What Wins Best 90s Music Genre?

The great 1990s are a collection of ten incredible years hallmarked in history by their contribution to fashion and music.

90s music was a burst of angst, energy, colour, dance, and soul that has never repeated itself in quite the same way. Here, we’ll let 90s music fight 90s music. From Britpop to Eurodance, find out which is worthy of a 2017 comeback.

‘Girl Power’ vs…

90s music was all about powerful and influential female groups and singers. Expressive songs, motivational videos and power ballads from bands like Eternal, Destiny’s Child, En Vogue, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, and Christina ‘Xtina’ Aguilera were a hugely popular break from the male-dominated music scene of the time. Madonna was as omnipotent as ever and Sugababes managed to hop onto one of the last departing trains for the decade in 1998, but — of course — ‘Girl Power’ was high-kicked into a global phenomenon by the almighty Spice Girls.

An unforgettable quintet whose posters were plastered on the walls of every young girl’s bedroom during the decade, the five famously fabricated personalities of the Spice Girls gave young girls someone to identify with and pushed the idea that women could be successful independently from men (admittedly, their former manager, Simon Fuller, played a part).

Britpop

Britpop was, as you can guess, all about singing for British youths and acted almost as a counter attack on the themes of American songs at the time. Bands like Blur, Oasis, The Verve, and Manic Street Preachers took influence from 60s/70s British rock music and propelled Britpop to subculture status with its own distinct clothing and attitude. 90s songs like Wonderwall and Parklife had a strong sense of local identity and working class ethics that really spoke to youths of the day, while the behaviour and atmosphere of Britpop championed the brazen maleness of ‘lad culture’ at a time when ‘Girl Power’ was about to make waves.

Verdict:

While Girl Power instilled self-belief and confidence in many young girls, Britpop was all about giving the working-class a mainstream platform and voice. Feminism vs. social mobility? We’re backing off and making this one a tie.

Party dance routines vs…

From Whigfield’s Saturday Night to Los del Rio’s Macarena, you have to admit the 90s were a hit for disco routines. Not only were these ideal ways of moving from the corner to the dancefloor at the unavoidable school Christmas party, but they’ve also been helping DJs crank up the party spirit at wedding receptions and 18th birthdays ever since. In this time of dabbing, twerking and whipping your hair; there was something pricelessly innocent about doing Madonna’s Vogue gestures, followed by a Steps’ 5,6,7,8 and Rednex Cotton Eye Joe hoedown.

Boy bands

Although 90s music was big on girls groups, the stage was fairly shared by the boy band. N’Sync and Backstreet Boys were America’s greatest exports in this industry, while Take That and Westlife fought back well for the UK and Ireland. The ballads, bubblegum pop tunes and craze-making dance routines pumped out by boy bands of the 90s created the type of frenzy seen by Elvis fans in the 50s and The Beatles followers in the 60s.

Before we knew it, there were dolls, posters, magazines, and clothing devoted to these vocal harmony groups but unfortunately, this led many to associate boy bands as being mere puppets of a money-hungry record label. Although we tired of miming shows, structured interviews and tacky merchandise, many boy bands have actually made a respectable return to the music scene in the past few years, including Take That and Backstreet Boys. So, there was talent behind the trash after all.

Verdict:

Although these disco dance routines are always good fun, the boy band 90s music genre was a formidable force. Even today, we wonder if Smash Hits would have kept in print without it. All in all, it’s that wonderful sense of nostalgia that has persuaded us to let the boys win this one. Nothing brings back memories of our youth than the dolls, posters, concert t-shirts, and scrapbooks filled with ‘I *heart* Justin’ of our beloved 90s boys.

