Functionality: Autumn Winter 2021 Sustainable Trends


It all depends on how you define functionality. We have seen the return of pockets this season, as seen on the vests from Reese Cooper in which you have ample space to carry around all of your pandemic essentials. If, however, functionality to you means comfort, then Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton both presented wide-leg trousers that can help with the transition from life at home to a more sartorial post-pandemic lifestyle.


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The outside world feels somewhat like a foreign land to many of us who have spend the past year or so in and out of isolation and lockdown, and freedom can pose a threatening feeling, as though we are heading out into the unknown. Designers including Balenciaga, y/project and lyph have taken to camouflage looks that offer us a sense of protection and at-home-ness within the elements that lurk beyond the protective four walls of home.



What once felt like muscle memory, preparing to go out – whether it is to work or running errands – now can feel like a mountainous task that requires ample thought and planning… not to mention the additional essentials that we have found ourselves reliant on. Without essentials at our fingertips as we emerge out of the home, and with an unforgiving virus still very much on the loose, overly large bags have been offered up by many designers including Dima Leu, Onitsuka and Balenciaga, so that we can feel prepared for anything.


Ganni took it a step further. Instead of packing all of your things into one big, mary poppins-esque bag, why not categorise your belongings into several smaller pouches?



Protection against the harsh elements of winter in a pandemic feels all-the-more important this season. Vetements and Nina Ricci were amongst many designers cladding models in overly protective, head-to-toe puffer coats, hoods, hats and balaclavas.



Designers acknowledged the accelerating pace-of-life in collections this season: as the world opens back up and we step back out of our sheltered cocoons of lockdown, versatile, movement-ready attire were popular. Marine Serre’s model jogs determinedly in trainers and the all-essential mask, Ganni brought a bike to the catwalk and Onitsuka paired an action-ready trainer with a pinstriped suit.




Keeping your pandemic essential possessions close at hand, many designers added extra pockets to trousers and jackets alike, so that being prepared can become a seamless part of your outfit. We’re thinking hand-sanitiser and mask are becoming just as essential as keys, wallet and phone… Marine Serre even presented a lilac water-bottle pouch, hinting at our need for enhanced hydration in order to maintain optimum condition in the face of the health threats posed by the pandemic.



For comfortable and movement liberating transition from home to work and the outer world, Nehara and Louis Vuitton were not alone in presenting wide leg and roomy attire. Wide leg trousers and oversized coats were everywhere.



+  Words: Niamh Heron, Luxiders Magazine 

BA Journalism and Media Graduate, based in Leeds, UK

Connect with her through Instagram @niamh.heron or LinkedIn