Dancing on Minimalism’s Grave

By Cassandra Gagnon

I owe my resurgence in sartorial faith to Alessandro Michele. My biggest fashion pet peeves are minimalism, athleisure, and the off duty model/magazine editor street uniform. Recently, Jake McCollough of Proenza Schouler stated that the collection was “anti-ease”, explaining, “We were sick of everyone talking about ‘ease’ in fashion. I mean, get out of your pajamas!”


Man Repeller writer Claire Beermann brought up this quote, in an article titled “Why I’m Done Dressing Down”, and made the important point: “With Vetements arriving on the fashion stage, your postman suddenly looked chicer than your Parisian grandma”. Just the other day I thought a maintenance person’s jumpsuit was from that Instagram/skate brand Peels. I couldn’t agree more with Beermann, and I couldn’t be more bitter about it.

We’ve declined from Marie Antoinette, with her buckets of embroidered silk/tulle and literal hair boats, to “fashion” Instagram account that say “slay” to any girl with a heavy contour in a matching Adidas tracksuit or the crop turtleneck/mom jeans with fishnets/basic pumps combo. Where’s the decorum, the pride, the art? Why look like an off duty model when you aren’t dashing around in private cars to the next couture show? Why dress in sweats and sneakers if you aren’t exercising?

I want to bring back pillbox hats, opera gloves, birdcage veils, and tea length gowns for casual occasions. Practicality has no place within the fashion industry. Does this mean all professions should be truly “dressed”? I know I wouldn’t want a construction worker to be wearing a boaters hat and leisure suit instead of a hardhat, steel toed boots, and harness. But where’s the excuse for those in the industry?

Thankfully on the runway, and slowly but surely in street style, embroidery, embellishment, color, and yes, inconveniences, are making a comeback. Most notably at Gucci, due to the brand’s complete turnaround in aesthetic post Tom Ford and Frida Giannini. But they aren’t alone, we see it everywhere from Dolce and Gabbana to even Coach now.

So why have we adapted efforted effortless as the be all end all? We put in effort anyways, just show it. Caring shouldn’t be taboo, just as we’ve accepted not caring. It’s similar to the discussion around stay at home mothers. You can be a feminist and be a stay at home mom, it’s the concept of choice. You can be in fashion and dress comfortably, it’s the concept of choice.

And now that we have it, the whole trend is losing its cool factor because guess what, it’s widely accepted and trendy to not care. Dr. Martens, heavy metal band tees, and fishnets are no longer a counter culture identifier. It’s basic. Efforted is the new effortless, and you can catch me dancing on minimalism’s grave in a pair of Alexander McQueen lobster heels.

All images courtesy of Vogue Runway.

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