The Truth about Minimalism and its Connection to Spirituality
You've heard the term minimalism so much now 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 in minimalism has grown over the years and is now used in 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 tried to incorporate into my life and style. Modern day minimalism first appeared in the 80-90's with one of the first collections being from Giorgio Armani who offered straightforward suiting and a simple aesthetic. Other brands started to adopt this approach and minimalism continued to grow—fashion being the number one industry to embrace the term and aesthetic. While minimalism is hard to get wrong, there are a few [important] rules I encourage you to follow.
The minimalist’s palette—which consists of neutrals; black, navy, grey, white, olive, browns, and tans—make 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 and navy, the leading colors of his A/W 2018 collection allowed for his tailoring skills to come to the forefront and center of the proportions and silhouettes, along with texture—all the things that make minimalist fashion interesting.
When it comes to silhouettes in minimalism, there are no rules; unlike tailoring, minimalist 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; a documentary 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 you begin to silence your mind, you will naturally embrace minimalism. After watching the documentary, you will look around and begin to understand that your physical, material possessions are not as important to us as your physical body and mind. Simply put, as you become more self-aware, you are more likely to let go of a wide range of things including material possessions and people.
Minimalism in the spiritual awakening process will naturally happen; it isn't something you need to be taught, it will occur as you center your mind 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 you 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?
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! Continue to Live Your Life in Style and always Be Inspired.