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Opulence or minimalism, what we will see on the next catwalks


2020 fashion starts again after the invasive and insistent presence of the coronavirus. But what will it look like? On the next catwalks will we see luxury, opulent, eclectic and voluminous clothes, or will we see extreme minimalism? It is time to reflect, to start over again.

Anna Wintour answered this question during a digital interview with top model Naomi Campbell: "We are all in agreement that we need to show less, that we need to have more of an emphasis on sustainability and we need to have more emphasis on luxury and creativity and craft," Wintour said. "We needed this terrible event to make us understand that it's not about needing to change, we have to change, we are going to change." Wintour called on the fashion community to take the opportunity to reflect on the ethics of the fashion industry.

One of the main ideas regarding this period is that 2020 fashion will take the path of minimalism, especially with the clothes that kept us company during the lockdown: leggings, loungewear and comfortable blouses, against streetwear and logomania of the recent years. We have already seen this trend on the catwalks of f/w 2020/2021, but the coronavirus has certainly amplified and accelerated it. The clothes of the great designers of the fashion world appeared with a clean, tailored aesthetic and the focus was on high quality in order to create the pieces that last over time. Daniel Lee stood out among all the rest with Bottega Veneta, but also Givenchy, Emporio Armani, Jil Sander, Loewe, Stella McCartney, MaxMara and Prada together with him.

But when we talk about minimalism, what do we mean?

Minimalism is an artistic trend that developed between the 60s and 70s in the USA. The term was coined by the English art philosopher Richard Wollheim. Defined as Minimal Art, it is characterized by simple (minimal) shapes, derived from elementary geometry, from modular and serial structures and from the use of industrial technology materials. Pure forms are preferred. The colors are neutral, especially black and white. The architect Mies Van Der Rohe, explains in his manifesto Less is more (which later became the slogan of the movement) that everything must be reduced to the basic elements, the necessary ones, while always remaining in step with modernity. Minimalism is therefore the reduction to absence.

In fashion it can be seen in the early 1900s with the liberation of women from the restrictions of the corset, introducing the revolutionary nakedness of the arms, legs and back. Then, after the opulence of the 80s, we return to a minimalism represented by basic garments, which changes from person to person depending on how you want to wear it. More famous, however, is the one of the 90s: it represents cerebral essentiality. Martin Margiela and Prada or Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake that design minimal items in a pure oriental way, which transforms architecture into fashion, with dresses with bias and deconstructivist cuts.

Therefore, talking about minimalism is not always as trivial as one might imagine. It is a break, of course, but this happens after every crisis. A revolution. Right now, the moment impose sobriety and sustainability, quality and research for feminine women in the digital age. The achievement of sartorial perfection becomes a priority, a fashion far from aesthetic emptiness but with a natural and sophisticated charm.

But do not forget Anna Wintour’s words, which partly accompany those of Giorgio Armani: minimalism also means less fashion shows, less luxury and less waste to give space to creativity and quality, for a more sustainable wardrobe.

Lucia Panzavolta.

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