Clean tailoring combined with sportswear. Refined details mixed with the invigorating roughness of hi-tech fabrics. Bold, functional, and cool; minimalist street style uncovers a rebellious potential of minimal fashion, bringing together sartorial opposites like a tailored coat and a hoody, or wide-legged trousers and sneakers. But as laid-back as it may seem, minimalist street style is far from being a simple case.
The idea of minimalist street style is to embrace the tension between urban and minimal fashion. Being the most significant style movements of the last decades, they are both the legacy of the 1990s—the era shaped by minimalist designers such as Helmut Lang, Martin Margiela, and Issey Miyake on the one hand, and by street aesthetics of grunge, goth, and hip-hop on the other. A crossover between minimalism and urbanwear first found its way onto runways in 2000s, when cult designers like Raf Simons and Yohji Yamamoto started to recreate the essence of subcultures within their collections. In the 2010s, minimalism ‘trickled down’ to the fast fashion brands, reaching the height of its popularity 2015, while streetwear has risen to the status of modern luxury.
Fast forward to 2017: Ivania Carpio, the creator of Love Aesthetics, styles pure white sneakers with wide-legged pinstripe trousers; in her bold and clear SS’17 collection, young fashion designer Melitta Baumeister's pieces are often completed with similar footwear. It becomes more evident that minimal fashion is not defined by the white shirts and monochrome looks but rather by an attitude of choosing more future-inspired, more progressive clothing that occasionally need to disobey basic rules of minimalism and add some ‘impure’ street motifs. Bold and sporty pieces from the likes of Off-White, Hood By Air, and Vetements blend perfectly well with the gracious garments from Acne Studios, COS, and Totême. Besides, this more aggressive, more avantstreet version of minimal fashion somehow elevates the idea of less is more to a whole new level, proving that minimalism can be reinvented once again. Minimalists, who refuse to alter their visual vocabulary with sportif pieces, are at the risk of missing out.