Minimalissimo


Marina Esmeraldo

Less is yes.

A collaboration between London-based photographer Bruno Drummond and set designer Hattie Newman, Paper Mountains, recycles and decontextualizes the intricate paper sculptures created by Hattie for a project both had previously worked on, suddenly giving them new life. Generally speaking sets for photoshoots tend to be made as one offs — once the shoot is over the set might be stored, recycled or disposed of; an enormous amount of work goes into producing the sets yet the work of the designer might end up hidden from view. After realising how some of the elements of the set would make a great project in their own right, they set to create a series of formal studies, finding a fresh set of characteristics in the pieces. Some of the technical work that would normally be hidden, like the joining flaps of two paper mountains, were made visible. In some cases the pieces have been placed without reference to how they might stand in reality. For Drummond, the objects became suggestive of entirely different things than what they originally meant — beached ships or sea-creatures left stranded at the high tide mark.


Inspired by East Londoners’ pastel-hued hairstyles and boasting a 30-year heritage of traditional British manufacturing, accessories brand Ally Capellino‘s SS15 collection features a rose-tinted collection of rucksacks, satchels and bike-bags in ice cream shades and pastel hues, with every design constructed using waxed cotton and Italian veg-tanned leather. Photographed by Agnes Lloyd Platt with styling by Aurelia Donaldson, make-up by Sky Cripps-Jackson and hair colouring by Olivia Crighton of Glasshouse Salon, the lookbook materializes a beautifully simple idea brought to life by colour-blocking, elegant set design and flawless execution.


Currently based in New York, Ward Roberts is an Australian conceptual artist whose compelling and mysterious photographs draw on themes such as loneliness and isolation in the modern world. His perspective is contemporary and sophisticated, creating images that are full of emptiness and incredibly poignant. There is an innate energy at the core of his work that makes his compositions seem painterly and borne out of academic calculated patience. Despite the studied balance of his work, his preferred medium is analogue — I love how the grain massages the tone, the range of color, contrast, and organic qualities. Digital is for perfection. And you know, the world is not perfect and neither are the people in it.


Enthusiastically handcrafted in southern Germany, VOR‘s A1 Reinweiß shoes are the epitome of the company’s timeless, minimalist ethos – going through incredible effort to eliminate details and be identified more by its refined appearance than any impactful presentation. Passionate about perfectionism, premium substance and the finest possible execution, VOR believe that handcrafted items are an expression of the modern consumer’s demands regarding a product’s origins and are solely made of best genuine full grain leathers and premium leather linings, proudly creating pieces that are unique and have their own individual characteristics and natural beauty.


IKEA has recently launched Sinnerlig, a collaboration with London designer Ilse Crawford from Studioilse, on a range of cork and natural-fibre homeware products prominently featuring neutral colours that were chosen to fit into any home. In Crawford’s words: It’s supposed to work in a bathroom in Mumbai as well as a kitchen in Neasden, it has to fit into people’s lives. It is quite low key but we deliberately designed it like that, we see it as background, it’s not trying to compete with these fantastic icons of design — it’s a different thing. Set against the beautiful backdrop of Ett Hem hotel, also designed by Studioilse, the collection contains a range of around 30 products, from larger furniture pieces such as cork-covered tables and a daybed down to hand-blown glass bottles. The collection was unveiled during Stockholm Design Week and will be available in stores in August.


Born from the three-way collaboration between Tucson, Arizona-based apparel shops Bon Boutique and Desert Vintage and the sensitive eye of photographer Krysta Jabczenski, this Spring Summer 2015 lookbook is a fun, sunny photoshoot with stylish colour-blocked clothes and clean, simple surroundings. Bon is a small mother-and-daughter enterprise, with a love of things that are well designed and well made and a lovely curatorial eye for mixing the unexpected. Joining their wares with Desert Vintage’s tulle skirts, jewellery and sombreros, the lookbook manages to be soft and jovial, yet pared down and sophisticated. Shot in Barrio Viejo, Tucson, AZ, by Krysta Jabczenski.


Youjia Jin is a Chinese born London based fashion designer and fashion buyer specialising in womenswear. Inspired by anatomy, the designer’s impeccably tailored and purely coloured collections focus on menswear tailoring and the surreal body arts developed from anatomy. Due to my interest in human body structure, I’ve been exercising unisex pattern cutting on my womenswear collections in recent years. Youjia Jin has presented collections in London Fashion Week and Beijing Fashion Week, and been nominated One To Watch by Fashion Scout and more since graduating from the London College of Fashion, Centrail Saint Martins and the Beijing Institute of Fashion and Technology.


Established in 2011 by Amy Venter and based in Durban, South Africa, Jane Sews is an artisan clothing and accessories line with a beautiful, fresh, simple aesthetic, prioritising uplifted feminine staples and timeless pieces. Every design element is carefully considered and close attention is paid to fine construction and finish. I love the airy simplicity of the pieces and the elegance of the accessories. The brand launches seasonal small run collections crafted from high quality natural fabrics, seeking to be both functional and easy to wear.


Wide Eyed Legless is the blog and labour of love of Minneapolis-based designer and stylist Madelynn Furlong, who has now unveiled her latest project — The WEL shop, filled with highly curated goods that represent Wide Eyed Legless’ minimalist aesthetic and values. Drawn from collaborations with like-minded friends, WEL seeks to form a relationship between visual artists, designers and those who wish to inherit beautiful objects into their lives. We see ourselves as a “communal well” to partake of art and beauty — a place to celebrate the creator, the cerated and the space between. WEL’s selection of clothes, accessories, jewellery and art objects are beautifully offset by impeccable art direction and Liz Gardner and Bodega‘s styling. Everything in the shop is limited edition with only 10 or less of each piece, with most being even just 1 of 1. Photography by Caylon Hackwith.


Based in Portland, Oregon and hailing from Los Angeles, designer T Ngu has recently released three new collections within her lovely and elegant Upper Metal Class jewellery line: Arc, Grace and Wave. Boasting a  minimalist style with a hint of light hearted fun, each hand-crafted design is developed with simplicity in mind while drawing inspiration from architecture, math, science and the natural life around us. Personally, I’m enjoying the fresh, minimalist use of typical geometrical shapes found not only within our surroundings but also in busier visual styles like the renaissance of Memphis-inspired graphics. UMC also seeks to follow an environmental friendly practice, using recycled metals and packaging that is biodegradable. Photography by Dawn Di Carlo.


Still life photographer Benedict Morgan‘s portfolio consists of pure, uncluttered product shots, set against simply lit backgrounds and boasting a clean, sharp finish that convey a style based on clarity, composure and a striking minimalist sensibility. Based in London, Morgan works predominantly in the fashion industry and has shot for clients such as Givenchy, Hermès and L.K.Bennett, as well as magazines such as British Esquire and Wonderland. My personal favourite is his Perfume series (featured image), highlighting the singularity of those classic bottles through mysterious and alluring lighting.


Handmade by Brooklyn-based S.D. Evans, these heirloom-quality quilts are made from natural fabrics like cotton, vintage yukata cotton, linen and leather. The designs give a nod to traditional quilting patterns and the very nostalgia of quilts, but Evans has added a bold, contemporary, and beautifully simple aesthetic. The motifs reference nature, daily rituals and personal landmarks — the quilts have everyday and revealing names like Gravity, Migration, Stereo, Library Steps and Two Rivers — offering a glimpse into the designer’s life and inspirations. I love how they work as a fresh addition to urban and country dwellings alike!