Women’s Fashion Wear
Women’s Wear, As the 20th century came to a close, fashion reached its most casual. Both men and women adopted grunge fashion in the early part of the decade. And loose, oversized clothing and jeans became staples. As the decade progressed, women’s fashion became more streamlined as minimalism became de rigueur. While children’s clothing often featured popular Disney characters.
In the final decade of the twentieth century, fashion continued to move towards a more casual style of dressing and minimalism. While there were periods of more formal dress, the twentieth century largely saw fashion moving towards a much more minimalist and casual style and as the eighties ended, this approach became widespread. By the end of the decade, it was clear that this approach to dressing was here to stay.
At the beginning of the decade, the high fashion supermodel peaked with models such as Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell pictured on the front of Vogue in 1990 (Fig. 1). Kathryn Hennessey writes in Fashion: The Ultimate Book of Costume and Style (2012)
Women’s Wear, “The phenomenon of the ‘supermodel’ reached its height in the 1990s and among the most celebrated were Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Christy Turlington. When these four strutted down the catwalk arm in arm during Versace’s 1991 Autumn/Winter fashion show in Milan they were more famous than the clothes.
While the decade began with the popularity of these high fashion and larger-than-life styles of the eighties, fashion quickly moved toward less glamorous and more casual dress.
The sportswear looks of the eighties continued into the early nineties with biker shorts, leggings, Keds, and oversized sweatshirts continuing to be favorite choices for young women. The early part of the decade also saw a revival of 1960s and 1970s styles such as mini-skirts, flares, and Punk styles (Laver 281).
The desire for vintage clothing encouraged the spread of second-hand clothing stores which were also used for grunge fashion. A style that emerged in Seattle in the late 1980s, by the early nineties, it was a widespread look that was based on everyday clothing such as baggy, worn-out jeans, flannel shirts, and Doc Martens boots (Fig. 2). For women, this also included simple slip dresses often worn with chunky boots. In 1993, grunge made it to the catwalk in Marc Jacobs’ collection for Perry Ellis (Hennessey 412; Figs. 3 and 5).
Along with the popularity of grunge came a shift away from the earlier popularity of supermodels to a new type of model epitomized by Kate Moss (Fig. 4). Moss became known for her “heroin chic” photoshoots in run-down locations. Hennessey writes:
“It was out with the glossy and wholesome supermodels and in with a new breed of fragile, individual-looking and models. A new phrase ‘heroin chic’ described the down-at-heel settings for fashion shoots presented in magazines. Such dressed-down styles didn’t suit the personalities of the models, and designers opted to make the star of the show”
In the mid-nineties, styles became more feminine again. Slip dresses epitomized the minimalist look during this period (Fig. 6). Silky versions were worn as formalwear (Fig. 7) while a popular daytime look was a slip dress over a white t-shirt. The “sexy schoolgirl” look as seen in movies like Clueless (Fig. 9) and later in the decade in Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time” music video became popular during the middle of the decade. Undersized sweaters, baby doll t-shirts, and knee-high socks all made up this look that was worn by young women.
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