Minimalist Art and Fashion
Minimalism art emerged toward the end of the 50s when Frank Stella and other popular artists turned to new ideas instead of recycling the old ones. First exhibited in New York City, minimalist art flourished through the 60s and 70s. Instead of representing reality as we know it, this style of art demanded its viewers to respond to whatever the artist had placed in front of them. The material or medium, as well as the form of an artwork were considered more important than landscapes or Madonnas painted on canvases. Unarguably the most famous minimalist painter, Stella, described his paintings thus: “What you see is what you see (“Minimalism”).”
Because of the simplicity of this style of art, minimalism was soon adopted by major fashion designers in London, Paris and elsewhere. Minimalism fashion was about simplicity and comfort, without compromising on stylishness. It was meant to allow every individual to express him- or herself as unique and pure. Working women found minimalist fashion rather useful. It got them to wear single colored stylish clothing to work. Giorgio Armani turned out to be the “greatest practitioner” of minimalism in fashion (Horyn). Calvin Klein described his taste for minimalism thus: “My personal philosophy of style is simplicity. Minimalism to me is the sexiest quality a man or woman can possess (Orzada).”
Horyn reports that although minimalism has been out of trend for the past ten years or so, it is definitely here to stay. This is proved by the fact that almost all major fashion magazines continue to feature minimalist clothing on their glossy pages (Horyn). After all, chic simplicity would never go out of fashion. Embellishments, on the other hand, are allowed to go in and out of style.
Horyn, Cathy. “Who’s Afraid of Minimalism?” NYTimes.com. 25 Aug 2005. 17 Oct 2008.
“Minimalism.” Tate Online. 2003. 17 Oct 2008.
Orzada, Belinda L. “Fashion Trends and Cultural Influences.” 7 Oct 1998. 16 Oct 2008.