Feelgood party tunes vs…

The 1990s were a feelgood decade. Home Alone was on at the cinema, the World Wide Web had its first test run, Nokia’s Snake was controlling all our minds, and Harry Potter flew into our lives. But this was also the season of boppy, catchy pop songs that still get us dancing today. In the same year that Tony Blair rode Labour back into office the Danish-Norwegian pop group, Aqua, released Barbie Girl and we were hooked. The 90s music scene was peppered with unforgettable tunes like B*Witched’s C’est la Vie, Chumbawamba’s Tubthumping, Right Said Fred’s I’m Too Sexy, Ricky Martin’s Livin’ La Vida Loca, and literally anything Steps released. Yes, these weren’t lyrical masterpieces, but they were a good laugh and we all loved them back in the day.

Contemporary R’n’B and urban music

In the 1990s, the world was more connected than it’s ever been. So, let’s look at 90s music outside the UK. The greatest genre to captivate the decade was modern R’n’B/urban which was spearheaded by artists including: Faith Evans, Lauryn Hill, En Vogue, Boyz II Men, Usher, R. Kelly, and TLC.

Combining funk, pop and blues, contemporary R’n’B and urban songs are rich, soulful and emotional which was a great contrast between the more sugary ballads and techno tunes they were up against in the 90s. Tracks such as I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston and Vision of Love by Mariah Carey kick-started the genre which has weaved its way through the following decades to nourish global stars like Beyonce, Ne-Yo and John Legend.

Verdict:

We’re grateful for the cool, deep and inspiring songs of 90s R’n’B music, and how they’ve contributed to our music then and today. But if we could bring either of these 90s music genres back; our heart says feelgood. There’s no better party starter or stress booster than a cheesy 90s playlist. Let’s face it, family occasions just wouldn’t be the same without a 90s feelgood megamix at the end of the night.

Hip Hop vs…

The world of 90s music would be incomplete without a nod to the globally-renowned rappers and hip-hop stars of the day. From 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G, and Vanilla Ice, to Ice Cube, Busta Rhymes and Eminem; hip hop was the genre of choice if you wanted an unfiltered insight into hard urban culture that’s often glossed over in mainstream media. Empowering, rhythmic and confident, hip-hop was the top-selling genre of music in the mid-to-late 1990s. Similar to Britpop, hip-hop is a subculture, generally containing key elements like rapping, graffiti, breakdancing, and DJing, which could explain its popularity across the world.

Eurodance

Rarely has technology and musicality collided so fruitfully. The birth of Eurodance masters like Vengaboys, Haddaway, 2 Unlimited, Corona, and Scatman John came about in the 90s due to the explosion of equipment that enabled electronic music. A combination of house, techno and dance, the Eurodance 90s music genre is recognisable for its use of synthesizers and strong bass rhythms. This type of music is almost always positive and upbeat with a strong undercurrent of partying and generally having a good time — ideal going out soundtrack for when you’re getting ready.

Verdict:

Although Eurodance has helped us get pumped up for crucial life moments, we can’t place it above the global phenomenon that is 90s hip-hop. The decade propelled the gritty genre all over the world and it’d be a very different stream of sound today if it weren’t for the rappers of the 90s.

Rock vs…

This decade was also the time that the great rock bands in modern musical history came to our attention. Before 1990, many rock bands had just a niche following compared to other genres, but as we entered the decade we saw bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and The Smashing Pumpkins receive attention from major music labels and become commercially successful. The energetic performances and expressive song lyrics really filled a gap in 90s music, and the media presented rock’s popularity throughout the 1990s almost as a rebellion of real music and emotions against the more manufactured genres of the time.

Country

Country music rocketed in popularity and airtime during the beginning of the 1990s — it even had a cover story about its history and appeal in Time magazine. Aficionados will probably attribute a lot of 90s fame to the surge in people taking up line dancing. Even in the UK, many working men’s clubs had a weekly line dancing night and this helped songs like Achy Breaky Heart and Boot-Scootin Boogie ride high in the charts. As the decade progressed, artists like Shania Twain, LeAnn Rimes, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Dixie Chicks took a hold of the genre and helped to usher it into the consciousness of a younger audience. Almost certainly, it was this nudge into the ‘poppier’ mainstream arena during the 1990s that helped breathe new life into country music and make sure it made it into 2017.

