Alessandro Michele at Gucci
More than ever, the fashion industry has become one defined by binaries. On the one hand, you have the “throw everything at it” maximalists, many of whom only exist on our Instagram feeds or immortalised on the pavements of fashion week, and whose look is spearheaded by the likes of Alessandro Michele at Gucci and Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga.
On the other hand, you have a fashion tribe who are rejecting the noise and clamour of clashing prints and accessory overload and instead embracing a more contemplative approach to dressing. Yes this is minimalism, but not, perhaps, as you know it. An aesthetic that has simmered beneath the cultural surface for decades, minimalism has occasionally bubbled-up and made its presence felt, but never really disappeared entirely
Over the last few seasons, it has become clear that simplicity is having another moment in the spotlight—in no small part thanks to the designs of cult brands such as The Row, Jil Sander, Lemaire or Gabriela Hearst who are fronting this ‘minimalism 2.0’. Add to this the fact that, more than ever, shoppers are wanting to invest in pieces that last, both for budget reasons but also for ethical and sustainable implications, and it’s the perfect storm for purists.
“Approaching each season, we look to our six muses; the fashion pioneer, the warrior, the free spirit, the curator, the romantic and the purist,” explains Natalie Kingham, buying director at MatchesFashion. “The Purist opts for minimalist style with a sleek, functional edge, and this season we noticed a new mood for clean, monochromatic elegance on the runway