If you looked at any fashion magazine between the years of 2000 and 2010, chances are their summer issues would be densely populated with all things boho—low-slung belts, peasant skirts, gladiator sandals and waistcoats. While "peak boho" only lasted a short time, its tassel-trimmed ripple effect was felt for many years after. (We blame you, Sienna Miller.) For a large proportion of my teenage years, I assumed the only way to ace summer style was to waft around in striped kaftans, dripping in impractical jewellery and shaded by vast sun hats. But no more: Enter minimalism 2.0.
If the early noughties were a time of style escapism, then I think it's reasonable to describe the last decade as a gradual move towards aesthetic austerity. Fashion has embraced all things stripped-back, and this summer, we have peaked with a line-up of trends that can justifiably be described as basics. Think tank tops, tailored shorts, linen shirts and clean-lined Birkenstocks. Over the last few years, a whole host of influencers has cropped up to meet this minimalist demand, ranking in high numbers of followers with their low-key outfits. Sylvie Mus is undoubtedly one of the names that have led the charge.
Originally from Rwanda and currently based between Helsinki and Paris, Sylvie is a freelance stylist and creative consultant who we have long followed for her distinctive approach to minimalist fashion. Her Instagram feed is a calming tableaux of neutral colourways, wearable separates and touchy-feely textures: wool, leather, denim, linen. The fact that her outfit shots from three years ago could easily be mistaken for 2020 ensembles is a testament to her timeless approach to dressing.
This idea of shopping simplicity is one that is sure to become ever more pressing as we look to a future of buying less, buying better. Never have versatility and longevity been so important. Of course, being more sustainable in your buying habits needn't mean packing away your prints, but why not take a few style cues from Instagram's coolest minimalist this summer? Especially if you're looking to create a good grounding of wardrobe staples.
Naturally, we wanted the insider intel, so we caught up with Sylvie to get a few quick tips for creating great summer style and the brands she's loving right now. Scroll down to see what she said.
What key pieces make up your summer capsule?
My summer capsule consists of vintage denim, casual T-shirts, statement tops and low-heel mules. I'm very casual!
What's your most versatile summer staple?
For me, the most versatile summer staple has to be blue jeans. I find that it's so easy to pair them with anything, from blazers to slip dresses. They just go with everything!
Which brands do you always turn to for the warmer months?
This season, I'm into Nanushka for fun summer pieces for the evening. For daytime, I like Totême for its basics.
What are your key tips for great summer style?
1. Mix different styles and proportions together. For example, a fitted evening top can look great with some casual light-blue jeans.
2. Go for materials like linen and silk, which are very light and easy to throw on.
3. Accessorise with scarves. They can be worn in so many ways. I like to wear them as headscarves or as fun tops to combine with suit trousers.