Gwyneth Paltrow: ‘They say I was, like, a definitive nineties style lady’

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Given the fact that Gwyneth Paltrow generally annoys the crap out of me, I probably should not admit that I enjoyed the hell out of her new Vogue video. In the video, Gwyneth “breaks down” thirteen looks from over the years of her fame and stardom. She’s been famous since the mid-’90s, so there are (admittedly) more iconic looks to discuss than even the ones Vogue featured. I was amused by how many ‘90s looks were in this video. The thing is, that really was the moment/era where Gwyneth was at her most fashionable and interesting sartorially. She even says near the beginning of the video, “They say I was, like, a definitive nineties style lady, so… which… at the time I just thought I was wearing, you know, minimalist stuff with brown lip liner and a lot of powder.” Sure, it’s a nasal humble-brag, but she was a ‘90s icon.

When she got to her first Vogue cover – and a second reference to Brad Pitt – I realized that she wasn’t going to give any credit to Carolyn Bessette, who was definitely well known and massively photographed at that same time. Bessette was Gwyneth’s style icon, and the way Gwyneth was styled on the Vogue cover is pure Bessette-street-style.

Of course Gwyneth talks about the famous pink taffeta Ralph Lauren gown at the Oscars the year she won. I enjoyed the backstory on how the dress was based on a skirt she saw in the RL look-book. What else… all of those years and she rarely strayed from her center part. Ugh.

THE 2002 VANITY FAIR OSCAR PARTY CA

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Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, WENN, Backgrid.

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92 Responses to “Gwyneth Paltrow: ‘They say I was, like, a definitive nineties style lady’”

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  1. Gil says:

    I dislike her too, the candle thing still makes me roll my eyes. But I have to admit her style back then was amazing.

    • Esmom says:

      I liked her style, too. I thought her brief short hair phase was very cute on her. But I didn’t find here anywhere near as compelling as Carolyn Bessette, who I think singlehandedly launched a number of major trends. Most notably the shift from 80s pegged jeans to boot cut and a much more minimalist style, in fashion, hair and makeup. And Goop’s style was not as effortless-seeming as CB’s.

      • Me says:

        GP is the personification of the basic preppy establishment of the 90s —-she was never a trendsetter, which Carolyn B-K was, repping a very specific Calvin Klein esthetic that wasn’t as comfortable as the rich preppy safety-first option of Ralph Lauren. Even her pivot to ‘wellness’ is pretty basic, she just managed to climb onto a wave as it crested. The thing that bugs me all day about GP is the her extremely cavalier attitude toward consumer safety in connection with the junk she sells.

  2. Noki says:

    I will never forget on SATC ehen they said Gwyneth Paltrow suffers from high self esteem.lol

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      Lol. Sometimes I think that the things that come out of Gwyneth’s mouth are things that Kate Middleton wants to say out loud.

      And they both look like dumba$$es for copying other people.

  3. Eleonor says:

    Am I the only one who has always thought that the pink gown at the oscar was plain if not even awful ? Because I have never understood the fuzz sourrinding it.

    • Esmom says:

      It wasn’t terrible in theory but the fit on her seemed really off to me. I feel like she’s revising history a bit here in the video, saying how much she loves it, because I swear she used to say she hated that gown.

    • buenavissta says:

      You are not alone

    • BeanieBean says:

      Nope, not the only one. I think it needed to be pulled up by the straps a bit; it didn’t fit well.

      • LaraK says:

        That’s because you can’t do taffeta with spaghetti straps. It’s impossible. It will either wrinkle on the boobs (like it does here), or the straps will fall off the shoulders. It can’t be done.
        If they changed the top to strapless maybe, it would have been a lovely dress

    • Me says:

      Lord-the acres of bony chest—that pink evening dress did not fit and it emphasized all the wrong things about her figure.

