Flashback to the early 90s. The world’s most famous nightclub was a former warehouse on the Rochdale Canal, Sir Alex Ferguson hadn’t yet won a title at Manchester United and the Stone Roses were all friends.
The nightclub in question is, of course, the Hacienda. Founded a decade earlier, it reached prominence (and notoriety) in the early 90s and was widely regarded as the birthplace of acid house and rave music. As Shaun Ryder put it: “if there were 1500 people in there, 1400 were off their tits”.
The style of the scene was as recognisable as the music. Logos appeared everywhere, the stripes were vertical, the outerwear was oversized and the jeans were baggy. Shiny textures were also important, particularly on jackets, and there was such a thing as a ‘bucket hat’.
The bands leading the charge were the Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets (with a young Noel Gallagher as their roadie) and the Stone Roses. Their look was easy to identify: loose-fitting t-shirts, fringes and centre partings, and a ‘come and have a go, if you think you’re hard enough’ attitude. The term Madchester was soon coined and a Northern accent was a must-have accessory.
The links between fashion, music and football were strong, with trends being taken from the terraces as much as the bands. In 1990, England’s performance at the World Cup and Gazza’s iconic tears turned the spotlight back on a sport that had been tarnished by hooliganism. These were the days before the Premier League and Topman even sponsored a top-flight team: Leeds United. Who were, unbelievable as it may seem, actually quite good.
From the football terraces came stone wash and light shades of denim, as well as an acceptance of sportswear in everyday outfits – zip-up tracksuit tops, sweaters, joggers and footy-inspired tops all became key items.
The later nineties may boast Cool Britannia, an un-tattooed David Beckham and Spice World: The Movie, but really, it’s all about the early part of the decade.
Thanks to Inspiral Carpets – Download ‘Revenge of the Goldfish’ here
Thanks to New Order – Download ‘Technique’ here
Thanks to The Stone Roses – Download ‘The Stone Roses’ here