Although a retreat to our homes resulted in some ultra-comfortable and relaxed garments, ultimately designers realized that the whole point of fashion is to bring joy to our lives and instead of just cocooning and waiting for the pandemic to pass or the arrival of a vaccine, we need fashion for a reaffirmation of the pneuma that makes us human: an instinct for self-adornment, a drive to express ourselves, an appreciation of beauty and aesthetics. And no virus will stop these life forces, as can be seen in the recent shows, which may not have been the usual normal, but nevertheless had the spirit of optimism and hope that will drive us forward.
VIBRANT STRIPES AND CLASHING PRINTS
What could be more joyous than bright, multicolored stripes, like those at Chris John Rogers and Dries Van Noten, who also mixed some wavy ones with dots? Even merrier were the clash of prints all over Milan (Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Collina Strada), Paris (Louis Vuitton, Chloe and Paco Rabanne) and London (Christopher Kane).
BOLD TEXTURES & FRILLS
To awaken us from the slumber of fleece sweats and comforters, bold textures, ruffles and frills titillate us and get us ready to scintillate at that next party, from the subtlety of lace in Stella McCartney’s neon minis and embossed floral crochet maxis at Valentino to the flamenco skirts of Christian Siriano and fairytale silk foliage outgrowth at Yohji Yamamoto.
Your workouts during quarantine are being justly rewarded with all the cropped tops, but these aren’t just the athleisure type. They came ceremonially swagged and draped at Balmain, puffed-sleeved at Isabel Marant, and as superhero capelets at Givenchy and Emilia Wickstead.
After all the quiet, it’s time to turn up the volume with sumptuous skirts at Moschino and Dries Van Noten, bubble sleeves and hems at Loewe and Patou and the ’80s shoulders at Gareth Pugh, Balmain and Rick Owens.
We must all miss the disco days or dancing, at least for all these metallic ensembles to come up, from futuristic sheaths at Acne and Nina Ricci to outright club-ready looks at Isabel Marant and Paco Rabanne.
HOLIDAYS AT SEA
Yes, we’re all dreaming of that next holiday, particularly at sea, so a lot of ocean and sailing references are on trend: Versace’s sirens rising from Atlantis in starfish prints, Etro’s nautical-print scarf dresses and Burberry’s shark-fin blouses and trench coats.
With clearer skies and the return of wildlife to the cities, designers came up with more environmentally conscious and sustainable fashion with the recycling of old stock: ripped, and reassembled pieces came with hand-painted graffiti at Marni and patched at Balenciaga, which also had capes made of excess shoestrings. Marine Serre upcycled tasseled carpeting and runners into skirts.
To counter the somber mood of the times, designers opted for vibrant colors, from hyper cherry-red ensembles at Fashion East and bright oranges at Ralph & Russo and Chris John Rogers to neon greens at Cinq a Sept and Balmain and hot pink at Stella McCartney and Germanier.