Most Influential Runway Shows of the 90s

Sure, we miss the quirky and gorgeous party girl models that graced the runways in the 90s (we’re looking at you Kate and Linda). But we also miss the clothes that brought us to life. It was an era where viewing experiences were more condensed, fashion and MTV were melded, and runway models were taking the spotlight in a serious way. Here are the most influential runway shows of the 90s.

Perry Ellis Spring 1993

Christy Turlington in the Perry Ellis Spring 1993 runway show
High-brow fashion scoffed, and Mark Jacobs was promptly fired, but the masses relished the Perry Ellis Spring 1993 collection. Jacobs brought grunge to runway shows in a BIG way. Think Dr. Martens, plaid, florals. He then went on to do… well… everything Marc Jacobs has done since (Creative Director at Louis Vuitton, and of course his own Marc Jacobs).

Anna Sui Spring 1994

Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, and Linda Evangelista in Anna Sui’s famous baby-doll dresses
The Anna Sui Spring 1994 collection brought looks from the grunge scene to the runway. Sui sites Courtney Love, Babes in Toyland, and the Smashing Pumpkins as large influences on her in this time. When Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, and Naomi Campbell graced runway shows in Sui’s baby-doll dresses, the rest was history. All of the major department stores picked up the look, Barneys included.

Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 1994

Jean Paul Gaultier’s Les Tatouages collection continues to be exhilarating, a mishmash of references across cultures and time periods. The interest in “global village chic” continued to be a point of reference and exploration for Gaultier in the decades to follow. The watered-down mainstream media version of this look could be seen in the wardrobe of Jenna Elfman as Dharma on “Dharma & Greg” (another 90’s favorite) and oftentimes on Melissa Joan Hart on the hit TGIF hshow “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.”

Calvin Klein Spring 1994

1994 was a thrilling year for fashion. And a dream-come-true for any fashion editor out there tasked with covering fashion week. Calvin Klein’s Spring 1994 ready-to-wear collection put the nail in the coffin for the shoulder-padded, power suit wearing babe of the early 1990’s. This collection was incredibly simple and lounge-ready. Even the hair and makeup were clean, simple, and fresh. A far cry from the bright colors, heavy blush, and big hair that preceded this season.

Gucci Fall 1995 Ready-To-Wear

Tom Ford’s 1970’s-inspired designs in this collection featured jewel tones combined with the reflective, while simultaneously absorbent textures of velvet, fur and satin. This was a far stretch from what was happening in the grunge-inspired world. However, the designs were incredibly influential nonetheless, especially for the previously sleepy Gucci. This brought Gucci to the forefront of pop culture with an endorsement by Madonna, who wore the collection’s key look to that year’s MTV VMAs.