Proenza Schouler is at that point where it picks up its own aesthetics. For a few seasons now, we’ve seen asymmetrical cuts and layerings on coats and skirts, oversized outerwear, structural dresses, etc. The saying of ‘a few seasons now’ might have triggered the idea of repetition and dullness, but this is not the case. In fact for Fall Winter 2013, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez cautiously maneuver through their schematic design with textures and shapes. Experimenting with materials, which is one of PS’s strong points, the boys were able introduce the industry to a whole new dimension of fabrics – varying from the mix of ostrich skin and knit, the play on heat-fused embroideries (I needed to look that up), and the combination of chain mail and tweed, which is actually woven strips of leather. If that doesn’t mean ambitious, then I don’t know what does. Focusing on materials and constructions, the boys minimalize the palette to just black and white – with hints of lavender, mint, and peach. While high-necked tops and voluptuous coats dominate the front, the back cut-outs of several looks give off a sense of looseness to deliver balance and depth. Belts, either thin or...
Martinez Lierah Spring Summer 2013 ready to wear collection is a muted fusion of black, nude and blue hues. Daniel Lierah and Arturo Martinez have transpired to create yet another timeless curation of modern lines, asymmetrical shapes and clean minimalism. The collection is suitably named Sardonicus and is inspired by facial muscle spasms. As a design team operating out of Paris, with Latin backgrounds, their philosophy is grounded on finding beauty in the odd. Their resulting collections seem to also strike the perfect balance between structure and fluidity. This Spring Summer 2013 collection is overtly feminine, despite the bordering austerity of its simplicity. This achievement through silhouettes is not an overlooked feat, taking ruthless dedication to perfecting these forms. The purposed clean cut of the fabrics, together with disciplined drapery and folding is incredibly beautiful. Martinez Lierah are to be applauded for such sobering handsome creativity.
Australian designer Dion Lee’s 2013 Ready to Wear Fall collection is, in a word, beautiful. As an emerging talent, launched recently into the design scene, first in Australia, and now capturing fans globally, his work is modern verses classic, structured verses fluid, understated verses arresting. His most recent contribution to the world of adornment is his 2013 Ready To Wear Fall 2013 collection, which is a fusion of the evolution of him as designer thus far. Typically known for his feature of neoprene shapes, 3-dimensional printing, recently launching a line with glow-in-the-dark string dresses, this collection is said to have been not as flashy as the last one. However, I see the further experimentation, with the technique of felting wool into mesh, as a continuation of his aesthetic journey. I see the restraint as a obvious development also. He gave a bit of unexpected lift to certain silhouettes. Lee is a rigorous thinker. I am unashamedly in lust with Dion Lee’s work, and rightfully proud of his Australian roots also. Images Courtesy of Style.com
Featuring my friends over at THRIVE Los Angeles, a fashion house founded by two technology innovators Rob Meadows and Ali Shahriyari. Under the creative direction of a designer Cem Cako, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, Thrive’s Autumn/Winter 2012 Collection is stunning in its mature design, smart craft and flawless execution. I had a chance to ask Cem about the concept behind the collection and his answers emphasised the goal for timeless pieces, quality, respect and re-discovery of the art of making clothes. Cem was driven by the art of tailoring and expressed a satisfaction of making a garment without targeting the mass production. There was no reason for me to go beyond this craft and start doing loud things. Each piece in the collection can easily qualify for the classic every woman appreciating quality and beauty can add to her closet. Additionally, I believe the statement of not doing loud things when there is no reason can extend beyond Thrive’s mission and is able to resonate with many aspects of good design.
Malaysian clothing label ULTRA, who specialise in sustainability in leading fashion have designed ULTRA 10 – the ten piece wardrobe. ULTRA and sustainability leaders LOHAS, Greenovate and The Wellness Works collaborated to produce a core wardrobe of ten pieces for 365 days of the year. The made-to-order women’s collection, which is made of organic and recycled fabrics includes; a vest, a backless top, a cropped top, a white shirt/dress, a skirt, a top/dress, stretch pants, cotton trousers, a 2-in-1 blazer, and a 3-in-1 dress-jacket-skirt. What I really like about the idea behind this collection is that not only is it practical in a space-saving sense, but also in an economical and environmental sense. You may return your pieces at any time for mending, recycling, upcycling or donation.
