The natural style has infected all walks of life: make-up loves the nude look or bare face, design is essential and minimalist, and in the kitchen vegetarian and similar cookery are all the rage. It is one of today’s top trends in the fashion world, which strives to create simplicity that does not compromise on elegance but actually ramps it up. Because the natural look is never scruffy or unkempt, it simply reflects what it is without all the frills – either real or apparent. It is an open window on the chic, refined and subtle.
But what does natural really mean? After years – and fashions – dominated by excess and the need to get yourself noticed, we now find ourselves in a world whose latest darling is the girl next door. Who wears cotton, viscose, linen and silk in soft and subtle pastel colours. Like the clothes in this season’s Caractère collection which features destructured dresses, jackets, skirts and trousers that are soft to the touch, light and that convey a feeling of freedom, as we would expect for summer. Even what we wear can bring a touch of simplicity to our everyday lives and help us connect with the image we have of ourselves that really says who we are. This style exudes authenticity. Even if, in the words of a famous line in one of Almodovar’s films “a woman is more authentic the more she looks like what she has dreamed for herself”. But the truth is that naturalness and authenticity don’t come easy. “For me, natural has something to do with vegetables” said Donatella Versace, who is way off the charts of the fashion world.
A natural look is anything but improvised, it actually calls for more effort. Just as an apparently pure and natural look can hide long preparation, so a simple embroidery on a dress can draw attention to the neckline and accentuate the waist, giving the garment that feminine and gorgeous touch while still keeping its practical essential nature. The tunic blouse must be just the right length and paired with wide trousers in a contrasting colour. Pinstripes can take on a new lease of life on white linen for an elegant outfit that suits all occasions. And a single feature, the edge with horizontal stripes, reveals great attention to detail. The printed devoré dress creates a subtle sheer effect and interesting volumes with the flounces in the body and on the sleeves. Simplicity, like elegance, is a masterpiece of small details, in a delicate balance between shapes and materials.