Everything you need to know about the new trend…

The early 90s saw a number of Calvin Klein campaigns that endorsed a clean cut tailored look for women, and the lookbooks of lines such as the Jil Sanders and Yohji Yamamoto who are undoubtedly the pioneers of the ‘minimalist’ movement – we even saw a shift from the iconic gothic Ann Demeulemeester’s designs to minimal tailored. As Yohji carried on the Japanese sense of minimalism, you saw a more refrained and almost painful trend with the European ‘less is more’ decadence. This year was no exception; culottes gracing the lines, muted palettes and tailored unfettered V-necks. Being a fan of the tailored shaping and the Scandinavian street styles, I was thrilled to see the pleat trend being descended in Resort 2016 by the black colours or the pleated skirts pairing with oversized cotton jumpers.

Although pre-fall and fall saw a number of designers – even our wonderfully ‘jovial’ celebrity Yeezy presented a neutral key pieces staples in a military formation – there were a few monumental designers who set the trend. The season’s trend was undoubtedly established by the Olsen twins and Donna Karan’s new recruits Osborne and Chow. Olsen twins, being my personal fashion Gods and a Council of Fashion Designers (CFDA) committee’s favourite, who, similar to me, are avid Yohji followers and never fail to show it in their designs. Their brand, The Row, itself started on the idea of a ‘plain white shirt’ which later built onto a successful line. Speaking of ‘plain white shirts’, Donna Karan introduced ‘Seven Main Pieces’ before Public School’s Osborne and Chow were even old enough to comprehend the concept. Donna Karan iconically pieced together feminism in tailored androgynist, and their legacy is continued by Osborne and Chow in a spectacular fashion. DKNY and Calvin Klein were the two brands of 80s-90s that took minimalist fashion to its commercial aspect.

Osborne and Chow’s debut show for DKNY was one of my favourite debuts, and they continue the brand down the sharp New York staples in their spring 2016 too. Although not being a fan of the splash of the blue or the funnel jumper, Osborne and Chow somehow managed to capture it masterfully in DKNY’s revitalized palette of black, white and gray. We also see pieces with a more of a commercial sense to them, which the brand requires.

Olsen twin’s material and structure centric pre-fall was followed onto the fall 2015 lookbook, with a more business-like appeal to the brand, as we sensed a clear drift from the traditional Asian pashmina induced beach-holiday pre-fall. A formal yet serene vibe was present in the line with the main focus being the actual two pieces rather than shoes which were wonderfully plain different colours of Moroccan slip-ons. My favourite piece out of the vivid croc-leather kimonos and various lengths of suede to silk coats, would have to be the floor length coat with a silk glow to it.

So how do we students incorporate this in our style? My two personal all-time favourite minimalist look are a silk black slip dress paired with low heeled pumps, such as the Hedi Slimane’s YSL or the Chanel pumps worn in its FW15 show; and the other being a lengthened – pay attention London hipsters, not oversized, but more rather lengthened – jumper with tailored mid-way calf-lined trousers. A black slip dress Goddess for me would have to be Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, a late Calvin Klein publicist who married the son of John F. Kennedy, who frequented slip dresses from wedding to nights out. Zendaya, too, was seen fashioning one in her photoshoots, and slip dress further ruled the runway in one of Tibi’s lines 2016.

Text and photos by Nida Jafri