The 2010s / The Row’s Minimalism

Believe it or not – I can’t! – but we’re heading towards a new millenium. So, how do you choose the most important collections, designers and labels of the decade? The ones that made an actual impact in the 2010s? Well, it’s not an easy task. It all began in September 2009 with New York’s spring-summer 2010 shows and ended when the autumn-winter 2019 haute couture shows wrapped in Paris. Few thousands of shows, by the way. There will be 19 posts (that’s really the only possible minimum!) reminding about the best – and if not the best, then strongly influencing – moments in fashion.

The Row‘s minimalism.

Looking back at the 2010s, it seems to me that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are the ultimate owners of minimalism. With their sensivity for top knotch quality and craftsmanship, it’s no surprise that The Row is globally renowned among the richest women who, rather than drown in Gucci, have similar preference for clean lines, the comfort of soft cashmere and well, have nowhere else to go since Phoebe Philo left Céline (ok, there’s Lemaire, Jil Sander and Bottega Veneta, but… still, they choose The Row). Their collections don’t surprise, but warm your heart. Coats of the most perfect volume and silhouette. An over-sized ecru turtleneck-dress from the best alpaca yarn you can imagine. Masculine tailoring, beauutifully sculpted at the waist. Timeless, crisp shirting that’s getting better and better while wearing it. Eveningwear that’s pure refiniment and elegance without even one embroidery or print. You don’t expect newness with The Row, except for some unexpected lining detail or an antique embellishment on the bags – so, basically details you will notice only when the clothes arrive on the rack. Other than incredible collections the Olsens staged in New York (and in a French chateau that’s 45 minutes outside Paris back in 2015), the sisters created some of the most beautiful retail spaces (see them here) and an equally magnificent menswear line.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Razor Sharp. Peter Do SS20

Peter Do SS20 collage

Peter Do‘s name-sake label has been making waves since its very start (which was less than two years ago). The New York-based designer doesn’t do fashion shows and presents his collections off-schedule – those are two factors that could easily make him and his brand an off-the-radar outsider But Peter Do has a consistence in his work that many, much more established brands can envy: very clear, clean and minimal aesthetic that’s as precise as a razor. Do, along with Bottega Veneta’s Daniel Lee and Rokh’s Rok Hwang, shares a very specific alma mater that additionally attracts clients: Phoebe Philo’s Céline. But Philophiles won’t find Céline-like pieces at Peter Do, that’s not the point. Spring-summer 2020’s hero piece is an adjustable jacket that separates into a bolero and a backless waistcoat. Another highlight is the single-button jacket that fastens high and off-center on the torso, producing a nipped-in silhouette. The colour palette, mostly black and white, is beautifully contrasted with shades of ochre and rust. What else is sure about Do? Tailoring is key for the brand. And it definitely stole women’s hearts, if Net-A-Porter is restocking the current collection, and such important retail players as Dover Street Market and Bergdorf Goodman already have the Peter Do classics on their racks.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Stable and Slouchy. Lemaire SS20

At Lemaire, references and messages are absent, or very subtle, and comparing to most other labels, here the clothes do the talking. Christophe Lemaire and Sarah Linh Tran‘s woman doesn’t change from season to season – her style is consistent, just as the label’s style. For spring-summer 2020, the designers used a colour palette full of timeless neutrals, which perfectly fits their new bodysuits, pleated stone-colored chinos with a rib-grazing wrapped waistband or over-sized waxed-cotton coats. The brand showed a handful of belted styles, all of them easy enough to be tossed over a handbag strap when it gets warmer. In the designers’ words, the collection is about “stable, but slouchy” shapes. Its impossible not to be convinced by Lemaire’s comfortable elegance this season.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Expensive Simplicity. The Row SS20

There’s no need in explaining why The Row is one of New York’s most luxurious brands – existing and thriving. And also, once seeing a The Row shirt in rwal life, you immediately understand its cosmic price. It’s crisp, but not stiff, it’s over-sized, but not slouchy. Even it’s white colour isn’t just white. It’s the shade of white that will match everything. Knowing that, you can forgive Ashley and Mary Kate-Olsen‘s lack of Instagrammable entertainment during their spring-summer 2020 fashion show. A minimal space, and the clothes as the main heros. The look feauturing a lilac shirt and beige pants caused more discussions than the most intricately embroidered dress or the most controversial fashion statement from any other brand we’ve seen this season. While some might say this collection felt distant and lacked spirit, I think its minimalism was finally soft – something I kind of missed from the Olsens in their last collections. This is the collection Carolyn Bessette Kennedy would wear forever. It’s a wardrobe of investment pieces – which, to a great extent is sustainable fashion without being mad about. Whether speaking of the ecru dress made out of cloudy, silk patches, or the ankle-lenght black coat that has the perfectly chic shoulders volume, The Row nails expensive simplicity like no other.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Getting Better and Better. Bottega Veneta Resort 2020

It’s been 11 months since Daniel Lee‘s arrival to Bottega Veneta, and it seems he’s there for, like, forever. Throughout this short time, the brand received big love from clients, who never bought at Bottega before. And it seems that the success isn’t solely rooted on the absence of Phobe Philo. Lee and his team prove this in the resort 2020 collection, which is sublime in every aspect, from bags to clothes. Leather accessories, whether in the brand’s signature intrecciato weave or not, are so good. Just look at the wrist-slung, tightly knotted bag in blue or orange strips of soft matte leather, or the sandals in fake snake, which featured three and a half encirclements of leather strip that ran upwards (these worked to cinch Lee’s expertly cut wide-leg pants and were complemented by similarly functioning bracelets). Clothes are a delight, as well. Whether we’re speaking of the draped leather dress in orange worn by Maria Carla Boscono or all the trench coats that appeared in the look-book, it’s a dream wardrobe. Minimalism and top knotch craftsmanship aren’t a novelty, but Bottega Veneta and Salvatore Ferragamo get that balance especially well in Italy today. Better start saving…

All collages by Edward Kanarecki.