Centuries and Decades 1990s

1990s

Consequences of the economic and political events in the end of the 80s have soon affected the fashion industry and were reflected primarily in minimalism and ecological style. Natural clear silhouettes lines, simplicity and functionality, accentuated austerity, constrained neutral colors, natural and hi-tech materials characterized clothes of these two trends.

Birkenstock sandals and footwear made of various materials - leather substitutes and the retreated raw materials, enabling feet "to breathe", became an indispensable part of the wardrobe. The aspiration of the man of the end of the second millennium to return back "to roots", desire to be "closer to the nature" was often limited to creation of the image of a traveler, whose necessary attributes were hiking boots from Timberland, Caterpiller or similar brands.

The variety of forms and images in the 90s was boundless. Designers could "quote" any decade of the twentieth century "combining incompatible" and lavishly borrowing the elements of costumes of various peoples and reinterpreting them in the spirit of the end of millennium. Individuality came to the foreground; it became fashionable to create your own style, using whatever is around.

"Nirvana" is considered to be the group that in the beginning of the 90s has initiated new music trend - grunge. They have turned their washed-out T-shorts, stretched jackets, jeans and gym shoes into fashionable style, and this tendency has found admirers on both sides of the Atlantic. Grunge, just as hippie and punk, was in opposition to the "official" fashion and the general mood of the time, however there was neither romanticism, nor aggression in it, only the weariness and apathy was clearly read through. New "rebels" did not want to improve life and did not protest against the established norms of decency, they were rather indifferent to everything around. Sports shoes, sneakers and Dr. Martens boots were brought to the top by the wave of grunge.

The platforms, which were shown in the collections of Vivienne Westwood and Jean-Paul Gaultier, have for a short made a come back into fashion. When Naomi Campbell tumbled off the 30 cm high Westwood platforms from the "Anglomania" collection, the pictures that captured this moment have appeared in every magazine. The success of the platform was inevitable! By and large, women could easily choose among less dangerous "pedestals", which could be worn for work, party or simply to correspond the mood. Stilettos, shoes with medium high heels, comfortable low heel walking boots and sandals - everything was appropriate.

The processes of standardization and gearing on the mass consumer in the nineties went alongside with the rise of the status of the footwear designer. Many original designers, who continued using traditional techniques of the shoe craft, have reached world celebrity. Undoubtedly, the most famous is Manolo Blahnik. His name is synonymous to the most expensive and refined lady’s shoes. Christian Laboutin, Jimmy Choo, Patrick Cox, Rodolphe Menudier and many other shoe magicians are not deprived of the attention of the stars and well-to-do mere mortals.

Italian footwear designers and companies have taken a leading place, showing a unique skill to combine unorthodox design decisions with anatomically correct forms. Among the most popular shoemakers are such names as Pollini, Rossi, Zanotti, Casadei, Caovilla, Mario Valentino and some others.

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