    • minx says:

      I can’t believe she left her house looking like that, or that no one pulled her aside. The dress didn’t fit at all. Her chest was actually a lot like mine and I would never wear something that was so unflattering. I can’t even really judge the dress because it’s the fit that is terrible,

    • florencia says:

      I’ve never liked it either! It looks like a cheap Pepto Bismal taffeta bridesmaid dress and the cut on the chest is extremely unflattering to her.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        @florencia..Lol. cheap Pepto Bismol taffeta dress is a great descriptor. What about a ’90′s fluffy, puffly, beautiful green dress that was very unflattering to bridesmaids that had the unfortunate situation of paying for the dastardly thing? Asking for a friend?

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      Nope. She looked like a 6 year old playing princess except a 6 year could played it off better.

    • Chrissy (The Original) says:

      If her posture were better and if the fit were better it would have been fine. It probably fit better initially and then Oscar nerves made her lose some weight and the photo above is the result. I really think her bad posture makes a lot of her outfits look bad. The white gown with the cape is probably one of her best looks IMO.

    • Shurrr says:

      In the 90s GP pink dress kind of featured

      But looking at photos now tis very blah?
      Sorry to admit courtney love was more a style icon w the Princess Grunge thing.
      Admittedly back then “dirtbag” was more relatable than A list?

    • Nikki* says:

      Hideous fit, hideous.

  4. Wilma says:

    Not a big fan of her style, but that white cape dress is still goals

  5. Hyrule Castle says:

    “Was”, being the operative word.

  6. LeaTheFrench says:

    She annoys me terribly but…she looks fantastic in the white dress / cape ensemble.

  7. ReginaGeorge says:

    When I think of 90′s style icons, I don’t think about GP at all. Aliyah, Aniston, Jlo, THEE Supermodels, Christie, Naomi, Linda, hell, even the Spice Gilrs lol. But definitely not GP. She was always bland AF to me. And her boobs always looked saggy in a lot of those dresses.

    • Truthiness says:

      Same. I can remember the 90s with ease and I would never see her as a style icon. I like the 2 white dresses and the camel coat but that is about it. She was quieter than now so less annoying, I will give you that. She was a child of enormous privelege and got to wear a few good designers, unfortunately she didn’t wear them all that well. Carolyn Bessette was the real thing.

    • Carnivalbaby says:

      Gotta agree with you. I don’t remember the ’90s like this. IMO she was extremely overrated even then.

  8. Haylie says:

    Was never a fan and her style didn’t do it for me, but she absolutely was “style goals” in the 90s. Her and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. Tall. Blonde and thin. Plus, not being overdone. That part was relatable and attainable.

    I think Chloe Sevigny was the avant garde style icon at the time.

  9. tempest prognosticator says:

    I enjoyed this. Gwyneth really was a style icon in the 90s and aughts and it was fun to revisit her looks. Sure, she’s annoying, but I also find her entertaining.

  10. Tataro says:

    When I think about the 90s style, Goop does not come to mind.

  11. tbg says:

    IMO, no one will ever top Carolyn. Everything was minimally accessorized to perfection and even though she was only a few years older than Goop, she carried herself in a more mature way. She once said that Goop was pretty, but her mom Blythe Danner was beautiful.

    Plus everything I’ve read about Carolyn indicated she didn’t take herself too seriously, was an excellent friend, warm and caring, and fun to be around. I’ve never thought Goop gives off those vibes and I’ve heard the rumors that she was actually a crappy friend to some of the people in her life.

    And her fashion nowadays stinks! Baggy pants and Birkenstocks? 🤢

    • oliphant500 says:

      YES!!! Carolyn was it for me too. when I see a picture of her I can’t stop looking at it, mesmerising. can you/anyone recommend any good books on her?

      • Jessica says:

        Same. I was just looking at a VF retrospective of some of CB’s looks in the mid to late 90s and they are timeless perfection. I agree Sevigny was more fashion forward but for my personal style, CB was it.

      • tbg says:

        What Remains by Carole Radziwill and Fairy Tale Interrupted by Rose Marie Terenzio are two of my favorites. What Remains is very sad because Carole chronicles her husband’s battle with cancer and that was tough to read. Carolyn was a major source of support for them throughout it all.

