Sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to find. I experience this phenomenon every time I decide to go shopping. Wardrobe basics, such as the black blazer, that perfect white t-shirt, pair of jeans, white sneakers and so on, are becoming the extinct species in the stores. Less is more, designers! (read: Not all of us opt for Pucci). Even if you are just a casual fashion observer, you have surely noticed that we are constantly overwhelmed with new trends, over-dressed red carpet or blogger looks. It is so refreshing to go back to basics. Let me try to explain why, every now and then, we want to look simple so badly.
(Céline Autumn-Winter 2013-2014, Phoebe Philo collection)
Inspired by Céline’s Phoebe Philo, as well at Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at the Row, or Raf Simons when he was at Jil Sander, this flavor of minimalism is less severe than what we saw in the ’90s. Yes, the clean lines are there, but it isn’t completely devoid of pattern or color either. In fact, Philo’s brushstroke-heavy spring 2014 collection inspired some to call it maximal minimalism. This not-so-literal take on the concept gives the wearer some slack, which might be why it has become such a popular look. We are all so sick of of the ‘blogger-as-peacock-thing’ that doing the opposite is the only sensible reaction.
(Jil Sander Fall/Winter 2012 Runway Show)
So, I wonder, just how many white tees and pairs of pleated trousers can one pack into wardrobe? There will always be a market for basics (note: there is a fine line between simple and boring!). Shirt dresses and slip dresses are continuing to be the must-haves that not to the minimalism but brands ought to offer something different in order to compete. A success of a brand lies in its refusal to directly play to trends. I strongly believe that brands (especially the new labels) need to prove that they do not view minimalism as a moment, but a lifestyle.
Cover photo, credit: Jill Sander, Fall/Winter 2014 campaign)