One in three Brits name 1990s as most iconic decade for popular culture

One in three Brits (32%) have named the 1990s as the most iconic era for popular culture – with 43% feeling nostalgic for the decade, research has found.

And four in 10 (42%) reckon the 90s are making a comeback in terms of fashion and beauty – as the nation is still embracing trends such as shimmer eyeshadow, crimped hair, and body spray, in 2023.

The poll of 2,000 adults found that one in 10 (11%) have tried frosted tips in their hair this year, while 21% have even experimented with one of the 90s boldest looks – super-skinny eyebrows.

And when asked whether they would rather go back in time, or travel into the future, almost half of those polled (47%) opted for the former – twice the number of those who said they would jump forward in time (23%).

In light of the findings, TV presenter and former pop star, Frankie Bridge, has teamed up with nostalgic body spray brand, Impulse – to bring to life some of the most memorable celebrity fashion moments of the 90s.

These include Geri Halliwell's unforgettable Union Jack dress at the 1997 Brits Awards, Mariah Carey's timeless “All I Want For Christmas Is You” Santa catsuit outfit, and Liz Hurley’s iconic daring safety pin dress.

And the mum-of-two also donned one of the most iconic movie looks of all time – Cher Horowitz's classic tartan suit, from the beloved 1995 film, “Clueless”.

Frankie Bridge embarked on the creative challenge, with help from a team of expert stylists and wigmakers, to commemorate the return of two 90s fragrances – Impulse O2 and Air – after 2,000 women signed a petition to bring them back.

Frankie Bridge said: “Before I joined a pop group, I used to love dressing up and performing as my favourite icons for my friends and family.

“I’ve loved recreating some of my favourite pop culture memories. Impulse was always in my bag growing up, and it instantly transports me back in time to the 90s.”

Other iconic celebrity looks from the decade include Rachel Green’s “The Rachel” hairstyle, from TV show Friends, and Madonna’s 1990 cone bra. And 13% selected Will Smith’s out-there, day-glo getups from his breakthrough role as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Bartholomew Krysiak, Impulse spokesman, said: “We have recreated some of the most famous 90s looks to celebrate the revival and return of a renowned 90s product, Impulse O2 and Air.

“Beloved by 90s teens, who begged us to bring back the two scents, we are transporting people back in time to relive some of their best memories.”


  1. Geri Halliwell's Union Jack dress, at the 1997 Brit Awards (37%)
  2. Princess Diana's “revenge” dress, in 1994 (35%)
  3. “The Rachel” hair do from Friends, in 1995 (30%)
  4. Britney Spears' “Hit Me Baby” schoolgirl outfit, in 1999 (28%)
  5. Madonna's cone bra, at the 1990 Blonde Ambition tour (27%)
  6. Liz Hurley's safety pin dress, at the 1994 “Four Weddings and a Funeral” premier (22%)
  7. Mariah Carey's “All I Want For Christmas Is You” Santa dress, in 1994 (14%)
  8. Will Smith's colourful clothes as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, in 1990 (13%)
  9. Julia Roberts in the Pretty Woman cut-out dress, in 1990 (13%)
  10. MC Hammer's pants in 1990’s “U Can’t Touch This” music video (12%)
  11. David Beckham's sarong, in 1998 (11%)
  12. Cher Horowitz's plaid suit, in 1995’s Clueless (9%)
  13. The Backstreet Boys' all-white outfits, in the 1999 “I Want It That Way” music video (9%)
  14. David and Victoria Beckham's matching purple suits, at their 1999 wedding (7%)
  15. Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and the City pink tutu, in 1998 (6%)

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