even the noughties? Are you surprised to look back at them and see how on trend - or not - you were?