An Architectural Appeal
Oh, the 90s. Although I lived through them, well aware of all the trends, I don’t think I really appreciated this decade’s style lines until clothing became more intellectual for me.
At the moment, I’m on a big minimalism kick. Shapes, color blocking, juxtapositions, clean lines. An architectural appeal. What is fashion, after all, but architecture for the body? Exposure to shows like Project Runway have made me more considerate of what goes into clothing construction: the way draping and proportion have an effect on the body. Stripping away frills and ornamentation to reveal the body (or rather, an idea about the body) or to sculpt in in an illusitory manner.
Of course, it’s still me, so I like this done in a way that plays up femininity, not one that tries to smash it into bondage-inspire torture devices disguised as clothing, or exaggerated androgeny. Or grunge (blech). There is a part of me that will always appreciate 80s and 90s fashion for its images of athletic Amazons who were both strong and feminine. The 90s are back (again, right?) and influencing the runways in a big way.
So, without further ado, here are some of my favorites:
Calvin Klein. Although escandalo! for his fragrance ads and undie shots with Kate Moss and Marky Mark, his minimalist dresses, skirts and suiting from the 90s are both feminine and powerful.
Donna Karan. The bodysuit. I have a vintage cream silk dress shirt version. I associate the many variations of the bodysuit with her 90s lines Donna Karan and DKNY. Her 90s jumpsuits also felt like a reinvention.
Claude Montana. I only discovered Claude recently. The pieces are very collectable, because Montana’s body conscious lines and exquisite seaming still look thoroughly modern. Much like Thierry Mugler, many of his vintage pieces look like something straight off of today’s runways with their sculpted shapes and edgy details.
Issey Miyake. I remember seeing his stuff in the 90s and thinking it was crazy. It was, but in a good way. It was about fashion as architecture and completely transforming the way we look at clothing. This dress features some of his famous pleating.