Calvin Klein has always been an advocate of simplicity but this season new minimalism is one of the looks that has really taken off. From the runway to the red carpet to the streets it’s an style that makes one smooth statement without all the fuss and drama.
Philip Lim, Derek Lamb, Miu Miu, Max Mara, Jil Saunder and Michael Kors are all getting in on the act. And Claire Danes and Emma Stone’s appearances at the Golden Globes, looking stunning in paired-back gowns, while everyone around them were puffy and bejeweled, cemented the trend. It’s about clean lines and simple shapes.
This look is so exciting because it’s modern but classic. It’s risk-taking without the drama. At a time when we are being bombarded with with extravagant 70’s glamour, there is something even more compelling about pure forms. This spring it’s time for a make-under.
Invest in Classic Pieces
This trend is a great reason to buy some investment pieces. The simplicity of the style and colors mean that it’s a look that can be re-used and brought out year after year so skip the cheapy shops and go for the good stuff. Stores like Scoop are great for good quality, accessible pieces. Think one color, easy-to-wear items that will still look fresh in years to come.
Choose a Color
The less fuss, the better for this one. The colors of the season are 1970’s inspired rich colors, like those seen at Gucci, peaches, whites and nudes. The Golden Globes demonstrated that one simple, rich color is a good way to go for dresses, but for an outfit of separates a few strategically chosen colors, complementing one another is the best way to go. For example, put greens, blues and navies together.
Just because it’s minimal doesn’t mean that you have to exclude metallics. Spring’s silvers have taken more of a daytime approach, with more of a shine than a bling. Balmain gave a plain outfit a little sparkle using silver pants in a more casual, easy way. This does not mean pile on the bangles and get the hoop earrings out. It means do silver in a chic way.
Gwyneth Paltrow demonstrated how to make metallics simple at the Oscars in Calvin Klein with minimal jewellery and long sleek hair to ensure that the dress spoke for itself.
Keep it Simple
It is not minimal if your peach dress is adorned with diamantes and flowers. Remember to choose a basic fabric that outlines the silhouette without any volume or unexpected twists. This look will not get you noticed for being flamboyant and interesting. It will get you noticed for the woman who doesn’t need to be dramatic to stand out. She’s wearing the dress, the dress is not wearing her. The reason this look is daring and fashion forward is because it’s so refreshing to see a confident woman without all the frills and fuss!
Keep Accessories to the Minimum
Unlike spring 2011’s big 70’s trend, this is not a time to run out to the stores and stock up on the latest accessories. You have them already! Hooray! Diamond studs and plain bracelets are your friends. Bags without all the trimmings are what you’re looking for. Your most basic shoes finally have a reason to live. Resist the temptation to over-do it. Burberry’s neon green crossbody bag is the perfect example of the ideal minimal accessory. It is not a case of improving the outfit, but ruining the new minimalism that you so wanted to create! Remember what Coco Chanel said “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.”
Simple Hair and Make-Up
The new minimalism goes best with polished, chic and classic grooming. This means not overloading the foundation. For the eyes, a creamy neutral eye-shadow is best, while using a darker shade in your chosen color to blend a light line around the eyes as a liner is more subtle than using a harsh black. Lashings of your favorite mascara will help your eyes to pop. A light dusting of a pale pink on the apples of your cheeks will give your face a touch of color, and a natural lipgloss, such as MAC's Plushglass in Ample Pink will give you that extra bit of polish to complete the look.
As for hair, look again to Gwyneth, Emma Stone and Claire Danes. Paltrow kept her hair straight and smooth, with a middle parting, while Stone and Danes wore basic up-dos. It’s all about smooth lines, with minimum volume and distractions. Simple elegance is what you should be aiming for. Remember less is more!