We often hear that: "fashion is cyclical", and the spring-summer 2021 trends proved this yet again.
We find the beloved ruffles among the season's great returns (aka ruches). These versatile garments can enrich even the most basic dresses, skirts and shirts, be worn during the day and in the evening, in the office, or for a romantic dinner.
Not less important were the tulle skirts that appeared on Milan Fashion Week's catwalks this year. They can be worn comfortably with plain ankle boots or a heel to create a more elegant outfit.
The undisputed star of our wardrobes this year, however, is the balloon sleeve, which grows larger year by year; this trend takes its cue from the Renaissance, but it was in the 80s that it conquered the taste of many and today, for some years now, it got back in vogue more than ever.
On the other hand, among the evergreen garments, we find the beloved dungarees, which are still fashionable and sought after even after some time since their first launch in the 1960s. Surprisingly, our faithful friend dungarees have never completely gone out of fashion over the years!
Now let's talk about the protagonist patterns of the 2021 season: we see the return of polka dots and the unforgettable stripes, the latter in a multicolour version of the classic and most popular marine version, launched by Coco Chanel in the 1920s. Do we have any advice to combine them? Sure we have.
If we are talking about striped dresses in caftan style or soft dresses, then sandals or slippers are the best choices. If it is marine stripes, sneakers are a must or, even better, if the model is a maxi shirt, the versatile combat boots will give you an edge.
This year, more than ever, we feel the need to fully immerse ourselves in new experiences by taking back our freedom to enjoy life as we wish, so what did fashion think for us?
The keyword is "practicality", therefore the return of pumps, dispelling the myth of the lack of femininity for the wearers. The most successful combinations are pumps and jeans, dresses and skirts. With the sabot, pumps are one of the must-haves of SS21.
It is essential to point out that fashion never follows a single direction. As previously anticipated, this season's trends are not just a simple return to the past, as we can confirm by Milan Fashion Week's many novelties. We are shown that fashion is not just avant-garde or retro; it is often inspired by the present and is always the product of its time. Let's take gloves as an example; using gloves even in summer is one of the new SS21 trends, inspired by the habits we all adopted during the pandemic. Another example was the launch on the catwalk of "leisure" outfits, oversized dresses and suits searching for relaxation and comfort, resulting from the transition from office to smart working.
Among the innovations, we find the extraordinary "Mix and Match", which consists of different prints, overlapping fabrics, or even real clothes. To give a more versatile example, think of a crop-top comfortably worn over a long-sleeved shirt or of two overlapping dresses with different styles for the more daring!
Another novelty is the hot pants, combined with exposed lingerie, such as a contrasting culotte that comes out of the micro shorts.
We have two-tone garments for the more undecided this year; they can be half white and half black, or light jeans and dark jeans.
On the other hand, satin trousers are a fabulous style choice, either for an elegant outfit or a sporty one.
In terms of accessories, the rules that the SS21 season dictates are clear; it's all zoomed in! We find huge bags and maxi clutches, and even the jewels are zoomed in, impossible not to notice them.
If we talk about eccentricity, we cannot fail to mention sequins' use even during the day, perhaps one of the most overwhelming novelties of the season.
Last but not least, the novelties for our feet for spring-summer 2021. First of all, combat boots, a popular choice for both adult women and girls thanks to their versatility and stylishness; we find them in every shape and colour but, one rule only, leave the tank home! Other trends are slingbacks, open heel and closed toe, high or low heels, coordinated with dresses or trousers; and once summer arrives? Slingback, platform and mules sandals.
This year it is indisputable to argue that fashion is "cross-eyed", with one eye pointing to the past and the other the future.
By Chiara Tropea, Fashion Journalist