The Truth about Minimalism and it's Connection to Spirituality
We've heard the term minimalism to the point that it's almost overused. And while less is more, the term was [actually] developed in the mid-1960's to refer to abstract art that emerged during this time. Artists like Robert Morris and Donald Judd created large conceptual pieces that focused on geometric forms that called attention to its physical size in relationship to the viewer. Their use of industrial materials and color reference distinguished them among other artists. The word, definition, and interest has grown over the years and is now widely used—from fashion and music to design and architecture. The principles of minimalism are sharp lines, solid surfaces, low-level furniture, and pastel shades; this applies to all areas that the term is used.
Minimalism is now a lifestyle that is popular among creatives who value the combination of sophistication, simplicity, practicalness, and beauty; it's a form of self-expression that distinguishes by desire the need for simplicity and perfect order.
There's something about the minimalist approach to fashion that has always caught my eye; it's path to simplicity and timeless elegance is something I've been trying to incorporate in my life and style. Modern day minimalism first appeared in the 80-90's with one of the first collections from Giorgio Armani to offer straightforward suiting and a simple aesthetic. Other brands started to adapt this approach and minimalism continued to grow—with fashion being the number one industry to adopt the term and aesthetic. While minimalism is hard to get wrong, there are a few important rules you should be following.
The minimalist’s palette—which consists of neutrals; black, navy, grey, white, olive, browns, and tans—makes creating a foundation wardrobe easy; you can easily mix and match these colors for fail-proof styling.
One of my favorite designers—Neil Barrett—proves that minimalism doesn't have to be boring and a clean color palette is the way to go. Black, the leading color of his A/W 2017 collection allowed for his tailoring skills to come to the forefront and center on his array of proportions and silhouettes; which is the focal point of minimalism (along with texture).
images via vogue.com
When it comes to silhouettes in minimalism, there're no rules; unlike tailoring, minimal clothing can in any shape or size—anything goes. And because of that, we see many people (designers included) creating looks that feature boxy, oversized garments with asymmetric angles. The fun about this is you can mix and match relaxed silhouettes with slim-tailored cuts.
With the focus being on fashion and other creative industries, let's explore its connection to spirituality.
The minimalist approach may seem boring and overly Zen, but I believe it to be fascinating and sometimes a challenge. In life, we accumulate a lot of stuff, more than we [actually] need. Many times this is due to us trying to fill a void, but if we look at the core of minimalism, the message is about less, and it allows us to look at our individual lives and materialism, and ask if we [really] need what we own. I watched a documentary a few weeks ago called Minimalism. A Documentary About the Important Things that focused on the lives of minimalists—all of whom are striving to live a meaningful life with less. What I learned is that you can be seemingly happy without the over excess of stuff. It also focused on awakening your mind and connecting to the core of who you are by pointing out that once we begin to awaken, we will naturally embrace minimalism. We will look around and begin to understand that our physical material belongings are not as important to us as our physical bodies and mind. Simply put, as we become more self-aware, we're more likely to let go of a wide range of things from material possessions to people.
Minimalism in the spiritual awakening process will naturally happen; it isn't something we need to be taught, it will occur as we center our minds around meaningful experiences and realizations. Spirituality in minimalism is about a direct experience; it's about realizing how to be peaceful and happy with what we have or less—not more. Awakening is freedom, and therefore minimalism is freedom. Consider the world we now live in with its focus on excess; more money, more clothes, more followers, more likes; what would make you free; happy, and who you are?
While the breakdown of minimalist fashion is different from spirituality, the core is the same—less. Let me know how you are taking a minimalist approach to fashion or your life/spirituality. Tweet me or comment me below, let's get the conversation going!