Words: Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Minimalism is dead. At the tail end of a decade defined by minimalism, anyone who still favours pared back and soulless basics to the brilliantly garish and gloriously glamorous look of maximalist fashion is not someone to be trusted. Perhaps, it’s an extreme stance, but TikTok adores maximalist fashion, with the style massively overtaking minimalist looks in popularity. #Minimalism may have amassed 1.2B views on the app, but #maximalism sits comfortably ahead with 1.6B. Is it a surprise? Who can be excited by muted colour palettes and plain fabrics when there’s unparalleled fashionistas showing off 80s-patterned ball gowns layered with clown-core tutus and jewellery inspired by the fruit aisle of a supermarket?
It all sounds enticing and, well, completely unwearable. But, alongside the rise of TikTok’s most famous excitedly excessive maximalist stylist, the iconic Sara Campz, whose outfits come from another planet to grace the streets of our own, there are whole host of up & coming creators whose unique looks feel more attainable, less daunting, and still lose none of the brilliance maximalist fashion is so known for.
Versace have pioneered maximalism recently
With a strong focus on archival fashion, Jeauni uses their platform to show off gloriously garish femme-focused looks that surprise even their most loyal followers each and every time they post. A master of layering, myriad textures, vintage jewels and an unrivalled collection of headwear that by far out does that of any seasoned attendee of ascot, the influence of both Vivienne Westwood and 90s Chanel runways can be palpably felt in Jeauni’s approach to styling.
In what can perhaps be best described as Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette on steroids, with Jeauni somehow making their film’s already camp take on regency even more outlandish, they would look neither out of place or blended in in both that film and in any of London’s most popular nightclubs. It’s an art, a skill, something clearly Jeauni inherits which makes their outfits so brilliant and beautiful. We’re in awe.
The variety Arielle is bringing to TikTok is unchallenged. In one video, she steps out in an upcycled IKEA bag for a dress, in the next she’s showing off her unique take on clown-core, and she’s unafraid to finish up with a denim-heavy take on the cyber-core aesthetic. There really is no box to put this creator in and, if you did, she would likely take the material and make her next look with it. With the most unlikely fabrics building up her self-made outfits, including Amazon Prime packaging, vintage Teletubby bedding, and Aldi shopping bags, Arielle is one to keep audiences on their toes.
Despite her incredible and unmatched talent for both creating clothes and styling them, like many black creators on TikTok, the algorithm is not kind to Arielle. She may have over 130k followers, but her videos are not pushed out to the right audiences and her views are significantly lower than those of her white counterparts, a fact she has shared is more than annoying. Remember, TikTok might be good to some, but some creators need a boost to get the recognition they deserve. So, give Arielle a follow and interact with the myriad of mind-blowing videos she’s posted over the past few years.
The cat walk has seen plenty of maximalism
A niche within the niche itself of maximalist fashion, Kailan caters to the more whimsical-leaning maximalist dressers. Her page is a fairy-tale for lovers of folklore, fairy-core and fantasy, with the creator posting regular styling videos with prompts such as ‘video game elf,’ ‘jellyfish,’ and ‘fantasy Victorian’ inspiring the looks she creates.
Using a mix of vintage pieces and modern buys from various fashion brands, Kailan brings billows of lace, dainty corsets, and floating silhouettes together with a plethora of eclectic jewellery and, without a doubt in each of her videos, juxtaposes her light and airy looks with big, stomp-worthy boots and leather harnesses. It’s a mismatch that shouldn’t work but does so brilliantly it’s impossible not to want to take her hand and disappear alongside her into the forest.
It’s not just Bernice’s unapologetically bubbly personality that draws followers to her TikTok page. The infectious smile and heart-warming excitement she shares over the looks she puts together are merely compliments to the fabulous personal style she exhibits in video after video. Her outfits, at their core, are vastly more wearable than many of her maximalist counterparts, with Bernice’s styling showing the importance of layering over-emphasised accessories to elevate ensembles.
Each of her looks incorporates an eclectic mix of thrifted finds, coveted vintage pieces and, most importantly to her style, loads of bling to make each outfit impossible glamorous, impeccably versatile and also, a rarity in maximalist style, comfortable to step out in. In a recent video, while she admits to her affinity for maximalist fashion, Benulus showed off the range of outfits and aesthetics her personal style varies between, stating unapologetically that she doesn’t ‘have one specific aesthetic’ because she ‘is the aesthetic.’ We agree wholeheartedly.
Dresses have become truly eye-catching due to the trend
Photo: Daria Kobayashi Ritch
A self-proclaimed ‘Maximalist Crazy Cat Lady,’ Eve-Lily has become known on TikTok for her impeccable layering, perfectly chaotic pattern clashing and, as is no surprise on TikTok, the complimentary pinch of cute cat content she shares - a triple threat. With an affinity for designer labels such as Gainni and the up & coming Chopova Lowena, the creator shares an equal mix of high-end and thrifted looks to give myriad content for myriad people.
Fans flock to her page more often than not for her relatable GRWMs where Eve-Lily gives a candid look into the styling process behind each of her outfits. As she builds up her staple grunge-esque looks, layering charity shop finds over designer pieces, the creator often ends up in lacklustre outfits that leave her changing direction entirely to a different unique look. That insight into the struggles of perfecting the maximalist look is why people love her, because she embraces the journey to an outfit just as much as the finished Instagram-worthy look.