10 May 2021
Six new stamps and a miniature sheet from Jersey explore aspects of 1990s popular culture. The 1990s was an eclectic decade, perhaps most notably on the music scene, which saw the rise of Britpop, boy bands, the emergence of grunge and, of course, the Spice Girls who burst into the charts championing girl power. In the world of fashion, crop tops and combat trousers became wardrobe staples and ‘The Rachel’ the must-have haircut, thanks to the popularity of American sitcom Friends. In the world of technology, home computers and the internet were gaining momentum, DVDs were starting to replace VHS and Encarta took the place of the Encyclopaedia Britannica as the ‘go to’ for tricky homework questions.
Popular Culture in Jersey, as across the rest of the world, was changing too. Post-war Jersey was famed for its nightlife and in the 1990s, as underground dance music hit the mainstream, this nightlife saw a dramatic shift. The ballroom at the West Park Pavilion, once used for more formal dancing, now held crowds of people for raves, dancing to some of the Island’s most talented DJs.
Just as Jersey’s music venues had seen a change due to the technological revolution of the 20th century, so did the high street. Shops selling items that could not have been dreamed of a decade or so before now became commonplace, with video games and mobile phones being sold on the high street.
The stamps each cover a different subject.
- Language, illustrated by London-based illustrator Mark Ward, shows the word ‘fresh’, an adjective for a person’s appearance, has its roots in New York hip-hop culture.
- Music, illustrated by Irish illustrator Laura Callaghan, reflects the boy band phenomenon; whilst ‘Fashion’, illustrated by David Downton, showcases the crop top, which saw a huge rise in popularity during the 1990s.
- The ‘Event’ stamp, illustrated by digital art collective eBoy, looks back on the dawn of the internet age.
- ‘Food’, by illustrator Serge Seidlitz, remembers sweets of the era, including necklaces and rings, and sour sweets.
- Joshua Budich's illustration for ‘Leisure’ shows the yo-yo, a traditional toy that enjoyed a surprise revival during the 1990s.
Finally, our trip down memory lane is seen on the miniature sheet illustration, which recalls the types of shops that would have existed on King Street and Queen Street at the time.
Issue date: 14 July 2021, www.jerseystamps.com