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.
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.
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.
There has always been something so effortless about the way that Christophe Lemaire executes his cuts and silhouettes on the fabrics. Partnering up with Sarah-Linh Tran, his namesake label’s collection for Spring Summer 2015 is extra-enchanting with an easy, breezy vibe that many brands try to imitate. That ease exists in every fold and crease of the knee-length skirts, light trenches, belted dresses, and especially that one single sleeveless floral dress. In the spacious venue of the Bibliothèque de France, there is a presence of an invisible wind that made everything flow, and perhaps the only fixated thing are the viewers’ eyes on the garments. The exposed shoulders and deep neck cuts add a sensual element that communicates luxury that’s completely against what fashion conceives as luxurious as of late: the cool factor. The minimalism that Lemaire is after in this collection suggests a femininity that might be seen as ordinary, but never mediocre. After all, leaving Hermès can only mean more focus and complexity to the future of Christophe Lemaire. Photography courtesy of WWD
Rad Hourani’s latest Unisex Ready to Wear collection captures and entices a sense of curiosity and yet embodies pragmatism. The pieces are a curation of beautiful craftsmanship and are born through an avocation of non-conformity, as the essence of individualism. Hourani himself sees modernity as an odyssey free of rules, gender, age, seasons, boundaries and conditions. This collection is incredibly befitting. Born in Jordan, Hourani himself wears a plethora of hats; designer, photographer, filmmaker, and artist. His work is an attentive study of the human body that celebrates neutrality as a defining human trait. This RTW Collection, and his overall ethos is grounded on this principle. The resulting forms and silhouettes are bold, minimal and timeless. There is an obvious effort to allow the wearer to a freer way to live and through his mindset and that of his label, his passion is obvious. He doesn’t name his collections, he numbers them, so as to attest to not following trends. The palette, the shapes, the fit and the movement of his pieces are incredibly transcendent and of-any-time. I like this. Photography courtesy of the exquisite Rad Hourani.
Poland based fashion label NON just presented its very first, very beautiful, minimalist collection. The designs are based on classic geometry and spatial forms. NON strives for simplicity and emphasizes the unique structure of the material: Every piece is made of 100% Merino wool and every garment is produced to the highest standards in Poland. What defines us is an uncompromising quality dedicated to conscious, demanding women. I love the NON collection for its slightly abstract shapes, which still very elegantly underline the female body. And besides the visual aspect, it feels wonderful to wear the substantial but fine merino wool with all its amazing natural fiber characteristics.
Sally LaPointe’s Spring/Summer 2015 latest show at New York Fashion Week is truly sophisticated and beautiful collection. Within each individual piece, proportions of familiar elements such as boat necklines, bell shaped skirts, capped sleeves and vests have all taken on a new silhouette. Whether it is a play on the proportions of these elements, a refinement in the tailoring, the lines are blurred so gowns feel more relaxed and casual, and separates are styled to be more serious and formal. New York City-based Sally LaPointe brings a freshness to this strong, almost rocker-chic womenswear line. It is an approachable yet elegant minimalist collection that is simply very cool. Images courtesy of Style.com.
Singapore based womenswear label MAX.TAN focuses on minimalist ideas converted into novel but refined tailoring and exquisit artwork. Details are deliberately blown out of proportion creating unexpected silhouettes and austere moods. The MAX.TAN Spring Summer 2015 collection explores the conceptual idea of infinity. Is there a way for a garment to have no ends, no conventional hems or cuffs? So its key looks combines morphing two-piece garments with volumes inspired by the curves of the infinity symbol. I love the way designer Max Tan manages to stick with minimalist lines and shapes while having a very consistent and particular use of form.