Redefining minimalism in the modern age, a plethora of labels are trading in their logos for a clean-cut and timeless aesthetic. Presenting Bare Minimum, END. shed a light on the brands that are resolutely stating that "less is more".
Epitomised by the aphorism that "less is more" - a tenet of design favoured by the German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe - minimalism implements a reductivist approach with the aim of honing and stripping visual art, music, literature and fashion to its bare essentials.
First forming as a concept in post-World War II America and defined in the '60s and '70s through the art of Donald Judd, Agnes Martin and John McCracken, minimalism's approach resonated within a variety of different fields, seemingly taking on its own voice when applied to alternate practices. Shirking the decadence of aesthetics found in abstract expressionism but maintaining the earnestness associated with modernism, minimalism exhibits its central form in a spare, refined and nuanced manner. With minimalism, the devil is truly in the detail.
Within the contemporary fashion zeitgeist, it is self-evident that logo-mania has steadily taken hold. Reaching its apex, maximalism has risen in response to the '90s and early '00s penchant for minimalist design, a time when Helmut Lang, Maison Margiela and Jil Sander held court and reigned supreme. Now, the fashion landscape is covered in covetable emblems, with logos slowly becoming more enlarged, noticeably covering a greater area across garments in every realm of modern menswear. Reaching a breaking point, minimalism is once again rearing its head, ready to offer an opposition to a world of images, graphics and oversized motifs with its remedy of quiet charm, tasteful colour palettes and an infallible nature brimming with a rich heritage in art and music.
Presenting a refined and elegant outlook, minimalism enters the modern age with a sensibility of maturity and a steadfast outlook. Labels such as Our Legacy, Acne Studios, A.P.C. and Margaret Howell adapt the minimalist tendencies of the past to suit the contemporary era, shaking off the belief that minimalism is cold and unfeeling, instilling a warm easiness to their garments without succumbing to oversimplification. Much like the expressiveness of a Richard Serra sculpture, contemporary minimalist fashion offers a gestural impression, wrapped up within an effortless sense of cool.
Adapted to fit the contemporary fashion climate, this visitation of minimalism calls upon tropes of its previous incarnation, with a twist of retro-futurism. A redefinition fit for future purpose but with a timelessness of character, END. presents the Bare Minimum editorial for AW19.