After labor day ends, NYC starts to fill up as fashion's top editors, influencers, and photographers make their way downtown to take in the shows presented by America's melting pot of both young and long-celebrated designers. But, New York Fashion Week's Spring/Summer 2021 season is different. Firstly, it's smaller, with many of the buzziest labels — from Ralph Lauren and Oscar de la Renta to Proenza Schouler — either taking the season off entirely or scaling back with lookbooks and showroom meetings to be released at later dates. Second, with no clear answer to the *right* way to pull off a socially distant fashion week, the actual presentations of the new collections ran the gamut from in-person shows to lookbooks and virtual performances.
But, through it all, a number of notable trends emerged from the fray. For spring, it's clear that designers are finding ways to cater to the new, comfier desires of customers. But, while there were plenty of sweats and silky pajama-inspired styles, there was also a nod to a desire for a swing of the pendulum. Feminine ruffles, fancy black dresses, and relaxed suiting were all key elements to the mix of offerings this season. To learn more about the trends to know for the spring ahead, you'll find six key ideas from NYFW below.
NYFW Spring/Summer 2021 Trends: Black Dress Energy
While a fancy black dress may seem out of place for a breezy, casual spring, for 2021, there's a shift towards pieces that you'll want to hold onto for years to come. A tailored black dress is one of those elegant staples you'll keep in your wardrobe for much longer than a single season.
NYFW Spring/Summer 2021 Trends: Cool Your Suits
Don't give up on professional suiting all together, but this spring consider investing in silhouettes that are a bit more relaxed. Loose-cut pants and relaxed top fabrications feel like a step up from loungewear, without feeling like you're reverting to formal workwear completely.
NYFW Spring/Summer 2021 Trends: Frill Seeker
Comfy sportswear has likely dominated your wardrobe over the last months, but as the pendulum swings, expect to see prim, girly details in the new collections come Spring. Ruffled collars, frills, and balloon sleeves were all popular across collections.
NYFW Spring/Summer 2021 Trends: All About The Bra
At Jason Wu and Tibi, models wore bra tops layered over entire outfits. At labels including Private Policy and Zimmermann the bra became a standalone top — no layering necessary. Reimagining the role of a bra top in your wardrobe allows for more variety in your styling options and a new context for mixing and matching.
NYFW Spring/Summer 2021 Trends: Cut It Out
The first step of dressing for spring is slowly peeling off the layers of coats and knitwear you've become accustomed to. But, as you start to give your skin a little fresh air contact, you'll notice that next year it goes beyond removing a sleeve or raising a hemline. Cut-outs — at the waist and bra band specifically — are a major trend for spring. Based on your comfort level, you'll be able to pick a size and location of cut out that fits your personal style.
NYFW Spring/Summer 2021 Trends: Comfy Casual
Silky pajamas and cozy sweats were both key elements to this season's runways, including offerings from traditionally dressed-up labels like Rodarte, Tom Ford, and Brandon Maxwell. If you had any doubt that loungewear could feel fancy, you now have proof it is central to your new wardrobe.