MASTERING MINIMALISM

MASTERING MINIMALISM

WHAT IS MINIMALISM? OUR LATEST CAMPAIGN MAKES A CASE FOR STRIPPED-BACK STYLE.

In our most recent campaign entitled ‘What is Minimalism?’ we explored the concept of ‘less is more’, focusing on well-made, timeless pieces that transcend the seasons. We wanted to show that minimalism needn’t be masculine; it can be feminine. It’s all in the details. One needs only to look at Jacinta James’s gorgeously fluid Luminary maxi dress for proof; its fluted sleeves, frilled edges and reversible cut is at once ladylike and functional. Styled with barely-there gold jewellery, it is truly seasonless. Bird & Knoll too flies the flag for simple femininity, with their single-shade cotton-voile dresses. When it comes to a restricted colour palette, there is beauty in subtle contrasts, Aleksandre Akhalkatsisvili’s cropped leather blazer juxtaposes a fluid silk slip dress by Christopher Esber, while a tonal belt cinches Esse Studios’ power-shouldered blazer to sculptural effect.

‘Less is more’ is the motto popularised by architect Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, who pioneered the iconic, and now ubiquitous, steel and glass skyscraper. Then and now, minimalism has the power to create change, and we’re celebrating this in our latest campaign. Shot on Super 8 film – a suitably lo-fi format – it features beautiful, simple and enduring pieces, not bound by trends. Here at ATTUALE, we want to inspire you to choose slow fashion as the antithesis to over-consumption, and we hope this shoot reflects this mission for change.

“MINIMALISM
NEEDN’T BE MASCULINE;
IT CAN BE FEMININE”

What is minimalism? A good (but non-chronological) place to start is New York City in the late 1960s, where visual artists eschewed the previous decade’s self-referential Abstract Expressionism for repeated geometric forms, industrial materials and neutrality (in palette as well as intention – Robert Ryman’s famous all-white paintings deliberately didn’t mean anything). Minimalism in architecture flourished at a similar time, with designers adopting Buckminster Fuller’s form-and-function aesthetic. The design movement was largely inspired by Van Der Rohe’s 1920s modernism, hence minimalism’s unofficial mission statement: less is more.

We can’t talk about minimalist fashion without mentioning the ‘90s. Simple, considered design provided a tonic to the decadent maximalism of the 1980s, with Calvin Klein, Helmut Lang and Jil Sander all championing fuss-free, monochrome dressing. Today, look to Paris Georgia, whose Phoebe slip dress is a versatile staple; wear it with Mara & Mine’s barely-there kitten heels and hoop earrings at night, or with ankle boots and a thrown-on leather jacket by day. Think square necklines, sharp suiting and bias cuts – they are as chic now as they were then.

That’s the thing, with simplicity – it stands the test of time. A crisp white shirt (see Rika Studios), well-proportioned blazer (Milo Maria’s Nala style is exemplary) and classic white jeans (thank you, Slvrlake) will be in your capsule wardrobe for years to come. If you can, invest in circular fashion, of which here at ATTUALE we have an abundance. Annika Inez’s delicate jewellery is handmade from ethically sourced materials (and inspired by Roni Horn’s minimalist sculptures, as it happens), while Holzweiler’s Grantemple trench coat is crafted from recycled fabrics. Shop slowly, considerately. Be a proponent for what Jil Sander famously called, ‘minimalism with a soul’. Because contrary to Robert Ryman’s paintings, modern minimalism does have meaning. Less, after all, is more.

“THAT’S THE THING
WITH SIMPLICITY,
IT STANDS THE
TEST OF TIME”

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