trends & subculturesTuesday, 9 March 2021

The FW21 Digital Fashion Week Experience

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When the rest of the world stopped this time last year, fashion found a way to continue. Not only is this a testament to the industry’s resilience, but it’s also a demonstration of the passion that both designers and consumers have for fashion. In an instant, digital shows and presentations became the new norm, exhibiting the latest collections to virtual attendees across the globe. 

 

As FW21 digital fashion week comes to a close, five industry insiders share their virtual highlights, plus the brands and trends that we should all look out for next season. 

 

Jaime wears Reformation sweater, Reformation jeans, and Prada bag

 

 

Digital Fashion Week 2021 & FW21 Trends

Jaime Xie (@jaimexie)

Fashion influencer, YouTuber and star of Netflix’s ‘Bling Empire’

 

Talk us through your FW21 digital fashion week experience. 

Although watching digital fashion shows isn’t quite the same as physically attending, I do appreciate the efforts that brands have put in to create special experiences for virtual attendees. I noticed a huge improvement this time round in terms of production – we were able to see more movements, details and textures than the previous digital fashion week. 

 

What have been the pros and cons of a digital fashion week?

The pro of digital fashion week is that I can participate from the comfort of my own home, this was especially great during the fall/winter shows. It also takes much less time to get ready as there’s no need for full glam. Although I did get dressed up for a couple of shows, I mainly opted for comfortable and casual looks.

 

The con of digital fashion week is that we miss out on all the excitement, particularly the craziness that takes place outside the shows. Plus, I truly believe a collection has to be viewed in person to be fully understood.

 

Which shows stood out for you during fashion week? 

Blumarine, as they showcased a fun, flirty and vibrant collection; from the mini skirts and dresses to the crystal-embellished denim, I was instantly able to picture myself in many of the FW21 looks. And let’s not forget about the shoes! The crisscross strap stilettos are absolutely stunning and the rest of the footwear is just as sexy. I’m hoping it fuels a Blumarine resurgence here in the States, it deserves to be popular.

 

I love how Blumarine used different sets and backgrounds for their digital experience – it was extremely effective. It also helped viewers understand the way the designer wanted us to interpret the collection. 

 

Which trends are you most excited to wear from the new collections?

I'm most excited to wear the multidimensional second-skin trend. It’s all about tight-fitting long-sleeved tops and leggings, layered under short-sleeve blazers, vests, coats and mini skirts. I absolutely love this new type of layering, especially the way that Prada did it. 

 

Which rising brands had a big moment during FW21 fashion week? 

Molly Goddard has recently caught my attention. I adore the way she uses tulle and colour. 

Goddard’s FW21 collection is so fun and whimsical. I love how she’s incorporated Fair Isle sweaters, layering them over her vibrant dresses. Speaking of dresses, the first look stood out to me: an immensely captivating strapless red tulle dress. I really wish I could’ve seen it in person.

 

Siri wears full Baum und Pferdgarten look with Eytys boots

 

Digital Fashion Week 2021 & FW21 Trends

Siri Edit Andersson (@badgalsiri)

Stylist, editor and casting director 

 

Talk us through your FW21 digital fashion week experience.

I haven't attended as many shows this season as I usually would because of the digital format. Admittedly, it’s hard for me to take the pieces in at such a distance. Plus, I miss the networking side of fashion week – I just love making new friends from across the world. I think fashion week is all about seeking inspiration from different places and people, that’s something you don’t get with the digital experience.

 

Having said that, I did have a great experience styling the Baum und Pferdgarten FW21 show. It was a challenge pre-styling two weeks before the show, but one I enjoyed. On top of that, I had to individually ship 21 looks to participants worldwide, from Paris to LA. It all paid off when I saw the finished result – it felt so creative! And although it was upsetting not being able to celebrate with the rest of the team post-show, I did make sure to enjoy a celebratory moment at home with my girlfriend.

 

What have been the pros and cons of a digital fashion week?

The first pro of digital fashion week is that everyone can attend and participate – not just those who can travel, can afford to travel or receive an exclusive invite. Because of this, it feels like some of the hierarchy has been removed from fashion week, which is always a good thing. The second pro is that it’s more environmentally friendly to present digitally because fashion insiders, like myself, are not travelling across the world to attend shows. Ergo, less pollution is being created.

 

The biggest con of digital fashion week is that it exposes the outdatedness of the fashion industry. It makes us realise that physical fashion weeks are not the same as they used to be thanks to technological developments. All of this makes me wonder if things will ever be the same.

 

Which shows stood out for you during fashion week? 

Since fashion week went digital, brands have decided to present their collections in different ways. Some brands go with a digital runway, others pre-shoot their collections and create a lookbook, while some have created a whole other experience. 

 

The shows that stood out for me this season are Balenciaga, JW Anderson, Ganni and Collina Strada. Balenciaga created a ‘Grand Theft Auto’-esque video game to debut their FW21 collection; JW Anderson shot a beautifully personal series of imagery inspired by contemporary art; Ganni put on a female-led live concert, redolent of ‘MTV Unplugged’; and Collina Strada created a presentation around ‘Animorphs’ graphics. Each was cool and characteristic enough to lift my mood.

