Winona Ryder Reflects On The Allure And Pitfalls Of 90s' Style

As she fronts H&M's new campaign, the actress talks about the 90s, style icon status and her wardrobe essentials.

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She may wear the crown reluctantly, but Winona Ryder is a bonafide style icon. Her 90s uniform of high-waisted Levi's 501s, a bashed up leather jacket and band T-shirt has become synonymous with grungy, effortless cool replicated both then and now. Despite her style influence, Ryder - who returned to the fore with Stranger Things in 2016 - has never been one to put her name or face to just any fashion campaign.

She's choosy about what she promotes, over the course of her long career having fronted adverts for only three labels - Marc Jacobs, Rag & Bone and now, H&M, in which she stars alongside Elizabeth Olsen. In a show of female unity, Ryder saves Olsen from a passionless, mediocre dance with a man and quite literally sweeps her off her feet.

"I liked the concept," Ryder told us. "It was refreshing to see women celebrating women, not just dancing for the male gaze - and ended up being quite timely. I'm a big fan of Lizzie Olsen."

As the campaign debuts, Ryder reflects on the allure and pitfalls of 90s style, what you really need in your wardrobe and what to do with your favourite T-shirt after it finally falls apart.

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Winona Ryder in the H&M spring/summer 2018
Courtesy of brand

It's no surprise that 90s style is cool again

"It’s not my 90s style that's been revived! I certainly don’t feel any ownership over it - that’s just way too much responsibility. I guess it’s just sort of inevitable in terms of fashion. Everything always comes back into style about 20-25 years later, right?"

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Not everything from the 90s was good

"It's hard to talk about the influence of the 90s' because I lived through it, so I see it differently than the younger generation. People are obviously carefully cherry picking the better trends - there were a lot of bad looks in the 90s."

...Although it did make fashion affordable

"There were certain things that were simply welcome - like, suddenly it was ‘cool’ to wear thrift store clothes, flannels, etc. That was great in the sense that it was something that everyone could afford. I thought that was really cool. Then designers started making $500 flannel shirts and we were like, 'huh?'"

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Ryder at ’The Commitments’ premiere in 1991
Getty Images

All you need in your wardrobe are these five items

"Everyone’s different, but socks and underwear, a comfortable pair of jeans, a favourite T-shirt, and a soft sweater. But that’s just me. I don’t think I’m qualified to tell others what theirs are."

There's no harm in wearing pieces until they fall apart

"I just had to retire an old Clash T-shirt from the first time I saw them in 1980 because it was so incredibly thin and just disintegrating. But I ended up framing it. I inherited my fathers ‘archivist’ gene, so it’s really hard for me to let go of things."

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