Imagine this: Molly Goddard originally conceived a stripped-back collection of 10 all-white looks for spring/summer 2021. London’s queen of tulle dresses mercifully did a volte-face and had a color epiphany that brought joy to every beholder of her 31-piece edit – the age of the designer herself. “I don’t want to see black and white clothes. I want to see color, texture, fun things,” she told British Vogue. The kelly green, petrol blue, tangerine, and eye-watering fuchsia ruffled skirts, checkerboard knits and riotous gowns that swished around her socially-distanced Bethnal Green studio were like a shock to the senses: a refreshing palate cleanser during a bleak news cycle that’s about to get even bleaker.
Optimistic fashion was a theme elsewhere. Christopher Kane – who went back to his creative roots during lockdown, painting with the multi-colored glitter that was his preferred medium as a child – transferred one of his more abstract works onto a ladylike pleated dress that looked wonderfully rebellious as a result. Roksanda Ilinčić asked real women, including Honey Ross, the writer and body image campaigner, and Noella Coursaris, founder and CEO of the Malaika Foundation, to model her signature color-saturated gowns. Although there were fewer than usual, Ilinčić explained: “I still think you need some gorgeous creations… Just a couple to still be able to dream.” Victoria Beckham conceived a lilac, lace-dappled dress that conjured up balmy evenings abroad (at Puglia’s luxe Borgo Egnazia resort if you’re VB), and reminded the former pop star “why [she] fell in love with the industry in the first place.” Over at Erdem Moralıoğlu’s studio, the designer, who spent his spring/summer 2021 research sessions obsessing over Susan Sontag’s depiction of a thrilling love triangle in the 18th-century royal court of Naples, added a single Pepto-Bismol gown into his otherwise polite floral offering. “When it feels like the end of the world, doesn’t someone need a pink moiré hand-embroidered gown?” Moralıoğlu, rather aptly, asked.
Above, 15 arresting London Fashion Week spring/summer 2021 dresses that act like a much-needed caffeine jolt. You’re welcome.
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk