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Rowdy’s Rundown on Haute Couture Week: Spring/Summer 2021

Empty showrooms complete with crowded looks

(Courtesy of Valentino)


There’s no denying COVID-19 has been the culprit for repeated cancelled plans and the postponement of many major events. Still, the fashion world decided that with or without guests, the fashion shows must go on.

Haute Couture Fashion Week, annually held in Paris, just wrapped its 2021 spring/summer collection reveals, this time with a virtual twist. These unusual circumstances could not overshadow the alluring looks that appeared on this year’s runway. If anything, the lack of audiences made shows even more visionary than usual. With fashion films, shoots, and showrooms free of guests, top designers could not let the madness of the world come between their deep-rooted love for wearable art.

Whether uncovering our dreams of the highest form of fashion elegance or turning couture into a gritty disco affair, there definitely were some major fashion revelations for us all to keep tabs on. Today I will be cutting your research time in half by breaking down some of the most memorable collections and spotting the trends you should snatch up before they hit the mainstream road.

Valentino stole the show

So, if you’ve been hesitant to step back into your neon/metallic obsession that up until recently was “so ten years ago,” don’t fret it. Valentino is completely on your level.

Valentino’s collection spoke to the 2021 trend forecasts most accurately. Compared to last season’s stark all-white look to lockdown throughout the pandemic, creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli’s current roster feels more hopeful. As the world opens back up, we integrate more color into our wardrobes, a testament for the future that is to come.

Models sported bold, neon color-blocking looks of pinks, greens, and oranges. Glittery metallics were paired with ultra-platform stilettos and fishnet garments, making any Drag Race star (and this fashion writer) extremely envious. How can you walk in those, first off ?!?! A mystery behind Valentino’s Rockstudded, heavy-armoured doors.

Valentino’s collection was the perfect blend of old meets new on the runway. The days of neutrals are far behind us.

Viktor & Rolf created a disco heaven

Viktor & Rolf showed off their spunky side, showcasing a line that tied in a heavily ‘80s inspired, underground “gritty disco” theme. If it’s one thing Viktor & Rolf do well, it’s over-the-top camp. The frills from 2019’s Spring/Summer couture collection come back in full-force. This couture year reveled in colorful combat boots, frilly everything, puffy sleeves, cool-toned silvers combined with pastels, and eye-catching embellishments. The models paid homage to the iconic mullet that we can’t forgive or forget.

Beyond the theme of the collection, we can find quite a few trends hidden beneath all the ruffles. Bra tops were huge in this line. But are we surprised? The style has slowly been making a comeback over the past year and is sure to get bigger in the seasons to come.

Fishnets were also repeatedly seen throughout couture week in the form of not just stockings, as pictured in the Viktor & Rolf collection, but also in drapey tops and dresses. Textured and patterned tights seem to also bring a huge statement to many of these looks.

Chanel gave us tuxedo chic

Suits have been made to be more wearable and this trend is far from over. Coco Chanel was a visionary, creating clothes for the modern-day woman to live in, and this season under creative director Virginie Viard is no different. Expect those same silhouettes of matching tuxedo sets but this time with a tweed fabric. The French house’s Spring/Summer 2021 couture show was heavily flaunting this classy tweed suit trend and inviting inner vests of suits to be worn as tops alone. There was a combination of classy yet delicately blooming looks that hinted of springtime– a testament to the outdoor garden parties that we’ve all been loving in the age of COVID-19. With floral archways, petaled floors, and an abundance of flower crowns, Chanel proved suits can be worn by anyone in all or any season.

Honorable mentions

Some honorable mentions include Kim Jones’ inaugural Fendi womenswear collection, presenting silks and shimmers with utmost elegance. Most importantly, the relatively small size capsule looks invited some major names to the runway including Kate and Lilia Moss, Naomi Campbell, Demi Moore, Bella Hadid, Cara Delevingne and more.

Kim Jones has been praised by the internet for doing no wrong. (He is, of course, the mastermind behind the 2016 Louis Vuitton x Supreme collaboration and the artistic director of Dior Homme, breathing a new life back into the house.) While the collection was highly anticipated, we at Rowdy aren’t exactly blown away. Yes, it’s KIM JONES! And we may be skinned alive by saying this, but the beautiful, Twilight-forest vibe set seemed to compensate for the lack of absolutely unique garments coming out. Feeling more like a celebrity red carpet than a couture show, the runway left much to be desired. Sorry, Kimmy. Don’t hate us.

Ensembles shared by Schiaparelli along with Alexandre Vauthier are stunning collections worth the skim, guaranteed to guide you through a stunning, glitzy, abstract dream. Keeping in line with the hulk-esque breastplate popularized by Kim Kardashian (West?)’s New Years Eve Look, creative director Daniel Roseberry’s elaborate silhouettes are having quite a moment. Sculpted abs and massive eye sunglasses are in our future.

Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Dior is another must see, praising divine arts and symbolically referencing the beauty of tarot cards in real life form– inspired by the label’s namesake obsession with occult. Glittery and luxurious fabrics gleam as they tell of an artistic film masterpiece worth the watch. The collection featured a horse, which, hey, is exciting… right?


Brooke Login is an Online Writer at Rowdy Magazine. Aside from her absorption of way too much fashion and styling content, she enjoys delighting herself in the sport of scouting the best local shops and restaurants in town, expanding her intro level sewing skills, decorating any boring space, and forever remaining stuck in her 90s rock music phase. You can reach her on Instagram @brookelogin.


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