Seasons may come and go, but the longevity of minimalism has defied the test of time. Immortalised by slinky slip dresses, delicate knits and black-on-black layering, the trend—which blew up at the height of the ’90s—has transcended beyond clothes, slowly infiltrating the worlds of accessories and interior design.
Today, style influencers such as Aimee Song, Ki Eun Se and Chriselle Lim are making it their own, down to the smallest of details. Think: strappy leather sandals, intricate gold chokers and strikingly structured bags, skilfully styled to achieve ‘less is more’ without a hitch.
A call for simpler times also saw the trend’s resurgence on the autumn/winter 2021 runways, with accessories front and centre. Paying homage to the spirit of minimalism is Singaporean brand, Charles & Keith. Inspired by the Danish concept of hygge—cosy contentment, to be exact—the brand’s autumn/winter 2021 collection consists of a statement selection of bags and shoes for the fashion forward, complete with a stamp of approval from mega-influencers such as Yoyo Cao and Song.
Here, we dive into the key pieces of the collection, with tips on how to rock it à la style stars Song and Ki.
The Zadie padded shoulder bag: Minimal with a twist
American fashion influencer and New York Times bestselling author Song has won over 5.9 million Instagram followers with her tone-on-tone, sleek style. Accompanying her monochrome summer dresses and structured blazers are carefully curated totes, clutches and top-handles that add that extra bit of shape and flair to an otherwise neutral outfit.
If, like Song, understated with a hint of volume is what you’re going for, the Zadie padded shoulder bag’s finish makes for a seamless day-to-night option. Complete with a metallic chain handle, detachable shoulder strap and luscious colour ways such as burgundy, taupe and beige, consider this a must-have on all fronts.
The Charlot crossbody bag: A ’90s-inspired staple
A good minimalist bag elevated by carefully considered accents and details can make all the difference to your outfit. From work meetings to fashion week, style stars are known to spruce things up with angular crossbody bags, a ’90s-reminiscent staple also seen on the likes of trendsetters like Lisa from Blackpink. For those who follow fashionable social media starlet Ki, you’ll be privy to multiple ways of styling the crossbody like a pro.
To channel Ki’s girl-on-the-go look, opt for Charles & Keith’s Charlot crossbody bag. From a structured and curved silhouette to a variety of handle options, the Charlot is accented with metallic hardware and comes in deep navy, ivory, taupe and black.
The Lucile shoe range: A twist on the barely-there sandal
OG fans of Song know she’s strong with her shoe game too. Her go-tos? Noughties-inspired strappy monochrome sandals, kitten-heeled mules and the occasional block-coloured ankle-high boot to go with just about any outfit.
If you want the best of all worlds, check out the collection’s chic sandal-and-boot options. The Lucile collection consists of platform boots that can be worn as sandals and socks; a heelless option with flat calf boots and finally, a delicate stiletto variation. Perfect for all the indecisive dressers out there.
Shop the look from the Charles & Keith AW21 collection
From clean lines to neutral palettes, the message of the season at Charles & Keith is this: you can stick to basics and still keep it interesting. The new collection is all about getting creative with proportion, size, texture and movement. To ace minimalism the 2021 way, take your pick from its range of versatile shoes and bags below.
Zadie padded shoulder bag
Charlot crossbody bag
Gabine saddle bag
Elyse turn-lock shoulder bag
Riley ruffle-trim bag
Lucile flat calf boots
Lucile platform calf boots
Lucile printed stiletto calf boots