Everyone has a defining teenage fashion moment. Mine was seeing Liv Tyler on the poster for Empire Records, all sass, girl power and those Doc Martens.
I decided I had to have a pair of “eight ups” but the only way I could convince mum to buy them was by telling her I could wear them instead of my trusty Clark’s to school.
10 of the best: fishnets and ’90s footwear
Well, that may have been a teeny white lie as I had not actually checked with the school overlords whether combat boots were permissible at my conservative high school before we made the trip to the disposals store.
Suffice to say I spent most of years 11 and 12 wearing knee-high socks that I meticulously rolled over the top of my boots to avoid suspension. Twenty years later and Docs are back. Bonus points if you still have your original pair.
Liv Tyler’s boots inspired a whole generation of teenage girls to wear Docs.
They’re so cool that French cult label Vetements did a collaboration with the combat boot kings. But like its Champion tracksuits (another ’90s throwback), all this nostalgia doesn’t come cheap. The boots will set you back nearly $650 – and they don’t even come with laces.
Possibly the polar opposite to the combat boot in a footwear sense is the sky-high platform but as everyone from Gucci to Stella McCartney has shown, Spice Girls-esque clodhoppers are also back.
Jess Ben-Ari, spokeswoman for The Iconic, said the e-tailer has noticed a spike in the sale of ’90s-style footwear.
Hailey Baldwin sported a fishnets and boots combination on a trip to Sydney in December.
She said sales of Dr Martens are up 200 per cent compared to this time last year, especially since the aforementioned eight ups and the DMZ shoes had a refresh, as well as the introduction of sandal styles.
The most popular colour is black but, as model Gigi Hadid has shown, cherry is also right up there.
David Dullens, marketing manager for Dr Martens Australia, said Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball video, in which she wears cherry Docs and nothing else, was also a sales driver.
“Docs plays in a lot of subcategories. We get a surge every few years, whether it’s punk … or youth subculture,” he says.
Miley Cyrus came up with an unconventional way to promote Dr Martens.
Here’s a bit of Docs trivia: the classic boot is called the 1460 after its release date – April 1, 1960, meaning it’s turning 57 next month.
Dullens says the brand has remained true to its heritage while creating new, lighter styles to “play in the sneaker world”.
Of course, if you take your style cues from celebrities or the street, you’ll be needing some fishnets to go with those combat boots.
Better still, find some fishnets that poke out the top of your jeans for the full Kylie Jenner look.
Cherry pie … Gigi Hadid’s Docs protect her against the New York chill, and muggers.
On her recent trip to Sydney, model Hailey Baldwin was spotted on Oxford Street in the Sydney suburb of Paddington in a New Kids on the Block T-shirt, high-waisted fishnets, jeans and combat boots.
Putting to one side the fact that NKOTB had their first hit eight years before Baldwin was born, it’s a classic off-duty model look that will no doubt be on your Instagram feed as soon as the weather starts to cool down.
I’ll be wearing mine with my new Wrangler A-line denim skirt, a logo T-shirt and a pair of ankle boots (I’m not ready to go the full Docs look just yet).
For the full Reality Bites effect, pair a floral dress with macro fishnets and boots, advises Meg Kolac, designer for Voodoo hoisery.
Model Elsa Hosk sees how many trends she can get into the one outfit in Milan.
“We’re seeing a new life breathed into fishnets with so many new ways on how to style them up,” she says. “Our outfit options are endless with nets now viewed as a fun accessory to pants, jeans and jumpsuits.”
Now all we need is a scrunchie revolution and the ’90s renaissance will be in total takeover mode.