The Fall/Winter 2021-2022 collections presented almost entirely digitally during fashion month reconfirmed that fashion is in a state of transition. In a webinar recapping the season, Fashion Snoops VP, creative director Melissa Moylan described how the industry is adjusting to its digital-first world.
“I think we’ve all kind of grown accustomed to everything being virtual or digital, whether that’s from the runway space, as well as trade shows, but I think it’s also interesting to consider that we’ve achieved a lot of benefits from digital,” she said.
One benefit is the inclusion of post-show panels—an avenue that Prada has gone down twice so far since the start of the pandemic—that allow designers to share insight into their creative process and spark industry-wide discussions.
Sustainability is one of those topics. “This has obviously been something that’s just been growing, and we saw a lot more designers incorporate upcycled materials this season or deadstock,” Moylan said.
F/W 21-22 collections were also pragmatic, which Moylan said reflects consumers’ current mindset. “We’re still in this world of comfort and protection and we need to get that out of our wardrobes,” she said.
Denim provides both a sense of familiarity, durability and, if done right, sustainability.
Here’s a closer look at Fashion Snoops’ denim callouts for the season. The themes nod to comfort and nostalgia, as well as the desire to step back into the world with statement-making fashion.
Influences from the ’70s swept the digital runway, but Moylan noted how the theme was presented on a more casual front in denim.
“We see some explorations of patchwork as well as flared silhouettes, whether it’s full length or it’s cropped,” she said.
Dsquared2 embraced patchwork to the fullest by adding swatches of autumnal fabrics like flannel and suede to its denim. Material blocking added textural interest to Zimmermann’s cropped flare jeans, while System kept it cool and simple with light-wash flare jeans.
Frayed edges, like the ones seen in Alanui’s collection, add to this laidback, bohemian slant, Moylan noted. The edges, she added, tie back nicely with the season’s chunky knits, echoing another emerging trend—fringe.
From Cottagecore frocks to the flood of gingham prints, women’s fashion has seen an uptick in designs inspired by rural places since the start of the pandemic. The countryside has reemerged as a place of refuge.
The trend, however, takes on a more elegant look in denim with puffed sleeves shirts and straight-fit jeans, Moylan said.
Wide cuffs and gold hardware brought a sophistication to Temperley London jumpsuit. A blouson sleeve dressed up Elisabetta Franchi’s dark-wash button-down shirt. Veronica Beard elevated classic overalls by layering a sweater underneath.
These details, Moylan noted, brought a countryside spirit to collections.
Rebel with a Cause
While deconstructed garments were prevalent in women’s collections, the majority of concepts skewed toward modern and contemporary designs, Moylan said.
Denim, on the other hand, opted for more destroyed looks. “We see a lot of elements with rips and tears and undone waistbands,” she said.
Rokh’s collection of destroyed jean and denim skirts summed up the look with shredded hemlines and waists that folded over and enveloped the wearer. Meanwhile, Balenciaga exposed large patches of leg with its ripped wide-leg jeans.
Y/Project’s twisted seams made items like a classic Trucker jackets almost unrecognizable. The brand also experimented with faded washes and waxy coatings—techniques that added a gritty appearance to denim.
Layered patchwork and colorful coatings live here, too, Moylan added. Ottolinger captured the trend in its first look, an orange denim moto jacket and high slit jean skirt with an oily coating, aggressive hardware and belts.