Fashion Week: A Roundup of the Top Moments


Sarah Gatenby-Howells looks at how fashion week has returned to the runway following the pandemic

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Image by Revista Streetstyle

By Sarah Gatenby-Howells

Fashion month 2021 was exacerbated by the return of in-person shows, glamorous celebrity studded events and envy worthy street style. The excitement of dressing up again was a unanimous theme among many designers including Tom Ford, Versace, LaQuan Smith, Christian Siriano and Fendi. New York kicked off Fashion month but ended it in the best way it knows how – “Fashion's biggest night out” – The Met Gala, which typically occurs the first Monday of May but was delayed due to covid restrictions. Here, emerging designer Harris Reed made an exceptional debut dressing Iman in a gorgeous gold gown with a feathered halo headpiece. Only graduating from Central Saint Martin’s last year, he has styled Harry Styles (for the infamous Vogue dress cover), grazed Grazia’s recent cover and has his own collaboration with Missoma. His London Fashion Week collection had a lot riding on it, blending the line between menswear and womenswear, fluidity is at the core of his work . Not only were the gowns from his SS22 collection gorgeous but also made using repurposed garments from Oxfam. The collection exhibited elongating silhouettes and tailoring that did justice to the androgynous body. The collection is simply divine and if his work and early success is anything to go by, Harris Reed is a name you should be following.

Notable New York Fashion Week moments included new brand Khaite founded in 2016 whose SS22 collection enthused cool girl chic and a yearning for renewed city life. Leather, bomber jackets, metallic dresses and sequins were all presented with sophistication in looks that seemed made for Rockstar’s. LaQuan Smith’s show must have graced your Instagram feed recently, the first show to be held at the top of the Empire State Building, it encompassed all that is to love about New York: short skirts, barely-there tops and the freedom to be sexy and bold. Tom Ford carried New York nightlife and energy in his collection which really showcased Ford at his best; colourful satin trousers, sequins and metallics stole the show. Michael Kors also debuted a collection that let him play at his best, with simple silhouettes that flatter the female body and an ability to demonstrate that sometimes simplicity is the best way to go, try monochromatic outfits and high waisted skirts. Two more notable designers were Moschino whose Ladies who lunch collection demonstrated how to have fun with fashion; candy land colours and nursery prints were met with suits and workwear appropriate cuts. The final is a designer I came across in lockdown - Ulla Johnson- who creates the most lust worthy dresses, incredible patterns collaborate with balloon sleeves, ruffles, and volume. If I could, my whole summer wardrobe would consist solely of Ulla Johnson dresses, ensuring I was the best dressed guest at every wedding.

Next up is Milan, home to some of the best: Versace, Missoni, Fendi, Prada and Etro. One of the biggest events to come of this week was the hugely speculated and anticipated brand swap – Fendace (Fendi and Versace). The collection created by Donatella and Kim Jones debuted on Sunday evening in what can only be described as a true revival of fashion and creativity at its best, Donatella sure knows how to throw one knockout event. Jones showcased his version of Versace while Donatella put her stamp on Fendi resulting in revamped versions of original prints, accessories, and cuts. Versace also held one of the most talked about shows of fashion week one that screamed girl power, opened by Dua Lipa while her songs were blasting, their iconic safety pins were back, and a neon colour palette and prints contrasted the jet black of other outfits.

The Prada show was the first time we saw Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons’ collaborated designs in real life. As models made their way down the Milan runway, screens simultaneously showed them in Milan wearing the same looks. The collection really depicted the need to bring sexy back to fashion; miniskirts and more feminine colours were met with utilitarian fabrics such as leather and jackets. Missoni was another collection not to be missed, nobody does colour better than Missoni and if you need inspiration for unexpected colour combinations look to them. Like Prada, the clothes were infused with this idea of showing the body after two years of hiding it away. Clothes tested the boundaries royal blue took centre stage and the classic Missoni print was reinvented into something that felt modern and exciting. Cut outs were used to accentuate these ideas and I couldn’t help but dream of wearing the dresses to a dinner abroad. Fendi’s collection seemed a little mismatched; winter whites were met with tougher blacks and browns, but a spring/summer collection lay in wait, with pastel patterns, lace dresses and colourful fur jackets that have all the drama we need for the next year. The best spring inspiration came through Etro whose vibrant patterns and exaggerated earrings were reminiscent of the 70s.

We still have Paris Fashion week which starts on the 27 September, Paris being home to top fashion houses such as Dior, Valentino, Hermes, Chanel and Louis Vuitton. And, if  New York, London and Milan are anything to go by, we can expect more sequins, lace, metallics, miniskirts, cut-outs and glamour. As we come out of this pandemic fashion is taking the front line in showing what we want – extravagance.