Key Trends For The Spring/Summer 2021 Season
By Jason Kwame
The fashion world got the message loud and clear. The seasons ahead are bringing no-holds-barred fun, sexy and creative fashion. Trying times that preceded our new normal have pushed designers to double-down on creativity; it’s all or nothing.
It’s apparent that the Spring/Summer 2021 fashion rules have become more of an unspoken agreement and in-sync vibe. They’re seemingly all on the same wavelength when it comes to navigating post-pandemic fashion. Almost as if to say: We’re in this together.
So take notes, here’s the message and trends to expect this Summer.
“I’ll take a double-shot of creativity this season…thanks.”
The saying “life imitates art”, has never been truer now than ever. For 2021, the art comes first. Virgil Abloh’s whimsical approach for LV menswear SS21 – which included inflated, animated animal characters and designs with untamed levels of colour – was one great example.
From Dior menswear (in collaboration with artist Amoako Boafo), to Dries Van Noten and Jonathan Anderson’s Loewe – bold colour against animation, 3D print and life-size wearable art will be big players in the upcoming season. Van Noten explained it perfectly, “We lost things, but we learned things. It’s pushing a new kind of creativity.”
What once was designed only for the drama and excessive pageantry of the runway, is now good enough for ready to wear. Bottega Veneta definitely got the message. The SS21 show included a surreal use of challenging materials – from the elaborate amounts of yarn for mini dresses and vests, to the dresses made out of gargantuan beads and shells.
Hotshot emerging designer Dion Lee took a more provocative approach to this concept with his revealing leaf shaped leather top and clingy string vests, dresses and skirts. All styles were finished off with rope weaved sandles. Think date night followed by the beach looks, reimagined for 2021.
Breaking the summertime rules with leather
Though we abide by lockdown rules, 2021 summer fashion has none. From Bianca Saunders and Mowolola, to Matthew Williams’ debut at Givenchy, leather has infiltrated the SS21 season. Saunders’ leather outfits especially – as seen on Wizkid during his YouTube Live performance – push the limits on everyday menswear and give a new perspective on the day to day “pedestrian” man. Life is the runway now, remember?
X (cross) Appeal
There comes a new wave of womenswear designs that asymmetrically hug across, and all over the body. Prepare for the numerous body cinching, one shoulder, halter neck, skin tight, open back and cross body pieces on offer this Summer.
We’ve seen Mugler do this unfailingly, especially for SS21. But your best bet? Maximilian Davis. The self-made designer is prevailing out of the ashes of the pandemic; an embodiment of the new generation of the go-getter-rising-star-with-fresh-ideas-against-all-odds kinda fashion.
Davis’ first Fashion East show is testament to the new “black elegance tailoring.” His show – inspired by and named after the Caribbean festival J’ouvert – and many others are bringing body positive, carnival-inspired designs to the mainstream.
You can look forward to a new solidarity in fashion. A crossover of designs, designers and messages. Davis for example, was trained under Grace Wales Bonner and bounces his ideas off his close friend and fellow designer Mowalola Ogunlesi. This is the new face of fashion: together we push.
All in all, whether it be for an e-shoot indoors or a socially distanced brunch, remember: life has no dress rehearsal. Now keep that same energy for SS21.