Look At Those Clothes!

Musings on style and fashion

It’s Perfectly Simple …



Simplicity should represent the resolution of complexity; it should be the arrival point, not the starting point.”

Pierpaolo Piccioli, co-creative director (with Maria Grazia Chiuri) at Valentino


Have a look at the 2014-15 fall ready-to-wear collection from Maison Valentino and you’ll see that simplicity, as Piccioli uses the term, doesn’t necessarily mean minimalism. Rather, Piccioli’s simplicity is the paring away of what is unnecessary, too much or too little, too forced or too lax, to clearly and elegantly convey your particular message or resolve the particular problem you’ve set for yourself, whether in fashion or in physics.

And, as Piccioli’s words indicate, what is simple is not necessarily easy.  It takes thought and work to find your way through complexity to exactly the right elements to express your vision or solve your problem. And it takes more thought and work to arrange those elements in a way that is so powerful, so graceful, that it seems inevitable.

With clothing and personal style, simplicity means that each time you dress, you choose just the right colors, patterns, and textures, just the right length and drape and volume, so that what you wear functions as a perfect expression of your thoughts, your feelings, your ideas, your attitudes—yourself.

You’ve achieved simplicity in your personal style when outfits come together easily and you wear them with complete comfort and confidence. And then you may decide it’s time to set yourself a new style problem and start the delicious work of simplifying all over again …



Categories: Fashion Quote of the Week

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2 replies

  1. I really like the connection here to physics!


    • Thanks, Anon. The more I thought about Piccioli’s statement, the more it seemed to apply to everything in the world. No doubt others have said similar things in other contexts, but fashion is often a window that works for me …


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