Best In Show

The Most Memorable Moments From Spring/Summer 2021

In an unprecedented fashion season that saw scaled-down front rows and lesser physical shows, here are the standout moments that will become talking points in the months ahead.

The Most Memorable Moments From Spring/Summer 2021
Image: Prada

01 | Chanel’s Hollywood sign

Image: Chanel

Leave it to Chanel to deliver another knockout set design. Since building a rocket, the Eiffel Tower, and a fully-stocked supermarket, Chanel’s SS21 show featured the brand’s logo rendered in towering block letters that resembled the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles.

Fittingly, Virginie Viard’s collection paid tribute to the world of cinema, citing that she wanted to pay homage to how films serve as a way for us to dream, despite the uncertainty that surround us. In her line-up, models wore ’40s-inspired tailoring, fabulously feathered dresses and slim-fitted capri trousers.

02 | Raf Simons’ debut at Prada

Since the announcement came last season that Raf Simons was joining hands with Miuccia Prada as co-creative director, the entire fashion world waited patiently to see what they would create. Well, we got our answers. Set in a bright yellow room, with cameras pointing at every angle and television screens eerily moving around the room, the collection showcased Simons’ and Prada’s strengths in creating sleek, pared down designs.

“Uniform dressing” was the order of the season, as variations of tunics layered over pants, or coats slouched below the shoulder and held closed by the model’s hand (a styling trick that Simons has employed at Jil Sander, and Prada at, well, Prada). Standout looks included hoodies paired with full skirts, holes punched into shrunken knit sweaters and archival motifs reinterpreted as abstract prints.

03 | Halpern’s tribute to frontline workers

In a heartfelt tribute to London’s frontline workers who have helped the city brave the Covid-19 pandemic, Halpern turned the spotlight onto a handful of workers that included train drivers and first responders. Dressed in the brand’s signature exuberant partywear that included feather brocade dresses and distressed tartan tweed minis, the women reflect on their work and their personal experiences during the pandemic.

04 | Fendi’s ode to cottagecore

The Tiktok trend continues to grow in popularity, taking over Fendi’s runway as models strutted out in embroidered dresses, linen layers and shadowy motifs that were actually photos snapped by Silvia Venturini Fendi during Italy’s lock down.

Just two weeks before the show, it was announced that Kim Jones would be joining the house to takeover the womenswear line, thereby succeeding Karl Lagerfeld and freeing Venturini Fendi to focus on the menswear line again. If anything, her final womenswear presentation shows the world what we will miss from her: easy, feminine silhouettes that you just want to wear over and over again.

05 | Maison Margiela’s gothic tango presentation

One of the last shows to cap off the season, Maison Margiela presented a video presentation that was almost an hour long. Interspersing clips of the house’s creative director John Galliano discussing with his collaborators on the video, as well as behind-the-scenes footage of the models learning to tango and trying on the clothes, the presentation unfolded in a passionate tango dance, as models moved poetically with each other, all dressed in Maison Margiela.

06 | Versace’s underwater utopia

In a season where restraint became a go-to for several designers, thank the fashion gods for Donatella Versace.

Staging her runway show to a smaller audience, with many more viewers watching the show through the brand’s livestreaming platform, Versace invited us underwater and into her version of Atlantis. Pleats and ruffles signify the crashing waves, while glittering starfishes and marine-inspired motifs made perfect choices for you to channel your inner Ariel.

07 | Roger Vivier’s choose-your-own adventure

In a season where many fashion houses had to rely on digital means to connect with an audience that still faced travel restrictions, it was disappointing that most chose to stick with generic fashion films featuring nothing more than having a few models posing and preening for you.

Roger Vivier took the idea of the a video presentation and elevated it. Instead of the standard 20-minute film, creative director Gherardo Felloni invited actress Isabelle Huppert to star in a series of cinematic vignettes spanning film genres such as fantasy and crime thrillers. The catch? The viewer has to find the key in each scene to move on to the next. Allowing for audience participation is something few fashion brands utilised this season (pity), which makes Felloni’s creativity stand apart from the rest.

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