Haute Couture Spring Summer 2021 | Fantasy, Maximalism, Recycled and 3D Fabrics



Fantasy as evasion, preciousness as exercise, maximalism as empowerment ... Paris Haute Couture Week, between the digital and the face-to-face, demonstrated that haute couture is resistant and more sustainable than any type of fashion in the world. Haute Couture is an art made with different types of crafts with thousands of hours of embroidery, rhinestones and tailoring. Among the trends repeated in the Paris Haute Couture shows, we highlight the predilection for pink, XXL bows, silhouettes from the 50s and the use of 3D fabrics.


Between fuchsia and magenta, pink has been the common denominator of many garments, such as Schiaparelli's surrealist dresses or Valentino's tailor. Giambattista Valli and AZ Factory, the new brand by Alber Elbaz, also believe on the strength of this color.

Like candy boxes, new dresses arrive with XXL bows to encapsulate that romantic dream that is usually associated with this type of ornament. Those by Viktor & Rolf stand out, finishing off their upcycled patchwork proposals.

The A-siluette from the 50s dresses reminded us to Dior's NewLook. They bring a classic nod with theatrical volume to the look that does not go unnoticed. In this sense, Dior and Chanel bets the exploration of vintage, while Valentino bets on the futuristic version, in fluorine and with unexpected details.

The boom in 3D design and virtual reality during this year of lock-down has also been visually established in the collections, in which 3D fabrics have provided this futuristic touch interwoven in Haute Couture.




For the first time ever, Iris Van Herpen has collaborated with Parley for the Oceans to include recycled plastics in sustainable materials that are of couture quality. The designer, sometimes cast as science whisperer, relies on 3D printing and nanorobotics to make her handmade clothing a reality. “We are now at a moment where the quality [between an organic silk and a recycled polyester] is completely equal…. Basically, there’s not a lot of reason not to use sustainable materials anymore, other than changing your mindset.” - she declared to Vogue.



We have spent this pandemic asking ourselves how it will change fashion, how women will dress when they reemerge after a year, o more, of lockdown. Schiaparelli’s radical vision of heroic female strength is powerfully irresistible.

Schiaparelli’s lookbook opens with another super-heroine bustier, with trapezius muscles and biceps. It is a homage to the visioner designer. We love the stretch-fabric dress knitted with more than 200,000 Swarovski crystals.



The Rave collection by Viktor & Rolf was completely upcycled. Known for their conceptualism, the Dutch made youth and upcycling their main themes. Taking an “anything goes” approach, they used elements of their own archive, bits of jewelry, sweatshirts, and mere scraps of fabric to create new looks. The result is an explosion of tulle and rhinestones, lace, bows, ribbons and embroidery.



In this cataclysmic time, Maria Grazia Chiuri made the choice to go mystical inspired by tarot cards for Dior Haute Couture Collection Spring Summer 2021. A woman goes inside a castle, as a labyrinth, representing an interior trip. When she meets each of the tarot figures, she has to reach a decision about her life. There are Renaissance-inflected high-waisted corseted bodices, brocade robes, and plissé dresses in symbolic melding of masculine-feminine identities. 



As we all know, Valentino stands out as the most eco-friendly luxury house as "it has committed to implementing zero-deforestation policies for leather and packaging purchasing and zero-discharge policies for textile production,” confirms Greenpeace. The Haute Couture 2021 collection Temporal talk on genderless, 3D future, minimalism and the quality of designing clothes, made by hand, which will long outlive trends.





Instead of sourcing new fabrics, Van der Kemps fashions his creations out of materials that already exist. Re-using existing materials is already intrinsic to her design ethos. For his Haute Couture 2021 Collection his Challenge was to make it with even less recyclables. The exuberance and inventiveness that has defined his past work are apparent here in dresses pieced together from three distinct fabrics so they look different depending on the angle. Van der Kemp calls his process “ethical Dada.”



Yuima Nakazato is a Japanese talent who works with proteins and biosmocking to create three-dimensional structures: "Between human beings and clothes there is an invisible memory." The video presentation of his Haute Couture Spring Summer 2021 Collection revolved around the concept of Atlas, through a conversation with Lauren Wasser, the activist model who lost both legs due to a toxic shock syndrome caused by a tampon. Titled "Craftmanship: Encapsulated Reminiscence," Nakazato's big idea for this season's collection is Boro - garments made from fabric fragments that have been worn by hundreds of people before.



Sofia Crociani, designer of the Aelis brand, presented a collection with lace cobwebs woven over almost transparent cocktail dresses; or on a country dress with tulle applications, with a twisted shape like a drugged insect. "My message is related to ecology. About how we should begin to decolonize nature." - Crociani explained.



Rahul Mishra was given the initial impetus to create his collection by viewing David Attenborough's acclaimed new series, Blue Planet II, and the result is an exquisite collection and a visual love hymn to nature. The message was about the absolute necessity to widen the mental landscape, even as humanity continues to destroy our planet.