2020 Trend Watch: 90’s Minimalism and All You Need to Know

COVER STORY / 2020-04-01

2020 Trend Watch: 90’s Minimalism and All You Need to Know

90’s minimalist fashion was a league apart in every sense. The good old days had a richness of pastels and fuss-free trends that stood apart. However, in the past decade or so, fashion has witnessed a meteoric rise with larger than life silhouettes, statement puff-sleeves and outrageously bold designs – a stark deviation from the 90s clean line fashion. 

From the good old silky skin-hugging slip dresses to an overload of whites and pastels, the 90s clean line fashion hugged different body types with a gentler touch as compared to today’s if-it-don’t-fit-i’ll-make-it-fit shapewear trends. 

Forward to 2020, those good old clean lines are back again, and we’re having a case of deja-vu. SS20 witnessed a return of the 90s clean line fashion in sartorial proportions and hues. Fashion back in the 90s was truly a case of less is more, and after a decade of extravagance, we’re all craving a bit of sunshine.

If you’re wondering is the 90’s minimalist fashion back, we’re here to tell you it is! And unlike the fashion trends of the past decade or so, it’s the soft enchantment, modesty, and allure of the 90s glamour that makes the SS20 runway stand out. 

But first, let’s delve a little into 90’s fashion for women to find out what the 90s clean line was all about.

Silky slip dresses are in

For fashion connoisseurs like us, it’s a well-known fact that Calvin Klein’s slip dresses of the 90s hugely impacted and defined the 90’s minimalist fashion. The label continues to inspire with its fashion sensibilities, but the ’90s left an indelible mark. A decade ago, we saw a range of pastels and ground-breaking designs that broke away from the 80s stiffness with a fresh take on minimalistic fashion. From Kate Moss to Naomi Campbell, the 90s runway saw the best of minimalism and we were instantly drawn to Calvin Klein’s fuss-free and simplistic approach to fashion. Soon other minimalist clothing brands like Prada, Chanel, Jil Sanders and many more, weighed in on the minimalist aesthetic clothing of the 90s. The collection was an instant hit, as the slip dress continues to make waves even today with its return this 2020.

The lines are elegant

90s clean lines were naturally soft and it was always the wearer that gave it personality. With sharp, yet soft silhouettes, the mid 90’s fashion had a sporty influence and was definitely years ahead in terms of its design and aesthetics. From designers like Armani, Prada, and many others, we saw the reign of minimalism and clean lines which were not only elegant but exuded a vintage charm like no other. When you think of clean lines, you think of Kate Moss and slinky dresses, you instantly think of tube tops, long slit skirts, mild makeup and pastel blushes akin to the 90’s.

Be it a square neckline or a lace dress, or just the minimalistic t-shirt and high waist dyed jeans & sneakers, the 90s was a fashion era of its own. A decade later, today, slinky dresses and those simplistic coat suits are still in! SS20 showcased our love for spaghetti straps, lace trims, and details. SS20 has hit the roof with yummy takes on 90s minimalism with models strutting the runways in bold confidence.

And Less is Definitely More

If there was one phrase that summed-up the 90’s minimalist fashion, it was its motto of less is more. Many popular designers like McQueen and Marc Jacobs may have popularised the grunge look, but we were more taken with Kate Moss’s heroin infused clean look. From Prada, to Versace and Gucci, we loved how the aesthetics of the 90’s bid a poignant goodbye to the excess and opulent fashion sense of the 80s. We saw them loud grunge styles reduced to pastels, softer hues and clean lines. Fabrics got more innovative and comfy, as the 90’s was ready to propel the fashion world into a brand new era of minimalism.

Asymmetry is the new symmetry

One of the things about the 90’s minimalism that we’ll all remember was the movement of freethinkers and youth who enjoyed their carefree lives busking in the sun. The style back then leaned toward oh-so-minimalistic or grunge – and the 90’s grunge was very much unlike today’s rendition of grunge. While we saw our share of clean lines and minimalism, how can we forget the grunge hippie movement that also joined the tune of minimalism – albeit in a much bolder fashion? 

From asymmetrical tops to clean-cut asymmetries in skirts and capris, SS20 has revived us from slumber, and goodness, have we missed the 90s. The good old days are back, and asymmetry is in once again. There are enough and more asymmetries both in the SS20 grunge styles as well as its clean minimalism.

90’s minimalism wasn’t just clean lines, it was much more, and it had ripple effects on a large scale, even today – a decade later. The 90’s minimalist fashion truly paved the way for glamour clothing with high waisted minis and neck chokers, as well as knee-socks and those platform heels that we all came to love. We saw tight dresses, as well as the slinky & lose ones and we saw capris and cardigans. The 90’s was truly a memorable decade for fashion in every sense of the word.