As we inch towards the final days of 2020, we look back and realize A LOT has changed in this year. With the pandemic of COVID-19 playing a spoilsport for the entire year, many high-end fashion weeks, red carpet galas, and film festivals were put to hold for an indefinite period of time. With vaccines nowhere in sight, some of them, like The MET were even canceled. However, they say, when one fashion door closes, opens another! The organizers finally found a virtual solution to pandemic problems and big fashion events like the Paris Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week, India’s Lakme Fashion Week along with India Couture Week, and Lotus Makeup India Fashion Week went digital for the first time ever.
Though the soiree would have been virtual, but the fashion zest was as REAL as it could get. In these months of lockdown, many designers got their creative juices flowing. With the traditional runway being no more an option, several designers and fashion houses came up with a unique idea of presenting their collections. Others reflected back on their actions and dedicated their collections to nature.
With that being said, allow PeepingMoon.com to present you with a list of all the noteworthy collections from the year that kept our inner fashionista satiated in the tough times of COVID-19
After opting to go season-less and launching the digital platform Gucci Equilibrium, the Italian brand continued to be a luxury leader by launching its first-ever sustainable and gender-fluid collection. Called ‘Gucci Off The Grid’, this organic collection comprised of accessories, apparel, footwear, ready-to-wear, and luggage. Made from recycled, organic, and natural materials that also featured regenerated nylon -Econyl, this unisex collection was all about soothing pastels and summer hues.
Moschino’s Jeremy Scott took things a notch higher and presented us with an out-of-the-box concept at the Milan Fashion Week. Squeezing the size of the show, its models as well as the front row, Jeremy hosted a puppet show featuring marionettes models curated by Jim Henson's Creature Shop. The fashion film featured the models strutting the runway in elegant dresses and evening gowns wrapped frills and tulle and lacy high-low couture. While Scott dialed down the drama in his collection, it was quite evident in his fashion film. The front row marionettes consisted of some lookalikes of famous faces like Anna Wintour, Edward Enninful, Hamish Bowles, Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele, Anna Dello Russo, amongst others. Despite the fact that the clothes were presented on small puppets, it never felt that one couldn't experience the 'larger than life costume' vibe which comes via a fashion show only.
Fulfilling our fashion ‘fantasea’ designer Donatella Versace presented us with her mermaid-themed Spring 2021 collection at Milan Fashion Week 2020. With a setting of Roman remains covered in sand and seashells, designer Donatella presented her collection, ‘Under the Sea’ inspired by the beauty of nature and Medusa. Those vibrant midi dresses brought back the Italian fashion house's Trésor de la Mer print, from the 90s while onda-hemline dresses derived inspiration from the movement of waves. Models including the regulars like Joan Smalls, Jill Kortleve and Irina Shayk glided down the runway as mystic sea creatures with dewy makeup and wet hairdo flaunting the label’s collection. Apart from its stunning collection, the fashion house took care of the inclusivity as well. After receiving flaks for not being inclusive enough in their past collections, Donatella broke all the shackles and embraced the new norms by casting the plus size models in its couture film. Instead of putting them in awkward clothing, the luxury brand highlighted their curves and assets in relaxed couture and pieces which was a treat to behold in these changing times.
In the digital Paris Fashion Week, Dior launched its Fall 2020 collection designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri virtually and in the form of miniature mannequins. Chuiri’s haute couture collection was inspired by female Surrealist figures such as Dora Maar, Leonora Carrington, and Lee Miller and was presented in the form of a short film directed by Matteo Garrone. The miniature haute couture brought the best of dramatic ensembles that featured extravagant feathers, ruffled tulles, bold colour palette, poetic silhouettes, and ethereal fabrics and draping. The haute couture ateliers made two sets of the displayed 37 outfits, produced at 40% of their original size. These dresses were made with the intention to travel across the globe for their ‘touch-and-feel’ element.
DOLCE & GABBANA
Italian luxury house Dolce & Gabanna unveiled its Alta Moda collection with the most spectacular show since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Titled Rebirth, the collection was unveiled in the monumental garden of Villa Bardini, Florence which is known for its cultural history. Featuring Renaissance fashion at its best, D&G's latest collection was an uplifting ode to the Florence city, which revived back to life after battling the deadly pandemic, which nearly crushed the fashion industry. Reminding us of the magic of haute couture in a traditional setting, this fashion show unveiled classy timeless pieces and vintage clothing. Taking inspiration from the sixteenth century and Italian Renaissance, the designers presented us with 89 breathtakingly beautiful runway looks. From hand-painted double organza and tulle corset dresses to embroidered skit, coats, and kaftans, everything about this collection was vintage and magical. The collection displayed the best of satins, chiffons, brocades, organza, and lace and mesh haute couture that was high on cultural values. Truly magical!
