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NYC Fashion Week tackles COVID-19

New York Fashion week, quite an iconic staple of the “Big Apple” was able to proceed in its events despite our current global pandemic and the cancellation of many annual events.

Back in August, Governor Cuomo gave the OK to NYFW only if it obliged to “events capped at 50 persons and indoor events at 50 percent capacity and no spectators. New York Fashion Week will feature a mix of live and virtual fashion shows, presentations, and programming including live-streamed runway shows, exclusive designer-related content, and cultural programming.” These guidelines have allowed for the fashion world to coincide with the fight to stop the spread of COVID. Now that fashion week was able to proceed with caution, it’s time to take a dive and see what trends are walking these virtual runways.

This September NYFW was able to broadcast its Spring/Summer 2021 collection, and despite all, it didn’t hold back. I’m talking about those within the top ten: Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, and Burberry. After closely evaluating each of these brands, I can say with great confidence that they all in one way, or another were influenced by the events of this year. Many of these designers were inspired by their time in quarantine such as Gucci, Chanel, Dior, YSL, and Burberry. 

Starting with the work of Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s creative director, who opened up on the way the pandemic affected the way he does things, he took this as a time to be reborn. This element of the new life he included would allow Gucci to put contradictory patterns/materials together for their newest look. 

Chanel also didn’t shy away by revealing the influence time in quarantine has had on their collection. Virginie Viard, Channel’s creative director, spent quarantine back in her French country house. This allowed for summer nights to remain fresh in her mind when returning to work, ultimately leading to its role within her newest fashion of  “easy clothing.” 

Now making way for Maria Grazia Chiuri, Christian Dior’s designer, who admits that even before lockdown she was on the hunt to create more cozy/stylish clothing. This was due to the rise in living life more intimately within our home, but now more than ever this rise of this lifestyle has increased. She wanted this collection to be more of a “personal relationship with ourselves,” but also included a few seductive pieces for those who desired a more outgoing look. 

Yves Saint Laurent’s collection is also highlighted by the comfort we had as a whole in quarantine. Anthony Vaccarello, YSL’s creative director, connects this collection to observing being dressed with such ease during this lockdown. This influence allowed him to create clothing on the bases of one being comfortable in their own skin, not some elaborate outfit that’ll do the opposite.

 After all this, we make our way to Burberry, which like the rest, was inspired by lockdown but in a different way. Riccardo Tisci’s, Burberry’s designer, despite spending lockdown with his mother, felt alone. These feelings allowed him to create his most honest collection yet of a natural look between “classic” and “street.”

 Last, there’s Louis Vuitton who was greatly inspired by our society during the lockdown. Take Virgil Abloh, L.V.’s artistic director of menswear, who brought the movements of this year into his designs, more specifically the Black Lives Matter movement. During his time in quarantine, he used his platform to bring in all-Black collaborators in order to integrate his materials and message. Through his designs, he was able to project his imaginations of a different world. This world consists of, “A wonderland of inclusivity and unity, it imagines the world through the untainted vision of a child, not yet spoiled by societal programming.” This would allow his collection to have a more colorful/whimsical look, which is something adults don’t have enough of. 

Although this season of NYFW was unlike any other we’ve seen before, it allowed for a safe way for designers to present their art to the public. That being said it will be interesting to see how our global state will allow for the Fall/Winter 21 NYFW to be presented.

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