This year too, the New York Fashion Week 2021 opened with much aplomb. Not even the pandemic could dampen the spirits of eager designers who showcased their collections with a renewed sense of enthusiasm. With a shift in the structure and presentation going digital, designers innovated not just with designs, but with ways to display their collection too. While New York Fashion Week 2021 took on the digital world, every collection was a fusion of cultures, styles, optimism, and a hopeful future. After all, at the Big Apple, every day is a fashion show, and the world is their runway.
So here we are, tracking this year’s favourites and the season’s standouts.
This season, Nicky Zimmermann had an interesting take on her collection. She called her collection ‘In Concerto’ – inspired by the iconic Australian music show called Countdown in the 70s and 80s. She upped her brand’s free-spirited femininity with a hint of rock and roll, capturing every era of music, bringing back the 70s disco style. Textures and prints complemented each other perfectly, as every piece sparked joy. But our favourite was this sexy ruffled pink mini in mixed print, complete with an exaggerated collar embellished with over-the-top pink crystals, and a waist belt in rose glitter. Teamed with dainty stilettoes, no-fuss hair, and a radiant smile, this look was a winner. All in all, Zimmerman’s collection was an optimistic ensemble of a countdown to better days.
Claudia Li’s collection was out of the ordinary. Titled ‘Till We Meet again’, she was inspired by her Hawaiian wedding, and the emotions she experienced during one of the happiest days of her life. It was almost like bringing alive a fantasy. In this collection, she successfully combined creativity and craftsmanship to bring forth her quirky and artistic design aesthetics. This yellow tulle bow-neck overlay, worn over a black maillot, teamed with large coral-shaped earrings gives an easy-going, surreal vibe, bringing forth abstract experiences in a tangible collection. Needless to say, Claudia Li captures the magic and nostalgia of gatherings – something we’re all devoid of in today’s world.
Taking solace in nature, co-designers, Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard drew inspiration from the outdoors and weaved it into their collection. Titled ‘Wildflowers’, they said their inspiration came from looking inwards and from finding peace and freedom outdoors. Defined by warm, earthy tones and breezy silhouettes, this collection exuded cues of wanderlust and escapism. While ruffled washable linens and airy cotton ruled the show, the piece we all loved most was this floral sundress in soft pastels, teamed with a hat. An ensemble that encapsulates the renewal of spring, wholeheartedly.
Inspired by the depression-era watercolors of Charles Burchfield and French Impressionist painter Berthe Morisot, Anna Sui’s collection was all about comfort and style. The collection was whimsical and crafty, yet it exuded a meaningful sentiment, almost reminding us of simpler times. Aptly titled ‘Heartland’, this collection was an ode to those near and dear to her heart. But the outfit that stole our hearts was this black pinafore dress that gave out a bohemian vibe. On-point accessory styling of teaming up sandals with socks amped up the quirk quotient. This, against a perfect gingerbread house set-up with Sui’s signature butterfly fluttering on the shutter, was a runway hit.
This year, Tom Ford’s collection was all about clothes that made you smile, and made you feel good. It was a conscious effort on his part to stay away from serious clothing. Weaving fun in fabric, this collection is an extrovert’s delight. With very little pretense and a lot of attitudes, and even more colour, this collection was delightful. The vibrancy, the energy, the vibe – it all spelled optimism. But the one ensemble we truly loved was this sassy, bright blue ensemble with the shirt unbuttoned to the navel, pull-on pants with an unmistakable logo waistband. Teamed with retro sunglasses, the look was every shade of cool. All in all, a glorious extravagant style statement by the noted designer.
The world has changed, but thankfully, fashion hasn’t. After all, fashion reflects who we are, what we do, and how we live. Some may believe, fashion is the armour to survive the realities of life. And this year, every collection at the New York Fashion Week 2021 has proved just that – an optimism that fills the heart with joy. This year’s collection truly encapsulates the sentiment that life isn’t perfect, but your outfit surely can be.