It's as if the Fashion Gods knew we needed a beacon of promise and hope bestowed upon us (let's be honest, we need a LOT this year) and thus gifted us with New York Fashion Week (NYFW), the Digital Version. While the shows have all ended, you can live the life of the Fashion Elite and get access to the collections via Runway360, a new online platform established by the CFDA to give you a peek behind the often perpetually shut curtain.
If you're like me, then attending NYFW is a Bucket List item. While I'm not sure that I'll ever get the coveted Front Row seat in my lifetime, just to walk into a show with an actual invitation with my own name on it - GOALS! To be honest, I've never felt closer to achieving that goal than I did this year. Having access to stream the content produced by these incredible brands and view their collections firsthand felt like sitting Front Row.
Each day, I had my notebook out, ready to jot down notes on common themes, trends, color palettes, inspiration, you know, just like the big time Fashion Editors do (at least that's what I told myself as I tried to picture me, Casey, The Fashion Editor, and it really helped me stay devoted to the craft). Covering Fashion Shows is tedious work however it's also incredibly rewarding. As I mentioned, I truly felt like I was getting a firsthand look not only at the Spring/Summer 2021 collections, but more in-depth insight into these brands. Yes, it's cool to read about the inspiration behind an Anna Sui collection, but what about the 14-15 new designers who showed at NYFW for the first time?!
If you followed along with my Instagram stories during the week you'll notice I watched every single show (full stop. woah.) and reposted something from the Designer or Brands page after the show detailing their inspiration, etc. Fashion is not an easy industry by any means, especially right now when clothing, and high-end clothing at that, is for most of us considered a luxury during a time when we're pinching pennies and saving money. However, I take my hat off to these designers who used their circumstance, most of our gathered circumstance really, during 2020, to produce art. They took what has been a difficult year for the entire world, and poured their hearts and souls into producing magic that took over the Digital Runway and will flood our Social Media Feeds come Spring 2021.
A heartfelt thank you to each of the Designers who showed at NYFW Spring/Summer 2021. It's not an easy time to produce Fashion or take your mind off the toils and tribulations of the crumbling world around us but please know that your painstaking work is not only noticed but appreciated. Thank you for bringing joy and inspiration to this little aspiring blogger from Sacramento, California.
This is NYFW - the Spring/Summer 2021 recap...
Top Trends - As Seen on the NYFW - Spring/Summer 2021 Runway
From Menswear to Womenswear, orange is the color of the season! It's a brighter, more vibrant hue than what you might expect to see in a Fall collection, but this orange packs just as much punch and lasting impact. While many designers seemed to stick with a minimalist palette or showcased standard Spring pastels and brights, orange was by far the standout color. It's bold, provocative, and dare I say a color that not many of us would ever dare to wear? But now in light of seeing it in various forms and hues dance across the Runway, let's think twice about bringing some orange into our lives next Spring.
Oversized and/or Androgynous Silhouettes
With no projected end in sight and many of us accepting "Working from Home" as our new indefinite normal, it should come as no surprise that oversized is, has been and will continue to be IN. Personally I haven't worn anything more form fitting than biker shorts and a t-shirt in months so it gave me hope seeing oversized silhouettes continue to grace the Runway even in Spring. In addition to Oversized remaining a popular trend, I would also insert Androgynous Silhouettes. Many collections featured pieces that could be worn by men OR women with various Women's Collections having that "borrowed from the beau" vibe. Again, should come as no surprise given the desire for Millenials and Gen Z-ers to shop in the Men's Department (they have better stuff a lot of the time, okay?!) but it's nice to see that trend continue onward into next year.
Again, inspired by our current circumstance of days filled with Zoom Calls and interacting through a screen more often than not, the Runway was filled with a variety of Elevated Casual Wear. Not to be a broken record but accepting the current circumstances as the "new normal" moving forward, designers took that cue and provided more chic WFH staples while still maintaining an element of comfort. Think Bermuda Short Suits, Cutoff Sweater Vests, Clean and Classic Lines and Dresses for Women, you get the gist.
