There may have been a dearth of occasions to don your glad rags for over the past year, but one thing’s for sure: good times are coming back! And what do good times require? Outfits to match, of course.
After all, if there’s one style lesson the pandemic has instilled in us - that isn’t about how addictive elasticated waistbands are – it’s how exciting and empowering it can be to dress up, and how much we’ve collectively missed it. Once the green light is illuminated on 2021’s debut social event (pinning everything on June 21), we’ve every excuse to go bigger and glitzier with our looks than ever.
Luckily for us, London Fashion Week has been awash with just the sorts of outré offerings we’re itching to sport. Sequins flooded the catwalks of unisex London label Art School, where they adorned form-fitting frocks and matching berets (Emily in Paris, eat your heart out), while at 16Arlington, the twinkling discs were used to embellish sheer, floor-sweeping ‘midaxi’ dresses.
Elsewhere during virtual LFW, was the Carrie Bradshaw-approved grown-up tutu which has graduated from tacky and wacky to utterly fabulous thanks to queen of tulle, Molly Goddard. Incorporated in her men’s and womenswear collection were ankle-grazing tulle frocks in an array of traffic-stopping colours, including cerulean blue and pistachio green. For those unable to eschew the connotations of tulle with their childhood dressing up box, Goddard also crafted an above-the-knee, bow-adorned one-shouldered mini in a crimson shade of poplin cotton.
The mini meant business elsewhere too: at Vivienne Westwood, where 90 per cent of the collection was crafted from deadstock material, a series of shorter dresses were proposed. Halpern also got the mini memo, with a fleet of thigh-skimming feline frocks in its offering. If the Hemline Index theory is to be believed then our hemlines become increasingly vertiginous as the economy booms, and become longer to reflect the sombre mood of recessions. By designers hiking up their hems in their autumn/winter 2021 collections - Fast also churned out several minis - are they in fact predicting better times ahead? We certainly believe so.
“I am using the term “box tickers” to refer to employees who exist only or primarily to allow an organization to be able to claim it is doing something that, in fact, it is not doing.”
― David Graeber, Bullshit Jobs: A Theory