Minimal & Classic

In the 1990s it was no longer the done thing to follow fashion slavishly, a share contrast to the highly a la mode 1970s and 1980s. The phobia of being undressed was finally completely displaced by the fear of overdressing. When the designers Yohji Yamamoto, Issaye Miyake and Rei Kawakubo, founder of Comme des Garcons, became the toast of Paris fashion week in the early 1980s, their relentlessly monochrome, asymmetric and intellectual vision of clothing was a revelation. Since the early 1990s the collections of Martin Margiela, Helmut Lang, Hussein Chalayan, Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons have emphasized simplicity of shape and realistic form, focused of aesthetics over function and employed repetitive structures and serial systems or progressions. The principles materialize in the designers’ interpretations of deconstruction fashion, defined by Barbara Vinken as the demonstration of constructedness.Today’s Minimalism movement in fashion continues its futuristic slant, with a stronger emphasis on geometric structures and artificiality. Where the old Minimalism sees the human body as a primary structure, it has now become a network of fractured places dissected by lines. There is also a stronger focus on the creation of futuristic beings, or cyborg lookalikes, inhibiting a post-gender world, continuing the conversation of removing gender out of clothing. Aesthetic still trumps function, but with an emphasis on fluidity and simplicity over intricacies.

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