It’s hard to believe that New York Fashion Week has come and gone, especially since not much has changed social distancing-wise since
the last time New York Fashion Week came and went. But like couture week, spring 2021, and the various resort collections that have been unveiled during the pandemic, designers have managed to maintain their levels of creativity—giving viewers digital presentations, short films, and even video games as methods of adjusting to a new normal. Though a larger movement that’s been gaining steam even before the pandemic began has taken further shape during this edition of New York Fashion Week: the shift toward a season-less fashion calendar. With little comprehensive calendar—and just a handful of IRL shows put on by designers like Jason Wu and Christian Siriano—there were no events to attend, no schedules to stick to. As such, some designers, technically not operating under the CFDA’s umbrella, just dropped their collections at will. Could this mark the final nail in the coffin that is turning away from the traditional schedule? Time will tell. In the meantime, here are some fabulous clothes from this season, courtesy of The Row, Ulla Johnson, Collina Strada, and more. THE LOOK: Sculptural outerwear, crocheted corsetry—a little bit bondage, a little bit horse girl. THE INSPIRATION: Equestrian life meets Lee’s signature sexy edge. THE LOOK: Joyful, energetic silhouettes, scalloped coats and detailing. THE INSPIRATION: With every collection designer Jason Rembert asks himself the all-important questions, “Would my mother love this?” and “Would it make her smile?” THE LOOK: Sexy skin-baring tops and dresses, sharply tailored separates in bold silhouettes. THE INSPIRATION: The female form, confident women. THE LOOK: Elegant pressed flowers, metal bow buckles, crocheted dresses; Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia seem to have stepped outside of their usual organza orbit with this collection. THE INSPIRATION: “A tribute to late summer, when sunflowers and wildflowers radiate in glorious full bloom,” according to the brand. THE LOOK: From micro shorts to mohair sweaters, it was like Mr. Ford designed this collection specifically for a W fashion editorial. THE INSPIRATION: Being “a badass,” as Tom Ford’s show notes read. THE LOOK: Sparkling, flowing, brightly colored dresses fit for the parties that will surely come once the pandemic passes—and some suits and ankle-length coats that wouldn’t be out of place on ABBA’s lead singer Agnetha Fältskog. THE INSPIRATION: An Australian music show from the 1970s and 1980s called Countdown. Courtesy of Victor Glemaud THE LOOK: Glemaud set out to “reimagine what knitwear could do — for today’s day and age.” THE INSPIRATION: New York City. Courtesy of Victor Glemaud Courtesy of Victor Glemaud Courtesy of Proenza Schouler THE LOOK: Floor-length skirts with a flash of skin, cutout dresses done in comfy knits, and a handful of high-level basics. THE INSPIRATION: Clothing and designs we’ll want to wear after Covid-19 is done—chic, well-made, and still comfortable. Courtesy of Proenza Schouler Courtesy of Proenza Schouler Courtesy of Gabriela Hearst THE LOOK: Sweeping capes fit for a Game of Thrones character, patchwork capes from the heartland and some killer long-sleeve dresses. THE INSPIRATION: The medieval saint Hildegard of Bingen. Courtesy of Gabriela Hearst Courtesy of Gabriela Hearst Courtesy of 3.1 Phillip Lim THE LOOK: For fall, Phillip Lim tapped his natural tailoring talents, with 1970s-inspired suiting, coats with wide lapels, and dresses and skirts with clean lines that fell below the knee. THE INSPIRATION: Since the pandemic began, Lim has worked to bring attention to heightened hate crimes against Asian and Asian-American people. While unveiling the looks from this collection, steeped in Lim’s desire to remain “nimble and smart,” he posted a call to action on his Instagram account. “Fellow Americans, fellow human beings, will you stand with me to stop Asian hate?,” he asked. Courtesy of 3.1 Phillip Lim Courtesy of 3.1 Phillip Lim THE LOOK: Adam Lippes threw jolts of color and pattern into his fall 2021 collection: electric blue slacks with a knife-sharp crease, pastel pink on a wool sleeveless blazer, and cheerful florals galore. THE INSPIRATION: An opinion that will surely go undisputed—we could all use more positivity. This was the crux of Lippes’s approach to the season, and we have to admit, it’s coming at just the right time. THE LOOK: A riot of prints (stripes! Cowhide! Stars and planets!), along with textures of all kinds (lace, tweed, and silk) all firmly rooted in the house’s signature interpretation of the 1960s. THE INSPIRATION: Wonderwall, a film from 1968 starring Jane Birkin (with music scored by Eric Clapton and George Harrison). Courtesy of Collina Strada THE LOOK: Kaleidoscopic shin-length dresses, collared blouses with poufed sleeves, and sneakers with a row of ruffles along the sole. All of the looks were modeled by the likes of Jazzelle and Jeremy O. Harris, each of whom was reimagined as their own “Collina-mals” by the artist David Mattingly. THE INSPIRATION: Animorphs, the sci-fi YA novels from the early Aughts—which Mattingly illustrated. Courtesy of Collina Strada Courtesy of Collina Strada THE LOOK: Chic takes on preppy staples: loose-fitting V-neck sweaters, wide-leg pants, and boatneck styles—and outerwear. Plenty of it. THE INSPIRATION: Cooking, a hobby Wu took up during quarantine and channeled in the grocery store setting of his IRL runway show. Courtesy of Rosetta Getty THE LOOK: Trouser skirts, knit polos, and ankle-grazing dresses, all styled with Doc Martens boots. THE INSPIRATION: An update on ’90s grunge. Courtesy of Rosetta Getty Courtesy of Rosetta Getty THE LOOK: Sumptuous suiting and layers done in black and white. THE INSPIRATION: The collection, technically labeled “menswear” is gender-neutral. THE LOOK: Volume, volume, volume. THE INSPIRATION: The party-fueled 1920s—which Johnson hopes will re-emerge after Covid’s through. Courtesy of Victoria Beckham THE LOOK: Clean suiting and tailoring—even when it comes to the Canadian tuxedo shown below. THE INSPIRATION: In the designer’s own words, “There’s a sense of the hybrid, of crossing between formal and casual, shifting between seasons, of challenging the norm. Breaking rules.” Courtesy of Victoria Beckham Courtesy of Victoria Beckham THE LOOK: Alphabet soup getups that pair vintage pieces with the label's chic shearling and suede coats and leather goods. THE INSPIRATION: Retro advertisements and "As Seen on TV" info-mercials.