    • oliphant500 says:

      thanks for the recommends will search them out!

    • Thirtynine says:

      I liked GP’s street style, but not her red carpet style. The pink oscars dress is just an embarassment. But Carolyn Bessette was amazing. She had style, but the clothes never overwhelmed her. Beautiful.

  12. Restless Bitch Face says:

    Goop gives major Phoebe Buffet vibes in this. That’s all. Carry on.

  13. observing says:

    I didn’t think she started the brown lipliner trend. She didn’t stay with the minimalist style trend for long.

  14. Lauren says:

    Her style forme has been pretty much hit or miss. I wanna slather her in spf every time I see her sun damaged chest though.

    • Sybaritic1 says:

      +1
      this!!!
      and I have to say the decades of smoking certainly show around her mouth. ugh.

  15. Merricat says:

    Carolyn Bessette always looked fantastic. Gwyneth often looks like she’s playing dress-up. No contest for me.

  16. Huggy says:

    Her hair is in a side part on more than half the pictures you used.

  17. Jayna says:

    I really, really enjoyed this video. I loved Gwynneth in the ’90s and very early 2000s, and loved her breakdown of her looks for Vogue.

    Here is one of her best looks in the last ten years, back in 2015. She looked so pretty in this red-and-white floral spring dress, and it suited the long lines of her body.

    https://www.redcarpet-fashionawards.com/2015/08/03/gwyneth-paltrow-the-hamptons-paddle-party-for-pink-2015/

  18. Linabear says:

    Why is she always complimenting herself? “I’ve always been told I have good skin,” “My friends say I have the butt of a 22 year old stripper,” etc. Cringe.

    • Lexilla says:

      But it’s not her! It’s *her friends* who think she’s amazing. See also: Mrs. Elton in Emma. This is definitely a type.

    • Me says:

      Narcissistic puffing and ego-soothing. You see the same verbal self-soothing behavior in Trumpf.

    • Jules says:

      Gwyneth doing what she does best… talking bout herself.

    • Andrea says:

      I thought that is what Ben Affleck wanted a stripper. LOL

  19. MsIam says:

    She looked horrible in that black mesh-net top thing. Just burn ALL the pictures where she’s wearing that. But the white cape dress is gorgeous. I like the white much more than the pink RL dress, even though the pink is her signature look.

    • Midge says:

      A better bra and hair would have made the difference.

    • Jenn says:

      My grandmother was so mad about that mesh top. It still makes me laugh.

    • HeatherC says:

      I was goth leaning (not full on goth) all through high school and kept a lot of the fashion choices through adulthood (still do for some). So were most of the friends that I stayed in touch with after high school. The oscars black mesh thing felt like pandering to try to get another fan base, and we were shaking our heads lol. She tried to be edgy, but us goth girls knew that if you wear mesh like that, it either has to be tight enough to support you on its own or you have to incorporate some sort of support (bra, bralette, something). even besides the boob problem (looked like sagging chicken cutlets to me), the whole top seemed ill fitting. Which, based on the pink RL dress, seemed to be more her signature than “brown lip liner.”

  20. Sarah says:

    That pink Oscar gown was hideous, but the saggy boob goth cosplay the following year was a million times worse. “Iconic” isn’t always a positive.

  21. Midge says:

    I love the Tom Ford Gucci suit. I think well-tailored suits are always in style. I have a similar body type as Gwyneth, although not as thin, and I feel so good, comfortable in a nice suit. I honestly prefer it over any dress.

  22. Izzy says:

    If by “dressing like the female version of your boyfriend and wearing ill-fitting gowns” you mean style icon, then sure…

  23. Liz version 700 says:

    This reminds me of Trump’s “people are saying” nonsense. Why is talking about Goop? To me she is like 500 other super bland rich ladies.

  24. Normades says:

    GP was absolutely a 90s it girl Oscar winning style icon. Those saying she wasn’t weren’t in style. The super models like Claudia or Cindy were hot bodies but not style icons like Kate Moss or Stella Tennant was. Those ultra pretty models went out of style when ‘herion chic’ and grunge came up.
    GP was very thin but I gotta say I like her very natural body. Small no bra saggy boobs and soft body. Not like the fake huge boob/butt and ultra tight gym bodies in vogue today.

