FRONT ROW FOR ALL

The Best Looks From an Unconventional New York Fashion Week


Courtesy of The Row

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.

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Dion Lee
Courtesy Dion Lee

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.

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Dion Lee
Courtesy Dion Lee
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Dion Lee
Courtesy Dion Lee
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Aliétte

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?”

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Aliétte
Courtesy Aliétte
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Aliétte
Courtesy Aliétte
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Tory Burch
Courtesy of Tory Burch
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Tory Burch
Courtesy of Tory Burch
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Tory Burch
Courtesy of Tory Burch
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LaQuan Smith
Courtesy of Greg Swales

THE LOOK: Sexy skin-baring tops and dresses, sharply tailored separates in bold silhouettes.

THE INSPIRATION: The female form, confident women.

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LaQuan Smith
Courtesy of Greg Swales
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LaQuan Smith
Courtesy of Greg Swales
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Oscar de la Renta

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.

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Oscar de la Renta
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Oscar de la Renta
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Tom Ford

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.

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Tom Ford
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Tom Ford
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Zimmermann
Courtesy of Zimmermann

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.

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Zimmermann
Courtesy of Zimmermann
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Zimmermann
Courtesy of Zimmermann
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Victor Glemaud
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.

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Victor Glemaud
Courtesy of Victor Glemaud
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Victor Glemaud
Courtesy of Victor Glemaud
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Proenza Schouler
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.

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Proenza Schouler
Courtesy of Proenza Schouler
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Proenza Schouler
Courtesy of Proenza Schouler
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Gabriela Hearst
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.

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Gabriela Hearst
Courtesy of Gabriela Hearst
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Gabriela Hearst
Courtesy of Gabriela Hearst
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Phillip Lim
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.

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Phillip Lim
Courtesy of 3.1 Phillip Lim
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Phillip Lim
Courtesy of 3.1 Phillip Lim
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Adam Lippes
Courtesy of Adam Lippes

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.

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Adam Lippes
Courtesy of Adam Lippes
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Adam Lippes
Courtesy of Adam Lippes
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Anna Sui
Courtesy of Anna Sui

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).

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Anna Sui
Courtesy of Anna Sui
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Anna Sui
Courtesy of Anna Sui
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Collina Strada
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.

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Collina Strada
Courtesy of Collina Strada
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Collina Strada
Courtesy of Collina Strada
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Jason Wu
Courtesy of Jason Wu

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.

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Jason Wu
Courtesy of Jason Wu
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Jason Wu
Courtesy of Jason Wu
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Rosetta Getty
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.

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Rosetta Getty
Courtesy of Rosetta Getty
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Rosetta Getty
Courtesy of Rosetta Getty
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The Row
Courtesy of The Row

THE LOOK: Sumptuous suiting and layers done in black and white.

THE INSPIRATION: The collection, technically labeled “menswear” is gender-neutral.

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The Row
Courtesy of The Row
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Ulla Johnson
Courtesy of Ulla Johnson

THE LOOK: Volume, volume, volume.

THE INSPIRATION: The party-fueled 1920s—which Johnson hopes will re-emerge after Covid’s through.

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Ulla Johnson
Courtesy of Ulla Johnson
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Ulla Johnson
Courtesy of Ulla Johnson
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Victoria Beckham
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.”

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Victoria Beckham
Courtesy of Victoria Beckham
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Victoria Beckham
Courtesy of Victoria Beckham
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Coach
Courtesy of Coach

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.

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Coach
Courtesy of Coach
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Coach
Courtesy of Coach