21 January 2011



"...we find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates."
- In Praise of Shadows, Jun'ichirō Tanizaki

I have recently been going through the process of dramatically cutting down my wardrobe to the point of blunt minimalism.  It has been about finding a quiet simplicity and forcing myself to reevaluate my relationship with clothing.  The main concept in terms of a wardrobe has been about returning to the bare essentials (think a wardrobe that fits into a single small suitcase), whilst focusing on the elements which I consider important - fit, silhouette, quality, and versatility.  After the cleansing (an odd word to use, but one I feel the most relevant given the situation), the next step is focusing on select high quality garments to create a simple yet individualized capsule-like wardrobe (Damir Doma's Silent range has been of particular note).  Sometimes you just need a fresh start.

Simplicity is unfortunately far too often overlooked these days, and yet for me it is the whispers and shadows in the corners of the overcrowded room that is fashion that are often the most interesting and engaging.  Sometimes you need to look away from what everyone else is looking at and find something more personal.  Whilst I suppose I ought to be writing about the latest goings-on in Milan and Paris (once again extolling the virtues of Rick and Yohji, and no doubt attacking the drama for drama's sake that was Mugler), I thought I might traverse into the realm of womenswear for a moment.  Although it is often said that menswear is about the subtle details, whereas womenswear is about the drama and theatricality, I feel an understated outfit from either sex often tends to carry far greater elegance.  Saitō Ryokuu, a Japanese author from the Meiji Era, famously stated that "elegance is frigid", and whilst I can certainly understand what he meant, for me it is the easier and more comfortable side of elegance that I find myself most often drawn towards.

I recently discovered Marvielab, a series of clothing projects, by designer Mariavittoria Sargentini, and was entranced by the womenswear offerings for Spring/Summer 2011, in a project named in'es'terno (translating to in'ex'terior).  As the name suggests the collection is based around reversibility, with the garments carefully constructed to work either way (take for example the blazer in the first two images above).  Versatility is therefore an inherent part of the design, which combined with the minimalist aesthetic of the collection creates in my mind a very exciting and wearable collection.  Using cottons, linens and other natural fibers, the collection stood out for me in terms of the softness of style and the lightness that the fabric choices lent the garments.  The muted colour palette and use of black really allowed the eye to focus on shape and silhouette.  Indeed I really liked the simplicity of the silhouettes, which were understated and yet for me incredibly beautiful.    

^ I absolutely adored this look ^

^ My personal favourite ^

Currently playing: Always A Relief - The Radio Dept. 



  1. my gf hollie would adore this collection, each and every single piece. the off white/cream shirts/long-short lengths and big coats are so up her street. will have to link her to your post.

  2. my gf hollie would adore this collection, each and every single piece. the off white/cream shirts/long-short lengths and big coats are so up her street. will have to link her to your post.

  3. I love the coats! So roomy and unbinding.


  4. Now..if we could all look good in this...that's the next question.

  5. Thank you for sharing these. I like the peplum shape to the blouses a lot. I'm beginning to realize that tops that have an interesting hem I like the most.

    -ps. I wish you all the best health and happiness Syed.

  6. (because comments are disabled on the above post)

    This is just me wishing you good health. I'll miss your blogging while you're gone, and anxiously await your return, but in the meantime take the time to heal.

    Much love.

  7. Loving the clothes!