Tag Archives: Spring

Versace, 1994


At a certain point Versace’s rococo ambitions would cede to the shifting mood of the ’90s, parlaying his outlandish style into something sleeker, cleaner, and just us titillating. Versace was always an ingenious cutter, even if the years of tromp l’oeil prints and gem embellishments obscured that, and so the shift would only open up another realm of discovery. Most notable is the finale of safety-pin dresses, one most famously worn by Elizabeth Hurley — nothing more scandalous, suggestive, and yet minimal than a dress barely pinned at the seams. Also noteworthy is the young Kate Moss opening the show; a total contradiction of the Amazonian Versace woman, literally pale in comparison to a Naomi Campbell or Veronica Web, she would represent a new ideal for the next decade and then some. The lack of irony and cynicism is remarkable, it’s totally optimistic and speaks as much to the era’s unique outlook in a transitional moment as it does to Gianni’s relentless search for classical romance and celebration of life. There is an undeniable confidence, both sexually and artistically, and an assured sense of joyousness. If it seems vaguely banal today, or even trite, it was only just as fresh and inspiring in 1994.

Jil Sander, 1991

 A romantic and historicist’s touch on Jil Sander’s burgeoning minimalist look.

Considering Milanese fashion of the time: the pastiche of trompe l’oeil prints from Versace, rococo embellishments from Ferre, and hyper ethnic stripes from Missoni, Jil Sander was indeed a minimalist. But the designer’s ambitions were never a campaign for anti-fashion, instead it was a personal move, a step towards a modernity of her own making. Sander reveled in the novelty of fashion, reinterpreting its shifts and swings for herself and no one else. She did not abhor fashion, rather, she only wanted to grant it some ease.