At the beginning of the year, the face mask was the last item we thought we would see in almost every fashion show presenting a Spring/Summer 2021 collection during New York Fashion Week. However, due to the pandemic, designers and brands have found ways to adapt it to their Haute Couture and ready-to-wear collections.
Designer Jason Wu was the first one to introduce the mask to this season’s runway. His fashion show, held at Spring Studios Terrace in New York City, presented face-coverings emblazoned with “Distance Yourself from Hate.” The designer said that although we are going through hard times, the world still needs art. “I think the world needs beauty and optimism,” Wu said to the Associated Press. “New York Fashion Week is not over. It is strong. We’re here. We can all be safe, be gathered, and still be able to celebrate.”
Other brands that also used face masks to deliver a message are Oak & Acorn, a sustainable denim company from Harlem, which had the word “FREE” written. And Studio One Eighty Nine, a fashion social enterprise based in Ghana and the United States, that printed the short but compelling word, “Vote.”
The fashion industry continued presenting pieces that help minimize the exposure to hazards illnesses like the novel coronavirus. Brands like Rodarte, C+Plus Series, and Theophilio used as inspiration other personal protective equipment (PPE) in their collections. Gloves made a statement at the runway and appeared as a friendly reminder to keep taking the necessary measures to protect ourselves.
As we all change our best outfits to stay all day in leisurewear, brands also decided to design pieces that consumers could use during the quarantine. After months in lockdown, loungewear became the staple in every drawer. PH5, LRS, Simon Miller, Chelsea Hansford, Zero + Maria Cornejo, Richfresh, Faith Connexion, Rodarte, and Collina Strada all introduced fashionable pieces, so that you can relax around your home.
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SS21 change is cute Look 16 @kathleenmccainengman Graphic art by @sayaka_maruyama_ Director/ @charlieengman @_collina Artist Illustrations/ Sean-Kierre Lyons @niggawitagrape Video Editing/ @aliciamersy 3D Animation/ @jefferson_wenzel Styling/ @charlieengman @sasha_melnychuk Make Up/ @alliesmithmakeup @glossier Wigs/ @tomikono_wig Hair Styling/ @chika_nishiyama Original Soundtrack/ @angel__emoji Production/ @barlowandsons Executive Producer/ @barlowsaurus Producer/ @s__a__w COVID19 Compliance Officer/ @apesshit Studio DP/ @tomgorelik PR/ @giakuanconsulting Shoes/ @hokaoneone Special Thanks/ @swarovski @justinhager @sayaka_maruyama_ @blangblang92 @specialspecial @eatmission
Although New York Fashion Week was mostly virtual, fashion designers like Christian Siriano decided to gather a small and selective group of people in his backyard. Siriano presented his iconic gowns while adhering to social distancing measures imposed by the CDC. The designer used his platform to introduce his collection number 37 and invite people to vote in the upcoming election. “As a designer, our clothes are our voice. Yesterday we showed our collection with a message to VOTE VOTE VOTE!” he wrote on his Instagram account.
There’s no doubt that that Spring Summer 2021 perfectly matches the term quarantine chic. Designers mastered our new business casual. Thanks to these brands, fashion lovers will be able to wear the most elegant earrings in Zoom calls, homeschool wearing soft and cozy fabrics, run errands wearing masks with important messages, and binge-watch on Netflix and Hulu dressed in silk pajama sets.