In London, the focus was on the future. Designers emerged from seasons of uncertainty to embrace a new sense of optimism and daring. Bright colors and youthful silhouettes were prominent, asking us to channel our inner child, while some of the country’s most promising designers shared their talent of nuanced dressing, bringing subversive sexiness to the runway.
Back In Time
This season, designers referenced British history, presenting modern interpretations across the runway. Edward Crutchley opened and closed his show with two 18th century gowns that celebrated both the country’s history and queer culture. To celebrate their own 15 years of design history, Erdem presented an array of floral print ball gowns in a colonnade of the British Museum. Emilia Wickstead also took us back in time, showing cummerbund-inspired waistbands and full, artfully pleated skirts against the backdrop of the garden of the Badminton Estate in Gloucestershire.
Cut out silhouettes, strappy bodysuits, and revealing dresses were central to the runway this season. On the heels of her LVMH prize win, Nensi Dojaka showcased what she does best, fusing lingerie and daywear by layering sheer, strappy materials in a celebration of the female body. Supriya Lele and KNWLS also embraced the trend toward body confidence and subversive sexiness, relying on cutaway fabrics and waist-snatching bustiers, respectively.
Eager to emerge from the pandemic with a positive outlook, designers channeled joyful themes of new life and new beginnings. Drawing inspiration from the way infants dress, both Molly Goddard and Simone Rocha brought a sense of childish playfulness to their collections with pointelle knits, eyelet dresses, smocked bodices, and colorful cardigans. Bora Aksu similarly relied on ribbons, ruffles, and bright hues to evoke the joys of childhood, while Matty Bowan collaged crocheted blanket patches and presented pouffed upcycled-fabric ball gowns in his call for youthful, ultra-extreme party-dressing.
This season’s sexiest looks had one thing in common: stretchy fabrication. Materials like spandex, mesh, and thin knits allowed designers to explore new ways of dressing with cut outs, asymmetry, and layered transparency. David Koma presented a sporty take on going out attire, showing spandex mini dresses and cut out bodysuits. KNWLS featured stretchy bustiers, latticework, and asymmetrical handkerchief hems, while Mark Fast showed clingy knit dresses held together only by silver chain links.
Sky High Shoes
Models strutted the runway in sky high shoes this season. Edward Crutchley and Simone Rocha featured platform mary janes, searches for which are +26% to last year. Platform boots and platform loafers appeared at Paul & Joe, while Vivienne Westwood added even more height with platform heels. Searches for platform heels are +68% to last year, social buzz is +42% to last year, and market adoption is +3% in the last 30 days.
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