For the previous post, I had tapped a Vogue article from September 1993 that illustrated the range of fashion boots available in the fall of that year. Then, by pure coincidence, I was one a social networking site and one of those annoying targeted ads popped up, for a site called JustFab. And it just so happened that the ad in question showed a line of different boot styles. And after 40 minutes in Photoshop, when I should actually have been doing much more urgent and important that I was actually being paid to do, I can up with the picture at the top of this page.
When you compare the boots styles of today with those of 22 years ago, it’s clear that there are a lot of similarities. There are boots with heels, and there are boots without heels. There are some boots that are over-the-knee, but the majority are knee or ankle length. The most popular style of knee-length boot is a low-heeled one that more or less resembles a riding boot. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
But… they’re not identical. First, compare the knee length boots in the 3rd row. The 1993 boots have very clean lines. By contrast, the 2015 styles are a mass of straps, studs, and buckles. Also, the nineties riding boot often has a recurve at the top of the shaft that mimics a real equestrian boot. The 21st Century variant is usually widest at the top, as befits a boot that is often worn over jeans. In the early nineties, the “riding” boot was still predominantly worn with long skirts or leggings.
But the biggest difference, which made my jaw drop slightly, is in the ankle boots. The 2015 version mimics the contemporary knee length boots – lots of straps, and buckles giving it a fairly rugged appearance. Whereas the 1993 selection is a full-on celebration of Victoriana, complete with buttons, bows, laces, nipped ankles, and little hour-glass heels. The contrast between the dainty offerings of the nineties and their ass-kicking 21st Century cousins couldn’t be sharper.
- Composite image created with elements from Vogue, Sept 1993, and JustFab.com, retrieved Oct 2015
- Anon. 1993. Last Look: The Year of the Boot. Vogue183.9 (Sep 1, 1993): pp600-603.
MFW on Pinterest: The Nineties Boot