The Return of New York Fashion Week
New York Fashion Week officially — strangely, unprecedentedly — returned on Sunday, September 14, setting the path for how fashion month will unfold.
A Fresh Start
Jason Wu kicked off the return of New York Fashion Week for SS21 with a collection that successfully transported his audience to sunnier, sandier days. Specifically, the beach construction was inspired by Jason Wu’s favourite vacation spot, Tulum. A sense of escapism was in the air. However distanced wicker chairs and an audience of just 50 VIP’s and close friends was a reminder of the ongoing pandemic and fashion week restrictions. When asked by the NY Times, Wu expressed his excitement for an industry shake-up;
“This might be my favourite show ever… Every six months, the same group gets on the same planes and watches the same shows,” he said. “It was extremely stimulating this season to be forced to do something else.”
Jason Wu SS21
However, this optimism was not apparent for all. Many major labels such as Kate Spade, Vera Wang, Tommy Hilfiger and Pyer Moss were notably absent from the calendar. What has been a hard few months for retail across the board, as monthly sales set a grim record by falling globally on average by approximately 18%, we hope to see the resurgence of such iconic brands for AW21.
Bridging the Gap
So, how did brands reimagine a week synonymous with late-night parties, crowded shows and frantic backstage preparations? Things were significantly scaled back, and a focus on the clothing came to the fore. Designers had to decide how they wanted to encapsulate this time.
Many chose to do this through so-called “Digital Activations” such as look books and virtual presentations. Our stand-out lookbooks came from Anna Sui, Peter Do, Sandy Liang, and Khaite. Deciding to take on these new parameters with fierce creativity, such designers were able to successfully showcase their garments and keep the energy of fashion week alive. Additionally, it allowed a wider audience to be present, removing traditional barriers to luxury fashion.
Sandy Liang SS21 Digital Presentation
Spring 2021 is all about renewal, optimism and uplifting colour. As predicted by Croznest in our Power Prints blog, there was a general move away from this season’s neutral palette. In place, bold tones and busy prints offered escapism. Just look to Maxhosa Africa, usually an underdog at NYFW who chose to focus on happiness as the new luxury. Designer Maxhosa manifested this sentiment via vibrant colours, rich knit fabrics, and playful patterns.
Maxhosa Africa SS21
Secondly, the Prairie style has evolved for SS21 into a more relaxed bohemian femininity, featuring natural textures and earthy tones. Designer Anna Sui has put this move down to the popularity of home crafting during the lockdown. As with tie-dye, items that embrace individuality will appeal to the growing consumer focus on sustainability. Anna explains to Vouge,
“Out of adversary always comes a big surge of creativity. After World War One, suddenly there was the Roaring Twenties and flappers and Art Deco. I can’t wait to see what this is going to generate. Young people are growing up in a very different way than we did. They’re going to have a different influence, but what comes out of that will be amazing.”
Lastly, the dominance of face masks with a fashion-forward twist cannot be ignored. With each one more stylish and bold than the next, it is proof that PPE has also become a mode of expressing one’s sense of style and identity. Particularly, Christian Siriano went the extra mile but customizing colour-matched masks to his evening gowns.
Christian Siriano SS21
Spring Hair Updates
Overall, the looks have become simpler and quicker to achieve than seasons past due to physical limitations placed on stylists.
Messy hairstyles and tousled tresses were the solution to “I woke up like this” styling dreams. Achieving a natural yet perfectly styled look that’s quick to create but will rock all day long, laid-back Barnetts made for easy, COVID safe styling. Bed hair just became super chic! How to recreate: With a one-and-a-half-inch curling iron, hairstylist Mandee Tauber gave the model for Cinq a Sept’s lookbook soft, S-shaped waves. Then, she misted on the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray to add texture.
Cinq a Sept SS21
Similarly, the wet look was literally everywhere at New York Fashion Week SS21. Whether it’s totally drenched, fresh-outta-the-shower damp or just a super glossy finish, the simple yet effective style was a no-brainer for restricted stylists.
Textured and natural hair reigned supreme as designers allowed models to embrace themselves and their heritage. In light of the Black Lives Matter movement, we loved the solidarity for this new direction. Head to our ‘Natural Never Left‘ blog on the best ways to embrace the beauty of natural curls!
Maisie Wilen SS21 Digital Presentation
This NYFW was more than just about beautiful clothing and artful hair. It was about reconnecting and finding comfort in a uniting passion. It was about championing creativity when times are against you and finding solutions to impossibilities. With London Fashion Week now approaching, keep an eye out on @croznestuk for daily style edits and coverage, or head to our previous blogs detailing current hair and fashion trends.
Words by Rhiannon Hudson