Most people would shudder with dread when asked the question “what was on your bedroom wall in the 90s?” Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, anyone? But Anna Yanofsky, the fashion historian behind @onmywallinthe90s, is using her account to share the photography she fell in love with during her formative years as a magazine junkie.
Yanofsky, who's based in New York, started the account while suffering from a case of “dystopian disillusionment," she explains. "I was not feeling the state of the world, and I needed to get back in touch with my passion.” Obsessed with fashion from a young age, back then Yanofsky would craft her own collages from the pages of Vogueand Harpers Bazaar. “I'd use rubber cement to stick them to poster board that I'd scotch tape them to the walls,” she recalls. “My mom was not into that method, so eventually I strung two lines of twine from one end of my room to the other and clothes pinned tear sheets from W, Dazed & Confused, The Face, i-D, Nylon...anything I could get my hands on that wasn't too expensive. I really thought of my room as my very own gallery.”
These days, Yanofsky is drawn to the work of Madame Grès and Cristóbal Balenciaga (while still in awe of her 90s loves Prada, McQueen, Margiela, and Galliano) and she sources her references via research databases, Google, “liberal use of The Fashion Spot”, and of course, her 90s magazines, which are now stored in containers under her bed and in the basement and attic of her childhood home.
The criteria for her content is simple, yet personal. “It's all about nostalgia,” she tells us, “When I see certain images, they connect me right back to that full-body feeling of discovering something new as an adolescent. What I post is what I remember being blown away by.” Yanofsky is drawn to the models of the era the most. “I mean, it was a golden era of big-time powerhouses that were recognisable by just their first names, with a smattering of angular waifs for good measure,” she says. “I would learn all of their names on Fashion TV and House of Style. The slow and steady move towards digital photography was also fascinating to witness.”
When she’s not ‘gramming archive magazine tears, Yanofsky can be found working at New York’s Costume Institute as collections management assistant or posting on the museum’s Instagram account – @metcostumeinstitute – which she runs. “I’m part of the team that helps keep nearly 35,000 objects safely stored and available for study. Collections management may not sound as glamorous as curation or conservation but it's an area of museum work that allows for direct interaction with an incredible array of objects,” she explains. “I'm a professional fashion history nerd who is incredibly lucky to be employed as such.”