November 21, 2010

OPINION | Underdressing and a note on minimalist fashion


me trying to underdress instead of overdressing
cropped front longsleeve: DIY
1990s high waisted legging: thrifted

Over the past days I have been studying and obsessing about developments in fashion during the 1990's. Somehow it is similar to what is happening now. The internet is giving everyone a voice in fashion, making it more democratic and giving room for different interpretations.

The 1990's is also the first era I consiously lived through but was too little to be aware of complex fashions and tendancies in society. I would listened to Ace of Base and think: when I grow up I'll dance to this in a disco. So yeh, in case you were wondering; I've been listening to Ace of base (and collecting images of Jessie Spano) while reading articles to get in the mood.

In the 1990s it was no longer the done thing to follow fashion slavishly, a sharp contrast to the highly á la mode '70s and '80s. The phobia of being underdressed was finally completely displaced by the fear of overdressing. Fashion in the '90s united around a new standard, minimalism, and styles of stark simplicity became the vogue. Despite the best efforts of a few designers to keep the flag for pretty dresses flying, by the end of the decade the notion of ostentatious finery had virtually disappeared. -source Wikipedia

The best description of what minimalist fashion is

Much Ado About (Nearly) Nothing
By Amy M. Spindler
New York Times, June 13, 1993

Minimalism is as noncommittal as fashion gets without leaving a body naked.
At its best, minimalist fashion is like Mission-style oak furniture: inviting, architectural, sturdy, elegant. At worst, it's plain. It can put demands on the wearer. It won't inspire your friends to apply adjectives to you that you couldn't inspire alone. A minimalist dress is the only $2,000 one that you might wear to meet the Dalai Lama without feeling obscene.

What sets the minimalists on this page above the rest is their deceit and their conceit. Deceit because these clothes look so simple but can in fact be the most difficult: many are cut on the bias (diagonlly, across the grain of the fabric). The bias cut makes them drape. The conceit is the richness of the fabric. There is nothing plain about chiffon backed with silk, or cashmere woven into the rib knit of a sweater.

Minimalism is best described not by what it is, but by what it lacks. There's no lace. No tulle. No fringe. No flouncy tiers. No rows of pleats. For those who subscribe, it is defined the way obscenity ofter is: they know it when they see it.


Style Odyssey said...

good write-up on 90s minimalism.

i was well into my...oh, never mind, let's just say i remember the 90s vividly. i wore a lot of black (as i did in the 80s), clean lines and other neutral hues. chanel "vamp" nail varnish (now only available as "rouge noir", the name under which it was originally marketed in france) was my color of choice from mid-decade onward.

fashion is, of course, cyclical, so it's about time we had a resurgence of minimalism. anyway, i loved it then, as i do now.

side note- i really like that lipstick you're wearing. i've never seen someone wear black lipstick SO well! wish i could.

Michelle Chic said...

love your interpretations on minimalist fashion!

BackOfTheOne said...

thanks so much for your comment
but i need to say that I die when I saw your photos :O woaaa
I need to visit you the times as i can really.
I love your black lipstick.


Michelle said...

Really interesting words on minimalism! There's something so appealing about the style in all its simplistic elegance. I can't often pull it off, but you definitely have the look to work it!

Daisy said...

Wow! This is very very interesting. I like the whole minimalistic view. I'm pretty much that way. I don't like anything to over the top. Simplicity is the key!One of the quotes I have in my blog is this one from plato: "Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity." :)


Hilaloeya said...

Love your lips, are you doing something in fashion? Really interesting writing!


Lisa said...

Heel mooi!

Lydia & Marjolein said...

love it !!

Sara said...


Simone said...

thank you such for your lovely comment :)

i love this look, the simplicity of the black and grey really works for you, i'm always jealous of your thrift items, you find some beauties!

Nádia said...

Love minimalism! It's a statement! Want your lipstick!

ediot said...

nice post darling. you look great.
love the idea of the diy cut.
hope you're having a wonderful weekend darling
take care


ANewPairOfVintageBoots said...

zwarte lippenstift staat je belachelijk goed!!

Camilla Brozzo said...

Great photos *-*/

Charlene said...

I love your outfit here! So Simple but effective and fitting to the post!

P.S Once again loved reading this!

Emmett Katherine said...

Another lovely DIY yourself, I shall say it again, you should really be a designing clothing, your ideas are brilliant.

I was young in the 90s also, too young to realise the impact kurt cobain & grunge scene had on fashion, I just wore what everyone else wore! ha ha I also remember dancing to 'I saw the sign' by Ace of Base a lot!!

~Em K

Emilie said...

The dark lips are so beautiful!


Supergaaf, staat je heel goed

KcomeKarolina said...

love this outfit! and this cropped top!
have i told you that i realy love your comment on my blog! it made me sooo happy! if you want to keep in touch with my blog you can always use blogger, bloglovin, facebook and twitter!

xoxo from rome

Violetta E. said...

amazing <3

Debbie said...

Heerlijk stuk, goed geschreven, hou ik van!

julive said...

o god, i love your lips. what lipstick do u use?

Heis said...

Thumbs up!

ik hou van je schrijfels.

Amber said...

you wear the black lip so well!

Phillipe LeNerd † said...

heelll! yes
adore this inspiring shots
+dark lips r always hot in a girl
love u!

Fashion Monstre said...

i just love do the minimalist thing pretty well :)

Amandamarie said...

i wish i could pull off the black lips as well as you do!


Sjaar said...

Het komt inderdaad allemaal weer terug. Je hebt er een mooie kijk op.

SOFIA said...



Raez said...

gorgeous look! i love how you rock the tee. it's about as chic as a "mullet" gets!

xx raez

Amber Whitecliffe and Hilary Johnston said...

amber xx

KittehsCupcakes said...

Hey, ik zag jou vandaag op utrecht centraal. Echt leuk om je ook eens in t echt te zien, je bent even mooi als op je foto's :) maar ik wilde je niet aanspreken omdat je bezig was met filmen (?)

Isabelle said...

love your shirt and how you can pull off that lipstick color so well xx

TASHA B said...

ive never seen black lipstick look so good! it compliments your hair so well! and the DIY shirt is very inventive looks so good!!

and also you can never beat a maxi skirt! <3

My Lack of Style said...

Ik vind het echt knap dat jij met zo weinig, er zo geweldig en stylish uit kan zien!!

Axelle said...

Bedankt voor je comment! Jou blog staat nu al een tijdje tussen mijn favorieten en ik vind je stijl echt super leuk!
Keep up the good work ;)

liefs Axelle

kelsea said...

<3 this post

My Daily Inspiration said...

Inspiring blog!

Elsa said...

I'm a big fan of minimalist fashion myself, and i found this post really interesting. You're a good writer.

i said...

Just seeing this now, I really adore your style and take on life.

♥ Ingrid

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