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At WWDMagic, Trends Pull From Nature, Reject Superficial Distractions

Spring 2021 will see fashion trends that range from flirty and feminine to bright and bold, according to Melissa Moylan of retail trend forecasting firm Fashion Snoops.

At a seminar at last week’s WWDMagic trade show in Las Vegas, the vice president and creative director told a packed room of fashion industry insiders that the season’s diverse array of trends would pull influence from the cultural and environmental forces impacting society at large.

The season’s prevailing trends are most evident in women’s wear, which Moylan categorized into four distinct movements.

Solstice

Fashion Snoops' presentation at WWDMagic pointed to spring 2021 trends that champion the natural world.
The Solstice trend story, presented by Fashion Snoops. Fashion Snoops

“We are living in a time of extreme abundance, and we’re questioning what’s missing and wanting to connect with our true and authentic selves,” she explained.

As shoppers strive to connect with their intrinsic human emotions instead of “distracting themselves by superficial means,” the newest fashion trends will actually help wearers express a new level of vulnerability and openness, she said.

“We’re looking at new ways of reinventing perennial pastels, as well as gentle yet tenacious hues that recharge the spirit,” she said. While the season will be defined by ethereal constructions and plush textures, “nothing is demure about the palette or the way colors are utilized” in Spring 2021, she added.

Sheer layers, rich embroideries, lace and paisley are just a few of the elements that define the ultra-feminine, efflorescent sensibility of Solstice.

According to Moylan, the trend relies strongly on traditional spring motifs like petals and flowers as well as gingham, calling to mind garden-party or picnic attire.

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Puff-sleeve tops, maxi dresses, culottes and other prairie-like silhouettes will be prevalent in apparel, while the trend’s footwear offering will consist of slingback flats, wooden clog sandals and sandals with ghillie ties at the ankle.

Novelty eyeglasses of different shapes, structured bags with top handles, and rope belts will round out the accessories quotient.

Dharma

Earth tones, biomimicry and organic silhouettes make up the aesthetic language of the Dharma trend story.

People are “shifting into a more conscious state,” Moylan said, and Spring 2021 trends will prize the “exaltation of the divinity of nature.”

This will manifest itself in the use of natural dyes in hues that appear “spicy, organic and aromatic,” she said.

New materials innovations will focus on sustainability as well as biomimicry, or pulling influence from the colors, textures and other qualities found in the organic world.

The women’s Dharma trend will “look to nature to inform form and structure,” Moylan said, employing fluid shapes, draping, knotting techniques, fringe and crochet as some of its aesthetic motifs.

Patterns like abstract tie dye in earthy tones and lush tropical prints will adorn key styles like tunics, elongated sweaters and knits, and large, voluminous trousers. Maxi dresses and caftans will also become a prevalent part of this trend profile, along with cropped flares, cargo jeans and tie-dyed shirts.

Square-toed thong sandals and lace-up mules will make up the footwear offering, while natural beads, scarf caps and hobo bags will serve to complement the season’s earthy apparel styles.

Venture

Pulling influence from an amalgam of world cultures and array of artisans, the Venture trend is fit for global travelers.

The rise of technology has allowed for an unprecedented blend of cultural influences, Moylan said, and that amalgamation of aesthetics has resulted in a “global tapestry” when it comes to fashion.

The softening of boundaries between different regional arts and crafts has produced this trend, with artisans becoming “the engineers of the future.”

The Venture trend manifests itself in travel-ready staples with culturally ambiguous—yet undeniably bold—influences.

Exotic hues, arresting patterns, patchwork applications and utilitarian constructions can be found on soft-tailored suiting, men’s wear-inspired work shirts, tunics, vests, Bermuda shorts and slouchy pants, Moylan said.

Straight-leg “girlfriend” jeans, which showcase a high waist and relaxed fit, will be significant to this trend story, along with mid-calf-length skirts.

Amping up the global traveler vibe, Panama hats, slingback sandals and sensible woven heeled mules will accessorize the apparel offering.

Symposia

Impossible brights and eye-catching silhouettes define the Symposia trend.

The final trend story takes a 180-degree point of difference from the cool, conscious, nature and culture-based aesthetics that manifest in the season’s other trends, Moylan said.

Instead, Symposia prizes freedom, charming quirks and an offbeat sensibility by playing with new variations of primary colors. “Fun, youthful and eye-popping” motifs along with bold constructions create a whimsical, hyper-sensory effect.

Women’s clothing will blend old and new silhouettes with whimsical effect. Modern, exaggerated shapes will be punctuated by sensual details borrowed from classic lingerie.

Over-the-top patterns like modern dots and saturated florals will punch up short suits, slouchy pants, pleated skirts, slip dresses and strong-shouldered blazers.

Denim dresses, cropped trucker jackets and cutoff shorts will prevail in denim, while scrunchies, shoulder bags and matching jewelry sets will accessorize the trend’s bold, statement-making garments.