Verdict:

The problem is, both these genres are raw and creative, inspiring millions of fans for so many years. Country songs all seem to tell a true-to-life story, while rock expresses all the emotions we want to show for us. Dare we draw another tie?

The 90s were a huge decade for music. If you want to check out our range of retro shoes, browse our men’s and women’s Gola Classics for the perfect throwback trend to suit your style.

Famous Comeback Brands and Trends for 2017

Things happen for a reason. From sporting brands to fashion trends, our childhoods were filled with some incredible styles and entertainment that have shaped us into the sterling civilians we are today. So it’s no big shock that a selection of these are making a comeback this year.

We’re on the brink of a nostalgia invasion, where our childhood merges with our adult life to create new favourites from old memories.

Scroll down to find the biggest retro comeback trends set to light up 2017.

TV Returns

Just when you thought Netflix was life, it seems that our screens are going to explode with former TV favourites in 2017. Coming soon, you have Star Trek, Will and Grace, Twin Peaks, and That’s So Raven to look forward to, and we even read rumours that cinematic greats like My Best Friend’s Wedding and Cruel Intentions could return as TV/theatre spin-offs. But they’re TBC. Unfortunately, Will Smith has denied that The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is coming back to us and therefore dashed our hopes and dreams.

Old TV Set

How well these resurrections will do is anyone’s guess, but other comeback shows like Gilmore Girls, Fuller House and even famous 90s’ trend The Powerpuff Girls have fared well since returning in 2016.

Comeback logo sweatshirts

A top 90s trend you’ll remember from your youth and now on their way back to our wardrobes: those jumpers with the massive brand logos across the front! Everyone had a favourite and they were ideal for playing out and lounging around in, which was just the dream back then. And now, probably.

Nothing if not a versatile fashion trend, you could even go for the ‘dressed-down look’ with a sporty, logo-emblazoned sweater. We think the nostalgia alone will make this comeback a huge hit.

Top knot (a.k.a ‘the bun’)

Popularised by the effortlessly elegant Audrey Hepburn in 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s; piling your hair on top of your head is fast becoming the status quo of the hair world. So much so, that even men are getting in on it. Even though the man bun might be dividing opinions across the nation; the top knot — whether neat or messy — is a fashion revival warrior.

Trackies

What was life without your best, one-colour tracksuit? Collecting every colour from your favorite brand was a rite of passage back in the day. If the Nineties had a uniform, the matching tracksuit would be it.

The tracksuit trend started back in the 1960s, although it never really become fashion until the 1970s and didn’t smash it’s Personal Best until the late 80s/early 90s. Get ready for the rebirth of the rave-age, two-piece suit!

Sixties lashes

Another top fashion comeback hailing from the Swinging Sixties, the lashes on everyone from your average mod to fashion legend Twiggy were lacquered to the max during the 1960s. We know the false-lash effect has been around some time, but the fashion trend is only going to get bigger, thicker and blacker in 2017. So, get set for another great year of tossing your head back to open your eyes.

The return of the instant photo

Who could have missed the great comeback of the Polaroid camera? The instant square photo in your hand was simply the biggest of marvels when you were younger, and now you can get lots of different Polaroid camera designs to deliver that magic to the next generation.

In a digital world that hates the printed copy, we’re not surprised the Polaroid has achieved its comeback success.

Polaroid Camera

Shoe fashion revivals

Shoes make or break the outfit. So 2017 is due to give us a modern twist on old faithful styles. Beatle boots are going to build on the success they’ve had recently with more and more men opting for them to complement a smart/casual outfit. A type of Chelsea boot that’s famously tight-fitted and Cuban-heeled with a pointed toe, the Beatle boot was huge in the 1960s and is actually named after the Fab Four.

For lucky ladies, you can anticipate the resurgence of the tenaciously impenetrable jelly shoe. Back when you practiced Spice Girls dance routines in the street, jelly shoes were simply the only way to go, and this summer you’ll get to high-kick in them again. Expect platform and flat varieties with glitter and matte options in a rainbow of colours.

