Spring 2021 fashion trends: sweatshirts, knitwear, day dresses and more

There have been complaints about the Spring 2021 collections. People say in group chats and Twitter threads that digital shows aren’t as good as the real thing and the real thing isn’t as good. good than before. It’s one way of looking at the current situation, but there is an exciting advantage to this fragmented season: we are experiencing something really new. In an industry so passionate about tradition, heritage and the status quo, how exciting it is to feel that after seasons of talking we are ultimately on the precipice of real, tangible change? This change will hopefully take many forms beyond a democratized digi-physical fashion week, but this show season has been off to a good start.

The biggest change in the clothes that paraded across our screens was that, for the first time in a long time, they looked like clothes meant to be worn. The irony and irreverence of all those seasons dancing on the lip of a volcano in cake dresses has given way to something more thoughtful and realistic this season. There is an intimacy in the second skin knits seen at Rick Owens and Thebe Magugu and in the textured, hand-worked materials used by Kenneth Ize and Jonathan Anderson of Loewe. The many stylish tracksuits, long tunics and balloon pants at Prada, Fendi and Louis Vuitton offer forgiveness and elegance to bodies at rest. Pointed shoulders at Balmain and Balenciaga will cross the space with glamor and a bit of grain, while the exuberant everyday wear seen at Molly Goddard, Marni and Dries Van Noten guarantee big sparks of joy packed in the tried and true form of jeans, cardigans and midi skirts. The dresses are pouf-sleeved and have a vaguely ’40s shape from Rodarte, Coach and Chopova Lowena, a silhouette comfortable enough to wear around the house and beautiful enough to slip into for a socially distant dinner party.

There are real coveted clothes for the way we want to dress now.

Pants of power

Spending 8 hours a day on a Zoom call requires more than just a fun top. A comfortable chair is a good place to start, but you also need easy-to-wear pants that allow a wide range of motion. The oversized pants at Louis Vuitton, The Row and Stella McCartney are the perfect solution for a sedentary and active life too. With maximum swoosh factor, these pants take inspiration from the 80s fashion revival, ensuring that wherever you walk – around the neighborhood or just from the table to the bedroom – you look dramatic and stylish.

Stylish tracksuits

During one of the most anticipated debuts of the season, Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons discussed the creation of a new uniform. Their tracksuits, a marriage of the flared skirt silhouettes of Prada and graphic trends of Simons, seem to be the right style for our loose gift. Balenciaga, Rodarte, and Collina Strada also have playful take on sweatshirts, though perhaps only Matthew Williams’ Givenchy hoodie (the other expected debut album of the season) is considered a black tie.

Daily exuberance

Fantastic fashion has returned to Earth with honest clothes that have a practical magic about them. Valentino’s Dries Van Noten and Pierpaolo Piccioli, both masters of color and print, have long been advocates of eccentric everyday wear; Molly Goddard, Christopher John Rogers and Matty Bovan also embark on the adventure with printed denim, expressive knits and over-the-top cotton tops. This spring, pull off the medium wash jeans and beige for something a little more fun.

Second skins

If the popularity of Marine Serre’s moon-print underlays is any indication, those of us who don’t wear sweatshirts are wearing stretchy second skins, whether we’re shoveling at home or layering on the outside. Rick Owens and Thebe Magugu cut sheer, body-hugging knits, while Charlotte Knowles, Ottolinger, Supriya Lele, Nensi Dojaka and LaQuan Smith all continued their mesh experiments. Here they follow in the footsteps of the original fashion upcycler, Lamine Badian Kouyaté by Xuly Bët, famous for his stretch bodysuits with red stitching.

Pointed shoulders

Big shoulders aren’t new, but they’re not going away either. Balmain and Balenciaga showed the more dramatic versions, while Maison Margiela and Richard Malone offer softer interpretations of the figure, perfect for traversing the chaos of the world.

Serene tunics

Long layers that drape over the body are the predominant silhouette of the season, seen at Fendi, Jil Sander, Thom Browne and more. It makes sense: a draped tunic offers a lot of ease without sacrificing grace. Plus, matching sets, like Marina Moscone’s azure blue top and pants, are a much more comfortable alternative: a suit.

Delicate day dresses

These sheer dresses with pouf sleeves are reminiscent of the unadorned glamor of the 1940s. There are real tea dresses from Rodarte, Coach and Alessandra Rich, and more fun proposals from Batsheva, the queen of quirky dresses. Consider them a home must-have for pants dislikes.

Surface interest

In addition to the exuberant prints, this season also ushered in expressive textures. The bolder ones, like Versace’s pleats or Coperni’s pleats, may appear on Zoom, but the many clever fabrics and techniques seen at Kenneth Ize, Kiko Kostadinov and Nanushka are actually designed for the enjoyment of the wearer, not the beholder. Doing something good for yourself is the ultimate indulgence in #timeslikethese.

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