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Will there be a return to minimalism after the Covid-19 emergency?

The pandemic forced us to the essentials


The global crisis, which we have all been experiencing in recent weeks, will have serious repercussions. These consequences will affect our attitudes at three hundred and sixty degrees, including how we relate to clothing. We buy less, because we are unable to go to shops. If we think in the long term, this "temporary" habit could probably become customary.

Something similar had already happened in the past, with the 2008 financial crisis. The fashion system ended a decade of extravagance, opening the doors to a practical and basic aesthetic. This austere and understated fashion phenomenon was captained by the fluid silhouettes of Phoebe Philo for Céline, by the end of the logomania and by Bottega Veneta with its iconic weaving of woven leather.

To be cool in the 10s of this millennium, a pair of jeans, a white t-shirt and a pair of simple shoes were enough.

Hence, the birth of a unisex and unpretentious current called Normcore: normal to the maximum. Over time, this trend waned until it died out.

The arrival of Alessandro Michele da Gucci and the exit of Phoebe Philo da Céline, sanctioned the true end of this purist period in 2017. The second half of the 10s was dominated by streetwear, the showiness of animal prints and the return of logos (trend that would have made any Normcore purist stunned).

We come to today, where, suddenly, we found ourselves fighting against a global virus and fashion seemed ready for a change of course. Looking at the latest collections on the world scene, I noticed a change similar to the decade I was talking about before: the coronavirus has accelerated a change that is already underway.

A return to sartorial attention, to a classic, androgynous and genderless line, able to last over time and to be handed down from generation to generation. Practical but high quality garments are preferred, with neutral and stable shades, which are sustainable and with a clear and demonstrable origin.

Uncertainty leads people to focus on what is important and to buy more carefully and specifically. It is no coincidence that brands such as TheRow and Jil Sander are examples of a growing reputation for attention to cutting-edge wearability and the fabrics of the garments.

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Pre Fall 2020 Collection

Un post condiviso da The Row (@therow) in data:

The essentiality is manifested in different shades, which although they may appear to be the antipodes, compensate each other, finding outlet in the soft exaggerated volumes and masculine oversize of the garments by Daniel Lee, a pupil of Phoebe Philo, for Bottega Veneta. Another example of a brand that has managed to impose its aesthetic strength and bringing to light the intrinsic minimalism in its heritage.

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Un post condiviso da Bottega Veneta (@bottegaveneta) in data:

Even Alessandro Michele decided to strip and free his creations from the baroque style that has always distinguished him.

In short, the brands that have been able to cultivate their identity over time and in a coherent way, which have created a faithful following to their ideals, are the safest bets in this critical moment.

Finally, this total blockage of our habits, a consequence of the ongoing health emergency, could represent an opportunity, not an obstacle. An opportunity to reduce the superfluous, the unnecessary. The minimalist trends of the past decade have taught us that in difficult situations we become more concrete.

We can start from the basics (or from the basic in this case) to give us a second chance.