The list of 90's movies with great costumes and style is just too long, so this focuses on 90's fashion alone, omitting period gems like A League of Their Own, The Virgin Suicides, and Much Ado About Nothing. I hope you already know to watch Showgirls with David Schmader's commentary in the DVD special edition, or that you've seen popular classics like Clueless, Reality Bites, Empire Records, Bring It On, Sleepless in Seattle (& You've Got Mail), and Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion. But for some often-overlooked style, turn to these turned out 90's films:
14. Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead, directed by Stephen Herek, 1991. Undoubtedly the best movie to show at a sleepover in 1990. High schooler Christina Applegate and her siblings are left with the Babysitter from Hell for the summer, who luckily meets a swift demise. Rather than tell their parents, Applegate gets a summer job to support everyone, but when faced with the harsh realities of the fast food industry, she fakes her age to become an executive assistant at a large corporation that makes uniforms. This movie's relative obscurity is inexplicable, since it is the movie John Hugh's films only wish they could be. The official trailer is weirdly misleading, so here's a scene:
13. Drop Dead Gorgeous, directed by Michael Patrick Jann, 1999. Small town beauty pageant mockumentary with baby Kirsten Dunst, Brittany Murphy and Denise Richards. Allison Janney is excellent as Kirsten Dunst's trailor trash auntie.
12. Welcome to the sweetly surreal, colorful world of director Pedro Almodóvar. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown was released in 1988, but I'm including it anyway (I also prefer it to Almodóvar's Átame (1990), or Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! in English, a proto- Cabin In The Woods, though it's still good).
11. Sabrina, directed by Sydney Pollack, 1995. A remake of the 1954 classic. Harrison Ford is as good a stand-in for Humphrey Bogart as one could hope for, and Julia Ormond puts a welcome pensive twist on Audrey Hepburn's effervescent Sabrina. They also show a little more of her time in Paris.
10. French Kiss, directed by Lawrence Kasdan, 1995. Meg Ryan afflicts the French while dressed like Ellen Degeneres. Bonus: Kevin Kline lovingly spoofing the suave, bohemian Parisian. He sings.
9. Slacker, directed by Richard Linklater, 1991. Kind of an abstract art film, but far from overserious or tedious. This is as close to smoking pot in Austin in 1991 as you'll ever get, unless you in fact did that.
8. Selena, directed by Gregory Nava, 1997. This was Jennifer Lopez's breakout role as the late beloved Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla. The real Selena made many of her own stage costumes and had an iconic style; the film doesn't skimp on visuals, either.
7. Welcome To The Dollhouse, directed by Todd Solondz, 1995. Painfully awkward adolescence at its most sartorially flamboyant.
6. Party Girl, directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer, 1995. Parker Posey plays a professional club kid in New York. She comes upon hard times and is forced to sell her vast glittering wardrobe of vintage Gautier and Vivienne Westwood. Sadface.
5. My Cousin Vinny, directed by Jonathan Lynn, 1992. The amazing Marisa Tomei is everything in this movie.
4. Strictly Ballroom, directed by Baz Luhrmann, 1992. Did you know you can bleach your bangs, spike them into a giant fan and then cover them in rhinestones? Do you know how much self tanner the human face can absorb before reaching saturation? How many types of jewelry can one person wear on their head at once? Just how bright can the color yellow get? Find out these and more in this spectacularly ostentatious Australian film in the tradition of Dirty Dancing. Funnier and less overproduced than his other big films, this is the only Baz Luhrmann film I really love.
3. La Femme Nikita (the one directed by Luc Besson, 1990). Part spy thriller and part Parisian romance, La Femme Nikita has amazing style and superb action. Unlike the usual "badasses" and "heroes" of action fare, the characters are interesting and human.
2. Practical Magic, directed by Griffin Dunne, 1998. Come for Nicole Kidman's boho hair, stay for the Stevie Nicks soundtrack, undead Dr. Luka Kovač, and the lush Victorian interior design. Also there is witchcraft.
1. Singles, directed by Cameron Crowe, 1992. A warm, mellow movie about neighbors in a Seattle apartment trying to date. Lots of Pearl Jam, flannel, answering machine tapes, power dressing, and good hair.