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I Don’t Understand Minimalist Fashion

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BC chapter.

Disclaimer:  I strongly dislike when inanimate objects are smarter than me.  I sass Siri like nobody’s business when she thinks she knows how to get me home and I know a faster route.  I hit the TV when it goes bezerk in an attempt to force it to get its act together.  I’m that girl, and I’m no different when it comes to fashion.

Second disclaimer:  I’m usually pretty understanding when it comes to the sartorial risks designers take.  I can even appreciate Mary Kate and Ashley, in their oversized furs and strappy sandals, clip-clapping through New York in the paparazzi shots I (don’t) stalk.  I appreciate artistry, risk, and evolution in terms of fashion; sometimes I even root for regression (fanny packs are coming back people, mark my words).

What I cannot wrap my mind around, however, is the minimalism that designers such as Jil Sander or Martin Margiela are so well known for.  Back to disclaimer number one, I think I dislike their work mostly because I don’t understand it; large, shapeless overcoats cannot be more intelligent than I.  Can they?  Boxy, neutral, and ill fitting is not my idea of a good time.  I have all kinds of (probably ignorant) criticism waiting for these designers, should I ever encounter them face to face.  I love the 90s, I even love a lot of the progression of fashion that occurred during the decade I was born (fanny packs, again. Sorry.), but what I cannot comprehend is the stark simplicity that emerged in, and continues to thrive as a result of, the early part of the decade.  Calvin Klein, spare me.  Your boxy white button downs do absolutely nothing for me.  It’s all too architectural, too mathematical, too condescending.

And there’s just something I don’t trust about Jil Sander.

In addition to the fit of the clothing, I don’t get the color palate.  I love neutrals as much as the next Kelly Cutrone wannabe, but there’s something about primary colors over and over again, season after season, year after year.  Blood red?  Boring.  Yellow in any striking shade?  Irritating.  I like patterns.  I like prints.  Check my Pinterest if you don’t believe me, I’m the girl who’s yelling at her TV in floral print jeans (metaphorically, of course).  I’m the girl who is proud of her femininity and plans to show it off accordingly; feathers, embroidery, leopard print.  These are my friends (although not all at the same time).

Someday, minimalist fashion, I may understand you.  Perhaps we’ll even start to get along well.  Until then, keep me away from color blocking.  Keep me away from weird geometrical concoctions on heads and bodies.  Keep me away from sartorial purgatory.  I’ll try to understand you, if you’ll try to understand me.  Hopefully we’ll come to reach a happy medium.


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Maddie is a senior at Boston College, where she spends her days fawning over literature and Art History textbooks. She was previously an editorial intern at Her Campus, and is now a HC contributing writer and blogger. Follow her on twitter @madschmitz for a collection of vaguely amusing tweets. 
Kelsey Damassa is in her senior year at Boston College, majoring in Communications and English. She is a native of Connecticut and frequents New York City like it is her job. On campus, she is the Campus Correspondent for the Boston College branch of Her Campus. She also teaches group fitness classes at the campus gym (both Spinning and Pump It Up!) and is an avid runner. She has run five half-marathons as well as the Boston Marathon. In her free time, Kelsey loves to bake (cupcakes anyone?), watch Disney movies, exercise, read any kind of novel with a Starbucks latte in hand, and watch endless episodes of "Friends" or "30 Rock."