Return of the 1960s
The last time our world saw such a social and political uprising was during the 1960s so it makes sense that designers drew inspiration from that transformative cultural decade in our country which feels similar to the current moment in time. Bright, colorful ensembles littered the Runway, reminiscent of the Decade of Love and Flower Power and the promise of a new tomorrow in addition to the classic 60's silhouettes we all know and love. This was a trend I was particularly excited to see as I do love my vintage shopping but the 1960s is such an iconic and transformative era of Fashion - Love to see it!
Teva Style Sandals
If you haven't already invested, let me be the FIRST to tell you, these sandals are not going anywhere fast. I first noticed them on the Jason Wu Runway on Sunday and from there I saw some variation of this technical sandal grace the model's feet on the Runway in numerous shows. I'm sure, like many of you, I first noticed the popularity of this sandal back over the Summer when the leather, Chanel sandal was popping up everywhere. From Influencers to Celebs and everything in between - suddenly overnight I just HAD to have this sandal! Needless to say I didn't splurge for the $1200 shoe however now I find myself thinking twice about it...Well, purchasing the more budget friendly version that is. LOL.
Up-cycling and Sustainability
The Fashion Industry is always under fire for something or other and as of late it seems that waste is right there at the top of the list. Not to mention the numerous harmless effects on the environment when it comes to mass-production and fast-fashion. That being said, many designers who showed at NYFW showcased their commitment to being stewards of the betterment of our world at large and produced collections with sustainable and up-cycled materials. This is something that has always fascinated me - whether in fashion or beyond - and I so admire designers who were able to utilize sustainable methods and up-cycling and breathe new life into these items.
Designers to Watch - As Seen on the NYFW - Spring/Summer 2021 Runway
(Outlined in no particular order)
"Inspired by Hope, looking to the future where Scandinavian minimalism meets Caribbean island vibe. Freedom, color, life...."
AlmostFabMe Notes: Oversized silhouettes; Stripes are prominent if not a solid color (nautical expression); Effortlessly Chic and Sophisticated; Menswear Inspired Silhouettes and Pieces; Orange Prominent Color
"'Femmes Voyageant' (French for Women Traveling) fulfills the longings of the Dur Doux Woman for exotic places as well as hosting 5-star gatherings in her home. The collection pieces of dresses, tops, pants, tunics made of sequins, tulle, jacquards while exquisite, they allow her to find a new balance of ‘quality over quantity’; ‘less is more’ while reshaping her lifestyle."
AlmostFabMe Notes: Features the "hard/soft" edginess and femininity throughout the collection; Love the Mother-Daughter Duo running the business; Admire Designer's desire to create an "accessible luxury fashion brand"; Inclusive sizing - she features herself and her mom in the clothes; Vintage silhouettes; Love the texture featured throughout (i.e. 3D flowers, tulle, sequins, etc.); Collection is clearly designed for women entertaining in their homes and beyond.
"Maisie Wilen’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection is an exploration of how a garment’s design can manipulate its image. The clothes prompt the viewer to reconsider their perspective.
On finding inspiration for the collection this season, Maisie said the following:
My collection's theme explores the effect of viewing images instead of having live interactions with design. I was working on this theme back in February, but coincidentally lockdown generated the exact environment of rarely seeing things in person, an ironically perfect setting for this research. In particular this inspired me to create the fantasy-like imagery seen in the prints as quarantine warped and idealized the now inaccessible."
AlmostFabMe Notes: Fantastical; Futuristic; There's movement and texture without actually having physical movement or texture within the clothes; Challenges the viewers traditional idea of Fashion, Creativity, Color and Patterns.
