I’m catching up on the ss21 menswear collections that designers have been producing during lockdown.
An early trend is for three-dimensional or heavily crafted pieces and those with intricate surface decoration. Collaborations with artisans are another ‘thread’ to a brand story that designers can weave, showing support for their craft, or putting the spotlight on their own pattern makers.
Two standout videos I’ve enjoyed – Berluti and Loewe. Both feature their designers discussing the thought and making process of their collections. Berluti SS21 especially comes to life with Kris van Assche talking to ceramic artist Brian Rochefort about colour, patina and design. It really makes you appreciate true luxury. (Watch it here.)
Below: Berluti SS21
Meanwhile, Jonathan Anderson sent out miniature ‘shows in a box’ to the press who were watching the ‘shows’ from home. This is what they do with influencers. Send visual toys for them to dutifully display on their Instagram. The press obediently followed suit, promping followers to go to the website and view.
Anderson’s Loewe men’s SS21 collection is beautiful without the ‘noise’ of show-biz. He flagged basket craft, shibori techniques and tapestry, which have been translated into architectural shapes that were displayed on mannequins in a quiet studio setting. It works well, but better for having the accompanying explanation. The trench coats and shibori pieces are my favourites, along with the bags. I actually thought this was the women’s pre-collection rather than men’s, which goes to show that gendered clothing is kinda pointless. (Watch the video here.)
Below: Loewe SS21 menswear
I wonder if it was a huge anti-climax for the designers pressing the go-live button on their content compared to the headlines and air kisses of Fashion Week? Or if they did it on a Zoom call with their team?!
Another question is how trends will translate to the consumer. As we’ve seen before, when designers design clothes to be viewed by a screen, they go for bright colours and statement makers. But as shoppers have less money to spend and fewer places to go in the coming months, will they want these bold pieces, or functional classics? Perhaps by spring When All This Is Over, we’ll be gagging for colour and excitement again. For now, my guess is we’ll see a similar pattern as before; statement pieces for ‘runway’, and the more wearable versions for retail.
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Berluti; SS21 Loewe men’s 2021
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