You could be forgiven for thinking that the Spring / Summer 2021 collections – and the subsequent raft of Spring/Summer 2021 Trends – were something of a damp squib. Certainly, thanks to the ongoing pandemic, it was a season like no other.
Of the four fashion capitals, New York and London opted for predominantly digital showcases, with the odd designers hosting Covid – secure presentations for small numbers of press and buyers; while Milan and Paris held scaled – back showings with strict social distancing measures in place from some of its biggest brands. Others still opted to try something different. ‘Different’ manifested variously as: showing off – schedule, showing via film and in virtual reality, or sending a replacement for a catwalk experience out to press and buyers in a box. All enjoyed varying degrees of success.
As for the biggest Spring/Summer 2021 Trends? The new working – from – home routine certainly had an effect on what designers turned out. How else to explain the mood for bralettes and midriff flossing? (Beware: both trends require either a fairly militant home working regime, and / or buoyant levels of self – confidence.). Away from the underwear – as – outerwear impulse came comfort: wide – led trousers made for bold strides; floaty, sheer maxi dresses promised easy glamour; and ladylike ensembles pimped with a touch of sportswear felt suitably modern.
Then, there was a renewed sense of resourcefulness: plenty of designers opted for upcycling by way of deadstock fabrics and crafty patchworks to hold a mirror up to 2020 society, questioning its consumerist ways. And for those seeking a more straightforwards approach to fashion, there was black and white. Most often, together.
If you are one of millions seeking a guaranteed mood – booster? There will always be sequins – and designers were determined to outfit locked down customers in looks that will make a living room disco feel lively. Yes, you’re over video conferencing and voice notes. You want to go outside in these frivolous woven Bottega Veneta dresses, swinging those delectable chain – strung micro puches from the Chanel catwalk and trotting down the street in those fabulous Miu Miu beaded mules. The time will come when you can wear a dramatic gowns with cape – detailing and not feel like an extra in a Zoom – based, am – dram production. But for now, there are jolly stripes, clever cut – outs and sexy corseting to keep you amused.
Time to play dress up with the spring/ summer 2021 fashion trends. You’ve got the time.
In a world with no simple answers or even straightforward questions, designers showed a predilection fro black and white – most often, together. At Dolce & Gabbana, chequerboard patchwork dresses utilised archive rolls and fabrics from previous collections, while at Chanel crisp layering semaphored a new mood of restraint. Meanwhile, at Ports 1961 and Gabriela Hearst, black and white dresses looked just the kind of elegant, no – fuss eveningwear we’been longing for.
The New – Look Bralette
Brace yourselves for spring’s most stomach – clenching trend (after, sigh, midriff flossing): bralettes are black with a ferocity last witnessed in 1998, when Jennifer Lopez paired a cream bra with a butter – hued suit and a cowboy, har for the VMSs (a look that was presumably on the Jacquemus moddboard). Whether faintly Fifties – tinged and flirty, entirely plain and minimalist, or covered in rhinestones, they brought a determinedly optimistic vibe to catwalks and presentations.
Do The Floss
Another trial disguised as a trend: midriff flossing. Loosely translating as a series of crisscrossing cords and wraparound details resembling dental floss (hence the name) that can emerge from skirts, from the aforementioned bralette, as well as souping up the middle region of a maxi dress, resistance is futile. Flossing is likely all over your Instagram feed already, and thanks to Charlotte Knowles, Versace and Victoria Beckham, it’s not going anywhere.
Take The Floor
Breathe out! Here’s one trend that has comes to save those of us trapped in micro – apartments without so much as a resistance band for company: floaty maxi dresses. The most romantic idea to appear on catwalks, seen at Dior, Alberta Ferretti, Valentino, Erdem and Michael Kors, floor – sweeping and sheer styles will confer on their wearer a glamorous cocktails – on – the – Riviera – terrace status – even if the only foreseeable sundowner is a mojito in a tin on a high – rise city balcony.
