New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week went digital, Paris and Milan scaled their FROW audiences to the bare minimum and I saw more collections as films than I did on runways, but I can safely say that while I didn't enjoy watching these shows unravel on screens across the world, I can't wait to recreate some of my favourite looks IRL.
This season was less about wild new trends or the next 'it' dress, but more about championing comfort, classic and timeless silhouettes, and still finding elements to elevate your work-from-home outfit game. The abundance of fabrics left so much room for different silhouettes, layered outfits and to add bling without trying too hard. Monochrome colour palettes continued to shine through several collections, most notably Bally and Bottega Veneta, neutral shades were predominant at CO and The Row, and at the cost of being repetitive, florals were also a big feature at Zimmerman, Etro and Erdem this season.
The minimal outfits most of us lean towards in colder seasons is waiting to be replaced by maximalism in the form of floor-length dresses, statement coats, oversized shirts and wide-leg trousers come summer. Loungewear is still very much a part of our lives and is here to stay paired with full skirts, under denim jackets and sheer dresses, proving that comfort is still key. Keep reading to see if your favourite trend made the list.
FLAIR FOR FABRIC
The Spring/Summer 2021 collections played host to a plethora of textures and fabrics in cotton, denim, sheer georgette, heavy sequins and laser-cut layers. The key theme was centred around layered netting at Balenciaga, Burberry and Fendi but Chanel and Gucci leaned towards mesh all over in shades of white and solid black. Prada, Chloe, Brandon Maxwell and Alexander McQueen embraced cut-outs to create unintentional layers in their outfits, while Chloe and Proenza Schouler went all the way with heavily sequined tops and dresses to keep you ready for your aperitifs on or off Zoom at all times.
(Below: Chanel, Proenza Schouler, Alexander McQueen, Brandon Maxwell, Gucci.)
Monochrome lovers can celebrate because this colour trend is here to stay. Bally, Bottega Veneta and Paul Smith made a compelling case for wearing all elements of an outfit in a single colour in shades of red, lilac and pink. Pink also had its moment in the sun yet again and designers continued to use shades of pink to add a pop of colour in their spring collections – check out the Valentino shirt below to see what I mean. You can't have spring without florals, and this season is no different – Zimmerman, Gucci, Etro, and Erdem had models swirling in floral georgette fabric on the catwalk and in fact, Gucci's pleated maxi dress sported a floral print almost reminiscent of Gucci circa Fall 2015. At the same time, neutrals took centre stage as well. Brands like CO, The Row, Max Mara and Margaret Howell's Spring/Summer 2021 collections in shades of beige, cream, brown, and trusty black are all looks I'm keen to bookmark for now and recreate in warmer weather later in the year.
(Below: Chanel, CO, Bally, Paul Smith, Bottega Veneta, Gucci.)
This trend is my personal favourite for the upcoming season, purely because of the abundance of different textures and oversized silhouettes! Floor skimming dresses, some with puffed sleeves flowed with models at Christian Dior and Valentino, in fields for Cecile Bahnsen and against drop cloths at Ellery and Proenza Schouler. Although, my personal favourite was the deconstructed-then-reconstructed white shirt dress at Ellery, so unique but still a classic. Valentino had me gasping with joy when Eya Mariam walked down the runway in a bright pink oversized shirt over leather shorts. This is one look I cannot wait (!!) to recreate come high summer. Statement coats also made their presence felt in gabardine, leather and denim at Burberry, through exaggerated collars at JW Anderson and in big, bold silhouettes at The Row. Skinny jeans and fitted trousers are another trend that (hopefully) belong in a pre-pandemic world. High waisted, wide-leg trousers replaced tailored cigarette pants at Max Mara, Chloe and The Row, and Victoria Beckham and Valentino made a strong case for relaxed, straight-leg denim too.
(Below: Cecile Bahnsen, Ellery, Christian Dior, Valentino, Ellery, Proenza Schouler, Valentino, JW Anderson, Gucci, Burberry, Valentino, The Row, Victoria Beckham, Chloe, Max Mara, The Row, Margaret Howell, Valentino.)
LOUNGEWEAR FOR LIFE
I can say it with confidence that we're not fully ready to let go of WFH-friendly loungewear just yet, and neither is the runway. Underwire-free bralettes, knotted crop tops and elasticated tank tops graced the catwalk at Zimmerman, Christian Dior, Celine and Gabriela Hearst. From wearing leather bralettes in colder weather as layers over poplin shirts to now flaunting them under sheer dresses or as crop tops paired with skirts, there's a way to wear bralettes all year round. Another trend I noticed but don't necessarily love (yet), is the hoodie with shorts or skirts at Chanel, Max Mara and Prada but the message is clear – comfort is still key around these parts.
(Below: Zimmerman, Chanel, Christian Dior, Celine, Max Mara and Gabriela Hearst.)
My wardrobe consultation clients are going to laugh when they see this because I'm always prattling on and on about cinching waists with belts and belt-bags to enhance their shapes so this tiny trend has me in my element. We had a little glimpse of this trend when Gigi Hadid walked for Jacquemus' Autumn/Winter 2020 collection in a white dress held together at the back with a thin white cord, but for Spring/Summer 2021, cords and ties are everywhere. Victoria Beckham and Jacquemus continued to add binding elements to their dresses. Nanushka, Gabriela Hearst, Christian Dior and Chanel cinched waists over jackets with thick strings, solid and braided leather, and chain. Brandon Maxwell and Alberta Ferretti did something unique and fell back on accessories like belt-bags and corsets to emphasise waists on their runways.
(Below: Victoria Beckham, Jacquemus, Nanushka, Brandon Maxwell, Gabriella Hearst, Jacquemus, Christian Dior, Chanel, Alberta Ferretti.)
How are you planning to style your spring-summer outfits? Maybe this post gives you the nudge to play dress-up on the weekend and host your own fashion show – but do share your favourites with us on Instagram too!
All images have been sourced through Pinterest and belong to the respective photographers and brands.