Brand fusion comebacks

What we’ve also noticed when we’ve been looking for comeback music, sports and fashion trends, is that some of these actually merge to create a sort of ‘super-comeback’. Look at LEGO, Marvel and Star Wars. The famous toy brick brand, nearly went bankrupt in the early 2000s soon after the iconic comic book franchise’s stock value plummeted, and who could forget the 2008-2015 gap between intergalactic films.

Now, goodness has been restored. We can get Star Wars themed LEGO so addictive it’s worth having a kid for, plus the promise of a Marvel/Star Wars miniseries crossover due to hit our shelves soon! Perhaps a helping hand is all any trend needs to comeback with a bang.

LEGO Heads

Sport trends to return

Getting back to clothing, classic sportswear is set to flood the fashion field this summer.

Many once-hot sports brands have teamed up with other labels to make their grand re-entrance. As a result, you get the ideal ‘2017-retro’ fashion blend with an excellent mix of modern and classic sportswear.

Some clothes will stay close to their original look, so you’ll get a lot of vintage gear to take you back to your youth. Then there’ll be others that have slightly departed from their energetic, or frenzied, designs for a more mature and sophisticated appearance perfectly suited to the adult world.

Jewellery rebirth

A true 90s trend, the choker necklace straddled the neck of every female A-lister a couple of decades ago. This accessory was practical and handy to wear with any outfit for any occasion. The velvet choker in particular brings back fond memories for us, but now you can get all kinds of materials and designs to find the ideal restrictive jewellery for you.

Music comebacks fresh for 2017

We all know about Craig David’s return and who didn’t see Kerry Katona at the Big Reunion concert; but 2017 is set to bring us a host of even more lyrical comebacks. Expect a Steps-Vengaboys hybrid touring the UK soon, alongside fresh songs from Pink, Gwen Stefani, Lauryn Hill, and Missy Elliott.

Concert

2017 lives for retro. Take a look through some of our men’s and women’s classic shoes to get in on the trend yourself.

Gola Classics Trainers Now Available at Topshop!

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There’s now even more places to buy your favourite trainers thanks to a new partnership between Gola and Topshop!

Many of the most popular Gola Classics styles, including Equipe and Harrier can now be found in Topshop’s flagship Oxford Street store as well as on Topshop’s website.

As a brand with an illustrious British heritage, it is with great pride that we can announce this association with a store which has been an integral part of the British high street over the last four decades. Topshop has been key in helping to shape British fashion for generations and now the addition of Gola Classics footwear to their shelves will help to further spread the word of our home grown retro style.

If you are passing the Oxford Street Topshop store, pop in and take a look at their latest season and remember to tweet or Instagram us photos of their Gola range!

Twitter – @GolaClassics
Instagram – @GolaClassics

Shop Gola at Topshop

En Brogue: The Trainers Guide – Hannah Rochell

Fashion editor Hannah Rochell, author of the well respected blog En Brogue has recently written a book called The Trainers Guide. The book is a celebration of Hannah’s favourite trainer styles, which span from the humble plimsoll to far more glamorous incarnations. We’re delighted to say, Gola, features twice on the list.

Page 1

The first Gola Classics trainer to be featured is the iconic Harrier, originally launched by Gola in 1968 and still going strong today. Hannah explains how she loves the charmingly retro feel of this shoe and its authenticity.

Page 2

Second to be featured is Gola’s collaboration with Cath Kidson. Cath Kidson’s vintage designs and Gola’s heritage style made a perfect combination in 2015 with two great capsule collections.

Page 3

The trainers guide is a perfect coffee table asset for all sneaker enthusiasts.

I will survive!

By Guest blogger, Alex Willis

Whether we like it or not summer is over and we can now start moaning about how cold, wet and windy it suddenly is. Whilst some of us want to hide away from the elements, many people see this time of the year as the perfect opportunity to release their inner adrenaline junkie and take part in the vast number of obstacle courses or ‘mud runs’ that seem to be popping up all over place. For some of you who may not have come across these events or may have been living under a rock events such as Tough Mudder and Survival of the Fittest are becoming one the fastest growing participation events in the UK.

