Perhaps it’s an orderly thing, or an age thing, or a time-poor uniform-type thing. But strategic, sleek shapes in monochromes of black, white, cream and grey are my fashion kryptonite. I rarely pass a Bassike store without, at the very least, a lusty sigh. And while costume-crafty fantasy couture is glorious to my artistic side, minimalism will always be my gravitational pull.
In my early twenties, good taste lapsed as I explored all the garish, stretchy, trendy pieces train-station-fashion-establishments had to offer. Dollars were tight on my junior salary, but as irony would have it, given its fast nature, I probably spent more money on clothing back then than I ever have since.
Perhaps it was the influence of my high-fashion seniors that eventually lead me to my minimalism revolution. Watching them arrive each day to the office in crisp shirting, die-cut jackets, well-tailored trousers and investment trenches (oh, the trenches) was a sartorial coming-of-age.
The style that seemed mundane to me as a youngster suddenly drew an entirely new character. A sharp, elegant, chic silhouette that could take me from office to lunch to cinq a sept.
With a few swift wardrobe movements (and a few expensive shopping trips) my collection of peasant tops, embellished dresses and fussy skirts were thanked for their service and shown the door. It was a dramatic shift (and there were a few dramatic shifts) that trained my eye for a brand new simplicity. I could begin to note fine differences in two white t-shirts. I could be lured by a new sleeve-cut on a(nother) white collared shirt and needed no coercing to buy a black blazer that was vastly different to my other three (The gold buttons! Those wide lapels!).
So, while Milan Fashion Week delivers the fantastic and the fabulous (read: Gucci), my personal swoon is saved for when the minimalists move in.
Currently propelling my sartorial sensibility is:
The JUST dropped show from Max Mara. I’m going to see this updated version of the teddy bear coat (as worn by Kaia Gerber) in my dreams tonight. Plus I’m all over the fifty shades of camel everything, with its snowy blending of sharp cocoon coats and languid slacks. Not to mention the 80s pinstripe blazer. On Bella, no less (see above). And the boots. Thank you Max Mara, the return of brown leather is officially official.
Jil Sander. Everything. In particular? The long-line shell vests. Oversized and supremely cut to layer over a white shirt. And the polo-collared button-fasten maxi dresses. And the structured woollen full-length tunics. And the sheer-silk dinner blouses. Okay, Lucie and Luke Meier you are the minimalist masters of my dreams.
The trench appropriation at No.21. Alessandro Dell’Aqua knows his way around a button-down camel coat. Actually, he manages to bring inexplicable maximilism to minimalism. New twists on classic styles I never knew I needed. Honourable mention to the satin skirt two-piece and the twist-neck midi dress in sheeny black and camel.
The western-swagger trousers and shirts and jackets and belts at Alberta Ferretti. Ms. Ferretti adds a touch more narrative to her chic classicism than others, but the shoulder-y knits over turtlenecks and tucked into pocketed, pleated pants makes we want to immediately add a few studs and loop-buckles to next season’s repertoire. Also I want a matador hat now, thank you.