In an ordinary year, New York Fashion Week is a chaotic, packed week of runway shows and high profile events. It’s a time when the streets of New York City become JUST as important as the runways when it comes to deciding which trends and styles will make the cut. This year, however, things look very different. As New York City remains on partial lock-down in response to the pandemic, New York Fashion Week is moving forward with an entirely virtual fall 2021 lineup. Sadly, some of the headline designers and brands that usually show collections on the main stages of NYFW – including Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, and more – are sitting this one out. But with a shift in structure, some designers have thought of innovative, fresh, new ways to display their collections. At the same time, they’re celebrating different cultures and helping us all look towards a better future.
New York Fashion Week is shaping up to be a month-long event, with designers like Carolina Herrera, Coach, and Christian Siriano (my favorite) showing in late February, and other designers holding off until April. Here are some of my favorite collections so far:
Jason Wu kicked off the week with his unforgettable Fall/Winter 2021 collection. Although most people were watching through their computer screens, he staged one of the few in-person shows on the NYFW schedule. The designer combined his two loves for the collection: food and fashion. As you can see in the photos, baskets of fresh fruit and vegetables surrounded the runway. Cooking was a source of inspiration for Wu while in quarantine – I think most of us can relate to that one. His collection included many tailored trousers, skirts and dresses made in Wu’s signature floral prints, as well as heavy coats and jackets. He even included some fabrics printed with vintage Coca-Cola bottles.
Shot in an empty warehouse, the muted backdrop draws our eyes right to this simple, beautiful, wearable collection from Gabriela Hearst. The warehouse floor is covered in water, but this collection gives off a sense of warmth, keeping us cozy. This collection showcases a variety of different garments – a perfect balance of harsh lines, elegant silhouettes, and comfy sweaters. Hearst includes a little bit of everything, resulting in an easy-to-wear collection. After the year we’ve all had, a cozy look is what we need, and Hearst delivers.
Ulla Johnson brought fashion back to Lincoln Center with her showstopping fall 2021 collection. Rather than creating a line full of comfy clothes, Johnson’s vision for fall was a dressed-up look, with puff sleeves, exaggerated collars, pencil skirts, and tiered paisley dresses. Johnson’s show did not have a live audience, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a full production.