 

Which trends are you most excited to wear from the new collections? 

I'm not usually one to follow trends as I'm a rebel at heart; however, I did appreciate the punk theme throughout the shows. I often feel like embracing the punk and grunge side of myself and I can’t wait to rock some of the aesthetic elements showcased in the FW21 shows. 

 

Which rising brands had a big moment during FW21 fashion week? 

This season, I feel like so many upcoming brands resonated with me. I love seeing how some brands have developed since last season and how they’re incorporating sustainable materials and upcycled pieces into their collections. In my opinion, the brands that should be on everyone’s radar are Chopova Lowena, Hodakova, Ottolinger, Collina Strada and Kiko Kostadinov.

 

Nnena wears Saks Potts coat, Rixo dress, Balenciaga shoes, and Rixo bag

 

Digital Fashion Week 2021 & FW21 Trends 

Nnenna Echem (@nnennaechem)

Content creator and ELLE Norway contributor

 

Talk us through your FW21 digital fashion week experience.

My digital fashion week experience started with Copenhagen. I attend CPHFW every year, so I was curious to see how they would present it virtually for the FW21 season. In all honesty, I was surprised how fun the experience turned out to be!

  

In addition, I was able to catch some of the shows from New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week. I attended each show from the comfort of my home, which was unusual but also extremely relaxing.

 

What have been the pros and cons of a digital fashion week?

Attending Fashion Week is a lot of fun, but it’s also incredibly stressful. Shows, presentations, meetings, events and dinners take over my schedule; it’s much harder than those who don’t attend might imagine. So, this year I’m quite happy to be stress free. Plus it feels more inclusive and climate-friendly this way.

 

Having said that, I do find the experience of attending physical fashion week very exciting. I miss travelling to different cities (especially Copenhagen, London and Paris), discovering new brands and meeting up with old and new colleagues. 

 

Which shows stood out for you during fashion week? 

I love how ROTATE, Nanushka and Baum und Pferdgarten presented their collections, especially the latter who recruited influencers to model their pieces.

 

But I think Coach created the most memorable experience. The American brand recruited the likes of Paloma Elsesser, Megan Thee Stallion, Cole Sprouse and Michael B. Jordan to star in their #CoachForever2 presentation, which, unsurprisingly, created a huge buzz online.

 

Which trends are you most excited to wear from the new collections?

I love the statement shoulders and oversized silhouettes that were big (literally and figuratively) this season, they effuse a retro ‘80s vibe. And the trend I’m desperate to rock is the lacquer leather look, spotted in collections from Stand Studio, Gabriela Hearst, Jason Wu and Staud.

 

Which rising brands had a big moment during FW21 fashion week?

I absolutely adore the House of Sunny FW21 collection: I love the bold colours as well as the pattern and the ‘70s-inspired aesthetic. I’m also excited by the collections from Kenneth Ize, LaQuan Smith and Rave Review. 

 

Tesa wears Rejina pyo coat, A.W.A.K.E Mode bag, Bottega Veneta shoes (left image), Frankie Shop coat, and Loewe bag (right image)

 

Digital Fashion Week 2021 & FW21 Trends 

 Tesa Jurjasevic (@tesajurjasevic)

Stylist, content creator and Slovenia Grazia's fashion editor

 

Talk us through your FW21 digital fashion week experience.

During the first digital fashion week, I felt lost and quite frankly, a little disappointed. But this time around, things have been so much better and a lot more enjoyable.

 

Of course, I miss seeing shows in person, but I’ve been trying to make the most out of the experience at home by paying close attention to each and every look. 

 

What have been the pros and cons of a digital fashion week?

As mentioned above, the biggest pro is that I can focus on each detail from the show and rewatch it if I need to. Additionally, it’s much easier to watch the shows at home because fashion week is often challenging. 

 

On the other hand, running around fashion capitals and experiencing the shows in person is an unbeatable experience. It simply can’t be replaced with virtual setups.

 

Which shows stood out for you during fashion week?

The new Sportmax collection made a huge impression on me, so that’s definitely a FW21 favourite. I also loved the Khaite presentation: both the video and the collection showcased founder Catherine Holstein’s creativity and overall vision. 

 

Which trends are you most excited to wear from the new collections?

The two trends I like the most couldn’t be more different; I’m talking about the cutout trend and the layering trend. One thing both of these trends do have in common is that they were presented in longer silhouettes, an aesthetic that’s becoming increasingly popular. 

I'm also happy that quilted jackets and coats are making a resurgence – I’m a huge fan of the look!

 

Which rising brands had a big moment during FW21 fashion week? 

The brand that initially comes to mind is Bevza. I’ve been following the label for a few years now because I absolutely love their approach. They create timeless, elegant pieces with a twist. I love how Bevza's latest collection is a real tribute to Ukraine and the strong women of the nation. It was imbued with positivity and hope, which is just what we need during these unpredictable times.

