Remember when we used to dress hideously. Our parents thought we were adorable in our polka dots, leopard prints and shoes as colourful as the rainbow. We (at least I) cringe at photos from 10 years ago. Of course at that age, I didn’t care about how shockingly grotesque my outfit was. The smile on my face, whilst posing for the camera in that hideous outfit, proves this. But thank God that old things have passed away and my wardrobe is no longer subject to polka dots, leopard prints and harsh shades of pink. I chose minimalism.
The line between fashion and art continue to blur, therefore it’s hard to speak about minimalism fashion without first tracing art’s impact. Minimalism most likely began in America during the post-world war II era. It’s linked to artists like Donald Judd, John McCracken, Agnes Martin, Dan Flavin, Robert Morris, Anne Truitt, and Frank Stella who would have been reacting to abstract expressionism. Their pieces would strip the subjects down to their essence and provide the observer with only the most basic detail.
Soon enough, fashion started to emulate art. Fashion houses like Cristobal Balenciaga, Paco Rabanne, Prada, Marc Jacobs, and Louis Vuitton, to name a few, adopted the movement and flourished. Minimalism’s appeal was, for the first time in a long time, you didn’t have to buy expensive to look expensive. Minimalism speaks of simplicity, a much-needed solution for the fashionista attempting to ball (and maintain) unparalleled levels of sartorial frugality. Minimalism marries practicability with fashionability.
How to achieve minimalism you ask. Firstly, by distilling the myth that you need to break the bank. You do not have to be firmly placed in the higher tax bracket in order to look good. Granted, there is some correlation between salary and style. One only has to trace the beginnings of their favourite celebrities to find that when they first graced the red carpet, some looked pretty awful. However, like that old adage suggests, cheap can be cheerful (and glamorous).
Burn your polka dots! Ok, don’t burn your polka dots but consider gravitating towards more laid back pieces. Stick to basics, don’t confuse basic with bland here. A basic white shirt paired with basic black pencil trousers and basic nude heels exude elegance. A white shirt is timeless as is a pair of lightly washed jeans. Those floral palazzo trousers? Not so much.
Finally, invest in a great iron. Don’t let creases detract from your greatness.