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.