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SS21 IN BRIEF
PHOTOGRAPHY: WIN TAM
FASHION STYLING: KATHERINE CAO
MAKEUP: BINGBING XUE
MODEL: BINGBING LIU / PARAS & CHENGCHEN SU / LONGTENG
FLOWERS: SHENGYANG, DAJUAN, YANI, CANCAN, RUI
WORDS: GRACE O’NEILL
Designers were faced with an unprecedented task during the Spring/Summer 2021 season – dressing people who have nowhere to go. And yet they rose to the occasion, offering a bountiful offering (delivered digitally, of course) that celebrated fashion in its most primitive form: things that make you happy. Pragmatism be damned, the SS21 shows saw the return of the bralette, alongside floor-skimming gowns, and a dazzling smattering of bold sequins.
Daniel Lee’s highly secretive collection for Bottega Veneta (showcased to a hyper-curated guest list in London including Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Kanye West) offered hysteria-inducing woven dresses and beaded handbags. Pierpaolo Piccioli put shirting back on the menu at Valentino – only highlighter pink and dramatically oversized. Alessandro Michele adorned Gucci’s high-necked dresses in kitschy 70s-style graphic floral prints, while at Burberry, Riccardo Tisci created pieces with eye motifs and graffiti-style drawings.
Above all, the new collections represented a kind of collective defiance. The industry has struggled through an unprecedented year, and yet the SS21 season revealed an impenetrable resilience in the face of adversity. It wasn’t about breaking the mould so much as reinforcing it – reminding us of the visceral emotional reaction a beautifully-designed garment can give us. Looking forward never looked so good.
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