By Candice Montenegro, Contributor INQUIRER.net THE VALLEY Girl look of the 80s (think mini skirt over leggings, headbands, doll shoes) is slowly dying a natural death, and if the fashion cycle is chronological, then the 90s is due for a comeback right about now. And while some people are excited to see what fashion icons and designers plan to do with the mixture of grunge, hip-hop and Britpop style of that decade, most people seem to cringe at the thought of 90s fashion. Why don't we look back at the key trends of that decade, and see which ones are worth bringing back and which trends are better off forgotten. Remember baggy pants? The 90s was all about hip-hop, and jeans had to be three sizes too big -- the baggier, the better. It gave a whole new definition to low-rise jeans; guys would wear them so low that their underwear would show. Yes, this gave birth to fancy printed boxers that guys would intentionally show. Another variation of baggy pants were cargo pants. The new rule was: more pockets, much cooler. It came in a less baggy, more flared version for the ladies, but otherwise it was best worn loose. Denim took different forms in the 90s. The early years saw the rise of denim overalls (sometimes called jumpers). Originally meant to be like long pants, overalls also came in short pants and even skirts. The straps can be worn in different ways: some people let down one or both straps so that the front and back flaps sort of hang, while others prefer unhooking just one side. The effects of global warming were probably not as bad then, because denim head to foot was the way to go. Denim jackets, skirts and vests were all the rage. These came in different colors and with different embellishments -- patches, pins, even beadwork. "Clueless," the movie that set the cutesy-patootsie image of the 90s, introduced baby doll dresses. Girls were going for the schoolgirl look -- pastel-colored dresses with puffed sleeves and stockings became popular because of the movie. Another alternative was the skort, a skirt that had shorts underneath. It was the perfect solution for girls who were not allowed to wear short skirts. For guys, layering was the in thing -- unbuttoned polo shirt over a round neck T-shirt. Levi’s, Guess and Tommy Hilfiger were the huge brands that made this “boy next door” look famous. Platform footwear was a much-welcomed trend, especially in this country where a lot of people are sort of vertically challenged. It was all about the chunky shoes -- girls wore 5-inch high wedges and sneakers while guys donned Doc Martens and combat boots. And of course, who would forget the arrival of the Spice Girls? With them came loud Brit fashion that definitely screamed "Girl Power!" Neon colors made a comeback, and the mid-90s had a short revival of psychedelic fashion -- bootleg pants, loud prints and funky accessories. The mid-90s was also the height of navel piercing, which brought in midrib shirts that showed off the belly button. Fast forward to 2008, and we see that the schoolgirl look is making a comeback, but the trend is now preppy chic. I'm all for bringing back the girly vibe, although I'm not so hot about the bright orange and lime green outfits. If I had to pick something that I never want to see ever again, it would have to be baggy pants. They were called "broom pants" because they were usually worn so low that the hem would practically sweep the floor. And please, no more unnecessary underwear exposure. Do you think we're ready for another 90s explosion?
April 2008 Archives
By Candice Montenegro, Contributor INQUIRER.net PARDON the bias, but I think kids who grew up in the 90s (myself included) were pretty lucky with toys. It was sort of a transition year, and we had the best of both worlds -- dolls and robots were still in, while video game consoles were introduced. And because computer games were slowly becoming popular, toymakers had to be innovative with their traditional plastic toys. Here are five toys that were pretty big in the 90s. I’m not going to include the remote-controlled cars and the Barbie dolls because these weren't really introduced then (much earlier, I believe) and, well, they'll ruin the title. Here are some toys I remember enjoying when I was growing up: 1. Pogs. Remember those colorful cardboard discs that you stack? Pog is actually an old Hawaiian game that was first introduced in Canada in 1991. Here in the Philippines, it came free with bottled softfdrink crowns, and you claimed your free "pog pack" from your neighborhood sari-sari store. You needed a slammer to hit the stack of pogs, and all the discs that flip will automatically be your playmate's property -- or at least that’s how we played it. I don't think anybody knows exactly how to play them. They don't come with instructions, so the rules vary per barangay, I guess. 2. Power Rangers action figures. When you're seven and gap-toothed, nothing is cooler than a bunch of teenagers who are also masked superheroes. I think every 90s kid can tell you which Power Ranger they were, and the fact that there were only five characters (three boys and two girls) made picking some sort of a first-come-first-served challenge. Anyway, good thing they came up with six-inch action figures. These were plastic models of the five Power Rangers, and the cool thing about them was a little button at the back that made them morph from their "ordinary" faces to their masked superhero counterparts. Talk about some mighty morphin'. 3. Polly Pocket. Polly Pockets are dolls less than an inch tall, with miniature accessories that come in rectangular or circular cases. The furniture is usually fixed, except in the later versions where you can rearrange the furniture in the house- or castle-shaped cases. In 1999, Mattel purchased Polly Pocket from Bluebird Toys and made them bigger and plastic jointed. This new generation Polly Pocket is more child-friendly; the original ones were so small that they could easily fit inside a child's nostril and get stuck there (er, not that I would know). Of course I still prefer the original small ones that actually fit your pocket. 4. Pound Puppies and Pound Purries. Not everyone was allowed to have a pet as a kid, so plush stuffed dogs and cats came to the rescue. Pound Puppies and Pound Purries had cute droopy eyes and floppy ears that had hair you can brush (and yes, the brush comes with the toy, too!). Every dog or cat had its own carrying case, and each one came with an adoption certificate. Naming the dog or cat and and signing the adoption certificate were actually the pretty exciting parts of having a Pound Puppy or Purry. After that, they're great at collecting dust. Still, very cute and adorable nevertheless. 5. Power Penz. Now this one's really cool. Every second grade kid wants to sneak in a toy in school without getting caught, and Power Penz allowed us to do so. It looked like your average pen, except a game (or something cooler) was attached at one end. One pen came with a racecar that you released at a push of a button, and another one came with a small basketball and a hoop. The cooler versions were the ones that came with invisible ink and the Yak Bak, a mini voice recorder. The only thing that wasn't cool about Power Penz was the teacher who confiscated them in the middle of class.
HEY, there :) It's been so long since I last updated this blog that you might already be waxing nostalgic over Nostalgic Trip -- sorry about that. Here's a video clip taken by our online videographer Janie Christine Octia, who visited the Old School store in Cubao.