Minimalism in Your Head, Closet and Instagram / An Art of Self-optimisation
When talking about minimalism, a great example comes out of my study years. Once my lecturer of Image Design told me that minimalism is the hardest style to master. But then I thought this being quite a paradox since many of us working in the design field are often trying to somehow hide behind it. However, it frequently happens that at the end of the day it looks rather fake, artificial. Maybe the reason is that minimalism is not a matter of style preference, it’s a way of life led by self-optimisation. And it is not that easy to get the idea of simplicity right. But when it comes to design (personal style, functional object, etc.), I see real minimalism revealing itself best when everything has a certain function and aesthetics that does not leave much space for interpretation – it speaks itself the language of minimal containing the vocabulary of simple.
by GRETA UBAITE
Minimalism is a highly trendy topic these days, and this is not only concerning the fashion scene. Moreover, the ‘phenomenon’ of minimalism has obtained various perspectives, angles and forms to embrace it during the last few decades. From a more traditional perception of minimalism in architecture and design to experiencing minimalism as a way of living, especially when talking about sustainability, consumerism and environmental issues, also as a response to the chaos surrounding our urban lives. So, this topic seems to be difficult to exhaust these days. But let me approach you with some concrete visual interpretations of minimalism in fashion. The “tool” to be used here is our “bestie” Instagram!
But first, a glimpse to the roots – long time before the famous Instagram came to our lives. When it comes to minimalism in fashion, the first person who pops out in my head is the Austrian artist and fashion designer Helmut Lang (born 10 March 1956). Once, I’ve read that if Helmut Lang clothing had an IQ, it would be above 160 (fashion’s Albert Einstein, huh?). The ones who are working in the fashion field definitely know Helmut Lang, not only for his modern and innovation-based strong-minded clothing but also for his mature taste in minimalism. Clean silhouettes, monochromatic palette, architectural forms are only a few of examples introduced by this designer in 80’s and early 90’s. And here we face another paradox. Since those whose ‘historical’ memory in fashion reaches those years would probably associate them with absolutely different things. For example, something like the great era of supermodels, wide shoulders, skinny waists, neon colours and superwomen-inspired looks. Hard to trace any minimal/-istic/-ism here…
For a better understanding of how revolutionary the created look by Helmut Lang was back then, I put some links below of later (1994) fall runway collections comparing Helmut Lang and Gianni Versace.
- 1994 Gianni Versace: https://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/fall-1994-ready-to-wear/versace/slideshow/collection#14
Also, I invite you to visit Helmut Lang Instagram account @helmutlang.
However, a minimal approach to fashion, as opposed to a minimal aesthetic for fashion, is another way to embrace minimalism these days. Quite often you can find it hiding in the capsule wardrobes. A kind of compact closets that only hold a bare minimum of pieces all perfectly matching with each other. This way of arranging your garments is not only supposed to reduce impulsive, reckless buying but also to save a lot of space and time in the mornings. Capsule wardrobes are gaining huge popularity and here I include a few accounts worth following to get inspired: @matildatheminimalist; @candicemtay.
Let me also point out Ivania Carpio, who is an extremely creative minimalist having a great sense for minimalistic aesthetics. She is my personal visual tutor for a better understanding of how to incorporate minimal aesthetics into my daily life. What is more, Ivania has many great tips for DIY accessories, clothes or even household items. It is definitely worth following her on Instagram @love_aesthetics, also visiting her personal website: love-aesthetics.nl.
Lastly, for a visual and pleasantly appealing minimalistic inspiration, I would recommend to check out @k__e__e__p; @s___dang; @notion.of.form boards.
Wish you a nice journey through the layers of minimal!
A list of Instagram minimalists to follow: