The deadly COVID-19 virus came to destroy our world this past year. However, fashion stops for nothing and new trends took over the runway this past season. From London to New York, and from Milan to Paris, fashion weeks remain the most iconic events of the year, attracting the most prestigious influencers, stylists, journalists, and designers from around the world. Spring-Summer 21 collections never fail to impress, and the directors of Paris Fashion week made the unanimous decision to digitally present the designer’s collections during such a time as this. Although the intricate details, textures of layering fabric, and the passion of a large style-obsessed crowd is removed from the equation, glamour triumphs fear. The New York Post describes this particular week as “business as usual,” which is shocking considering the statistics of untimely closings. No one can complain about this European affair of shows, and the dedication placed into making the show go on.
The week opened with Dior’s Tuileries Garden show, where a small number of guests were separated into pews, and surrounded by the reflection of mist and gothic stained glass, while admiring Maria Grazia Chiuri’s 70s inspired structure. This collection did not fail to highlight the vitality of the era with its flowy paisley skirts, emphasis on silk patterns, and patchwork for the gods. Perhaps the most memorable trend seen in the show was Chiuri’s “reinterpretation of the house’s iconic Bar Jacke”t, which was carried out with bohemian-inspired patterns and skill (ABC News).
The names of Christian Dior, Coco Chanel, Virgil Abloh, and Anthony Vacarello are revered in the fashion halls of fame, yet up and coming designers such as Marine Serre deserve all the lights, camera, and action with her “Amor Fati,” or “Love of Fate” collection. Who would have thought this 28-year-old visionary could create dystopian art out of upcycled materials with an emphasis on perhaps the most important accessory, masks? As upcycling is becoming more popular, and the world of fast fashion is being left in the past with neon, parachute pants and leg warmers, Serre is stepping in and leaving her competition in the dust. This collection’s combination of black and block colors, chunky combat boots, and multifunctional garments, not only promote sustainability, but also are designed “for people to feel protected” (Vogue First Look). Her pieces mirror her view on the future, and the film creates a dangerous yet intriguing view on society, making views fall in love with the practicality, and mystery of Serre, and her jaw dropping structure.
A fashion week compilation as a whole is informative as well. Many designers, like Koche presented odes to nature, which was perfect for social distancing with a view. More wearable pieces were showcased, and tote bags were huge in almost every show. Balmain introduced even larger shoulder pads, that almost resemble an animation character. However, this fits within their realm, and Oliver Rousteing pulled the collection together with her men’s suits, draped in grey and lime green. Isabel Marant’s cropped structured coats can make anyone fall in love, and the pink she used throughout the entire collection is flattering to every skin tone. Finally, Acne Studios did the fashion world justice with their multi colored tops, and solid colored pants. The entire week, absurdly long sleeves made an entrance, and the eccentric proportions are to die for.
Perhaps the most exciting event of the whole week was the opening of ‘Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto.’ Every fashion fanatic is obsessing over this iconic exhibit, housing over three hundred and fifty of fashion’s most beautiful pieces, including everyone’s favorite Chanel pieces. Not only does this exhibit showcase beauty, but “the emergence and the development of her style, the characteristics of her work and her codes and of course her contribution to the history of fashion” (Forbes). Gabrielle began her career inspired by the increase in women’s rights, and freedom from societal norms. Her navy inspired looks “revolutionized Haute Couture,” introducing “ivory marinière, the sailor blouse, and silk jersey” (Forbes). What makes the exhibit even more special is the cosmetic room, “dedicated entirely to N°5”, perhaps the most recognizable fragrance of all time (Forbes). The final couple rooms hold the Chanel Tailleur, better known as the iconic jacket, and the 2.55 bag, which was the original practical quilt bag (Forbes). Collectively, the exhibit encompasses the shift from rigid women’s wear, to modern moveable elegance, and the empowerment of a woman’s body. What’s not to love?
Fashion is truly a way to express emotion through wearable art. Many people overlook its importance, especially during this time of global chaos. The fact that the industry pulled together the fiercest four weeks known to man, even during the pandemic, shows the dedication and love out into the world of fashion. Although the experience was different this season, it fell nothing short of exquisite; encompassing all that fashion stands for. Paris Fashion Week’s Spring-Summer 21 collections will forever go down in history.
Moussavian, Anahita. “Paris Fashion Week Highlights: Fall 2020.” New York Post, New York Post, 11 Mar. 2020, nypost.com/2020/03/11/paris-fashion-week-highlights-fall-2020/.
ADAMSON, THOMAS. “Hybrid Paris Fashion Week, Both Physical and Digital, Begins.”ABC News, ABC News Network, 29 Sept. 2020, 12:18, abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/hybrid-paris-fashion-week-physical-digital-begins-73317055.
Freeman, Liam, and Alex Kessler. “‘Garments Are Tools for People to Feel Protected’: Marine Serre on Her Latest Conscious Collection and Dressing Beyoncé.” Vogue India, 30 Sept. 2020, http://www.vogue.in/fashion/content/garments-are-tools-for-people-to-feel-protected-marine-serre-on-her-latest-conscious-collection-and-dressing-beyonce.
Pelloux, Cécilia. “Iconic Exhibition ‘Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto’ Opens In Palais Galliera In Paris.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 5 Oct. 2020, http://www.forbes.com/sites/ceciliapelloux/2020/10/04/iconic-exhibition-gabrielle-chanel-fashion-manifesto-opened-in-palais-galliera-in-paris/.
“HERMÈS / SCHIAPARELLI / CHLOÉ.” Town&Country, Hearst Magazine Media, Inc, 6 Oct. 2020, http://www.townandcountrymag.com/style/fashion-trends/g34205849/best-looks-from-spring-2021-paris-fashion-week/.
Photo Credit: townandcountrymag.com