From the celebration of Princess Di to the documentation of heroin chic, we spotlight three feeds highlighting the style icons of the era
The late 1980s and early 90s occupy a slightly bizarre place in contemporary fashion: they are recent enough to occupy a strong position in our collective memories, yet just far enough away for their fashion to be considered vintage. Their impact on our wardrobes is indelible – not only have plenty of us held on to garments that we wore during the period, but their aesthetic is being constantly revived on the runway: for A/W15, Miu Miu employed prints and tweeds most famously embraced by Princess Diana, and for A/W16 Marc Jacobs recreated the gothic grunge of Beetlejuice while Alexander Wang presented moody teenagers in 90s plaids. Here, we select three of the greatest Instagram feeds honouring the original style of the era, presenting everyone from a Gaultier-clad Grace Jones to the pinstriped Spice Girls, Princess Di glamour to pared-back 90s chic.
Curated by photo editor Kelly Rakowski, @ghosts_flowers is a self-proclaimed combination "celebrities of yesteryear and flowers" – but its emphasis definitely falls on the celeb side of things. Starring the likes of a raisin-lipped Drew Barrymore, a glory era Courtney Love and the stars of Beverley Hills 90210, it is a visual immersion in the celebrity culture of the late 1980s and early 90s: questionable perms, even more questionable eyebrows and plenty of pictures of Grace Jones and Kurt Cobain looking fabulous. Plus, sometimes there's a close-up of an iris which is a charming, albeit bizarre, addition to the grid.
There are few people in the world who have had as strong a sartorial presence in their contemporary culture as Princess Di – so strong was her impact that, when she stopped wearing Bruce Oldfield, his label nearly went bust. Her style was inexorably intertwined with her public persona: while she embarked on her life as a 80s princess in Sloane Ranger style (she was an avid proponent of a leg-of-mutton sleeve and a hunting tweed), by the time that Charles confessed to adultery on television in 1994, she was dressing in fantastically slinky numbers (on the day of his admission, she wore Christiana Stambolian with proud sex appeal and blew him off the front pages). @princess.diana.forever celebrates all sartorial incarnations of the people's princess, and we love it.
Over the past four decades, entertainment photographer Dave Bennett has captured some of the most iconic style moments of celebrity culture: think, Liz Hurley in her safety-pinned Versace on the red carpet and Princess Di and Liza Minelli both dressed in white and conspiratorially giggling in 1991. Last year, he launched an Instagram account that revisits his personal archives and the feed is a whistle-stop tour through the fashion of celebrities past and present, but the true joy is to be found in images that capture Kate Moss's heroin chic, Michael Jackson's exuberant costuming and Julia Roberts in her pouty heyday.