Manish Malhotra presented two versions of his collection at the India Couture Week ft. showstopper Janhvi Kapoor and at the Lakme Fashion Week with actor Kartik Aaryan as his muse. Although, one thing that was common between both shows was its regalia. Titled ‘Ruhaaniyaat’, the collection was a tribute to our diverse heritage and soulful artistry of the Indian craftsmen from the eras gone by. Taking inspiration from the vibrance of Punjab and nazakat of Awadh, this collection interpreted the majesty of old-world regalia with a modern touch.
The collection comprised of kalidar kurtas, khada dupattas, ghararas, and izar salwars for women and jama angrakha and heavy shawls for men in pure and cotton silks, mashru, velvets, and muslins in variant shade card ranging from soothing pastels to rich jewel tones. Eye-popping matha-patti, to layers of raani haar, this showcase also featured Manish’s jewellery collection that stuck the right balance with the outfits’ vibrance and opulence. The grandeur, we love!
Raw Mango’s festive collection ‘Moomal’ at the Lakme Fashion Week 2020 Digital First Season Fluid Edition took us on a trip to his home state with its varied terrain, attractive architecture, chic crafts, and delightful dress. Inspired by the rich heritage and deep-rooted in Indian culture, the collection took us down designer Sanjay Garg’s memory lane packed with all those fond memories of Rajasthan. Part nostalgic and part re-imagined for the future, totally inspired by Rajasthani folklore, this festive feast turned out to be a contrast and harmony of colours, textiles and silhouettes. This was one fashionable folk form for the Raw Mango label, a fitting homage to the craft and tradition of Rajasthan.
Titled Taramati, designer Gaurang Shah’s collection derived inspiration from the legendary courtesan Taramati, and featured 30 grand, heritage, and handwoven saris from the Golconda era. The collection featured a masterful merging of complex designs enhanced by a rainbow of hues that moved melodiously from beige, wine, green, yellow, and then struck the high notes with rich purple and pink. Speaking of the traditional weaves from all corners of the country, the designer revamped the look of an intricate ikat, Kanchi, Patan and then moved to reinvent the glory of Kota, Uppada, glorious Banarasi, Kani, Venkatagiri, and the timeless Paithani in the traditional complex jamdani weave. The weaves were an imaginative blend of silk, gold, and silver threads that gave the Taramati saris a timeless appeal. The intricate crafts further highlighted the stunning weaves, including the popular Aari, Chikankari, Kasuti, Shibori, Kantha, along with the colourful Kutch embroidery and classical Parsi Gara work.
In the digital Paris Fashion Week 2020, Rahul Mishra unveiled its haute couture collection. Called Butterfly People, Mishra’s sustainable collection was an ode to his artisans and Indian craftsmanship. Intricate designs, 3D embroidery displaying the best of nature and a riot of colors were a prominent part of his collection. Sequins covering the floor-length gowns, organza capes, sheer face masks decorated with delicate butterflies accentuated the look of his Fall 2020 collection.
An organic extension to his Paris Haute Couture Collection ‘Butterfly People’, Rahul’s ‘Lotus Pond’ celebrated the love for nature at the India Couture Week 2020. Shot in the backdrop of the outskirts of Delhi, this collection was an ode to an evolving ecosystem with butterflies, dragonflies, aquatic plants and a sublime lotus. Staying true to his signature style, this bridal collection featured flora and fauna that featured 3D butterflies, jaali work, sequin detailing and embellishments. Weightless, timeless and contemporary – Mishra’s collection fit the bill for all the millennial brides looking for the fuss-free trousseau.
Titled ‘Hide and Seek’ this collection featured traditional and fusion looks to the likes of the modern man at the India Couture Week 2020. Shot as Asiatic Society of Mumbai, the collection focused on deconstructed looks and mock layering where separates could be worn in more than one way enabling the person to create multiple looks. Rawal’s collection was high on embellishments, intricate zardozi, and embroidered detailing. Needless to say, this collection featured different textures ranging from French knots to fine thread work. Keeping in mind the deconstruction and layering bit, this collection saw a lot of suave bandhgalas and dhotis teamed up with koti jackets and striped colourful shawls. Modish, diverse, out of the box and aesthetically pleasing- Kunal’s collection ticked all the right boxes.
They say fashion is ever-evolving and collections like these stand proof!