"Brian Wolk & Claude Morais' new short film "DRIVEN" connects L.A’s various neighborhoods, peoples and landscapes through a driving tour of the city. Capturing their subjects in front of their homes from a moving vehicle, the kinetic piece showcases the designers' new collection in a socially distant and groundbreaking way. Mr. Wolk and Mr. Morais tapped into their diverse community of actors and creatives to star in this compelling visual short film celebrating the unbreakable spirit of The City of Angels in this unprecedented moment of change. Each piece in Collection 9 is completely sustainable, locally sourced, and created of upcycled textiles found within a 12-mile radius of the designer’s Hollywood Studio."
AlmostFabMe Notes: Innovative presentation during the era of social distancing; Vintage fabrics and silhouettes - corduroy, tweed, sheen, hot pants, etc.; Structured and extravagant shoulder detailing; Layered pearls - reminiscent of simpler, more elegant times; Bermuda Short Suits are an update on a classic silhouette; Love the upcycling feature throughout.
Noteworthy Presentations - As Seen on the NYFW - Spring/Summer 2021 Runway
(Outlined in no particular order)
"My Spring 2021 collection was born of a time when we are all uncertain about our future and also the state of fashion. With Covid as a backdrop, we have seen the most racial upheaval since the late 60's. This reminds us that "Hindsight is 2020" looking back at where we've been but hoping for a better year ahead in 2021. I started by taking silhouettes from the late sixties and early seventies and updating them as we need to be inspired but always modern and forward thinking. I continue with my signature tweeds and laces but this season added hand crochet knits to the mix. The collection is modern and sexy and designed for my confident forward thinking clients. Those who know me realize I am eternally optimistic and have design that spirit into my vision for 2021."
AlmostFabMe Notes: Feminine, beautiful collection; Love the detailing throughout with the crochet work and sheer paneling; Extremely wearable; Clothes made to make a woman feel her best; A collection that feels vintage but with modern, updated twists.
"In a convergence of textiles, bold colors, and Kimberly Goldson's signature prints, Hairitage is a celebration of Black women's hair in all of its multi-textured glory. Featured this season are four captivating art pieces by emerging designer and illustrator, Taylor Ramsie. These pieces are seamlessly integrated into the collection alongside Kimberly Goldson’s staple of distinctive suiting and separates."
AlmostFabMe Notes: Edgy; Vibrant; A collection that isn't afraid to take chances and draw attention to the wearer of the clothing; Love the daring mixture of patterns and colors and textures.
"...Completely unrehearsed, unscripted and filmed in a single sitting, this conversation is a reminder that fashion is indeed magical. Captured in Carolina Herrera’s Manhattan residence on an August summer day under strict health and safety guidelines, THE CONVERSATION was directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland (“The Eye has to Travel”, “Love, Cecil”) and produced in four episodes:
Chapter 1: Fashion Is Magical
Chapter 2: I Love New York
Chapter 3: Life is In the Details
Chapter 4: The House of Herrera"
AlmostFabMe Notes: A very endearing, funny, reflective conversation between famed Designer and Founder of her namesake brand, Carolina Herrera, and current Creative Director, Wes Anderson. I could listen to Herrera talk all day!
"The season-less collection was derived from and inspired by a series of digital dialogues between Neo-Conceptualist artist Peter Halley and Artistic Director David Hart."
AlmostFabMe Notes: Highly recommend watching the accompanying video (linked above) in which you can see Hart and Halley's conversations leading up to the collection inception. Personally I was so inspired by the ingenuity Hart displayed in transforming literal works of art into the inspiration behind a beautiful collection. And the inspiration is so evident and transparent.
“Finn lives by the sea and the sea lives by him” borrowed from the book “Ocean Meets Sky” by the Fan Brothers.
Throughout quarantine I spent many days walking the shores of Mecox beach and thinking about our world, my life and how I choose to show up. There is something calming and energizing about looking out to that point of infinity where the ocean meets the sky; for me it’s a promise that anything is possible. Walking barefoot in the sand and feeling the tide break at my feet was incredibly grounding in a challenging time. It was my inspiration."
