The latest rounds of fashion shows marked one year from the last pre-pandemic fashion show. The effects were prevalent from one fashion capital to the next. In a world where fashion is a key player in self-expression, designers were all forced to reevaluate their creative way of thinking to produce designs that fulfill the needs of consumers.
Instead of scaling back, some brands upped the ante like Thom Browne, who created a high fashion collection full of mini-stories, one being a representation of winter sports and another dedicated to old Hollywood cinema. In a shocking turn of events, designers integrated the essence of haute couture into their RTW collections. Some designers refused to leave behind the creativity, wit, and master construction that it takes to design an haute couture line like Schiaparelli. Many designers opted for party-wear made of sequins, velvet, and feathers instead of loungewear—Taking on the obvious assumption that the world is ready to get back out and live life with a bit of normalcy again.
Romance from the Past
Romanticized fashion aesthetics have been very popular among social media platforms, and it has now officially carried over into high fashion designers. Collections told stories of fashion before technology, in simpler times. Crochet, lace, and knitted materials represented the artisanal past when craftsmanship was more popular than industrial designs. Some collections drew from famous artwork from history while others mimicked fashion from other centuries, like the mid 16th century in Europe with ruffled collars.
Neutral and Luxe
Brands like Valentino, known for out-of-the-box, superfluous designs, opted for a more neutral-toned collection filled with posh fabrics and timeless pieces like Max Mara, who is known for this aesthetic. Instead of focusing on loud colors and prints, the focal point where the streamlined pieces represent liberation and new wardrobe staples for women similar to the response to the flu of the early 1900s. Many collections reached back to the fashion of the 1920s resulting in a traditional vision of fashion, where fabrics and overall tailoring take precedence over funky designs.
The pandemic hit designers hard: Forcing many to shift their mindset from designer to designer and producer to meet the digital needs of the industry. Designers had different responses to the pandemic, but the collections were all-in-all nothing short of breathtaking. Seeing designers step out of their normal realm of design, in whichever side of the spectrum that is, was liberating and beautiful at the same time.