Love in the'90s-00s: Iconic Couples Fashion
It's February and love is in the air and everyone has, or is looking for, someone to be by their side. And how could you not with the abundance of chocolate, flowers, and heart shaped decor everywhere you go.
It's true poetry the way a significant other can have an impact on us. From acting out their mannerisms to copying their specific phrases we become extremely influenced by the person we come to spend so much time with. And of course the most important aspect of all: we're shaped by their style. To exemplify this fascinating happening we must go back to a simpler time: the decade of the '90s and subsequent years after where celebrity couples ran rampant. The fact that we still remember these couples today, and their outfits, not only demonstrates their star power but the way a dynamic ensemble and the power of love transcend time.
Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp
We're all familiar with the "Winona Forever" tattoo. One of the many it couples of the '90s that served as muses for multiple Tim Burton movies. A marigold suit with a black tie serve as Depp's outfit at the premiere of Cry Baby. An interesting fashion choice on the actor's end considering his (and Winona's) preference for darker palettes yet still engaging visually. Going for a quintessential '90s look Ryder chose a simple but sleek black maxi dress with mesh sleeves. With minimal accessories and a bold red lip the outfit is perfect. I can't help but fall in love with their corresponding hairstyles as well - short and slicked back one can see how in sync the pair were at the time.
Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz
I'm convinced the stars and planets aligned in order to put this pair together. They seemed to be so complimentary in terms of style and boho aesthetic for their 6 years of marriage. Her white and gold, sheer maxi dress lays underneath layered pieces of a delicate dark gray sash and black belt. A maroon and gold embroidered jacket pull all of the elements together and are accented by quirky accessories of round sunglasses and a light gray top hat. Kravitz, playing his look down a bit, selected an oversized gray suit jacket that pairs perfectly with Bonet's hat. Earth tones seen in the brown waistcoat and black pants are a simple but fashionable choice for the event.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett
Smith and Pinkett, a couple that have stood the test of time for 25 years - but not without its rocky moments. The two were a powerhouse of the decade; both on screen and through fashion. I'm obsessed with this '90s does '70s matching look. Pinkett graced the Oscars red carpet with a two piece Versace dress in mint. The halter crop top and contrasting maxi skirt linked together with a jeweled waist chain are daring enough to stand out and make heads turn. Smith - starting with a traditional black suit keeps the color palette going with a mint shirt with a flared collar. Its silky fabric works as a great contrast to Pinkett's textured, chainmail dress - we get plenty of shimmer, shine, and sparkle from the two.
Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt
Every relationship Brad Pitt is in seems to cause some sort of supernatural phenomenon where he adopts the hairstyle of his significant other. (More on the subject here) If anything this occurrence further demonstrates my point of the ways in which one influences the other in a relationship. While Paltrow states that there was no intention to match outfits, we can't help but see the likeness between the two. The matching blonde pixie cuts with highlights is a stark contrast from the black layers. Pitt sports a simple but classic black button up covered by a suit jacket and black leather jacket. Taking a note from her companion Paltrow adorns a black blazer, allowing her satin, cranberry patterned blouse to peek through.
Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain
An interesting blond pair to follow, yet of the grunge variety. Musically and visually Love and Cobain fully defined and encapsulated the alternative scene which included: plaid, ripped jeans, and a don't-care attitude (what a time). Pictured above at the 10th Annual MTV Video Music Awards along with their daughter Frances Bean Cobain, Love takes inspiration from Marilyn Monroe's most iconic look. The all white halter dress with matching pointed flats is a more conservative, sleek look offstage. Cobain on the other hand, looks as though he may have just left a Nirvana gig with his casual striped long sleeve top and notable Christian Roth sunglasses in red. His jeans act as a statement piece; all of the patches, rips, and dirt smudges on the denim perfectly accent the worn black and white converse.
