Somehow we’ve all grown up understanding minimalism as a synonym of sophistication and elegance. It’s the classic “less is more” that many take as a golden rule. However, is it really still relevant? I mean, why do we still believe that sophistication can only be achieved through simple and classic outfits? Now fashion has become a tool to push society's norms, so, in contrast with minimalism, there's a trend that's becoming a flag for the millennial generation, or at least that represents our particular mindset: maximalism.
We've talked about millennial pink and how it represents our position towards gender and equality. Well, maximalism also has an interesting purpose behind. But before we go to that point, let me explain what it's about. As the name suggests, it's a current that takes fashion to the next level by taking pieces to the extreme, from oversized, abstract, and exaggerated cuts, to intense and bright fabrics. Maximalism means going beyond established norms by even rebelling against the natural shape of the body. But how does this represent our millennial way of thinking?
Of the many trends this fashion movement is creating, sequined is the one that’s coming quite strong. This isn’t only about wearing clothes that include this fabric, but fully adopting it in the whole look. With that in mind, there are many brands making basically any piece with this bright metallic material, like dresses, pants, jerseys, shoes, blouses, accessories, literally everything. And the point of this is to wear it at any time of the day or event, which means on a day to day basis. Those rules stating that all glitter and dazzling clothes should only be worn at night and parties are now outdated, so now people are adopting the trend in a regular way.
Just as we're using huge bell sleeves or oversized sweatshirts to make ourselves noticeable, full sequined outfits disrupt the balance of a society we don't feel we belong to. As India Doyle explains in her article for Medium, the living conditions of our generation have changed abruptly compared to those of the previous one. Life’s become harder, money isn’t enough to have the life our parents had, and as a consequence, there’s been a huge emergence of small apartments we can barely afford. At the same time, we’re facing serious problems like the overpopulation of cities.
You might be wondering what does this have to do with wearing a sequined tracksuit. Well, the relationship betwee space and fashion has become very relevant. Doyle explains that, in a world where our apartments barely have some room to keep some of our stuff (being the materialistic society we know we are), maximalism has become our only way to go against the reality we live in. So this current actually “embodies an absurd, chaotic and dystopian vision” of the world we’re dealing with right now.
So, next time you wear your oversized pants, that shirt with those extremely long sleeves, or your sequined bomber jacket, think about how, even if you didn’t really think about it, you’re expressing through fashion all those concerns of both our millennial generation and the one coming right next to ours.
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