Unfortunately this year is my turn, having being roped into Survival of the Fittest by my so called friends. Collectively they what a great idea it would be to go running round the Etihad stadium in Manchester, climbing over monkey bars, running up a Gladiator style ‘travelator’ and falling into unthinkably cold water.

When I agreed to take part I first thought was what on earth would I wear? This
answer escaped me until I looked at Gola Active’s AW15 range. This is where I came across the Equinox. These stood out to; me with their lightweight feel and especially the TPR inserts in the sole, which is a necessity when taking part in events such as this. So all that it is to decide now is which colour!

 

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Gola Classics SS15 Summer Favourites

At long last summer is here and with it comes the time to spruce up your wardrobe in preparation for the warmer months ahead. Whether you are sticking it out here in Blighty or jetting off to sunnier climes, you can always get your feet ready for the summer sun with a pair of Britain’s much-loved Gola Classics.

It’s not like you ever really need an excuse to up your footwear game though, is it? We already know that our Gola trainers are loved all year round but here we have picked out a few of our favourite men’s and women’s styles for summer – let us know if you agree!

For the ladies out there we have picked out three fabulously guileful designs which all take elements of our brand’s classic styles and mix them with modern features to secure their place in the Gola Classics SS15 range.

Samuarai Hibiscus

First up, the women’s Samurai Hibiscus trainer blends pale pink and grey tones with our vibrant Hibiscus floral pattern to produce a great looking and functional 80s-inspired jogging shoe. All in all the Samurai is a comfortable and reliable shoe which is ideal for roaming around in the sun.

Secondly we call up another classic jogger silhouette in the shape of the women’s Shinai trainer. This shoe boasts a darker colourway than the Samurai with its focus on purples and blacks, but also features contrasting streaks of light blue – such as the quintessential Gola wingflash –and a speckled phylon sole which give this trainer a life of its own.

Finally, why not go bold with the women’s Delta Hibiscus plimsoll? Like the Shamurai, the Delta also features our Hibiscus floral pattern but this time in an all-over design with a chunky sole. A great design for the beach as it easily slips on and off.

Mens Gola

Now for the gentlemen out there! Our first shoe is the men’s Quota plimsoll which is a brilliant low-profile blue fashion pump with a contrasting green Gola wingflash. The Quota comes in an authentic worn look which makes it perfect for anyone going for a vintage look this summer.

Next up, the relaxed men’s Comet Chambray plimsoll is another light shoe which will be a great addition to your SS15 wardrobe. With enhanced comfort from its padded lining and a contrasting wingflash against a chambray upper, this trainer will work with a whole host of relaxed summer outfits.

And to finish we bring you the men’s Super Harrier trainer which is based on the classic 1970s Harrier design. Originally developed for squash and badminton, the Harrier soon became a fashion trainer popular in its own right and now it’s back for SS15 with a light blue nylon and suede upper and a new-look toe and bumper.

Which Gola Are You? Last Style of Defense

Next to answer the question ‘Which Gola Are You?’ is Author of Last Style of Defense, Dan Hasby-Oliver…
Last style of Defense 1
Gola is one of the oldest British sportswear brands in existence, who mixes heritage, quality materials and contemporary styling for a fresh approach to footwear. Having been a wonderfully sunny day, I got out in the garden to capture a couple of the SS15 collection – to answer a question of Which Gola Are You?
The first pair I chose was the Samurai Leather Sneakers which fuses a leather upper with a sleek white sole on an ’80s archive inspired profile. Perfect for wearing with a pair of slim cut, washed denim jeans and a bright, graphic t-shirt; the combination of the slightly dressy black leather offsets the casual combination of the two blue tones. .
Next I chose the Made in England Pacer 1905 pair, these are part of the Made in England 1905 collection, which see’s Gola return to its manufacturing roots. Gola Pacer is a jogger based on an original ‘70s design and features a high quality mesh and suede upper on a soft EVA mid sole, that also features Union Flag tab and tongue branding. Adding onto this; because both are these are perfect for exploring the city in, or just running into town to get a few bits, is the Barlow Stone rucksack. New for SS15 is Barlowe, a heavy wash canvas bag with a roll top fastening. Barlowe is a preppy inspired canvas rucksack, featuring a distinctive woven badge and padded should straps, it has all the right styling cues.
View original post at http://www.laststyleofdefense.com/p/about-author.html. #whichgolaareyou

We’re All Mad Here – Which Gola Are You?