John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette
Every image of JFK Jr. and Bessette looks like it came from a J. Crew catalog. I consider them both to be the perfect representation for preppy style that will never go out of fashion. As a former model and publicist for Calvin Klein there is no doubt that Bessette always knew what to wear. For this simple New York stroll Besset opted for a black turtleneck paired with brown, wide leg corduroy pants. The most timeless and versatile item complete the look (alongside tinted brown sunglasses and a brown loafers): Bessette's trustworthy Hérmes Birkin Bag that went with her everywhere. When it comes to fashion I could strongly argue JFK Jr. was evenly matched with Besset. Keeping in line with his preppy roots his black sweater vest and gray button down act as a distinct contrast to a relaxed pair of blue jeans. Staying on brand he wears his trusty gray Kangol (and black boots) which polish off the classic style and demonstrate a few basics are all you need.
Iman and David Bowie
Rockstar BF and model GF taken to an entirely new level. Its rumored that the pair were set up on a blind date but whatever the occasion it seemed to be was a perfect match. Iman's red, plaid skirt suit is to die for. With its perfect fit and black turtleneck underneath it remains an outfit I will always remember. I can't help but think about it as a predecessor to the plaid trend seen after the release of Clueless. For Bowie, a much simpler outfit is on display compared to the previous decades of glitz and glam - yet its a perfect parallel to Iman. A tailored black suit and gray mock neck act as a casual yet formal look that demonstrate his range in style.
Victoria and David Beckham
Victoria Beckham was Posh Spice for a reason. Her years in the Spice Girls acting as the fashion forward member were only the beginning to her now existing fashion and beauty lines. Her style was and seems to be chic, casual, and simple - particularly in this black spaghetti strap dress that stands as the trademark look of her touring days. It's incredible to see how a simple closet basic with a white tote, sunglasses, and minimal jewelry will always be timeless. One would think Victoria was the sole factor for Beckham's style but it seems as though his personal style could stand on its own. Contrasting in color but still in line with his partner, Beckham wears a white tank top with khakis. Following suit his minimal aspects of a brown belt, black sandals, and eye catching yellow Aviators keep the palette neutral while still peaking interest.
Jennifer Lopez and Diddy
The dress that broke the internet, literally. It was the year 2000 and the 42nd annual Grammy's - Jennifer Lopez and Diddy had been dating on and off since their collaboration on her music video "If You Had My Love". Arm and arm with Lopez, Combs chose a monochrome, gray suit. A frequent color choice for the rapper during the decade, but effective and extremely aware of the moment that was happening right next to him. Jennifer Lopez's silk chiffon Versace dress would become the most searched query on Google, causing the company to establish Google Images so the public could search the dress and be amazed once again. And the pubic was right, the dress is truly a wonder. A citrine studded broach cinches the sheer fabric together, creates a plunging neckline and high, open slit. It's print, complete with tropical leaves and bamboo meshes perfectly with the blue-green color scheme. The dress and its legacy will forever be remember not only for its impact on the internet, but the way it created a lush, tropical paradise on one simple night.
Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake
I had to talk about it, I simply couldn't help myself. Whether you think this was a disaster or an high point for the pair there's no denying its impact in pop culture.The 2001 American Music Awards were a fitting setting for this denim ensemble that screams Americana and Western wear. The concept for the outfits came from the teen pop sensations themselves yet was put together by designer Steven Gerstein. Known for having styled N'Sync in the past, Gerstein utilizing Timberlake's Costume National suit from the Celebrity album cover - reworking the design in distressed denim and adding a cowboy hat. Collaborating for Spear's dress Gerstein took to Kurt and Bart to make the bustier gown a reality. Patchwork elements with varied denim make the look one of a kind, you just can't look away. Spears draws even more attention to herself and amps up Timberlake's sparkling chain with a rhinestone choker necklace, cuff bracelet, and chain belt.
Celebrate in Style
Whether you scored Valentines Day plans or not, the day provides an opportunity to raid your closet. Dare to make a statement or stick to the basics. For further inspiration take to these adored celebrity couples - acknowledging their personal fashion moments and the ways in which the '90s were just possibly the most iconic time for style.
Illustration by Inci Sahin