Never in my career as a beauty and fashion journalist did I imagine that I’d be watching the Ulla Johnson Fall-Winter 2021 show from bed. While my favorite jumpsuit from the NYC-based designer hangs in my closet, I watch models gracefully debut the collection at Manhattan’s iconic David H. Koch theater with a live musical performance by Juilliard School alumni playing in the background. What I would give to dress up and take the Q train downtown to the theater, but this will do for now.
I know I’m not alone in thinking that it will be so exciting to dress up again or, at the very least, trade my sweats and slippers for “real” pants and footwear. Likewise, the coronavirus pandemic has me longing for a time when we embraced little details invisible to the eye on Zoom. I miss the art of putting together an outfit, from apparel to the smallest touches, like those seen on the Ulla Johnson FW21 runway: print dresses paired with floral lace tights, conversation-starting statement jewelry, and charming hair accessories to match one’s overall aesthetic.
Special little details are one of the highlights of Ulla Johnson’s NYFW show, which makes me feel hopeful for the future of the fall-winter 2021 season. I’m captivated by Johnson’s concept of elaborate dressing: the process of layering prints-on-prints, experimenting with sumptuous knitwear, and accessorizing to stand out, quite the opposite of our current-day proceedings. Click through the gallery below to experience some of the show’s best detail shots in the form of jewelry, footwear, bags, scarves, and belts.
In line with her dedication to employing artisans across the globe, Johnson tapped creators from all over to collaborate on the FW21 collection: Kenya, India, Peru, Italy, Mongolia, Brazil, Uruguay, and Brooklyn. Linen was hand-embroidered in India, and space-dyed crochet was crafted in Uruguay. Likewise, the collection’s moccasin-inspired boots were made in Italy, and high-heeled riding boots were born in Brazil. “I’ve always believed that things made by hand carry an emotional weight and spiritual energy,” Johnson told The New York Times last February. In addition to “consciously crafting future heirlooms” for customers (as seen in the accompanying photos), the American label is able to provide regular work and sustainable economic development for its artisans.
Experience the Ulla Johnson FW21 show in full by pressing “play” on the video below.