Throughout most of the 2010s, minimalism and the “less is more concept” has been consistent buzzwords. The ideologically backed fashion style argued that people needed to reduce all extra noise, be it clothes or colours or decorations, in order to live more psychologically sustainably. In the post-pandemic era, this trend seems to be reaching its end.
What is minimalism?
Minimalism developed not so much as an aesthetic as a lifestyle. Followers of the minimalism philosophy maintain that the more you declutter your space, the more you declutter your mind. In other words, by keeping your possessions to a minimum, you are able to focus on more valuable things, such as social relations or your work.
Minimalism also came to extend to fashion and interior design, where there would be limited use of colours and decorations. Details such as wall art only featured vague shapes in muted colours, and living rooms adapted a Scandinavian scarceness. Self-help books and shows began to rise to the top of the lists. One such example is the Japanese cleaning-guru Marie Kondo, known as Konmari, who urged her followers to ask themselves if their possessions “sparked joy”, or else to be donated.
Minimalism during the pandemic
Though the minimalism movement began before the Covid-19 pandemic, it resurged in interest during the years of isolation and quarantine. At this time, people began to truly look at their homes, both as they spent the majority of their time there and as their homes were on display during Zoom meetings. Not only did the minimalistic design help provide professional-feeling backdrops, but it also helped people to have something to do, such as organizing and decluttering, to pass the time at home.
Simultaneously, the pandemic gave people more time than ever to sit down and think about their own style and presentation. According to this article in the New York Times, the pandemic’s sweatpants fashion also helped people move away from minimalism. They were able to take time exploring styles that might’ve felt too edgy in the pre-pandemic world, and allow themselves to feel comfortable in it before going back outside.
End of an era?
Another indicator that the minimalism trend is sliding into the shadows is the anticipated trends of 2022. According to both Elle and Vogue, which are popular global fashion magazines, the styles to be reckoned with this year are throwbacks to the colours, patterns, and party vibes of the nineties, as well as other more decorated fashion styles.
In the end, it is difficult to decipher whether the minimalism movement will really call it quits. The ideology is still popular, and the satisfaction of organizing and decluttering a home will not likely be forgotten. However, it might be more appropriate to say that minimalism might not be one of the leading trends going into the post-pandemic era, which is closer to a post-modernist stylistic time.
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