Silky slip dresses, cropped cardigans and bustier tops… the pared-back, feminine aesthetic of the nineties has never felt more relevant.
It’s time, friends, to bid adieu to the puff sleeved floral midi and instead welcome in the spaghetti-strapped bias-cut dresses and masculine tailoring of our nineties heroines. Gwyneth Paltrow in Sliding Doors is your new style muse.
In case we needed any encouragement Narciso Rodriguez, a founding father of the minimalist movement, is launching a collection with Zara tomorrow that centres on 25 of his greatest, most understatedly cool hits.
Rodriguez, 61, worked at Calvin Klein before launching his eponymous label in New York in 1998. His timeless, discretely sexy silhouettes have been worn by everyone from Michelle Obama to Claire Danes and Sarah Jessica Parker.
But it was Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, a good friend who’d worked with him at Calvin Klein, who really put his name on the map when she wore a Narciso Rodriguez creation to marry John F. Kennedy Jr. in 1996.
The white, gently clinging silk slip dress was so radical in its simplicity that it is widely credited with having changed the modern bridalwear game. And now you too can own a version of the dress for just £179. “There’s a beautiful slip dress in the collection that’s bias-cut and with interesting seaming,” sayd Rodriguez of the dress in question. “It’s what people think of when they think of my brand. It’s very liquid. It flows over the body.”
Alongside the slinky wedding dress dupe, which also comes in black, the collection is bursting with 25 chic back-to-reality investment pieces. There’s an oversized crepe jumpsuit that’s a desk-to-dinner workhorse, a red gathered shin-length dress that oozes soft power and plenty of chic tailored trousers and fine knits for a mix-and-match minimalists paradise.
“It was great to go through the archive and revisit things that we loved,” said Rodriguez. “It also great to see them through Zara´s design team fresh eyes. They are such a professional team excited about each piece and making sure the essence of the original ones are maintained.”
Rodriguez’s designs were quietly clever, and the Zara versions aim to be similarly thoughtful in their construction. A black knit for example comes sheer in parts and solid in others and with a built-in bra, while a wrap coat in black double-face wool comes with side slits and a leather sash belt. “The coat is extraordinary, it’s that meticulous,” said the American designer, who enjoyed watching the Zara team give his creations a modern, affordable spin. “That was fun for me—to see people who weren’t around when these clothes were first shown, now celebrating and enjoying them as much as we did 20 years ago.”
Narciso Rodriguez for Zara will be available for purchase September 8 in stores and online at zara.com