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Björk’s Early-’90s Style Is Still Making Waves

Not that ’90s fashion necessarily needs another think piece on its increasing relevance, but today just happens to be Björk Guðmundsdóttir’s 51st birthday, and so the article in many ways writes itself. After all, the bold but enigmatic Icelandic electronic music singer ushered in an experimental and avant-garde sound from her native Iceland at the early part of the decade that was matched only by her out-of-the-box style. She had contemporaries but none that brought such a colorful, surreal mishmash of style combinations from the rave dance floor into the limelight quite like the singer.

There was something instinctual in the way the petite star with the powerhouse screeching vocals could layer streetwise separates like a school bus–yellow raincoat with Bantu knots. At first glance, oddball combinations of Japanese-inspired flatforms, white stockings, and frayed denim seemed like a random assembling of thrift store purchases, but on Björk they were instantly red carpet–ready. Not that designers were out of the question—the artist favored Junya Watanabe and Martin Margiela—but there was a bizarre, makeshift glamor about her onstage ensembles that seemed emblematic of the times. Pulling in worldly references from Asia to her own indigenous roots, Björk pieced together eye-popping looks for both the stage and her stunning, genre-bending music videos. It wasn’t abnormal then to spot Björk in kimonos or vibrantly hued cheongsams. And this was years before donning her history-making Marjan Pejoski “swan dress” for the 2001 Oscars—a dress that would inscribe her into the red carpet history books. Today, the look still rings true, as do all of Björk’s earlier style inventions for that matter. As we move into a time of increasingly less political and social stability, a need for authentic expressions of self seems to be in demand. Luckily, Björk has left an inspiring example.

Above, a look back at Björk’s best fashion moments that endure today.

Credit:vogue

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