Style check: Feminine minimalism

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 October, 2012, 11:24am

This season is full of gorgeous detailing, but some of the collections at the recent Paris Fashion Week suggest that minimalism will back in vogue next spring. This time, however, the harsh lines of austerity have been traded in for something softer and more feminine.

Jil Sander, presenting her first collection after returning to her label, remains faithful to the idea of sparse design, while Raf Simons, bumped over to Dior, brings a new sense of this to the house. But two of the most influential long-time proponents of minimalism have been Phoebe Philo at Céline and the Maison Martin Margiela brand.

Céline helps popularise minimal looks for the modern woman in an effortless, French way, while Philo makes it speak to the masses, with a step back from military, sporty hardness to a softer version, with barely a colour in sight. Trousers and jackets were loose and relaxed, although she added twisted fabric on tops for a new sensuality.

Margiela's designs often seem unapproachable, much like the man himself. It took time for his influence to reach customers, with industry insiders, press and other designers being the first to take to his minimalist aesthetic. The structured shoulders and soft drapes make for a formidable collection. We loved the occasional plunging neckline that amped up the sex appeal.

It's good to see Céline and Margiela's convincing minimalist offerings for next season. These fuss-less, print-less pieces are appealing due to the intimate nod to feminine sensuality. Sometimes a whisper says much more than a shout.