Designers faced huge challenges when designing their spring summer 2021 collections—not only because of logistical and practical barriers, but also because they were creating clothes for a year that has many question marks over it. One common theme across all the collections was joyful, fabulous clothes designed to make you, and others, smile.
"We have may found ourselves dressing to look good, but now we dress to feel good. Our buy will adapt to this by embracing a casual shift without losing speciality," says Liane Wiggins, Head of Womenswear Buying at MATCHESFASHION. "We have seen our customers engage more and more with joyful fashion and uplifting pieces. There is definitely an appetite from our community to dress up again. It has been incredible to see the creativity and innovative ideas shine through these very difficult times. We loved the sense of joy and optimism, everyday pieces from jeans to sleepwear have been uplifted by designers experimenting with bold colours and prints."
This sense of optimism was reflected in the use of print and colour across the spring collections, with feel-good prints, bright pinks and oranges and OTT beautiful dresses. There are five designers in particular that really stand out for creating the happiest clothes you can imagine—keep scrolling to see the mood-boosting brands we love.
1. Christopher John Rogers
Images courtesy of Christopher John Rogers
Christopher John Roger's SS21 collection was as mood-boosting as it gets. He found his inspiration by just drawing and scribbling away with Crayola crayons, and this simple activity resulted in rainbow-striped knitwear and ball gowns adorned with brushstroke prints. He always has a masterful use of bright, paintbox colours and so you don't need to wait until the SS21 collection arrives to shop his vibrant pieces.
London Fashion Week label Shrimp's aesthetic is always playful—happy clothes are at the core of the brand's DNA. Each collection is filled with whimsical prints, colourful coats and beaded accessories, that are always a joy to look at.
Heather Gramston, Head of Womenswear at BrownsFashion said: "I was impressed with the level of creativity and innovation despite the challenges this season. Molly Goddard had planned a pared back all white collection for example which evolved over time to become almost the opposite. “Clothes to make me happy” was how she described them when she walked us through the collection in her studio." Her colourful tulle dresses make the fashion crowd happy every season at London Fashion Week, and for spring 2021 she took this further with bright pinks, greens and buttery yellows.
Ganni is one of the brands that has really led the recent trend for mixing colourful prints and ignoring all usual colour rules, and has always had a light-hearted approach to getting dressed. From banana T-shirts to rainbow-striped jumpers to printed dresses, you'll struggle to find a Ganni item in any collection that isn't joyful.
London Fashion Week designer Michael Halpern's spring summer 2021 collection was a literal expression of joy, and it's almost impossible to not smile at the prints, colours and grinning models, who are all frontline workers. “It’s about having fun—I didn’t want to do fantasy and ignore what’s happening in the world. Fashion should prop people up and give people a break, especially when they’ve been having such a terrible time," he said to Vogue at the time.