The spring/summer 2021 season was unlike anything we have ever experienced before. The international fashion weeks that would ordinarily see editors and industry insiders clocking up considerable airmiles, jetting from New York to London then to Milan and finally landing in Paris, were transformed into an almost entirely digital offering. Instead of the usual creative hubs designers would find themselves in, these collections were born directly out of lockdown and this new world order we found ourselves in was certainly a tale of two halves.
With loungewear becoming the unexpected biggest fashion trend of 2020, many designers wanted to break away from the rotation of leggings and tracksuits with an offering of fantastical fashion. Giant frothy dresses, mood-boosting prints and infectious clothes determined to put the joy back into getting dressed.
The other side of the fashion coin saw an extension of the comfort we have so heavily relied on, classic pieces to add to your wardrobe that you can wear now and well… forever. Investment pieces that don’t dare predict the future of the world but steadfastly provide a sense of purpose when it comes to how we get dressed.
Fashion has moved away from those pendulum swinging trends that we used to marker our wardrobes with. The kind of ones that would see you wearing zebra print one season and then swapping it out for neon to ditch them both entirely the next season. Now, it is much more about feeling, reacting to the most intimate moments we have experienced and presenting an antidote and indeed a comfort to them.
Given all that has occurred in the last year, it would make sense that the spring/summer season be one of optimism. From feel-good prints and delicate puff-sleeves to classic black midi dresses and easy-to-wear chinos, we decode the most wearable trends to add to your wardrobe this summer.
New Black Dress
Designers gave us what we really wanted this season: a black summer dress. Midi in style and often slinky in attitude with body-con fits and midriff-barring cutouts, this black dress is going to be a constant sartorial companion. For an easy gateway into getting dressed opt for more oversized shapes. If its a more directional approach to this trend you’re after look towards playful necklines. June 21 isn’t ready.
‘Escapism’ is a word frequently bandied around a spring/summer season and for good reason – it’s a marker that warmer days are on the way and, dare we say it, holidays are coming! Big, joyful florals, playful patterns and sometimes just outright lovely scenes are a seasonal staple. No one was readying us for the beach quite like Versace, who bejewelled starfishes on to bright dresses and sent a parade of Hawaiian shirts down the catwalk. A mood-booster like no other.
That cappuccino kind of colour palette that we cosied up to on our Instagram screens over winter is trickling into this season too. Boss, Valentino and Hermès were just a few of the fashion houses to use the colour palette to spring board the neutral trouser. A chino of sorts, these high-waisted wide legs trousers still provide a feeling of ‘dressed’ without pushing comfort entirely from the picture. Swap out your jeans for this elevated spring offering.
Big Sleeve Energy
Exaggerated, puff sleeves is a silhouette that has dominated in recent years, thanks in part to the romantic cottage-core trend that continues to permeate the warmer months. And its reign looks set to continue well into 2021 too. From dresses to blouses and even outerwear (we see you Loewe), this season’s puff-sleeves are a sure fire way to retain fashionable social distancing.
It’s hard to imagine a life without slippers after we have become so reliant on them carrying us to and from our working from home set up, and it appears designers have been feeling the same attachment. Upgrading the humble slipper to the casual house shoe was the modus operandi of many designers this season: Molly Goddard, Michael Kors and even Balenciaga. Fluffy, slip on, cosy, and above all comfortable, the catwalk has got you covered.
Jewellery was brought back into focus for the spring/summer shows. Designers are playing into the idea that jewellery holds more than sentimental value at the moment – it’s a way of still feeling like ourselves when nothing else does. Move your layered gold necklaces on with trinkets a la Dior and Erdem-inspired pearls, and give your hands an ears a delicate little upgrade by way of tiny earrings and sweet signet rings.
Images: Getty / courtesy of brands