Monday, June 13, 2011

The '90's are now Retro, but I do not want to relive them.

This post is inspired by and dedicated to the fabulous Edenland. She is a new blogging/Twitter friend of mine who I’ve actually met in the flesh. We were chatting away on Twitter and we think we may have also met at some dirty, seedy night club in the debaucherous 90’s. I set Edenland the task of choosing this posts subject matter; she went with how the 90’s are now retro even though they only seem like yesterday. Lets hope I do it justice!

It’s weird to think about the 90’s cause I really can’t put my finger on any distinct trends – in music or fashion. I know I had a ball but what I was wearing or listening to is beyond me. The 80’s is a walk in the park with all that brightly coloured shit, should pads, power dressing and pop music. They stick very clear in my memory. The 90’s I’m not so sure. It’s a mixed bag. This could be because it was a decade of excess and I remember very little. There were two very distinct periods for me in the 90’s which says much more about my ‘personal journey’ than what the 90’s were about. They were the Uni days and the Sydney days.

University: ’92 - ‘96

I went to Uni in Bathurst, had no money, and was slowly working out if I had any personal style at all. I certainly had none when I started there. Country Road was exotic, cutting edge fashion for me before I went to Uni. I got in touch with my care-free hippie side and used to wear my pyjama pants to class with RM Williams boots. I’d buy hemp jackets at the markets and team it with a dress shirt from Vinnies. We all did! Uni at Bathurst was this weird mix of country style, city chic and a wannabe-bohemian alternative style. Not having a clue what or who I was I dipped my toe in everywhere. I was from the country, destined for Sydney and living the classic student life so I had to cover all my bases. Also, living on Austudy means you really don’t have much choice to follow fashion. A shirt at Vinnies for $2 lasted me about 5 years, I was still wearing it out on Oxford St many years later.

There were two albums that were released while I was at Uni that if you didn’t know all the words to than you may as well kill yourself. Alanis Morrisette’s Jagged Little Pill and Oasis’ WonderWall. They, along with Peter Andre, are the only music releases that stick in my mind from that time. Having said that, my whole life I’ve never been very good with music. The only constant has been the beautiful Madonna who had a number of key releases during this period. I still adore her today. We used to dress up in our Saturday night best to dance at a League’s Club. That about says it all of my musical awareness in the early 90’s.

So now that the 90’s are considered Retro there is very little I want to drag into 2011 with me from this time of my life. Except of course Madonna.

Syd-er-ney! ’96 - ‘00

When I first arrived in Sydney I was still wearing this weird mix of styles from my Uni days. I reckon within 2 months of my first pay check I’d had the complete Oxford St make-over! Out went the hemp jackets and in came lycra. By ’97 I swear there was not one natural fibre in my entire wardrobe. The late ‘90’s on Oxford St were heaven to me. I used to go out on my own and come home with 100 friends all while wearing my cutting edge lime green satin pants with a skin-tight royal purple lycra T. I had started work in PR and to think back now what my bosses must have thought of my ‘business’ clothes makes me cringe. Shiney black shoes with big buckles. An olive synthetic Morrissey suit with zippers worn over a shoe-string singlet to an Awards night. Flourescent shirts with a skinny-legged powder blue pant. I can not tell you how hot I thought I was.

The only music I remember was the bubble-gum dance music of The Flinders and The Albury. By the late-late ‘90’s I’d started to go a bit more hardcore with big weekend at DCM’s, or as we called it Gorilla’s In The Mist, and the downright dangerous BlackMarket (and this is where Edenland and I think we may have met). For these nights of craziness it was head-to-toe black synthetic teamed with chunky silver jewellery. Today this jewellery would not pass through a metal detector, back then guns would get by. My favourite album without a doubt was Sash!’s It’s My Life with the epic track Ecuador. That song could raise the dead.

The late 90’s were a special time for me, still such a big part of who I am today. But even with that sentimental attachment I do not ever want a synthetic wardrobe again. My skin would revolt. And for me to hit Oxford street now in anything as tight-fitting as lycra would have me stoned. Love-handles are difficult to squeeze into a Small women’s disco top like I could in ‘97. The 90’s may now be retro but there is no trend from that time that I want to have make a fashionable comeback. I remember them fondly but do not want to relive. That’s how I think of the ‘90’s.

**Now my dear Edenland has one of the best bloggers you will ever read. It's impossible to do her justice by trying to describe why. It's her life laid bare and it's a truly beautiful thing. Please take a look...

**Sorry about the boring pics -  besides Edenland - computer download issues over weekend.


edenland said...

LOVE this! And your hemp jackets and vinnies shirts in your Uni days, tres chic.
My nightclub queen days started in DCM, circa 1990 ... we have a LOT to reminisce about, Mr Murphy. All unbloggable. Hey I hope your Bangers and Mash trip isn't in jeopardy from all the ash? xxoo

Mrs M said...

Early 90's was spent in Kinsela's. Fresh faced 18 year olds with our skirts hiked up.

I worked in Newtown during my uni years in the mid 90's.

Saw Powderfinger at Bathurst Uni during the Eastern Conference Games. I can't believe how many pubs Bathurst has.

Funnily enough my friends and I spent a lot of time at Retro listening to 80's music. Cheap joint to get into which helps when you have next to no money.

Wonderwall was our pub song because even if you didn't know the words, it didn't matter.

Then the late 90's was spent at the Slip Inn.

And since grundge was all the rage in the 90's it suited us poor uni students who looked like bums anyway.

Great post.

Love & stuff
Mrs M

ST. MURPHY said...

I love you Mrs M! x

Anonymous said...

Pmsl about the hemp shirt and shorts. Sawhole

Daisy, Roo and Two said...

GREAT post!!! Very funny. Loved the senstence: "I cant tell you how hot I thought I was". So relatable!
I once heard someone say (and made a point of telling my mother) that if you have already lived through a trend, when fashion rehashes it you shouldn't be wearing it again. Mum needed this advice re: the recent 80s fashion flashback.

Sarah Derrig said...

Awesome post! The 90's to me was finishing high school, being obsessed with Beverly Hills 90210 and wearing ANYTHING that Kelly, Brenda, Donna and the gang wore which meant white t-shirts underneath long floral dresses teamed with timberland mustard boots!

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