Minimalissimo


Josh Goot’s AW 2015 Collection is a synchronized follow on from his minimalist aesthetic. The collection is mused by his trademark clean, crisp lines, bold color blocking and overall accessibility. There is a timelessness that he exudes through his work, through his pieces that make them classic, fused with edgy tailoring. This collection is the epitome of this, playing with texture, tailored shapes, cutouts and silhouettes. Based in Sydney, with boutiques in both Melbourne and Sydney, Goot is known for this contemporary fresh aesthetic, minimal palette and as someone who is pushing boundaries with shapes, in subtle ways. Heavily influenced by his upbringing surrounded by film, music and fashion, his work as a designer became his way to talk to people. He has won numerous awards, nationally and internationally and is growing in exposure as a result. His work is on the rise, and rightly so. Photography courtesy of Josh Goot.


Simple and straightforward projects are the solution for crowded work environments, such as the usual chaotic and busy beauty parlour. Japanese architect Hiroyuki Miyake took on the challenge to design TROOVE — a space fit for one lone stylist to take care of his salon, with all the benefits a minimalist space can bring to the daily hustle and effortless style for the clientèle to enjoy. Building upon a concrete structure, Miyake makes good use of Japanese oak to endow the salon and map out each space to its function. The charming reception and waiting room; the main styling room and the shampoo booth; each one cleverly distinct from one another. Kudos to the beautiful folding screen made in galvanized iron, inserting lightness into a big visual feature. Since the 2011 earthquake, several power saving policies were put into practice, directly altering the daily life and perception of darkness and how much it is necessary to live by. The archetypal Japanese paper lamps plays a remarkable role as the gatekeepers of this charming salon. The shadow play and well defined light project spread throughout is symbolic of smart adaptation to a new reality and, remarkably, a nod to the past.


Swedish independent label MLTV has launched its Spring Summer 2015 menswear collection exhibiting sensual pieces with revealing cutouts, architectural lines and contrasting fabrics. MLTV’s founder Anna Sjunnesson expresses a curious androgyny in this collection which is what she describes as a progressive minimalism. The collection called Episode Six consists of lightweight items, inspired by architecture and geometry while combining soft, light flowing fabrics. With the use of fabrics of different thickness and weave density, Anna has created architectural cutouts which highlight and interact with the body in different ways. In some shots of the campaign, gender lines appear deliberately blurred in the look and feel. With these contradicting themes that drive the design for this season, the result is a relaxed and casual collection beyond traditional menswear. Photography courtesy of Anna Sjunnesson.


Currently based in New York, Ward Roberts is an Australian conceptual artist whose compelling and mysterious photographs draw on themes such as loneliness and isolation in the modern world. His perspective is contemporary and sophisticated, creating images that are full of emptiness and incredibly poignant. There is an innate energy at the core of his work that makes his compositions seem painterly and borne out of academic calculated patience. Despite the studied balance of his work, his preferred medium is analogue — I love how the grain massages the tone, the range of color, contrast, and organic qualities. Digital is for perfection. And you know, the world is not perfect and neither are the people in it.


Little Bishop is a clever, minimalist, ceiling hook specifically designed for cable hung pendant lights. Little Bishop, shaped and cast by hand, wears a lighting cable like a “cloak”. Smooth curved flowing channels in the hook guide the cable, locking itself down. The cable is a feature of the hook, eliminating the need of any knots or clamps. Little Bishop is available in three different post heights. Little Bishop is designed with eye for detail. The hook is unique in form and function. The hook is not a feature. Hanging seamless from the ceiling it just feels like it is part of the home. It is present but not overwhelming. The designer behind Little Bishop is Melbourne based Antony Richards from Hunter & Richards. Little Bishop was recently successfully funded on Kickstarter.


Poster is an interesting new project developed by the Japanese studio YOY. It is a series of minimalistic wall lamps that appear as a basic A2-sized poster — a great example of simple and smart design with few elements and an abundance of creativity. The shape of the lamp shade is created in the middle of a sheet of paper with several cuts, to fix to a wall with tape or pins like a poster. The lamp also features a small LED light that is hidden beneath the paper. The final result is quite incredible, whether on white or black, and the ability to print various colours and patterns can onto the surface is an added bonus.


