8 July 2009

The Minimalist Uniform


I have always had a certain held fascination with the concept of a minimalist uniform. Whilst this may be something that most would attribute to post-war and contemporary Japanese design, where function and utility inspired beautifully simple and thought provoking designs, it has also been a style picked up in Europe with a great success. Indeed whereas many interested in fashion may have had their rapturous attention focused in on the recently shown major collections, my most recent point of intrigue was held over the going-ons in Stockholm.

The Spring 2010 (the speed of the fashion calendar never ceases to amaze) collection by the design duo of Ann Ringstrand and Stefan Söderberg, of Hope, caught my attention with their minimalist style and wonderfully executed combination of both contemporary and traditional garments. The collection had a decidedly casual feel, with an easy silhouette, and simple yet endlessly versatile pieces. The subdued colour palette, of dark blues, greys and beiges, along with the somewhat faded and prewashed fabrics allowed for a clear laid back style. However it was the cut and finish of the looks that gave the collection a wonderful elegance.

I was drawn towards the simple construct of the shirts, which seemed to hark back to somewhat humble traditional beginnings. The extended length of the shirts, left untucked, and the lightness of the fabrics, gave the pieces that laid back charm. The unstructured collars and drifting plackets also helped in reinforcing the more casual look. I actually feel that the pieces on their own would make a strong statement, and are ones that could easily be incorporated into just about any wardrobe.

The use of lightweight fabrics throughout the collection not only helped to give the pieces a clear Springtime feel, which the colours may have perhaps misled one in thinking, however also lent themselves well in display of the more casual element of the collection. Indeed one notes the lightweight fabrics employed in the construction of the trousers, which combined with a slightly looser fit, gave a wonderful draping effect. This draping fit allowed for a more relaxed silhouette, and indeed the lines of these silhouettes were wonderfully easy and natural.

The collection as a whole really did reinforce the idea of a minimalist uniform for me. It was simple, somewhat relaxed, and yet definitely smart and well presented. The versatility of such simplicity allowed the collection to mirror more traditional elements and yet expressed beautiful contemporary design. These are definitely the type of easy casual looks I would love to find myself wearing throughout the Spring season.

P.S. I recently did a little interview with the lovely Ela over at Extra Dressing on. the. Side, so please do click here to check that out.

Currently playing: Sing, Sing, Sing - Benny Goodman

xxxx

56 comments:

  1. Hi DK, I just got your email, thanks so much honey!!! I love minimalist pieces, they're so elegant and timeless.
    It's so true, time is just flying - I can't believe it's July!!!
    Have a wonderful day and we'll chat soon :)
    xx Ela

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  2. Some fantastic luxe-yet-laid-back pieces in that collection.

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  3. Hope does minimalist easy elegance best and this offering is no different. I love how the color palette almost contradicts--as you mentioned--the light, almost ethereal pieces and act to balance each look. Ann and Stefan are such thoughtful designers. Many designers are opting for a more relaxed silhouette, which is interesting as I have become used to harsh lines in menswear. The layering is phenomenal.

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  4. Haha thats so crazy that you are writing about HOPE that was the company I work for! So can ask me anything you want if you need any information=) I opened one of their stores=)

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  5. Very well dressed men! I love the simplicity of it all.

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  6. thanks for posting about them . ihave never heard of them

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  7. I really like this comfortable-without-looking-boring-look. Sometimes less is more...

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  8. I really like the minimalist look as well. Sometimes outfits can get too complicated when they don't need to be.

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  9. I love that they have both men and women wearing the suits. The androgyny is gorgeous.

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  10. thanx ever so much for your most charming comments..
    ps: shhh..you can see kenneth angers beautiful Eaux d'Artifice here: http://www.guba.com/watch/3000054854
    but its even better in a proper screening!
    have a lovely day!

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  11. I wonder if I'll ever wear minimalist clothing. Your great review makes it so tempting, but I always worry I will look drab instead of crisp and modern.

    ps- just read Ela's interview- congrats! it's lovely!

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  12. I love it. Simple. Elegant. Just right. :D

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  13. "fantastic dresses up"....



    Jolliieesss!!!!!

