When fall’21 collections were first presented in February – mostly digitally, with a few IRL exceptions — no one knew what the future would hold for fashion and life. Two months had passed since the U.S. began its vaccine rollout. Other countries followed suit at different rates. We were still following COVID’s rules and unsure what the week ahead would bring, much less the six months when the fall collections were due to be released.
We are still not closer to overcoming pandemic purgatory, even though we have had a brief period of post-vaccine relief. Designers had the ability to create clothing that could withstand any challenge 2021 presented.
Trends for fall covered both ends of the sartorial spectrum. They included party wear from Blumarine and Saint Laurent, and sheer, cut out catsuits from Mugler and LaQuan Smith. There was also stylish pessimism. This included Bubble Boy shapes at Louis Vuitton and JW Anderson as well as tranquility-based garments from Proenza Schouler, Bevza, and clothes from Proenza Schouler. We were unsure how shoppers would feel or dress in fall. Today’s top designers have provided us with some inspiration.
Did you hear that? Blumarine and Versace are proving that Y2K is back – a point made by labels like Saint Laurent and Versace. All of these labels used their fall 21 collections as an opportunity for nostalgia on past trends and times from the new millennium. Fashion Month’s top names are not the only ones dipping their toes into styles from the early aughts. It seems that the entire industry has gone back to the past, bringing back trucker caps, whale tails and fuzzy fabrics from earlier eras.
After more than a year of living without vacation opportunities, we are using this season as a way to make up the time. While sandy beaches are always welcome with the Delta variant, it seems that snow-capped mountains seem safer. The slopes may be the most secure travel destination due to the extra-padded clothing, neck gaiters and helmets as well as the social distance devices, formerly known under the name of ski poles.
Designers seem to believe so. Miu Miu and Chanel, Thom Browne and Givenchy all incorporated chalet-style elements into their fall collections. This included quilted materials and furry accessories as well as Moon Boot-like footwear.
This is the best example of how movies have influenced fashion. Designers like Nicolas Ghesquiere of Louis Vuitton and Simone Rocha at JW Anderson took inspiration from Bubble Boy (2001 film). This movie is about a boy (Jake Gyllenhaal), who lives in a bubble during his teenage years to avoid getting sick (same). The bubble-shaped silhouettes that he creates are then displayed on the runways. There’s no way to get too close.
Low-rise jeans are back, despite resistance from many millennials who grew up with the trend 20 years ago. There are many examples of runway sightings. The highly debated denim silhouette can now be found at R13, Balenciaga and Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s Fashion Month shows. It is not yet clear if the mass will embrace the style the same way that the runways did.
The opposite side of Y2K’s sequin party looks, butterfly belt buckles and Y2K’s sartorial spectrum is a calmer style of dress. It warms your soul, weighs down your eyes and reduces your heart rate. Gabriela Hearst, Proenza Schouler and Gabriela Hearst opted for soft, comfortable fabrics in their fall collections. They opted for sweater dresses, knit hoods, and coats over leather or rigid denim.