These NYFW Trends Are A Sign Of The Times

Photo: Courtesy of Collina Strada SS21 ‘Change Is Cute’.
Without outfits to plan, schedules to coordinate, and portable phone chargers to buy in the days leading up to the first show, New York Fashion Week ended as quickly as it came. No street style, very few in-person runways, and no after-parties — digital NYFW was an entirely new experience. One thing about this week that didn’t change, though, was what it left behind: a variety of spring '21 trends to contemplate from now until the season actually begins. 
As expected, masks were everywhere during the shortened NYFW, starting with those showcased during sustainable brand Zero + Maria Cornejo’s video presentation. More appeared later at Collina Strada, Oak & Acorn, Libertine, and Imitation of Christ, to name a few. Staying true to the pandemic theme, gloves also made an appearance, though none that we’d consider wearing for anything other than aesthetics. At Theophilio, gloves were adorned on one hand only, whereas the ones at Rodarte were fanciful, dainty, and made of chiffon. From there, it was comfort that reigned supreme — another genre that we expected given the number of hours we continue to spend indoors and away from judging fashion eyes. Simon Miller and LRS used ribbing in their loungewear, while Collina Strada and PH5 went the sweatsuit route.
Some designers took chances that we weren’t expecting. At Social Work, C+ Plus Series, Snow Xue Gao, and Maisie Wilen, among others, designers broke fashion's long-running rule by clashing varying prints. Snow Xue Gao included micro florals paired with plaid — thus making us happy we bought Kate Middleton’s floral mask before it sold out, just so we can now pair it with a plaid mini skirt — while metallic stripes sparred (in the best way possible) with quilt-like patchwork at Maisie Wilen. 
This NYFW was about more than just clothes, though. Many designers, including Oak & Acorn, Collina Strada, Studio 189, PH5, Tanya Taylor, and Chromat, used their spots on the NYFW calendar to spread meaningful messages regarding social injustices, climate change, politics, and more. 
Ahead, see all the trends that stood out at the first-ever digital NYFW. 

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