- London’s 2021 Spring/Summer fashion week has been like no other under the coronavirus pandemic.
- In the midst of the pandemic and social distancing, designers in London presented their shows in different ways.
- Erdem and Burberry showed their collections digitally, while Victoria Beckham held its presentation behind closed doors and Bora Aksu presented a live show.
Designers and fashion houses had to think more creatively about their collections, and more importantly, how they presented them amid a global pandemic.
Despite the complications of social distancing, travel restrictions, and face coverings – fashion found a way.
Burberry was the first fashion house to step into the digital realm to show its collection, setting a precedent for many others to follow. Swapping a celebrity-filled front row for fresh air.
The fashion house stuck to strict social distancing rules, having models walk a secret forest runway. The collection, designed by Burberry chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci, was named In Bloom.
Erdem staged a similarly enchanting film set in Epping Forest, London. The designer has been a favourite of Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. Known for its feminine tailoring, this show didn’t disappoint.
The presentation named, The Volcano Lover, drew inspiration from a novel by Susan Sontag. The story tells of an 18th-Century love triangle in the shadow of a smoking Mount Vesuvius in Naples
Erdem creative director Erdem Moralioglu says, “As the volcano rumbles and revolution rolls around the continent, everyone understands that the future will be different from the past … It is a precipice moment in time, such as we face ourselves today.”
Victoria Beckham’s show took place behind closed doors, without her usual family sitting in the front row. The designer showed her Spring/Summer 2021 collection at an empty art gallery in London.
The ensembles were full of vibrant hues of greens, chunky gold necklaces and the '70s Studio 54-inspired three-piece suits. Having worked on the collection throughout lockdown, VB says she wanted to celebrate freedom.
“Hemlines are longer, fits are easier, there's a fluidity and ease. Really, it's about a true wardrobe. Really, it's about a true wardrobe. This collection is rooted in reality - in life, and living. But it's a dream inspired by reality,” says Victoria Beckham.
It was only a matter of time until someone made a high fashion mask, and that’s exactly what Bora Aksu did in one of the very few live shows. The designer wanted his collection to praise the frontline workers, drawing on a pastel palette of medical colours of pinks, blues and creams.
“I went back to 1918 in my research, when it was a time of contrast, conflict and tension during the First World War, followed by victory and prosperity. I was inspired by the heroes of the war and the collective grief we are experiencing right now, and the beauty that is then reborn after,” says Bora Aksu, the creative director and co-founder of the brand.
Compiled by Phelokazi Mbude
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