Once again, Jil Sander has left her own label after expelling Raf Simons from the house in 2012. For Autumn Winter 2014, the brand’s design team took over to produce a minimal collection that proves even without a creative director, a show can still carry on its identity without any compromises. The collective effort has created a new Jil girl that’s both tomboy and feminine. With her popped collars and bright creepers, she knows where she wants to go, and what she wants to do. The outerwear and the pants especially emphasizes this masculinity undertone, while the floral dresses totally contrast that. With a few tailoring twists here and there (literally), there is an additional newness to what is seemingly ordinary. The trend of pastels is apparent through a combination of soft colors applied onto vibrant textures, from the glossy finish to the interwoven feel of knitwear. Accessories were simplified to small bags and exactly one pair of sunglasses, which I found quirky and humorous. All these elements fused together to elevate the energy of youth with an elegant manner. Although there was no innovation, the ready-to-wear aspect was highly regarded and the collection was wearable at its finest. In...
At the beginning of the year, Sydney based fashion brand, Uniform Studios (UNIF.M), announced their Autumn/Winter 2014 collection containing remarkably simple, stylish and undoubtedly sought after designs for both men and women. Like many simple, minimalist garments, it is the fabric and the details that make a design successful. Here, UNIF.M have carefully considered their fabrics, sticking to the classics — wool, silk, cotton, leather — fabrics of quality and wearability. There’s minimalism, elegance and a casual feel to this range that I really do appreciate. UNIF.M explains: We see this collection as an extension of our previous ranges. We don’t really like to limit our designs by one particular story or mood. We focus on each garment individually and tend to be item-driven. It’s the small details that may not be noticeable at first that make each garment loveable to us. We care deeply about the details. Photography by Bowen Aricò.
Longing to bring some of the tradition and attitude of Saville Row back to New York, Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen named their Fashion Brand THE ROW. Under this simple name they create relaxed and timeless collections with a love for minimalistic silhouettes. Their style very much emphasizes the choice of fine fabrics and carefully constructed fits. Our core business are those pieces that you really want to have accessible to you but you don’t really want to worry about, like a great white button-down. (On Interview) The AW 14 collection is the most minimalist one so far. And as Maria Van Nguyen perfectly stated, it is the best example that a minimalistic approach does not necessarily need to result in crisp and sharp looks, but can be turned into soft and warm designs as well. It’s all about the silhouette and the perfect fit to keep the balance. Images courtesy of style.com
Co is the collaboration between Stephanie Danan and Justin Kern whose Spring Summer 2014 collection is elegant, minimalist, strong and feminine at the same time. The selection of material holds an important part in their direction of this collection. The tailoring of leather and draping of silk in their designs are seductive in both the style and the comfort in its essence. The forms of pouf sleeves, reversed Georgian V-neckline and draped, cascading silk bring much femininity to the monochromatic color scheme. The duo behind Co have impressed with the subtle elegance and easy minimalism with this collection. Photos courtesy of Style.com.
Melitta Baumeister’s White Collection is a play on light, texture and shape. The main focus of the collection is a strict minimal palette of white, which is adhered to with rigor. The collection is a combination of oversized and exaggerated cuts and drapery that seem to use the human figure as a hanger, more than the focus. The fabric is the centerpiece, the adorned is the accessory. Originally from Germany, Baumeister recently graduated from Parsons New School with an MFA in Design and Society. Her work embodies the minimalist spirit and her discipline to the discipline is courageous and beautiful. This collection has been beautifully captured by UK photographer Paul Jung. Currently living and working in New York City, she is definitely one to watch. Photography courtesy of Paul Jung.
Embodied in the collection of Sydney-based label Ellery’s Pre Fall collection is a variety of rich fabrics such as brocade, velvet and duchesse satin, in the emphasized silhouettes of sculptured necklines and luxurious bustiers. Kym Ellery, who is behind the label, takes an innovative direction using flares, drapery and folds over the sleeves and collars to accentuate the volume of these pieces. At the same time, she maintains the femininity of the collection, keeping the design to a minimal while letting the softness of the curves and sculpted fabric reveal and accentuate the female form. It is this direction that makes it a bold collection, one that is unique yet familiar in the most recent Pre Fall shows of 2014.
Marni’s Homme collection for Fall 2014 exhibits a subtle, minimalist direction with emphasis on texture and volume of materials inspired for the working wardrobe. Typically known for their bold colors and geometric prints, Marni’s language for this mens’ season consists of sombre polished suits and layers of incredibly rich and interesting fabric over the usual tweed and polyester. Consuelo Castiglioni, who is behind the Italian label, piques the designs with newer proportions of tailoring which I find quite appealing after it caught me by surprise. The elegance of a man’s suit is not just simply defined by its shape and style but the personality behind putting it all together, like this collection by Marni.
Zoé Girard is a Montreal-based textile student and seamstress who creates comfortable-wear for her independent brand, Zoé G. Kocsis. Specializing in cozy outfits, everything is handmade with natural materials, such as wool, linen and cotton, and defined by comfort and ease of use. Her small collection is called week-end and consists of five soft, simple pieces that are light, airy and ideal for casual adventures, lounging and sleeping. My personal favorite is the featured black romper – such a stylish, simple outfit. The collection can be purchased online. Photography by Jennifer-Lynn Christie.
Do you believe in love at first sight? Well, I do. When I initially laid my eyes on the opening look of Helmut Lang Pre-Fall 2014, I told myself: I need to feature this. Sometimes, a collection is not so much about textures, or even innovations, but simply silhouettes. By staying monochromic, designers Nicole and Michael Colovos really gave rise to the outlines of this collection. There is an interweaving element of both masculinity and femininity across all the looks. Pieces like blazers and jackets define the strong side, while techniques like draperies and side-slits soften it up. Needless to say, the styling is light and simple. I especially adore the slip-on oxfords and the absence of jewelries. Everything works so well together that the definition of minimalism is perfectly fitting here. Photography courtesy of Style.com
Designer Tom Dixon has collaborated with Adidas to produce an innovative collection known as The Capsule which consists of both apparel and accessories that are multifunctional, utilitarian and modern all at once. Recently featured at Pitti Uomo in Florence and London Design Festival, this project spawn from Dixon’s one experience of having to sleep on a park bench when he could not get a hotel one night in Milan. The idea of having the basic necessities that were transformable to climate and condition inspired this survival kit – being prepared for the unexpected. And what a sharp, smart looking kit it is. With its focus around two pieces of luggage – one hard and one soft, their multiple compartments hold the basic collection of minimal and utilitarian outfits of reversible tops, adjustable pants and customizable shirts where you can cut the hemlines to the desired length. Padded parkas can be turned into sleeping bags, separates that can be assembled by buttons into a one-piece suit, and shoes that come in two parts for ease of storage can be put together by PVC stitch tape. I love that the thought process that went into the function of each piece, and yet remains stylish....
Minimalism is incredibly sexy in this 2013 Spring Summer collection by Sydney based UNIF.M, a creative collective whose objective is to reinvent everyday wear while complimenting what already exists in the closet: UNIF.M garments are developed to integrate seamlessly into an existing wardrobe and create a strong foundation. There is a stunning softness to this collection’s appeal past its first glance of basic forms and colors. Leather bras to silk pyjama blouses, pinafore to empire-line, the styles and materials exude a quality of feminism that is not over-girly. Instead, the designs are confident, the proportions are well crafted, and I love the fact that the studio used traditional methods of manufacturing industry-grade uniforms to deliver their clothes.
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.