Is Less Truly More?
Photographed by Joelle Beauchamp of Aubrie Card
By Sophie Dehn
As we continue to progress in the world of fashion, it is important to understand how fashion has evolved through history. While over-accessorizing and layering are fashionable today, that wasn't always the case. This is a result of Project Runway, a reality television program that displayed up and coming designers. Viewers were able to discover great sources of inspiration and fashion guidance throughout the program. Tim Gunn, the designer's mentor, served as their primary teacher. Throughout his time on the show, however, more than just designers were able to listen and take advice; viewers across the world learned from Gunn as well. When it comes to accessorizing, Gunn is notorious for encouraging his designers "less is more.” While his advice from the show is normally timeless, this specific saying can be argued.
Today, over accessorizing and layering is more popular than ever. Now seen and used as a method to spice up any ensemble, layering was formally intended as an utilitarian method of warmth. For several months now, this type of accessorizing has been on the rise, and as it gains popularity, more and more individuals are looking for creative methods to add layers to their ensembles. Layering is a more sophisticated accessorizing method that, when used correctly, can transform any ensemble into a work of art. Although wearing several layers can enhance a look, it's vital to avoid going overboard. This same thought process can also be applied when accessorizing jewelry.
Layering can be done through experimenting with different lengths, colors, textures, patterns, and silhouettes. However, you must layer strategically if you really want to pull off the high fashion aesthetic. Because there are so many different methods to layer, it's crucial to keep in mind that each layer you add to your outfit should improve the overall look. Researching runway events, paying attention to streetwear, and staying current with the latest fashion trends and influencers can all help consumers find inspiration for layered ensembles.
Eccentric layering of all kinds can be seen in recent runway shows such as Paco Rabanne with his Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear collection. In this collection, for instance, viewers can note the excessive accessorizing through the use of heavy chain-lashed combat boots, babushka headscarves studded with metal grommets, masses of jewelry and bondage harnesses. While his collection was very eccentric, one can see how the use of over accessorizing works beautifully when done correctly. VTMNTS creative director, Guram Gvasalia, also showcased multiple layered pieces in his Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear collection. The doubling of everything is visible throughout his collection; two cropped bombers, two sleeveless tailored jackets with thick padding at the shoulders, two waistbands that are layered, logo briefs that are visible above another waistband, etc. Gvasalia appreciates the layers' exaggerated dimensions of garments and the passion they suggest on the runway. Layering of various sorts has been used by other designers, such as Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, Juun.J, Officine Générale, Alaa, and many more, in their Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear collections.
All in all, while Tim Gunn is a respected mentor of the fashion industry, he is not always right. As seen, layering has become more popular than ever. That said, is less truly more? Or have we evolved as an industry with our taste levels since his mentorship?