With their Fall 2010 line, Calvin Klein has appeared once again on our minimalist radar, thanks to CK’s creative director Francisco Costa. In their ad campaign, Calvin Klein introduces Dutch supermodel Lara Stone as their new face. In a recent interview with WWD, Costa explains why: I conceived my fall 2010 collection with a self-aware and assured woman in mind. For me, Lara was the perfect choice [..] because she is a woman who epitomizes confidence and sensuality. I couldn’t agree more: nothing says sexy like confidence paired with minimalism. Photography by Mert & Marcus.
Everything had a playful Sixties spin. Yes, fashion designer Miuccia Prada gave us a go go, Mod story. Color played a big role: Stripes of orange and lilac were displayed on the models’ make up and ponytails. Miu Miu’s Fall 2010 collection’s playful proportions maintained Muccia’s impeccable, spare and controlled structure. We’re especially mad about the high necks wrapped with ribbons, tight leggings, and the pants fluted out at the bottom. Mad about Mod? Abstraction it is with an attitude of “Do your own thing”. Can Mod be considered dark minimalism?
Stella McCartney gives us that cool attitude with a subtle aesthetic. And yeah, as a Beatle’s daughter she is stubborn. Early this year, she received recognition for her support of environmental causes and an ethical fashion mission by the Natural Resources Defense Council. For the Fall Ready-to-Wear 2010 collection, Stella McCartney commanded restrained chic and modern sensuality. The Stella girl was about a fast forward, working girl with plenty of sexy in a no big deal way. “For this season, I want to give women control, without trying too hard,” Stella explains. Flirty, floating sheer organza dresses and hip tailoring with bare legs and sans accessories. No fur, no leather and the vegetarian thing. A great respect for nature. Totally Stella. It reminds me of the simple things in life.
If you like your staples to be basic then look no further than Bassike. Pun intended. Pronounced the same as the word basic, this Australian organic brand by Deborah Sams and Mary LouRyan has a cult following thanks to its effortless tailoring of the simple jersey t-shirt. The brand has since flourished into other areas such as dresses, organic wool jumpers and jeans that have made me look nowhere else for my denim. Beautifully consistent in it’s aesthetic and perfectly branded with the help of the great Jonathan Zawada, Bassike is a must have for the relaxed minimalist.
Pared-down with a slight techno vibe. And—who knew? Creative director Raf Simons was inspired by Lara Croft for Tomb Raider. His vision for the Jil Sander fall 2010 collection: “Women who have a target, and go for it.” Jil Sander is a German fashion brand known for understated, minimalist design. The fall collection included form fitting mini-mini dresses, retro plaid and super cool, flat, velcro-strapped leather boots; the girls wore the ‘no make up’ make up look. Mr. Simons’ aesthetic is very futuristic and intellectual. He has an analytical mind for practical design. Fashionably stark and seriously cool. A stripped-down look for a woman who has an incredible self-consciousness about everything. In some ways, I am suggesting a feminist view toward minimalism. I think I am testing the structural foundations of minimalism. Nothing about simplicity is easy, is it?
Straightforward. Milan-based fashion house Prada is not known to follow trends. At Milan menswear fashion week, Muccia Prada, promoted comfort and practical chic. Everything was about easy dressing and staying true to yourself. No-fuss lines. Prada’s clothes are conceptual with structural strength. This time, Muccia showcased preppy stuff, mostly casual; a very polite style. The retro vinyl look and the shrunken sweaters reinforced fun and brightness. Men’s fashion is rarely dramatic. Is the best design invisible? Don’t call me a traditionalist, but isn’t that what design is all about? Re-working and altering what already works? Small touches. Minimal complexity—is that what minimalism means to you?
I became enamored with the collection’s transparency, delicacy and soft tones of nude and gray. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, Creative Directors for Valentino, presented the Spring 2010 collection with a relaxed, hipster kind of aesthetic. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli worked as the Valentino accessory designers before they became designers of the main label in 2008. Hip and dreamy for a stylish free spirit. Unpolished hair, nude lips. Translucent layers, soft colors. Valentino’s red gown trademark was missing. A new design vocabulary that is possibly more modern and simple. We love the new, youthful Valentino girl. Who says understated can be boring?