 

Simon wears Givenchy sunglasses, JW Anderson bag, Alighieri earrings, Balenciaga denim and CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC boots

 

Digital Fashion Week 2021 & FW21 Trends

Simon Nygard (@simonnygard)

 Content creator and co-founder of SIILENT Studio

 

Talk us through your FW21 digital fashion week experience. 

Digital fashion week is drastically different from regular fashion week. Everyone is slowly adapting to new routines and designers are still trying to figure out the best way to showcase their collections digitally.

 

Me and my girlfriend, Ilenia Toma, are business partners – we run a creative agency called SIILENT Studio. For this reason, we usually attend fashion week together. As we digitally attended the shows (from home), we mainly rocked cosy, casual all-black looks. However, because we’re always looking to create content and shoot looks for our social profile, we also wore some dressier pieces. This certainly helped us feel more connected to the show.

 

What have been the pros and cons of a digital fashion week? 

The main pro for me is that I can work in a calm environment and focus on creating content. It really is so much easier to plan and execute your work from home. Fashion week is hard work, no matter what tasks you have, so I’m definitely feeling less stressed and distracted, too.   

 

The main con is that I can’t interact with friends, clients and other creatives from home in the same way. Usually, fashion week leads to spontaneous chats and unexpected collaborations with like-minded people – I'm looking forward to making the most of these opportunities when things go back to normal.

 

Which shows stood out for you during fashion week? 

The FW21 menswear show that stood out the most for me was Rick Owens. The collection felt strong, uncensored and timely, especially considering the models were all wearing face coverings. The other shows that I enjoyed were Yohji Yamamoto, JW Anderson, Zegna, Prada Loewe, Y-Project, Alyx and Sacai. 

 

The FW21 womenswear show that stood out most was Acne Studios. The Swedish brand is one I’ve been following since its inception and this time round they served some major looks with big, bold details. This is sure to be one of my biggest styling inspirations for the next season. 

 

My standout men's and women’s FW21 show is Prada. This collection featured some amazing detailing on the bags, gloves and raving tops in particular. Having said that, it was the oversized bomber jackets that really caught my eye – I can’t wait to get my hands on one!

 

Which trends are you most excited to wear from the new collections? 

My favourite trend from FW21 fashion week is men in heels. I’m extremely excited to see the gender line blurring properly. I value people who stay true to themselves; we should all be proud of our individuality. It doesn’t matter what sex, origin, or sexual orientation you are, we should be at one with ourselves. Be your own vision. 

 

Which rising brands had a big moment during FW21 fashion week?

I believe the upcoming brands that had a big moment this season are: Hed Mayner – I love the use of shape and colour to bring garments to life; Ludovic de Saint Sernin – the feminine wardrobe for men is extremely sexy; HELIOT EMIL – this brand offers a capsule wardrobe for a modern utility warrior; Ottolinger  – I love how this brand deconstructs and reconstructs its pieces, it feels very art-inspired; Daniel w. Fletcher – there are so many looks in the new collection that I can’t wait to rock! 

 

Renia wears Prada high-neck jumper, Prada gabardine cape, and Bottega Veneta bag.

 

Digital Fashion Week 2021 & FW21 Trends 

Renia Jaz (@venswifestyle)

 Fashion blogger and influencer

 

Talk us through your FW21 digital fashion week experience.

This year’s digital fashion week was completely different; nevertheless, it was interesting, intriguing and inspiring. The experience allows all of us to participate in shows and get acquainted with the latest trends. It also makes us all feel like we’ve got front row tickets. 

 

What have been the pros and cons of a digital fashion week?

The biggest advantage of digital fashion week is its accessibility. I was able to take part in a range of different shows, from Chanel to Dior to Valentino – shows I wouldn’t usually be able to attend.

 

The biggest disadvantage is that there’s no atmosphere. The emotions that surround a live show cannot be felt by watching it on a screen. Another disadvantage is that there’s no street style. Street style is such a crucial part of fashion week, it gives us all the opportunity to see how people interpret the latest trends. 

 

Which shows stood out to you during fashion week? 

I've been extremely impressed by several ready-to-wear shows, including Fendi, Prada, Tod’s, Khaite, Ulla Johnson, A.W.A.K.E. Mode, Cecilie Bahnsen, Victoria Beckham, Ports 1961 and Sportmax, to name a few! Each of these shows featured unique feminine silhouettes and felt consistent with its message.

 

Which trends are you most excited to wear from the new collections? 

There are so many amazing trends that have emerged this season. At Valentino, I loved the oversized masculine silhouettes, long gloves and ‘70s collar trends. I can’t wait to rock all three. 

 

At Fendi, the trend I was most interested in was the coats with a fringe at the bottom, I think they are very unique.

 

Which rising brands had a big moment during FW21 fashion week?

There are some great upcoming brands that should be on our radars. Sunnei is one of my favourite new-ish brands: it’s colourful, unique and a little distorted (in the best way possible). For FW21, the brand debuted some dynamic new styles of strapless jumpsuits and knitted sweaters. In short, it's a lot of fun. 

 

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