We asked fashion blogger Kayla Hadlington… Which Gola are you?

I’ve been so excited to finally wear these Gola plimsoles, they’re super comfy and it was such a nice day yesterday I decided to go out and shoot them in this rather lovely weather! The print on the trainers is a collaboration with Liberty London, it makes them feel extra special! I’ve been a big fan of Liberty fabrics for absolutely ages and whenever I go into store I love to go and stare at the fabrics and decide which ones if I would purchase if, yknow.. if I were super rich. This particular fabric is adorable as its their Alice in Wonderland print (hence the title, We’re All Mad Here!!!!) to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland! I think my favourite part of the print is how how on one of the toe on the left trainer theres a cute little picture of Humpty Dumpty so whenever I glance down I see him staring up at me which makes me chuckle.

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I wasn’t too sure which colour were my favourite, I’m probably going to have to go with pink though as, well, I always choose pink lets face it haha! I’m totally considering wearing one of each colour on each foot, I don’t know why I didn’t think of that for the shoot ahh!! Think I could get away with it?? They look super adorable with little frill socks and jeans or as these are quite girly and cute I would totally wear them with a cute little dress if I wanted to dress or skirt it down a bit.

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As the campagin is called #WhichGolaAreYou and I had both of the colours for these trainers I decided to try out two different outfits in a how-to-wear-your-Golas kinda thing, honestly my favourite outfit is definitely the mom jean outfit however I also really like the long socks and the tropical tshirt look which is very summery! think they’d also look super cute with a tennis skirt!

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gola4Read Kayla’s blog at www.kaylahadlington.com.

Which Gola are You?

Gola’s 2015 campaign has taken a fresh direction, with a new strap line ‘Which Gola are You?’! We have worked in partnership with established and influential bloggers to try to ascertain which designs from Gola’s SS15 collection best complements their own style by asking the question ‘Which Gola are You?’.

Which Gola are You? Jonathan Daniel Pryce

For our first collaboration we have teamed up with the author of Garcon Jon, a London based street style blogger and photographer. Jonathan Daniel Pryce established Scotland’s leading street style blog in 2008 and is now based in London working as a street and fashion photographer. His current blog www.garconjon.com focuses on his interest in men’s style in all its forms. Jonathan selected the iconic Gola Harrier trainer, take a look at the video below:


We wanted to get a female perspective, so we travelled across the pond and teamed up with New York based model and blogger Natalie Suarez. Natalie has massive domestic and international appeal and is the author of www.natalieoffduty.com. We have again produced a street style shoot and short video highlighting the Gola Comet plimsoll that Natalie likes from Gola’s SS15 collections.

Gola will work with a wide variety of other fashion and lifestyle bloggers throughout 2015, asking that all important question… Which Gola are You?

Which Gola are You?

Gola Super Harrier Returns for SS15

Gola Harrier was originally created in 1968 and was suitable of a variety of sports and general training and is still going strong today. The Super Harrier was launched in the mid ‘70s and was originally designed for squash and badminton and featured an enhanced toe bumper design.

Super Harrier returns for SS15 with a modernised look with a nylon upper, D-ring lacing and a new look toe bumper feature to give Super Harrier a new lease of almost four decades after it was first launched.

Super Harrier is available with a nylon and suede upper and coloured toe bumper, while Super Harrier Leather features a leather upper with suede trim and a gum toe bumper.

Gola Super Harrier Trainers

Super Harrier Leather