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.
After a break of three years from the fashion business, Japanese designers Hideaki Yoshihara and Yukiko Ode teamed up again to present an intellectual, powerful womenswear collection under the name of HYKE in Autumn 2013. While there is relatively little information to be found about the brand on the western web, the news available is impressive. HYKE produced an amazingly tight fashion video, created a capsule collection for the British luxury brand Mackintosh and will present its adidas originals collaboration in Spring 2015. The current HYKE collection totally wins me over with its serious, no-nonsense attitude, while still playing around with uncommon silhouettes and experimental prints. Nevertheless, the minimalist attitude is quite strong in every outfit. HYKE manages to stay simple and still convey a very peculiar and idiosyncratic approach towards fashion.
Honduras-born New York City-based Carlos Campos reveals a subtle monologue of rectilinear colors within his Spring Summer 2015 collection. Graphic lines take on the whole shirt or jumper as an entire palette, bleeding the forms from breast to sleeve, mid-rib to collar. Tracksuit-like pants quietly appear in his outfits looking no less sharper than pants that end above the ankles – it is all about the proportion, a key element in his approach probably influenced by his father who was a master tailor. Campos has the ability to deliver classic mens silhouettes throughout his collections, while maintaining a strong vision and direction for each one. This collection is a simple, minimalist one that encapsulates a casual yet sharp assemblage, perfect for welcoming Spring.
Let us have a look at COS. Thought up by the H&M group in 2007 and led by brand manager Marie Honda since 2011, the London based brand is keen to develop a tactile functional style that lives beyond the seasons. COS — which abbreviates Concept Of Style — proves that there is a chance for better quality and sophisticated silhouettes in the mass market. The Autumn/Winter 2014 looks also prove that the popularity of precise and sharp styling as well as elaborate photography has tremendously increased during the last seven years. The current collection itself is inspired by Patti Smith and Nick Cave, as well as the photographs of architect John Pawson.
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.
Berlin based store, SIMON&ME, has an approach to design that strips away superfluous embellishments, emphasising the very core of a product and unveiling their minimalist signature. Their latest product is an expansion of the beautifully simple, copper bracelet, this week announcing the design of a sleek silver version. This quality, hand-crafted bracelet is designed and developed from scratch in Berlin and is the perfect minimalist accessory I’ve been looking for. The silver bracelet is also nicely wrapped in white paper, presented in carefully embossed SIMON&ME packaging, and will be rolled out early next year to stockists. Simple and striking jewellery — the ideal gift. Photography courtesy of SIMON&ME.
Amsterdam based fashion label Avelon claims to whisper, not shout. Still, the word about its impressive, effortless yet sophisticated style has spread worldwide, starting with Erik Frenken taking over as the label’s head of design in 2010 and peaking with its first show in Paris for Spring/Summer 2015. But let us have a look a the current collection first. The sculptural but relaxed silhouettes are monochromely bathed in nude tones, black, white and an extraordinary jade green. Classic styles like sporty sweaters, basecaps and shirts are deconstructed, exaggerated in their shape and combined with feminine waistlines or hemlines. A perfect blend of streetwear and immaculate tailoring. Or as the designer himself puts it: Avelon is something that changes every season but stays close to its signature: luxurious yet raw, effortless yet directional, and feminine yet tough. But I have to say that the real goal of the brand is to create energy. — style.com review
Agata Bieleń has recently launched the Gold Line for 2014, a beautiful collection that amplifies the simplicity of geometry further from the last silver collection. Using simply gold for the entirety — the form, the fasteners, the connections, the joints — Agata has continued the Line series with such elegant minimalism and precision. The craftsmanship shines in these simple pieces, standing out in contrast to the textures of the set beautifully designed by Anna Szczesny of Witalis. Photographed by Kamil Zacharski, the collection with selected pieces of 18 carat gold can be purchased from Agata’s website.
Caoimhe Mac Neice’s Warp collection is born on the idea of designing in a different way. The designer emphasizes that that the whole point of the collection was to get out of my comfort zone. And that she did. The resulting collection is one of challenged forms, tailoring and going beyond the conventional. Conceptually, when each of the pieces is not worn, the shapes that they envelope are plain rectangles and squares, and they don’t look like garments at all. This idea is quite fascinating. The emphasis on reduction is reduced as the construction of the elements becomes the point of focus. Warp is a collection of forms that seem to live and interact with the wearer in their own organic way. The palette is minimal, and formally, from a pattern perspective, the pieces are clear of clutter. The resulting forms however, seem to take on a life of their own, as they engage with the wearer. This is an interesting concept; to assume the end user can influence the design intent, purely through engagement with a piece. The emerging designer’s current focus is on building her portfolio, and with a precedent like this, Caoimhe Mac Neice is one to...
It is not easy to trace the origin of the structured minimalist collection called LESS, perfectly set in scene by Shanghai-based French photographer Matthieu Belin. The designer Liao Dan seems to have limited herself to just this single, splendid collection. And so we don’t want to keep this discovery to ourselves, although it is a Spring/Summer 2014 collection. What is so fascinating about it? It is the skillful balance between traditional asian and european silhouettes, carefully reduced to its identifiable core. There is a contrast between delicacy and clarity in every outfit. All this framed by a choice of historical poses, embedded in contemporary scenery by photographer Matthieu Belin and the designer herself.
In the latest campaign by MLTV Clothing, Episode Five carries the theme of architecture and asymmetry within the casual contemporary menswear. Anna Sjunnesson who is behind the label, isn’t making a statement of style but rather, expresses in her designs a quiet yet mildly recusant attitude: in a shirt that is draped subtly on one side, in asymmetric forms layered under heavier fabric, and in a sweatshirt hoodie constructed by 2 scarfs. As she describes: Layers of shear fabrics and heavier knits construct an industrial look which is built up with folded sections, draped parts and asymmetric cuttings. By working between the fine line of feminine and masculine and challenging the norms; we strive to develop new functions, expressions and use. In its very subtle details, I admire Anna’s eye for the inconspicuous and construction in this minimalist collection. Shop this Episode. Images courtesy of Anna Sjunnesson.
The jewellery designed by Swedish silver and goldsmith Patrik Hansson, is as refined and minimalist as possible. It is easy to see Patrik Hansson’s roots in graphic design, an education he undertook before turning to jewellery. Basic geometric shapes like squares, circles and loops are layered and deconstructed precisely. Every detail is thought through, every perspective considered and perfected. So why didn’t he stick to graphic design? He finds inspiration in working with his hands. The crafting itself and the vibrant color of gold seduces him. And that is how he seduces us. For me it’s important to have one thing that catches the attention in a piece. It could be a cut, a line or something else as long as it’s adding to the work. In my opinion you could explore these shapes in depth. However elementary the shapes, it is amazing how Patrik Hansson’s designs provoke attention. Everyone longs to find out what the secret about them actually is. Every single piece is indeed special: they are more potent a statement in an outfit than any huge stone-encrusted piece of jewellery could ever be.