Skinny jeans and cigarette pant lovers: hear us out. Baggy trousers may not have the streamlining effect of your favoured slim – line silhouettes. But, they’re a bona fide trend for spring, and they’re showing their elegant side this season, taking over as your everyday trouser shape of choice. Quick march!
‘Castles in faraway places’, said Simone Rocha, summing up the inspiration for her spring collection. ‘I think that’s the escapism we’re all craving’. There’s no better way to describe spring’s weakness for cape detailing, which is perhaps the ultimate in sartorial fantasy – no one, after all is really requiring a cape, however desirable they might appear. But fashion’s funny habit of making you fall for something superfluous yet gorgeous set in here: at Loewe, Rick Owens, Valentino and Emilia Wichstead, cape details on evening gowns (and paired with hot pink jeans, in the case of Chanel) made things feels a little lighter. Who could resist?
Living Room Disco
Fittingly, giving that nome of us have worn sequins for what feels like aeons, and most probably aren’t about to start wearing them any time soon, the new season’s crop of sparkly numbers semaphore relaxed glamour. Celine summed up the new laid – back mood with a red – carpet appropriate gown worn on an athletics track – catwalk with sneakers and a baseball cap. Meanwhile, at Balmain, slit – to – the – tight sequin gowns came down the catwalk on barefoot models; at Louis Vuitton and at Paco Rabanne, sequins were paired with simple T – shirts; and at Valentino and Chanel they were paired with (whisper it) flats. Let the living room disco commence.
Cut Out And Keep
Even considered the area underneath your rib cage and just before your waist? We have news: it’s a new erogenous zone, according to Fendi, Carolina Herrera, and Miu Miu, among others. Cut – outs worked their way into gowns, sheath dresses and slippery silks, spicing up conservative looks thanks to peekaboo glimpses of skin. Meanwhile at Prada, things were a little more generous: tiny holes had been worked into second – skin knitwear, concealing and revealing in equal measure, mostly in combinations that involved a ladylike full skirt and sling – back kitten heels. If you’re wary of whole – heartedly throwing in your lot with this trend, we suggest you start here.
The Return Of The Corset
All eyes were on Givenchy for spring, where buzzy Alyx designer Matthew M Williams took the helm earlier this year. As for the best received? A body – sculpting corset that will make your silhouette sing, given streetwise attitude thanks to a padlock – festooned belt. Elsewhere, the traditional craft of corsetry was revived at Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood (where, arguably, it never went away), Alexander McQueen, Moschino and Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini. Consider it the very opposite of loungewear – and a chance to blow away the cobwebs of 2020.
Lady, With A Twist
If you’ve fallen in love with hoodies, and can’t seen how you will ever transition out of their marshmallows cotton embraces, looks at the catwalks of Prada, Hermes, Chanel and Celine for pointers on how to keep things low – key but nonetheless luxe when (if) we emerge from this pandemic. Hoodies and pleated skirts (not to mention practical rucksacks) where frequent pairings at Prada, while luscious leather bomber jackets and smart skirts made appearances at Max Mara and Hermes.
If there was ever a time to shop smart, it’s now. With social engagements looking precarious, the demand for a versatile wardrobe is higher than ever. Enter: the new fishnet. Forget tights; this is about netting layers that manifest most obviously in mesh dresses that are easy to layer over bodysuits and cosy roll necks if al fresco meets are the only option dor socialising in early 2021, and will equally nestle above slip dresses come high summer. Then there are the exquisite woven coats and capes (see: Loewe and Fendi) that offer endless opportunity to show off exemplars of ‘craftsmanship while simultaneously making allowances for central heating and col spring breezes. And finally, there are those lust – worthy knitted dresses trimmed with 1970s – style beads (be still our beating hearts, Bottega Veneta) and latticework trims (hello, Valentino). It’s an unusual trend, granted, but there’s a certain practicality that comes with the drama.
Between The Lines
Is there anything more energising than stripes? The bigger, the ballsier, the better, was the message on the spring runways, everywhere from Burberry to Christopher Kane and Kenneth Ize (something of a stripe specialists). Look to Molly Goddard for inspo on reviving an old stripy style: paired with neon, they suddenly feel fresh again.