As previously introduced on Minimalissimo, Canadian based fashion designer Rad Hourani also has a beautiful and stylish line of minimalist backpacks that expresses within the same language as his ready-to-wear collection. Designed in variations of black leather with white denim, black foil or black crepe, its top handle and straps can be oriented to be used as a handbag. I especially love its clean and sleek detailing which attribute to its unisex versatility, making it a great luxury accessory whether on a casual night out or a formal work day. Its style is timeless, much like the rest of Hourani’s minimalist direction.
Accessories have become such an important element in everyday’s fashion. With the constant rush of life, their flexibility also has transformed over time. Having that idea in mind, Paris-based industrial designer Isabelle Bois collaborated with & Other Stories, a womenswear fashion company founded in Sweden, to generate a capsule collection of bags, pouches, and cases. Made from vegetable leather, these products vary in sizes to offer a wide range of usage — from business meetings to casual rendez-vous and formal dinner parties. Being minimal in appearance with natural colors like peach, nude, and black, those factors create a versatility to these accessories when one has many occasions with little time. As a fashion enthusiast, I love the oversized portfolio-like pouches. Others might see them as a bulky addition to an outfit, but I view them as a way to create a character to the wearer. They compose a certain boldness that is not overpowering, but rather both artistic and professional. Photo Courtesy of & Other Stories and Glamour
Natural growth. This basic principle is not only valuable for UK based fashion label Cotton Love‘s fabric choice, it is also their very healthy idea of developing a brand. Having established a neat niche online shop which started out as a vintage curation platform, it is a natural and highly welcomed next step to establish Cotton Love’s in-house collection for both sexes, galvanizing the style and attitude of its trustful customers. It is no question that the Kickstarter funding project, which is a requirement to start production, will be a success. Launching via Kickstarter on a pre-order basis ensures that, as a small independent brand, we are able to fully realize our vision, manage production quantities and maintain manufacturing within the UK. I really like the attitude of founder Nigel and creative director Ruth, focusing on independence in a very competitive industry. But, more importantly, being a potential future customer, I love the very pure and refined clothing they design, focused on honesty of construction and a distinguishable identity.
Coming across LA based designer Kieley Kimmel’s Autumn Winter collection Revolt, She Said, was refreshing because it has both masculine and feminine details in a warm, approachable quality that we don’t come across often in high fashion brands. This collection was inspired by a strong feminist essay by Donna Haraway and named after a book by the philosopher-feminist Julia Kristeva, yet in contrast, the general feel is soft and understated. I can’t help but appreciate that it is this balance of androgyny that heightens the minimalism in the art direction, a revolt that our expectations of feminism isn’t always what we’re used to. Photography by Logan White.
I recently stumbled upon Bande des Quatres — a jewelry label based in Montréal, collaborated by daughter Erin Wahed and mother Janis Kerman. Founded in 2011, the brand has been gaining more exposure to minimalist enthusiasts due to its effortless nature, inspired from different fields in art and design. However, it is mostly known for its obsession with history and traditional craftsmanship — a rare quality in today’s monotonous and mass-produced era. Made to order, each piece of accessory is carefully overlooked by the designer and the artisan, making every one unique and personal. The appeal of these products is that they were cleverly designed to grasp onto the wearer’s body with a certain fragility. In contrast to the heaviness that is metal (both physically and aesthetically), they give rise to an elegant statement. Simple, poised, and delicate. Photos Courtesy of Totokaelo
Protagonist is a new label with slightly less feminine details yet maintains the silhouettes that, one might say, reflect the modern woman of today – of comfort, confidence and style. As the designer Kate Wendelborn, who is behind this line of the new label, reaffirms that the clean, minimalist direction is a lot more work than it looks: I spend a lot of time to make each piece look effortless. Subtleties – of shape, fit and material – allow Protagonist to be worn in either an elevated way or a more casual way. Indeed. I love how she has used the men’s pinstripe in a simplified women’s suiting. Calf leather, silk crepe and sculptural wool are so rich as materials themselves, yet tell another story when designed around the calmness and simplicity within Wendelborn’s collection. This collection was a collaboration with renowned minimalist stylist Vanessa Traina and photographed by Paul Maffi.