AlmostFabMe Notes: Give me a man who dresses like this and I will give you a finger to put a ring on! Adore the layering throughout the collection not to mention the color palette, the combining of patterns, colors and textures and the incorporation of bold but purposeful accessories.
"Inspired by Southern California coastal lifestyle, this collection brings you back to surfing and skate culture during the 1970s Lords of Dogtown era in Santa Monica. In Stan designer Tristan Detwiler's curatorial exploration this past winter along the Eastern Seaboard, and up through the cold of Vermont and Maine, he unveiled wintertime stories of age-old antiques from granddaughters of quilters and hidden gems of the Smithsonian American quilt collection. The wonderment Tristan found in the snowy roads and dense forests was the same as the marvel he has in his routine West Coast Northbound surf trips in a constant pursuit for the perfect wave. In this collection, Tristan exposes the cold winter, nighttime stories of warmth of a heavy antique family quilt that the East knows so well, to the West Coast. Long coats made from thick padded wool quilts and heavy jackets from muted tone winter cabin blankets and family heirloom textiles."
AlmostFabMe Notes: Another collection that I would highly recommend watching the video (linked above). This collection has a vintage, "lived-in" feel about it while still remaining elevated and unique. I love that all of these pieces could be comfortably (literally) worn by men or women. They have a heritage, a story to them.
"Spring 2021 is inspired by places we have never been to – the isles of Greece, the capital of Cuba, the fabled ruins of Mexico, the Garden of Good and Evil – we have so many places still to see, and tried to preview them with this collection."
AlmostFabMe Notes: Put me on a plane to anywhere in the world and put this entire collection in my suitcase, pleaseandthanks. The opulence, the decadence, the DETAIL! I have looked at this collection a handful of times now and I swear it gets better with each view. The inspiration is so evident throughout the collection and it evokes such a strong desire to travel to "places we have never been to."
"Over the last few months, I would like to think we have all found time to deeply reflect. On who we are, what’s most important, and what truly brings us joy. For myself, the Spring 2021 collection is a reflection of the joy creativity and beauty can express. In a time when we have all made sanctuaries of our homes, I bring you this collection from the lobby of my very own. They say ‘home is where the heart is’. Now the home is also where the dancefloor is."
AlmostFabMe Notes: "Now the home is also where the dancefloor is." Once I read that, I was hooked. These are the dresses we're going to see gracing our television screens whenever we return to a traditional Red Carpet during Award Shows. The silhouettes are so flattering, so show-stopping and each piece truly makes you want to dance.
"As the 20th century rolled in, India witnessed many changes in its artistic activities. The Bengal school of art produced many artists of repute, some artists in the quest for a change, distanced themselves from the Bengal School. Amrita Shergil is one such change-maker who revolutionized and challenged the Indian art scene, albeit way ahead of her times. With her bold and daring approach towards her life and her artistic milieu she charted the path for the future genrations of artists who pledged to continue her legacy of change and challenged the norm.
Bibhu Mohapatra Spring 2021 Collection is inspired by the works and life of Amrita Sher-Gil and her fundamentally Indian spirit."
AlmostFabMe Notes: So many things to talk about, so many things I love about this collection. From the color palette, to the exaggerated volume and texture in the shoulders and sleeves, the Bibhu Mohapatra collection was clearly inspired by an artist and a passionate and emotive one at that.
That's all she wrote folks! I think that's without a doubt the most in-depth, LONGEST blog post I've ever written but I hope you enjoyed it. And if you made it this far - THANK YOU for reading. I really tried to approach this post from the standpoint of a reader and a lover of Fashion - what would I, reading this recap of NYFW want to read and learn about. Hopefully this post delivered that and then some.
If you feel so inclined, I would love to hear what you thought about this post. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com or DM me on Instagram at @almostfabme or even just comment below. As always, I so appreciate each and every one of you and only want to continue to make Almost Fabulous Me an even better resource for you.