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Fashion Month: A Review

The Croft Magazine // Alice Lang reviews the best (and the worst) of SS21 fashion month.

Alice Lang, Second Year, Philosophy

The Croft Magazine // Alice Lang reviews the best (and the worst) of SS21 fashion month.

This year’s designers have had to grapple with a whole host of problems from all the Covid madness during fashion month - the beady eye of their stealthy online audience, navigating the labyrinth of social distancing, whilst remaining a tight grasp on creativity, and keeping our attention on the clothes and less so on our collective despair.

Adaptive responses came in many forms; some grasped, some were barely memorable, but all presented a different reaction to our new way of life. These unprecedented times gave designers the opportunity to go against the status quo, which disappointingly, in my opinion, wasn’t fulfilled by as many brands as we would have all liked to have seen. With a window for experimental presentation, most brands took for a bog-standard, catalogue-like photo editorial format, with poor marks going to Givenchy and Marine Serre.

However, more depth in presentation could be found for Marni, who photographed their models lost in the busy streets of London, and Saks Potts, where we see shots of lanky women pottering through the quiet Scandinavian streets.

At Loewe, model and backdrop combined, as colour splashes moved with the clothes, emphasising the minimal colour palette and soft, ballooned sleeves and skirt hems.

Is there something I’m missing?  Ah right, the clothes. Colour and silhouette are two key players this season, note clashing colours at Molly Goddard, Matty Bovan and Halpern, while special attention was played to bralettes and highly structured trousers at Simone Rocha and Alberta Ferretti, featuring a mixture of workwear and seduction.

Undoubtedly, many took inspiration from loungewear, as the world continues to live from the confines of their sofa; specifically, tracksuits and coats that resemble your dad’s dressing gown, could be found at Balenciaga, and fluffy slippers seen at Coach and We11done.

Across the board, to spark joy was the goalpost for many houses, including bright neons, elaborate jewellery (note Shiaparelli’s surrealist goggles) and a nautical element to coax memories of long-forgotten holidays at Versace, Etro and Margaret Howell.

Now that we’re all well-acquainted with the facemask, the new accessory made various appearances shifting in form and thickness. Margiela’s mesh veils, Kenzo’s bee-keeper hats and Matty Bovan’s thick head-wraps pose less well on the protection front, yet leave an ominous comment on the hiding we all must now partake under our PPE.

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The most anticipated show – Raf Simons’ debut as co-creative director with Miuccia at Prada - was welcomed with open arms. Key motifs for the pair this season were nostalgia and communication, both making references to their design histories, using minimal colours and bold text throughout. Echoes were made from Raf’s past roles at Dior and Calvin Klein with his use of couture-flavoured silhouettes in otherwise very wearable pieces.

Many aspects of this year’s fashion month managed to resonate, even through all this pandemic palaver – calling back to memories of a world with Covid and finding beauty in simplicity. What we’re left with now, is the question of how the fashion month schedule will withstand a post-lockdown society – with big names like Gucci and Saint Laurent already announcing they’re stepping back from the traditional calendar.

Nonetheless, having an air of deep contemplation and unfamiliarity, we can turn to this season as a source of respite from other, more dismal areas of the media, solidifying fashion’s role as the experimental escapist from an ever-turbulent world.

Featured image: Morgan Collins/Epigram

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