90s Resurgence, Tomboy Style, And The Everlasting Cool of Feminism

I don't know if I can somehow jumble up all of the inspiration that has been flowing through me lately, thanks to way too much time spent reading and perusing photos in the vast vast land of the internet. I only just learned of Kathleen Hanna and the Riot Grrl movement sometime last year (I know, where have I been?) from this lovely lady, Lauren Leydon Hardy, a friend of a friend and one smart and stylish cookie herself. Anyhow, I stumbled upon this article, "Kathleen Hanna, I Love you but You're Bringing me Down," which got this giant ever growing Gak like ball rolling on all that is booming in 90s resurgence, nostalgia, and genuine tribute to one of the foremothers of 90s punk feminism. 

While I was just a kid scrambling to figure out the day to day existence of being human, let a lone a female in the 90s, Kathleen Hanna and the rest of Bikini Kill  were trying to change the world for women and everyone by simply starting a little girl based punk rock band and some zines. Mind you, all without social media like Facebook, Twitter, E-Mail or even !!gasp!! cell phones and text messaging. With all their "like, and duh's" they were speaking out about things that mattered that no one else was talking about at the time, like sexual oppression and violence, LGBT rights, and things as simple as the idea that women can start bands, play music, mosh at a show, and do anything else they want, without having to convince the rest of the world that they're first a desirable and beautiful sex object. I have to admit, I love this interview she did with CNN Entertainment where she says of current performers like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, "None of these women ever wear pants, first of all. Second of all, just because you're wearing a goofy hat doesn't make it performance art." That was completely taken out of context, but I had to throw it in there. You should just go ahead and read the interview yourself, or read the earlier mentioned one above. 

Aside from all that, it's interesting to me how past cultures begin to re surge into popular culture. In February of 2009 I visited Chicago for a weekend and was shocked and delighted to find all of these young people my age wearing styles and trends of the 90s. That was the first time that I had seen the style back in action since I was a kid, and I thought it looked great (maybe even better the second time around)! Since then, there has been this whole cultural throwback to everything about the 90s, not just the fashion, that really seems to be resonating with today's youth. They're learning about people and influences of the decade, and young people are obsessed with Twin Peaks and other media and music of the time. I guess this is the way of the 20/25 year nostalgia cycle, where people with a fresh eye can look back and decide for themselves what they think about the time. There are even archives and exhibits now being put together by NYU about Bikini Kill, with collections of letters they wrote to one another, zines they made, flyers, set lists, etc., and I'm sure there are plenty more 90s archives that I don't know about.

While on this vein, I figured i'd go ahead and talk about my everlasting love of menswear for women, or what one blogger has decided to call Tomboy Style. I, of course, can't get enough of this simple blog and her great interviews with cool-girl California folks like Jessica De RuiterWandie Kabule, and Mariah Kunkel
Jessica De Ruiter
Wandie Kabule
Mariah Kunkel

This is not exactly cohesive thought, but I did my best. 
Now, go enjoy your Sunday afternoon!


  1. The grunge and clueless era, I welcome back with wide open arms. Anything past that, I'm not so sure about.

    About Tomboy Style, yet another amazing blog to follow! I was a tomboy once upon a time. Yet, that stage of my life involved a lot of umbros and terrible tshirts. Maybe I should try to make that a thing.

  2. Oh.My.God. I rocked some hard core Umbro and Adidas. Track suits. Thick winter coat. Sandals. They looked really awesome with my pudge and rosy red cheeks. I can't believe I haven't mentioned Clueless. I lived and died by that movie. And also never understood until much later that Cher and a lot of her pals were, actually, pretty fucking clueless. Uh. Paul Rudd. Dream. I also watched the terrible spin off TV show religiously. I used to tape the episodes...

  3. Oh, thank you! I could never, ever, ever cut my hair as short as a pixie cut...gosh I can't even imagine how that would feel. It's already grown so much, I'm getting another two inches off later in the week! These photos are lovely, I especially love the ones of wandie.

  4. Kathleen Hanna is such an inspiration to me. Her music is as much an ode to feminism as it is to social/political struggles of her generation. Bikini Kill is one of my favorites, and her subsequent project Le Tigre is a staple in my music collection. Yes for a throwback to the 90s, but also something as timeless as Kathleen Hanna! xx