Updated: Aug 10
Written by: Padmini Singh
Minimalism in fashion is not new and it has evolved with time. Its key elements are simplicity, anonymity, monochrome, anti-figurative forms and accessibility. This approach appeared in New York in the 1950s and 1960s and stood against over-complication of bright, expressive colors and patterns. It depicts the other side of fashion which is pure, clean and not over-the-top aesthetics. It gives people the choice to get back to the basics. A refreshing look in the design process which is the core principle of our brand ‘The Narration’. As minimalist art pioneer, Sol Le Witt said, “Every generation renews itself in its own way; there's always a reaction against whatever is standard.”
The Narration is inspired by simplicity, the expertise of our work is generated through geometric paneling and color blocking. The design process involves creations which believe in moderation and comfort with the quality of a minimalist design. Minimalism started with rigorous reductivism and the utilization of non-emotive design. Rigorous reductivism means stripping the design object to its core even if the construction is incredibly complex, the final works look deceivingly simple, for example, the famous Balenciaga wedding dress (refer to image 1.1). The entire dress was molded from the three seams connecting incredible lengths of silk gazar. Non-emotive design elements are usually typified by geometric composition and/or the use of non-conventional materials. It starts with simple lines and geometric shapes as displayed by Gareth Pugh back in 2007 (refer to image 1.2). Early minimalism rejects traditional craftsmanship and opted for non-conventional materials often found in works of Comme des Garçons and Issey Miyake to name a few. Designers like Margiela is often quoted as the pioneer of Deconstructionism and gives some excellent examples in his work.
Today, Minimalism is defined by futuristic slant, with a stronger emphasis on geometric structures and inhibiting a post-gender world which The Narration has applied in its designs and presented a whole new collection with a special number of pieces produced as the idea is to create clothing that is uncommon and feels luxurious. Minimalism extends to many aspects of life, including lifestyle and home décor. It has extended to its own advantages of capsule wardrobes excluding items with extra frills, ruffles or embroidery thereby saving money and with the potential to mix and match everything. A calculated and strategic approach to sustainability, preservation of the planet and ethical practices plus it is less time consuming to pick our everyday outfits. Likewise, our brand The Narration introduced our sustainability project at our studio in June 2019 where we aimed to recycle our remaining fabric pieces from the last two collections and created new products by incorporating our signature style.
In India, designer Wendell Rodricks who is considered as ‘guru of minimalism’ says that minimalism is not a trend that will pass by, it’s a trend that will stay. People are done with overly done outfits, heavy embellishments chains, and sequence. Carrying the tradition forward The Narration has embraced minimalistic elegance and classic style suiting women of all ages and sizes.
From Calvin Klein in the 90s to Celine two decades later to Angelina Jolie on the red carpet, minimalism has long been a special form of fashion. It describes the concept of less is more, which The Narration is all about, that is ‘silent elegance’, where the individual carries the clothes and not the other way around.