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March 22, 2018

LThe Age Of Fashion Minimalism

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Post Marie Kondo's decluttering bible, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (which we talked about last year as a wellness trend to watch) and helped introduce the philosophy to the mainstream in 2014, nowadays, minimalism is part of the cultural zeitgeist. The fashion minimalism movement gained massive traction on social this year as a reaction against excessive consumption. What started as a very basic concept (clean lines, few prints, and no excesses), has morphed into a personalized, curated kind of minimalism (themes include sensuality, simplicity, androgyny). The nearly 5 million images tagged #minimalism on Instagram include monochromatic apparel, white sneakers, clouds, and grassy fields. So long as it's stylishly austere, it seems, it's minimalist.

America's tradition of fashion minimalism can be traced back to Calvin Klein's runway launch in 1968, defined by its simplicity and purity, although his was not a clinical minimalism. On the contrary, his designs aimed to reveal or enhance a sense of the body. In the decades that followed with fashion, minimalism started leaving room for personality in a way that garments that were too constructed or too embellished didn't allow. This idea of streamlining your wardrobe and spending less time fussing over an outfit certainly resonates with the modern woman and extends beyond the look—it's about consumers becoming completely aware of the whole process, from design through production, through use, and through the potential to reuse.

The result is that it's the small details that speak the loudest. A growing number of homespun labels are currently at the forefront of the trend, proving that minimalism is anything but boring, and signals that the fashion industry is evolving toward greener practices and products. Many of the latest wave of sustainably minded designers have shifted their focus away from strictly organic materials (which tend to be basic) in favor of a more holistic approach that takes into account the entire life cycle of a piece of clothing, from its carbon footprint to the livelihood of who made it.

Launched this fall, Khaite is a balance of masculine and feminine that encapsulates the capsule wardrobe concept completely. Then there's designer Alnea Farahbella of Toit Volant, who's causing major fashion waves with her USA-made label committed to sustainable sourcing and manufacturing practices. LA-based label Saul shows that minimalism and pattern aren't mutually exclusive—everything is crafted from dead-stock vintage fabrics, giving the clothes a nostalgic feel. For Siizu, sustainability is the driving force behind every decision, and it all begins with the fabric. Dedicated to exclusively using textiles that are 100 percent organic and eco-friendly (even the packaging is completely recyclable), this is an online eco site for no-fuss pieces.

The take-away: There's no time like now to be you. Repeat pieces in creative ways, and only buy new things you can't live without. When we help set the standard, we enact change. Here's to a year of #noregrets.
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