The small and secluded Bolton Residence is located in Eastern Quebec. Designed by the Canadian based firm Naturehumaine, this elegant home focuses on nature and simplicity. The structural form takes its shape from the traditional barns in the region, yet this vernacular is interpreted in a distinctly modern way. Two large rectangles, positioned one on top of the other, form the structure of the home. The top rectangle cantilevers slightly out from the lower, allowing the house to feel as if it is floating along the mountainside. A dark exterior distinguishes the structure from its often snowy landscape. On the interior, long and narrow windows wrap the living room, flooding the home with stunning views of its mountainous setting. The fireplace is uniquely positioned in a media cabinet, which also provides storage. Accents of wood and black create a dynamic interior, bringing depth and light to the small space. This color scheme continues in the bedroom and in the dark tile of the bathroom. Bolton Residence may be small, but it is not short on style. Photography by Adrien Williams and David Dworkind.


Elise Rijnberg’s Piattona sees a seamless curated culinary assemblage brought to life. Originally designed as a prototype, this beautifully minimalist set is a response to the hurried thoughtless consumption of our frazzled times and seeks to get people to relax and take time to enjoy their food. The streamlined silverware set has a series of strong lines that simplify and force the user to engage in another way, to the act of using the items; and consequently to the act of eating itself. Based in Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Rijnberg is a freelance photographer, food stylist and designer. Her work is inspired out of her travels and engagement with culinary diversity. The name Piattona was originally introduced by Pellegrino referring to cutting the food without haste and chewing it slowly. This prototype collection challenges the user and changes the experience. Photography courtesy of Elise Rijnberg.


Naples based Italian photographer Salvatore Pastore recently drew my attention when I was introduced to his strikingly minimal and monochromatic Blank series. The work comprises 11 black and white images featuring exterior and interior shots of various buildings. It concerns the blank not as an empty space, but as the feeling of disorientation in the spectator staring at these images. Blurring the lines between the real world and the virtual world. Are they digital creations, photographs or what? Furthermore, this disoriented observation is slowly guided by slightly and purposely imperfect geometries and only at the end — when viewing the final image — do we understand and realise that we are looking at photographs and nothing else. Compelling minimalism that has been beautifully captured. I’m excited to see what Pastore produces in the future.


New York based fashion designer Melitta Baumeister just made her second big impact after graduating from Parsons MFA Fashion course with her critically acclaimed White Collection. Despite the pressure of delivering a collection as good — or even better — than its precursor, Baumeister stayed true to herself and to the recognizable collaboration with her creative partner, photographer Paul Jung. The Spring Summer 2015 collection is a full-on, positively surprising exploration of new forms, materials and silhouettes. In fashion it is rare that one can honestly say: This work is unique. For Melitta Baumeister and Paul Jung, it is simply true. The color palette is broadened from monochrome white to include black and a very light nude. But as to be expected with Baumeisters signature style, the collection is much more about the extraordinary surfaces, shapes and production methods than it is about colors. I am stunned by Melitta Baumeisters abilty to create a collection that is so avant-garde while never loosing track of the right proportions and the perfect wrapping of the female body. While cuffs, volumes or drapings are sensibly exaggerated, the balance is always maintained by an hourglass outline, huge transparent areas or downright feminine silhouettes. It seems...


Lebanon-based architect Paul Kaloustian took advantage of the height a dense pine tree forest offers, and opted to invert the thumb-rule of broad and horizontal modernism. Designing a residential house infused with a courageous vertical visual identity; often found in museums and university campuses. Taking concrete and applying an interesting curve was vital to inject an unusual shadow play and amplitude of the surrounding woods into the domestic area, such a manoeuvre is often let in the sole hands of wide glass façades. Kaloustian sets this project apart, daring to narrow each room and let the focus be the height feature and achieve an unexpected sense of openness considering the size of each area. Two extra elements are worthy of mention: the interior design selection with raw wood material and an explicit minimalist intention; as well as the very competent and alluring photography of said project, it is an achievement in itself as well. A clear example of what contemporary architecture can achieve deconstructing old-school modernism with maturity and an authentic visual statement.


Not everyone is familiar with the name Gabriele Colangelo. However, that might change soon with the current rise of this Milan-based designer. Colangelo started his career designing for Versace and Cavalli. With that background, we would expect his namesake label to be just as maximal as his previous mentors. However, it’s rather the complete opposite; lying under each and every design of his is a sense of minimalism that directly ties with maturity and luxury. His most recent collection for Fall Winter 2015 proves that just right. If there was anything maximal about Colangelo, it would be the cuts of his garments. The forms were so complex with twists, drapes, and slits, that we started to question the deconstruction of each look. While the colors stay true with a minimalist essence (such as navy, white, and ivory), fuchsia acted as a device to glue the whole collection together as one cohesive story. There is a kind of elegance in the way circular metal ornaments hold the clothes’ structures together. The neck pieces are also a delightful addition that I adore so much. Overall, it was a show that challenged minimalist fashion, especially in the setting of Milan Fashion Week, much...