I've always been a firm believer in the notion that the fashion of the 1990's was merely a hangover of the 80's. The horrible Mom-jeans, the platform sneakers, the dirty grunge-look... It was a pretty bad time for everyone.
However, there was a time in that godforsaken decade when fashion actually did manage to produce some lasting looks. Most, if not all, of these looks can be seen in one of my favourite films of that time: Basic Instinct (1992).
Though it has been parodied to death and its shock-value may have plummeted in the last twenty years, it is still a pretty awesome guilty pleasure of a movie. Sharon Stone is brilliant portraying Catherine Tramell, a thriller novelist with a degree in "messing with peoples' heads" (who is also being investigated under the suspicion of being a bit of a psycho-killer). Her character is frigidly cool, wickedly smart and so sexy that she doesn't even wear underwear (this is way before Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan made it trashy). There was no better time than the early 90's to exhibit this character's wardrobe.
Ms. Tramell, for me, is the ultimate minimalist dresser, as she seems to both wear the minimum quantity of clothing required, as well as keep her style simplistic. She mainly wears Earth-tones and classic cuts, opting for short hemlines and waist-cinching belts. Of course, the minimalism goes out the window for a clubbing occasion, when she would wear an embellished gold micro-mini dress with an open back. To die for.
My favourite look of hers is perhaps a bit of a boring choice, but I can't help it. When she gets picked up by the detectives, asking to take her downtown, she asks if she could change into something more appropriate. At that moment she is wearing a cropped, dark green sweater and patterned brown shorts. An outfit that she prefers to lounge at home in, I would wear out for a day of shopping. Maybe because it's summer I've fallen in love with the unique simplicity of this ensemble, and plan on trying to find something similar so I can pair big sunglasses and wedges with it.
Here are some designers who went for the Catherine Tramell-look in their Fall 2012 RTW collections: