This Time-Traveling Dress Makes Me Feel Like a '90s Supermodel — Because It Was Designed by One
Slip dresses weren't just a trend of the '90s, they were the uniform of the era's royalty. Think back to Kate Moss's sheer Liza Bruce number and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy's wedding dress designed by Narcisso Rodriguez, the body-skimming style defined a decade.
Some 30 years later, it's no secret we're experiencing a massive episode of '90s nostalgia, its fashion, slip dresses included, back on the mood board of every major designer. However, no brand has been able to embody the era's essence more than Realisation Par, whose latest collection had a secret weapon at its side: Claudia Schiffer.
Schiffer was one of the original five members of the "Supers," a group of fashion models that also included Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Helena Christiensen, and Christy Turlington. Their fame and impact can't be overstated, the concept of supermodel invented to describe their untopped influence. Suffice to say Schiffer's partnership with Realisation Par in reviving the biggest trends of the time is a pretty big deal.
Realisation Par, the Australian label behind massively viral products including the original leopard print skirt with its own Instagram account, tapped Schiffer to co-design a 13-piece collection called SUPER REAL. The line pays homage to the oft-worn styles of Schiffer's youth, including slip dresses, off-shoulder maxis, and slinky, bias-cut skirts, plus it includes a couple of cheeky tees featuring iconic images of the model herself from the decade.
The seductive clothes promise to transport the wearer back to 1995, at New York City's Tunnel Club, where Boy George is holding court and Donna Summer and Madonna hits fill the air. Just shimmy into one of its sexy dresses and you're practically air kissing Karl Lagerfeld, champagne flute in one hand, ill-advised Capri cigarette in the other.
But the question remained, could a '90s baby like me (and I mean aged 0-10 through the decade) actually experience the era through its outfits? I took the Clementine, a floor-length bias-cut slip dress covered in velvet burnout florals, out for a night on the town to see if the textile time machine was everything I had hyped it up to be.
The short answer is just the cherub emoji followed by the heart eyes emoji followed by the sweating, overheating emoji.
Out of the box, I was concerned whether it would be too sheer for me to muster the courage to leave the house. The sheerness is kind of the point, so I was pleased when I finally saw myself in the mirror that its sheerness actually plays a great trick where it's seemingly see-through in bits — a flash of skin here, a fuzzy outline of a bra strap there — but impossible to actually see anything you don't want seen through the material.
While the fabric had fun with its sophisticated illusions, the dress' cut proved to be just as clever. I typically wear between a US 2 and 4, so I went with the dress in a size S. The bias drape allowed it to follow the lines of my body without being cinched too close on any one spot. Boxy is not a word in this garment's vocabulary, but drama is: I'm 5'5" and the hem of the dress pooled ever so slightly around my feet in one-inch heels.
Between the brilliant fabric and fit choices, my confidence was astronomic. I wore the Clementine to a pop-up dining event followed by a rooftop party, gently lifting a small fistfull of the dress by the thigh whenever I moved (princess behavior if there ever was) to keep it off the floor. By the end of the night, had I actually been a '90s supermodel, I would have had my limo driver pick me up or at least hailed a cab. But it's 2021, so I popped on my mask and called an Uber.
Shop the supermodel-designed collection that's bringing the '90s back one dress at a time.
Realisation Par The Clementine
Shop now: $250; realisationpar.com
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