The ’90s Are Back, But With a High Fashion Twist

Rachel Nussbaum
The ’90s Are Back, But With a High Fashion Twist
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The ’90s were all about laying off the product, dusting off the ’80s excess and getting back to some level of natural. The nonchalant look was everything, and this season, it’s like that decade’s Kate Moss cleaned up—the fall/winter 2013 runways were eerily coordinated, with more than a few showing some variation on a light, brownish-grey smokey eye with minimal, but strong, accoutrements (middle school-thick brows do the trick, while spotless skin and slicked-back hair keep it polished).

Whether just in the crease, an all-over wash or stretched to the brow bone, shadow was subtle and natural, but the tinge it gave faces was enough to hint at the subversive inspiration. You may have to back up to see where the “smokey” bit comes in, but consider how diffused and hazy every look is, and the abstract starts going Van Gogh. Who says there needs to be fire? Take the high-fashion inspiration from the images above, combined with a few of your favorite ’90s shows and movies, and you’ll have this look down in no time.

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Alexander Wang definitely takes the cake for most beautiful eyeshadow look. The soft, shimmery grey has almost a peachy tint to it, which accentuates the bare lid without overpowering it. When shadow's this subtle, don't be afraid to take it to new heights--we're talking brow bone here, and we don't usually talk brow bone. 

Photo: Image via Imaxtree/Image via Imaxtree

Lucky for us, the smokey eye of the '90s is reduced, simplified and all about the basic--no five-shadow look here. The trick is to find a light brownish-grey shadow with enough blendability, and to keep it in and above the crease, à la Jil Sander.

Photo: Image via Imaxtree/Image via Imaxtree

For a different take on the '90s eye, diffuse the shadow all over. Just make sure there are no definite edges, like at Donna Karan--it's all about looking like you didn't spend too much time with a Q-tip in hand.

Photo: Image via Imaxtree/Image via Imaxtree

Giorgio Armani's runway look was a study in '90s dedication, with a faint grey stretching from the inner eye out above the crease. Add a little shadow on the lashline to ground the look, if you're not ready to commit to the zero-definition lifestyle (we aren't). 

Photo: Image via Imaxtree/Image via Imaxtree

Prada's look was similar to Wang's, but instead of stretching the eyeshadow up, it was pulled to the outer corner. Add some eyeliner just on the lower lashline to balance it--it goes against everything we previously thought would look good, but the '90s were nothing if not subversive.

Photo: Image via Imaxtree/Image via Imaxtree

Givenchy went for the rose-grey angle, and paired with fresh, picture-perfect skin, we're in love. The color's daring, but stays doable and fresh with an all-over wash.

Photo: Image via Imaxtree/Image via Imaxtree

Eyeliner on the lower lashline is its own look, so keep eyes otherwise bare to pull it off. Missoni did it right, with matte skin and the slightest hint of shine on lips to take it 2013.

Photo: Image via Imaxtree/Image via Imaxtree

When present, eyeliner was minimal and smudgy, like at Giles. To replicate the look, instead try brushing a fawn brown eyeshadow over your lashlines. Make sure to perfect your skin first--adding brown shadow to pre-existing bags and darkness will make it too real.

Photo: Image via Imaxtree/Image via Imaxtree

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