A lot changed for me during the summer of 1996. I started to develop who I was, and not just who I was expected to be. For the first time in a long time, I felt cool, and marched to the beat of my own drum more than ever. I felt like a leader, and knew what I wanted, with New York City as the goal in mind. This summer, I adopted a new set of friends (in addition to the old ones), some of which were a couple of years older and together we embraced rave culture, donning baggier than baggy pants, crop tops, and the latest sneaker styles, hair in ponytails or pigtails sticking out of the top of a visor. I loved the silhouettes, the music, the freeing feeling of literally dancing to the beat of my own drum (I even began to deejay and spin records during this time). It was an arresting time in my life, and although the teen years can bring their own angst and challenges, I was happy, surrounded by an exciting new world and fashion, fabulous fashion to explore.
Somehow, without noticing it creeping up, 1996 style is back, gaining mainstream popularity at a breakneck speed. I still can’t figure out how 20 years have passed since then, but this time around it’s refined, completely luxe and sophisticated, and WAY easier to wear and pair. It’s certainly form over function in this reincarnation, and by no means does the return of these silhouettes and fabrics indicate a rave subculture, but more of a slightly subversive in-the-know stylish city dweller, going about her ladyboss life. Yeah, I think the 1996 me would be impressed.
P.S. -If you’d like to learn more about the “1996 me,” and what I’ve done in the 20 years in between, check out this great podcast I recently recorded with my high school, Oakland Catholic (RadiOC is soo good! I come in at about 18 minutes).