“Give me enough time and I’ll give you a revolution” – Alexander McQueen.
Celine, Saint Laurent, Jil Sander: three fashion houses that glamourized the idea of a “plain Jane”. Celine’s Spring/Summer 2013 runway showcased an array of ghostly silk garments and immaculately tailored jackets; to the overly-excited journalist perched front row of this enviously prestigious fashion show, these clothes are art. They exhibit the rise of a trend that screams elegance and good taste simply by playing it safe. To another spectator, the lack of colour, pattern and edge simply admits to a painful lack of creativity.
The minimalistic approach to dressing is creating an increase in people having “good taste” (after all, it’s hard to dress badly when your black and white wardrobe coordinates perfectly together). High street fashion brands like Zara are golden at replicating the plain garments that are seen traipsing down the runway of high-fashion labels and, although I am blown away by how chic the cream knits are in Zara, I cannot help but think that the masses of simple clothing in high street shops are making “good taste” far easier than it should be.
It seems that more and more designers now favour a black and white fashion world. Why? Well because the appeal of dressing in simple clothes is becoming highly sought after by those who want “good taste” quickly. The attention that minimalistic brands are receiving because of the world’s desire to dress tastefully, merely strokes their fashion-ego and stimulates the creation of more of these plain clothes (Just look at Celine’s Autumn/Winter 2014 collection), and what’s worse is that more and more fashion critics are condoning the reproduction of the minimalism trend.
If Dolce And Gabbana’s mosaic dresses were to reappear in their next runway show, how would the fashion world react? My only guess is that they would be outraged! Outraged at the thought of last season’s ideas being chewed up and spit out on the runway for this season; yet with minimalistic brands, it’s just an exhibition of that “good taste” everyone wants again.
Whatever happened to the shockingly artistic “Plato’s Atlantis” by the late Alexander McQueen? Or the seriously weird diamond face-masks by Margiela? It seems to me that fashion shows are becoming more like a rack of clothing and less like a spectacle. All this “good taste” is resulting in a creative coma, desperately requiring a huge dose of imagination to wake it up.
Donna Salek is an upper-sixth student at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls and Fashion editor for Lucid.