    • Merricat says:

      Lol. Gwyneth is rich, but that doesn’t mean she has style or taste. She doesn’t know what looks good on her, as the pink dress and the goth attempt prove. (Her mother is a different story. Blythe Danner is still lovely.) If she was even 10 years younger, she’d be all about fake boobs and tight gym bodies, as she is about botox today.

    • Darla says:

      I don’t think so. Aniston had a bigger impact than Paltrow, by far, but for me in NY, Carolyn Bessette was IT.

  25. Eenie Googles says:

    The pink dress was horrible. Horrible.

    The velvet suit was and remains fab.

  26. agnes says:

    Imagine wearing this pink abomination of a dress *and* robbing Cate Blanchett of an Oscar.
    And still thinking you’re the best.

    Nepotism really is the good, strong stuff.

  27. Monica says:

    Jesus F Christ does she EVER stop talking about herself???

    • Esmom says:

      I mean, it was a video about her “iconic” looks so I’m not sure what else she was supposed to talk about?

      • Monica says:

        How about not booking the stupid interview in the first place. Sorry, I’m just so bloody sick of her blithe (NPI) narcissism. She’ll do something decent, like her makeup-less remarks about aging and beauty a few weeks ago, but then she’s back to her old self-absorbed ways. Never change, Gwynnie. I know you won’t.

    • minx says:

      She remind me of that joke “Enough about me. What do YOU think about me?”

  28. BusyLizzy says:

    I find her insufferable at times but I was touched when teared up at mentioning her dad bought her the Harry Winston diamond set after she won the Oscar. You can tell she truly misses her dad.

  29. psl says:

    I wish people would stop interviewing her. It just gets worse each time. She is so far up her own ass, it is hilarious.

  30. KBeth says:

    The pink Oscar dress is atrocious & I’ll fitting.
    I agree the white dress is really lovely & sophisticated.

  31. CMS says:

    Is the last photo in the pink dress photoshopped? I don’t get it…where are her breasts? Not in a mean way….but my eyes are confused. I actually have always liked her clean line 90′s style. I am 40 and I kind of use the same kind of metrics in my fashion.

    • minx says:

      No, that’s actually how she looked at the 1999 Oscars. She had smaller, low hanging breasts then, no cleavage at all, and what she did have were squashed under the top of the dress. It’s just a horrible look.

    • Jayna says:

      Her father had battled throat cancer and was still sick from all the treatment and her grandfather was dying of cancer. She was under a lot of stress and unhappiness. So what you are seeing is a normally thin young woman in her mid 20s who lost even more weight during that period from all of the stress she was dealing with and thus her smaller breasts were even smaller, dress hanging on her. Someone should have done another fitting, lifted the straps, or selected another gown entirely,

      I can empathize. I was pretty thin already when my mom was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. And while helping her with treatment and the anxiety of knowing I was going to lose my mom, adrenaline was coursing through my veins at all times, loss of appetite. I couldn’t sleep. I lost weight and looked fragile and painfully thin durng that time

  32. Courtney B says:

    She still looks good in minimalist wear. Her Pepper Potts wardrobe suited her very well. Her white button down shirt and denim cutoffs from Avengers is about the sexiest I’ve ever seen her. And Pepper’s dresses/heels combos and her Iron Man blue strapless evening gown were all great looks on her.

  33. TeeMajor says:

    Who is THEY actually?? no one is checking for her , unless they are on her payroll.
    self absorbed thing!

  34. Eurydice says:

    Huh, I’m with those who never thought of her as a style icon. To me, she was always following the style – trying on this designer or that, sometimes successfully, often times not.

  35. Eleonora says:

    When I think of 90s style, I think of the anorexia look and women almost disappearing.

    Don’t want to elaborate too much, but it did not have a good effect on me.

