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Minimalism Is A Quick Solution to the Cost-of-Living Crisis

Minimalism Is A Quick Solution to the Cost-of-Living Crisis

From the lack of necklaces on red carpets to Gucci’s Menswear show, all signs indicate a return to minimalism. And even though celebrity red carpets and high fashion brands don’t necessarily exist in the same reality as those most impacted by the current cost-of-living crisis, this reversion to minimalism could correlate to the recent financial crisis.

Minimalism in the 90s

The combination of the predictions of an impending recession has led to the return of 90s minimalism and the internet’s obsession with naming ‘aesthetics’; gen-z has decided to call this look ‘recession core’. This labelling may initially strike you as insensitive and making light of the economic hardships people face during financial crises; it appears historically accurate.

What happened just before the 90s minimalism dominated the fashion industry? The early 1990s recession. And what happened in the late 2000s to inspire the wave of minimal dressing? The 2008 recession. We all know that fashion trends exist cyclically. Still, like any cultural, social or political trend, it can perform more like a pendulum swinging under extreme circumstances.

Post-covid Minimalism

In a post-Covid economy, maximalism thrived—logos covered even the most essential clothing items. Consumption and excess were trending as the luxury fashion industry was booming. However, history has shown us this switch from one extreme to another before. Look at the early 2000s fashion trends versus those during and after the 2008 recession. Now the time has come for our pendulum to swing away from maximalism and back to minimalism.

The sheer lack of jewellery is a crucial indicator of this transition from excessive maximalism—particularly necklaces on the red carpet as of late. In contrast, many are arguing this is a result of yet another pendulum swinging away from the body positivity trend. That should not be treated as a trend and should continue to be celebrated. This link has been made because the lack of a necklace allows the bones of the décolletage to be shown. And while this may be a contributing factor to the lack of chains on the red carpet, I feel that the relationship is more complicated than that.

The Economy Today

The issue is that our economic situation impacts fashion trends, which has been proven throughout history. And unfortunately, we live in a society that problematically treats body image as an extension of these trends. And so, with the return of 90s minimalism, which is a result of the current economic crisis, people interpret that as a return to the glorified 90s body type, which it does not need to be. You can wear the same 90s minimalist items regardless of body shape or size. This proves that fashion trends and the social and political landscape are inextricably linked, as the glorification of skinniness can be connected to the economic climate.

See Also
Beyonce opens her Renaissance World Tour in Sweden in a custom dress.

Delaney (TikTok user) weighing in on Recessioncore.

Ultimately, history repeats itself. We live on a social and economic Groundhog Day. And with this understanding, the cyclical nature of the fashion industry makes a lot of sense. Fashion is constantly responding to what is happening around it, often before it happens. The fashion world sensed the looming threat of another recession, acting accordingly. And so, here we enter a new wave of 2020’s minimalism before the next economic boom inevitably gets us back to all things garish.

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