It is a very special thing to be invited by the highly reputable Le Chambre Syndical de La Haute Couture to present a collection during couture week in Paris. It must feel even more special to be the first designer to do so with a complete unisex collection. The talented man who received this honor was Jordan born fashion designer Rad Hourani. After relocating from Montreal to Paris in 2006, he established his namesake haute couture collection and a ready to wear line named RAD by Rad Hourani. Both lines focus on a luxurious but stark look, cut in razor-sharp precision. They are asexual, aseasonal, they come from no place, no time, no tradition, yet they could be at home anywhere, anytime. They exude a sense of discreet chic, the essence of timeless style, drawn on a monochromatic and graphical canvas. On the occasion of the brand’s 5th anniversary, Montreal based art center phi. invited Rad Hourani to curate an interdisciplinary show presenting the designers work in the context of his inspirations. The doors will open today. If you are in the area, don’t miss it.
Emerging force Edie Karimova, recently launched her SS14 Collection embracing hues of complexity. Based in Kiev, Ukraine, her work is a combination of power and tenderness with a clean cut and lapidary silhouette. The collection sees a series of varied pieces that play with technique, tailoring and an emphasized minimal palette. Karimova is a comparatively new player to the fashion scene, having only founded her label less than two years ago. After having worked in New York for high end fashion houses and model agencies, she was awarded finalist in the Harper’s Bazaar Fashion Forward award in 2013. Her work seems to embody a true element of sophistication through reinterpretations of expected form. The soft-natured materiality aids in the complexity of her resulting work. Essentially it is the overt austere but feminine looks and a minimal approach makes Karimova someone to watch. Photography courtesy of Tasya Kudryk.
SIMON&ME is located in a small store, founded by Simon Freund, in Kreuzberg, Berlin where they sell selected menswear and hand picked selected goods. One of their goods is this beautifully minimalist copper bracelet. Produced in Munich by a blacksmith, the bracelet has an understated elegance. It is void of any logo, embellishment or detailing other than formed during the forging process. Over time the shine will fade giving the bracelet its unique color. We believe that there is nothing greater than the satisfaction of possessing a cherished piece that simply lasts; and knowing that the product you are holding is made from craftsmanship and passion. Last weekend I had the pleasure to visit SIMON&ME in their store and have a look at the products. The bracelet is a simple, beautiful, jewellery piece that will last for years and will endure seasonal trends. A perfect gift for someone special.
Two designers, Starr Hout and Laura Cramer set out on a trip to explore the austere texan west. Inspired by the beautiful but harsh landscape they decided to found a clothing label called Apiece Apart. Back in their home town of New York they go to work designing a collection of simplified, impeccable garments. The idea is that it could be packed into a single bag and mixed and matched to fit any occasion or scene you might find yourself in. Starr Hout, one half of A Piece Apart, explains: I will go hiking in Apiece Apart, and I love that. I think that is just so cool, and I wonder why more people don’t hike in silk and linen. Upon examining the beautiful, well chosen fabrics and the chic but simple shapes of the A/W 13 collection, the suggestion seems all the more tempting. I adore the way Hout and Cramer fit color into the winter concept. Color is mainly used to emphasize the shapes and the high quality of fabrics. It is not ornamental, but used as a shade of light to sculpt the silhouette. Just like the texan landscape is mainly structured by light and shadow.
Berlin based studio The Medley Institute is found and led by fashion designer Jana Patz. Since 2010 she has developed a constantly growing variety of sculptural but filigree accessories and bags, which she presents at Paris Fashion Week. She finds her inspiration in materials untypical for fashion, such as wood or porcelain. Her main aim is to make these materials correspond to the wearer and the surroundings. That is why – she claims – communication and conversation are the basis for all her work: There will be new ways of reflection and unexpected suggestions for wearable objects, accessories and pieces of jewellery. That is how the design will get to be a stunning single piece in an outfit and there will be a chance of a fusion between body, textile and object. The brand name incorporates these ideas perfectly. Besides the concept, I am very taken by the fundamental clarity and powerful appearance of pieces which are visually very subtle. The latest collection, Fold & Pleat, is a mix of pure and elegant leather bags accompanied by a selection of various accessories shaped by a clear geometric rhythm. A rhythm you can easily tune in to. Photography by Patrick Houi
Some things are so ubiquitous around the internet that they just get taken for granted, even – or especially – in the design world, which is a small one indeed. So let’s set that aside for a moment and talk about Garance Doré‘s fashion illustrations. I’m not a fashionista particularly, but I do enjoy fashion design, and to me Ms. Doré’s work has always brought an extra dose of fun to that world. The line work is simple and direct, and the use of color is always limited, usually with a pop of bright tones, just enough to give it life and movement. The story of her persuit of illustration as a career is also an interesting read – her writing style is humorous, open and lighthearted, even when looking back at difficult patches, and that is always inspiring.