The ‘brat’ season is proof that we are officially in the era of bold minimalism

And it is just the beginning of something bigger and better.

Harper's Bazaar India

Ever since Charlie XCX's album brat was released, the internet has found itself caught up in a new trend. In case pop culture hasn't grabbed your attention yet, allow us to explain. Charlie XCX, an American pop singer, dropped her latest album brat last month. Naturally, her music is beguiling as always, but this time, the artist has managed to captivate her fans beyond just her music. It's the design of her album, featuring a striking ‘lime green’ colour with the word 'brat' emblazoned on it.


A post shared by Charli (@charli_xcx)



A post shared by Charli (@charli_xcx)


The album cover catches your attention for two reasons: a) the unexpected use of colour, and b) it creates the impression that something unusual awaits inside, leading you to hastily press ‘play’ on it. As Charlie expressed in recent interviews, that was precisely her intention. "I wanted to use an unconventional, off-trend shade of green to evoke the feeling that something is askew," she explained. She further elaborated that she sought to provoke people to question why certain things are celebrated while others are frowned upon in pop culture. 

Clearly, the artist is challenging stereotypes here, and in no time, the internet has jumped on the bandwagon with her. The lime green colour is now ubiquitous—from people's profile pictures to billboards, taxis, and memes, it has gone viral. But it's not just the rebellious colour; it's also the brilliant use of font that makes it stand out.

It utilises a utilitarian font style that gives the cover an edge while providing a sense of depth. These elements combined are likely what have made it go viral. Therefore, it's safe to say that we have officially entered the era of 'bold minimalism'. Similar to the 'brat' album cover, people are now gravitating towards cleaner and simpler visuals that stand out. The emphasis is on functionality to achieve that standout element or 'edge'.

Even in fashion, you can spot the colour in several collections this season. Take for instance, the lime green three-piece knit set and the sculpted mini dress in green as seen at Alexander McQueen by Seán McGirr's Fall 2024 show. That’s not all, as we have also seen similar hues of green in the collections of brands like Fendi, Jason Wu, Prada, and Martine Rose, to name a few. And well, it reminds us of something we have seen before. 

The 'brat' season feels like a revival of the 2010s era when designers and brands experimented with bold colours—neon, purple, teal, magenta, and yellow. It seems like a remixed version of history is repeating itself. Do you recall Gucci's Wes Anderson-esque fall collection from 2015, under the direction of Alessandro Michele? It showcased numerous bold colours, quirky jackets, and a focus on maximalism. Soon after, similar trends emerged in collections from other brands as well. Some even argue it is the return of ‘indie sleaze’—a sort of messy way of dressing that was popular between 2006 and 2012. 

Either way, the ‘brat season’ has managed to find a middle ground for all. It stands out, but it's not trying too hard. It catches your eye, but it's not over-the-top. It is unconventional, but it speaks to you. Whether you love it or hate it, the 'brat season' has ushered in an era of 'bold minimalism'. And if you ask us, this is just the beginning of something bigger and better.

Lead image credit: Getty images

Also read: Unconventional couture takes center stage in 2024

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