COVID-19 has changed every industry in every way, worse or better, and the change seems to be long-lasting in the fashion industry. Every designer has taken the responsibility of being more creative, especially because a big part of their shows is attracting global audiences. From virtual presentations to live-streaming shows, NYFW is continuing to show how designers are inspired to be more creative and understand their audiences by constantly innovating during the pandemic. The following list will highlight the industry’s standout designers and their shows in preparation for this year’s Fall and Winter looks.
Proenza Schouler featuring Ella Emhoff’s Debut
Ella Emhoff, Vice President Kamala Harris’s stepdaughter, was signed onto IMG Models over a month ago. Within a few minutes upon her arrival at the Inauguration, Ella had taken center stage with her beautiful style on display by wearing the already iconic, crystal-encrusted coat by Miu Miu. Now after working with Miu Miu and Batsheva at the Inauguration, she’s continuing to show her fashion-forward style by walking in Proenza Schouler’s Fall & Winter 2021/2022 to showcase a different side of her.
While Proenza Schouler’s designs are mostly on a neutral color palette, they also have their moments of accenting colors like burgundy and chartreuse. The designers recalled their intentions for the collections in a recent Zoom call: “balancing softness with structure, and minimalism with a more crafted aesthetic.” This quote explains a lot about their recent collection; the designs are striking yet perfectly subtle. These designs are the perfect staples to anyone’s closet, as they’re daring enough yet minimalistic.
A Retro, Picturesque Show by Vivienne Westwood
Let’s take a break from the neutral looks and dare to express ourselves with more color! Arranging a collection of unique bodysuits, dresses and various accessories, Westwood has also taken the challenge of pairing different patterns and textures. The collection creates worn-in looks that look extremely elegant, which makes sense as Westwood tried their best to use as many up-cycled textiles. Models are posed in front of plain to broken-down warehouse backdrops in outfits with multiple accent colors and patterns.
This collection is also extremely reminiscent of vintage styles, such as the bright velvet jackets, bright blush and short, curly hair. I think this is exactly the vibe Westwood was trying to accentuate for this collection: a vibrant, vintage style to look forward to wearing later in the year and into 2022, as the world enters a new era of fashion. When I look at this collection, I see the future in our fashion and how we are set to evolve in the inspiration of the 1920s lifestyle and fashion. After the 1918 influenza pandemic, the 1920s was signified as a new start in approach to lifestyle and fashion. A lot of 20-somethings, including myself, want to start going out again and live our youth as blissfully as we can. Though we won’t ever forget the pandemic once it’s over, I believe we’ll transition into a less-uptight and lenient lifestyle, just like the ones that were popularized in the 20s, by socializing and making a vibrant comeback with our fashion.
Exuberant ‘80s Polka-Dot Dresses & Tulle: Prabal Gurung and Molly Goddard
Prabal Gurung is showcasing the best fashion to come out of the ‘80s – polka-dots and florals. This new collection, created in the middle of the pandemic last summer, is heavily inspired by trans and drag artists who lit up New York City’s piers. Gurung managed to capture their energy in elegant, yet striking colors and patterns – hence the collection is filled with reds, blacks, whites, a touch of pink, along with an excellent cast of BIPOC models.
Though this next collection’s a bit more down-to-earth than the designer’s usual presence, Molly Goddard structured her newest collection around tulle, frocks, metallic boots and tartan kilts! Kilts are definitely the main focus of this collection, as it seemed out of place when I heard about it, but when I watched the show, everything felt cohesive and right. The traditional tartan kilt materials were produced in a Scottish factory to keep their authenticity. Goddard made sure to also created a colorful collection filled with different textures and vivid, editorial makeup.
“The Virtual Fashion Industry”… I Think I Like it Better This Way
Though many models, designers and fashion enthusiasts will disagree with me, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the fashion industry as innovative as it has been this past year. Last year’s Moschino’s Spring & Summer 2021 show, visually created by Jeremy Scott, displayed marionettes for both models and famous audience members. I never thought I’d see something as innovative as that until I saw recent digital showcases and presentations by all of the designers mentioned in this article. They continue to innovate in extreme, risky and creative means and this creates their best-to-date work. I hope we can look forward to transitioning our style to more vivid color and pattern palettes, just in time for a majority of pandemic restrictions to be lifted.