What is minimalist fashion? ǀ Which brands are actually minimalistic? ǀ Justine Leconte

Hi everyone, it’s Justine. What is minimalist fashion? “Minimalist” is one of the most over-used
words in the fashion industry. It can mean pretty much anything… So today, I’d like to discuss what I think
it means, what I think it doesn’t mean, where it comes from, and which brands and
designers are actually minimalist brands, in my opinion. Minimalist fashion, what is that? When people say “This outfit is minimalistic”
or “minimalist”, often they’re looking at the first things one sees in an outfit:
the overall shape, the colors, and the lines. For instance, this would typically be called
a minimalist outfit. It is monochromatic. It seems simple. You see straight lines. It looks really clean and tidy. And that is partly true. It’s a good start for a definition. But this outfit is also monochromatic, simple,
and it has straight lines. Yet you would probably call it “casual”
rather than “minimalistic”, am I right? So what’s the difference between those 2? For me, tailoring is the difference: constructing
a garment that has interesting proportions, that falls right, and that seems simple is
in fact extremely difficult, and it’s a matter of tailoring skills. Tailoring is the difference between a casual
garment, and a classy garment. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have
to be wearing a jacket, a suit jacket, with shoulders and everything, but it means that
the clothes that you are wearing fit well, and the cut is on point. For me, a look is minimalistic when it’s
looking like it’s simple, when it’s clean, free of additions and embellishments, and
when it’s well-tailored. What minimalist fashion is not… Minimalism doesn’t mean that the construction
of the garment is in itself basic. In fact, it just looks simple, but it might
be very complicated after all. And making something complicated seem simple
is an art. Minimalism does not mean “less fabric is
more”, or that what you wear has to be super thin, sheer or transparent. It also doesn’t say that the outfit can’t
be quite structured. It can have a heavy structure on the inside,
to help it keep its shape. Minimalism also doesn’t mean that you can’t
have textured or patterned fabrics. Cause why not? Of course you can. Minimalism does not mean monochromatic, that
you’re wearing all black-and-white or that you’re wearing only neutrals. In fact, the cut and the silhouette in my
opinion, are much more important than the color choices. When you look at the Céline runway, the garments
look simple but the tailoring is in fact impeccable. The fit is perfect. The quality of the execution is visible everywhere. You see that she made clear choices in terms
of proportions. It’s overall cohesive, and yet individually
very varied, if that makes sense. Where minimalism comes from: quality over
quantity… Minimalist fashion, for me, is in fact an
aesthetic. It’s a mindset that became bigger with the
financial crisis at the beginning of this century. With decreasing purchasing power, people started
to think a lot more about what they wore. Is it worth my money? Does it fit me right? Can I combine that with all the pieces I already
own? And if you are starting to get picky, to prioritize
quality over quantity, and to reuse what you have in your closet, you get very close to
what you might know as the concept of a capsule wardrobe. But I don’t think that having a minimalist
fashion aesthetic always means that you have to own less and less clothes. I think a capsule wardrobe is rather a consequence
of that mindset, or a tool to help you get there, and a very useful tool. I’ve done several videos, this year and
last year, on how to build a capsule wardrobe. I will link them here in the corner and down
below for you. Which brands and designers are minimalists? You saw a photo of the Céline runway already,
a few minutes ago. Phoebe Philo, the designer, now ex-designer,
of the house is the queen of impeccable, luxurious fashion that seems so simple and intuitive
and organic, but is in fact so very high-end. The look on the left is from Spring/Summer
2010. Then Fall/Winter 2011. And then Spring/Summer 2015. Especially the one in the middle impresses
me. It’s technically just a
top and a bottom, no bling-bling, plain colors. And yet the cut and the proportions are so
innovative and special, if you look closer. It’s a unique look. The next label that comes to my mind is Jil
Sander, which shows at Milan Fashion Week in Italy. As you see in these examples, everything that
is not necessary to the design has been taken out. And yet nothing is missing. The cuts are clean, elegant, definitely not
casual. Do you agree? Jil Sander is not as famous as let’s say,
Calvin Klein, but I really like the aesthetic of the house. Now looking on the American side, the most
minimalistic brand, currently, would probably be Theory. They are the champions of shirting. If you need a high-end, white, crisp shirt
that’s well-tailored, it’s a great brand to look into. VOGUE calls pieces like this “unshowy clothes”. They are not loud, but they are extremely
well cut, in high quality fabrics that look and feel luxurious. And here again, you see that they are not
only black & white. The clothes are easy to combine, comfortable,
and special… which is everything I want. And when I design, I always try to create
things that are combinable, comfortable and special. In the end, minimalist clothing is well-made,
smart, and of good quality, without all the fuss. And I think those points are all absolutely
essential to get “good design”. What do you think makes “good design”? Which characteristics are you looking for
when you are shopping for clothes? Thumbs up if this video made you think for
a minute. Thank you very much. And if you’re in the market for a new shirt,
by the way, here is a video, and also in the description below, on how a shirt should fit
when it fits right. You might find it useful. And I’ll see you very soon again in a new
video. Bye!


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