Looking around, it is hard to miss the large influence the 1990s have on students nowadays — chokers, flannels, Kurt Cobain sunglasses and “Friends” are all prime examples.
However, as the vast majority of current high school students born after the 90s, it is interesting to see the huge hold the past has on today’s society.
“I think there’s a certain novelty to [the 90s],” said Westlake High School history teacher Emily Dale. “It’s not that far out of reach, so [students] can still find a [lot] from it. But, they weren’t alive, so it’s still this foreign [interest].”
Parents are a large reason for the substantial impact of vintage trends on fashion, as they indirectly pass on their 90s legacies to their kids.
“My mom was a cool, extroverted person,” said Victoria Barrios, a senior from Westlake High School. “She was not afraid to express herself very differently from others. She transferred that to me when I was growing up. As soon as I got to high school, I realized that you should be able to dress however you want, even if you’re scared of people judging you.”
The most prominent throwbacks to the 90s occur in fashion because it’s easy to express one’s creative personality and interests through clothing.
“Back then, we saw clothing celebrities wore that were crazy, weird and insane, but that was the whole fun of the 90s because everyone was trying different styles and different clothing to see the kind of style they match with,” said Westlake High School fashion enthusiast Hee Eun Chung. “It was always crazy and always out of the box. But now, everyone is always dressing the same.”
Barrios and Chung have even created their own online clothing store, HCVBSessions, which caters to those interested in vintage and thrifted clothing.
“I started the store in middle school by myself, and at the beginning of freshman year, [Barrios] joined on my team,” said Chung. “I look at what people are wearing every day, even at school. I look at people’s styles and what they want. I also look at other main stores like UNIF, a clothing store inspired by 90s trends… [and] how it could be practical [and suitable] in our age group.”
Not only does the 90s affect only fashion, but 90s TV shows such as “Twin Peaks” and “Friends” have also become widely popular for their genuine connections between characters and the realistic lessons they learn.
“Not only was the [90s] style… expressive and artistic, but the TV shows showed that you could have bigger conversations about things,” said Barrios. “They are more honest. 90s TV shows are definitely less censored, whereas now, kids TV shows don’t really talk about things you normally would.”
Although current technology has brought people together in ways no one could have imagined, the 90s gave people the ability to form closer relationships without the distractions of constant internet usage.
“It [was] the last generation before the huge technology boom,” said Westlake High School senior, Lauren Lefitz. “Everyone was in their own community, and that was it. You weren’t really interconnected with everybody.”
Even as high school students born in the 21st century, young adults have continued to find inspiration in eras unknown to them, searching for fun, new trends to implement into their daily lives.