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  14. minimalist style is so not me, but I can totally appreciate the simple beauty of these desings! I particularly love the menswear.

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  15. Effortless style...one pic- interesting idea to wrap a scarf!
    ~XO

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  16. Minimalistic style looks very refined and comfortable. The Hope collection is simplicity at its best.

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  17. I adore timeless elegance. Always great to have staple pieces to turn to.

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  18. simple and earthy.. yet so undeniably chic..

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  19. I love the menswear...if you see a gentleman wearing the second look, can you please direct him my way my darling DK? :)

    Oh and I loved your interview at a little extra dressing!

    xoxo!

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  20. Love all beige pieces!

    FM~FP~AF

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  21. i like these looks! but i am also gaga for jewelry (don't worry -- not tacky jewelry!), and these two looks don't mesh so well. but i like them anyway!

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  22. I love minimalist fashion - I think that it can be difficult sometimes to pull it off without looking too frumpy or boring.
    I love all the catwalk looks though - they can definitely pull it off :)

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  23. oh i love the styling of this DK. i am drawn to the simple effortless minimilism. really drawn to it.
    x
    marian

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  24. i love how simple yet how chic these looks are, thanks for sharing this i didn't know of them.

    Meho xx

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  25. CAN I PLEASE BE A MALE SO I CAN WEAR THIS STUFF?? just for a day even?

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  26. Oh no, spring 2010 already? I love how androgynous this collection is. Re the comment from Nicci, I think girls could definitely wear any of this. I want the cropped tux jacket.

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  27. I like the short waist coat with the long shirt. Cool..but cooler on taller people than shorter people.

    That's so great about the interview!

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  28. Very cool runway shots. I like the idea of it. I'm not sure I'd like it everyday though.

    Great post!

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  29. I'm so worried about minimalist style. I think that its easy to be confused with boring. I think you have to have a lot of excitement in your life to pull off something like this.

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  30. These do look nice and so relaxed. Minimalism can be fantastic when done right.

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  31. Truly fashion at its best.

    Or style, rather. I do love simplicity and classicality. If I were a man, I would dress like this every day!

    bisous,
    La C.

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  32. Great post....I just read what your "momisms" on your sidebar...she really raised you well!! I love the one about being nice to mean ppl...if only everyone learned from your mom!

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  33. minimalist is always works!!!
    ^_^

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  34. These are great. I like them all, but 2 and 6 are my favorite. Another wonderful post from you.

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  35. I love minimalist... and how simple and uncomplicated everything is :)

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  36. Oh, wow, it's all very lovely! It has a very cool, subtle appeal that looks like it could also be very convenient.
    I really like it :)

    xo,
    hk

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  37. I so liked this post. Cool interview too. Thanks for the note. Hope you are having a good week.

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  38. i love the styling on the 3rd image, the proportions of the pieces on the girl is absolutely fantastic. giving me new wardrobe ideas

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  39. I am really diggin the first look =]
    oh and the one that is rather flesh colored with the somewhat bulky scarf makes a beautiful accesory

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  40. i like the feeling of writing on an eraser with a pen too!!! haha

    this is a nice collection. i can see myself wearing some of these pieces. the off white blazer, top and shoes in the last one!

    x

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  41. love love all the layering going on here!

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  42. like olden's say. the more simple it is, the more beauty reveals.

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  43. LOVE this post. And the interview was excellence. My favourite bit was where you spoke about your ninja master...hehehe [I am such a Kid]

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  44. relaxed fit is gradually cripping on slim fit clothing, well its always refreshing to take a break from slim fit into relaxed

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  45. I had not seen this collection before ~ very chic and post-modern minimalist! Love the silhouettes and your analysis!

    xoxox,
    CC

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  46. I love the vest! It looks really nice.

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  47. You know what they say: Lees = more!
    Its really simple, without getting bored.. Fascinating!

    xx

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  48. Now and again I'll get this terrible craving for structured, tailored and minimalist clothing, but in general I do favour clothes with subtle personality, a nice flow and a bit of moving room!

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  49. omg, i went to this show! this casual look is so great and so easy to pull off. xx

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  50. amazing collection.
    I want to be a man (hopefully) in my next life, so I can wear beautiful clothes LOL.

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