Why, yes, it is that time of year again: It's the glorious beginning of fashion month. The spring/summer 2021 shows have officially kicked off in New York this week, and although the pandemic has restricted the number of in-person events, the show must (literally) go on. Albeit of a virtual nature, of course. In addition to NY mainstays like Jason Wu and Anna Sui, we're excited to see brands that are getting hotter by the minute, from Collina Strada to Bevza to Chocheng.
Let's face it—the frenzied week can be a bit overwhelming to digest, so consider this your ultimate cheat sheet to the Big Apple shows. Below, we're breaking down every noteworthy show with the standout looks and the emerging trends from each. Expect these looks will be all over your Instagram feeds next spring. Don't say we didn't warn you.
Photo:Courtesy of Tom Ford
Like many designers this season, Tom Ford wanted his spring collection to inspire a sense of carefree escapism, and that's just what he delivered on. Throughout the lookbook images, models paraded joyously in bright jewel tones and plenty of relaxed, easygoing silhouettes that still felt elevated. Large aviators were a standout piece that accompanied several looks as well.
Trends to watch: Undone shirting, oversized aviator sunglasses
Photo:Courtesy of Khaite
Khaite presented its spring collection in a moody short film that aimed to acknowledge the paradoxes we're currently facing—of doom and hope, intolerance and endurance—and the airy, feminine looks anchored by heavy accessories evoked that same dichotomy.
Trends to watch: Ruching, off-the-shoulder necklines, kitten heels
Photo:Courtesy of Collina Strada
If the name "Change is Cute" is any indication, the world Collina Strada created to present its spring collection is just as optimistic about the future of our planet as the clothes are.
Trends to watch: Printed tights, asymmetrical necklines
Photo:Courtesy of Sandy Liang
All the reasons Sandy Liang has earned a spot as a cult-favourite brand were on full display in her spring collection. The looks, shot at unmarked corners around NYC, were steeped in the designer's signature playfulness and nostalgia. Also featured throughout the collection was the Margot print, a unique pattern inspired by Sandy's love for Margot Tenenbaum, Ponyo, and paws.
Trends to watch: Heavy-duty boots, midriff cutouts
Photo:Courtesy of Jason Wu
A beachy getaway in Tulum was the inspiration behind Jason Wu's spring 2021 collection, and the theme of escapism couldn't be any more fitting. Models glided through a trail of palm fronds in fun-loving jewellery, breezy dresses that could easily double as swim coverups, and tourist-inspired—no destination necessary.
Trends to watch: Sporty sandals, craft jewelry, bucket hats
Photo:Courtesy of Ulla Johnson
The main takeaway from Ulla Johnson was the potential for a new modern bohemian style to emerge. The strongest looks from the collection included colourful crochet dresses and tops paired with artsy sculptural earrings.
Trends to watch: Crochet clothing, single statement earrings, ankle-tie sandals
Bevza's spring collection speaks to the minimalist inside all of us. Its pared-back silhouettes felt clean but fresh, and the designer introduced a palette of pale yellows alongside its signature neutrals that we're already noting for next spring's colour trends. Another noteworthy item that has trend potential: slit-hem pants.
Trends to watch: Pale yellow, split-hem pants, dresses over leggings
Photo:Courtesy of Rodarte
In lieu of a runway, Rodarte chose instead to shoot its lookbook in front of the dramatic Southern California landscape and the designers' hometown. From the imagery to the clothing itself, the collection was like stepping into a period drama while the bold floral prints and oversized collars held a kitschy element.
Trends to watch: Victorian-era collars, "grandma" florals, socks with heels
Photo:Courtesy of Marina Moscone
Marina Moscone's focus on simplicity with great quality was more present than ever in this collection, in which simple silk dresses were paired with chic flats. In fact, many of the looks were delightfully approachable.
Trends to watch: Halter-neck dresses
Photo:Courtesy of Anna Sui
Like Jason Wu, Anna Sui embraced "touristy" sandals and bucket hats but interpreted them with the designer's distinctively whimsical aesthetic. The crochet accessories were particularly strong as were the face masks that matched several looks. Truly a show for the times.
Trends to watch: Crochet accessories, sporty sandals, vintage florals
Photo:Courtesy of Adeam
If classic pieces and tailoring are your jam, then you'll rejoice in Adeam's spring runway where reworked shirting was a major theme and the Bermuda shorts point to long shorts' continued popularity. Also noteworthy: chain-embellished loafers.
Trends to watch: Reworked shirting, neutral tailoring
Photo:Courtesy of Markarian
This season, Markarian doubled down on its wedding and eveningwear focus. Bows were one of the most memorable motifs throughout the collection, which were tied off of sleeves and as the straps of dresses. In addition to bridalwear, the collection also featured a number of more casual dresses that could easily be worn for other spring and summer soirées.
Trends to watch: Bows, halter necklines
Photo:Courtesy of Veronica Beard
Veronica Beard showcased its spring collection in a picturesque field where the light linen pieces and paisley prints fit right in. Suiting is an ever-present motif for the brand as well and this season, we're especially taken with the way the blazers were styled with bra tops, a trend that's been making the rounds on our Instagram feeds, too.
Trends to watch: Bra tops, pearl jewellery
Photo:Courtesy of Chocheng
Up-and-coming brand Chocheng continues to prove its one to watch. This season, the collection nodded to the retro elements that were iconic of Jackie O's style, including three-quarter sleeves, skirt suits, and bow-tie details.
Trends to watch: Bows, platform sandals