  36. Cas says:

    She totally was a style icon in the 90s, especially for those of us younger than her born in the early 80s. My magazines back then were full of pictures of GP and we dissected her looks and tried to emulate. And her street style was on point, minimalist but casual.
    Of course she is nothing compared to Carolyn Bessette who is forever goals and in a totally different league, but GP definitely was a player too.

    • Normades says:

      Exactly. Sure people love to hate on Goop but she was absolutely a style icon. Though her bbf Winona was even more iconic in the early 90s. In the late 90s Jennifer Aniston had her hair but she was never considered stylish.

  37. ugh says:

    That short haircut she had back in the Sliding Doors days was goals for 90s girls.

  38. Boo says:

    She is SO NASAL it hurts my ears and I couldn’t finish. Also a good example of nasal fry.

  39. K says:

    Just shush, ostrich lady. That’s what she’s always looked like to me, an smug ostrich with a whiny voice. Honestly, only Trump rivals her in patting themselves on the back and assuming we all agree with every pseudo-informed word that comes out of their mouths.

  40. Amando says:

    Paltrow is not even close to the first person I think of when I think of 90′s style. Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Aniston, even Courtney Love all come to mind before she ever would. She followed trends, she didn’t create them.

  41. L4frimaire says:

    I remember so many of those looks. I never liked that pink Ralph Lauren dress. Too Cinderella and the fit of the bodice wasn’t great, but ball gown skirts with t-shirts/button downs that inspired it was having a moment them. Now I want to rewatch Great Expectations and the Royal Tannenbaums. Love preppy looks and remember when Donna Karan was such an influential designer in early/mid-nineties. Tom Ford at Gucci was so huge then. American fashion was so influential and the big names that came up in the 70s/80s were still running their brands. Not too many of the OGs left.

  42. Jade says:

    Did Gwyneth get some (small) breast implants. Seams like she went from a completely flat chest to small but definitely there breasts.

    • Southern Fried says:

      Without a doubt.

    • Normades says:

      I think she definitely had some kind of lift but kept it natural looking. Her body also changed when she started working out a lot with Tracy ? (whoever that trainer was broke up her friendship with Madonna)

  43. Surfer says:

    The short silver dress is my fav here. Never seen it before. I like her foodie / chopped-salad posts on IG and she is still heartbroken over losing her father pretty early; she was extremely close to him.

  44. LillyfromLillooet says:

    Gwyneth is my style icon now–I love her basic look/work go-to style and I emulate it. The hate out there for her curdles my stomach. She’s more relevant than ever.

  45. Southern Fried says:

    Never have thought she was particularly stylish. The pink dress is the only thing I remember, horrible fit. However Julia Roberts with her belted jeans, white tee and what looked like a men’s black suit jacket I remember, copied and saw frequently and simple dresses I remember clearly. Then there’s SJ Parker, her eclectic looks, Caroline Bessette and her casual classic, Lisa Bonet, her boho and rocker looks.

  46. Mina_Esq says:

    Is this her version of a mid-life crisis? Where she tells herself it’s ok to age because she was so great in her youth. No, she was not the definitive 90’s style icon. She just adopted the Calvin Klein look and basically copied Carolyn Bassette-Kennedy and Kate Moss. She wasn’t even in the top 10. This was the decade of Gwen Stefani, Princess Di, Cher Horowitz, and so on.

  47. RB says:

    OMG, her Great Expectations outfit. I have to give her credit because she was SO drop dead gorgeous in that movie. (plus I just loved the movie)

  48. Annaloo. says:

    She never misses an opportunity to mention that she and Brad were together

  49. JanetDR says:

    Those see through outfits: ugly then and uglier now. The only look I like is the white dress.

  50. Thatgirlmn says:

    Why does everyone get so upset that GP has confidence in herself? We really should be lifting her up for that – men do it all the time and I guess that’s acceptable but how dare a woman have confidence in herself and the nerve to speak it.
    I don’t always like her style but it’s all opinion anyway. She’s definitely famous, talked about, and admired. Just because you don’t doesn’t mean millions of others feel the way you do.