Call it as we must. The mid-nineties to early-noughties have imprinted their sartorial influence this season & a new, post-pandemic world involves a wardrobe that reckons with an unabashed, sexual confidence. PVC shoes make this case. It’s the trend to be waxed (plastic) about.
This saucy style has re-emerged as a compelling argument for more-is-more. It definitely does all the talking. Fashion is certainly having its footing with this summery throwback. Amina Muaddi ornaments her fluted, pyramidal-heeled styles with crystal encrustment. The ultimate when-fairytales-come-true “glass” slipper – though one shouldn’t leave these amiss after the crack of midnight. Gianvito Rossi opts towards a sleek approach with a pointed toe sole finish. It-girl footwear crush Paris Texas unleashes the aughts & pairs their styles with a Western-style redux detailing (think: faux croc). Designed with copious colour (i.e. pastel pink & neon green), & serious embellishment – it makes way for an eclectic, unapologetic femininity. Leaving little to the imagination in all its reveal, is this the subtly sexy shoe for inhibition-less IRL dating? It’s certainly fantastic.
Delicate yet striking, bold yet sexy, the PVC shoe lends itself as the ultimate party-ready adornment ranging from ultra glamour to refined-pretty. Perfect for wintry party-wear as well. Better yet? The eye travels further when wearing this style as it adds length to any frame for an elongated silhouette. It’s an empowering, transformative stance. Retro yet oh-so current, these are meant for utter bliss.
Style Tip: These are meant for show. Wear these at your next cocktail party or gathering. Style with either a monochromatic or a saturated-hued dress. Your favourite LBD would add balance to the style. Wanting to add a dose of off-duty chic? Pair with your favourite denim. Cropped works best. Highlight these with an open-vent legging for cooler days.
By way of heavenly, holographic eyes and cheeks, sexy electric-blue liner, and out-of-shower-like skin, Spring proves to be the unstoppable flush of inspiration for fresh beauty. Precious Lee’s eyes were kept as divine as ever with this Pat McGrath Beauty Palette. Clouds of fiery pink pigment were applied to Nicola Coughlan’s lids, completed with fresh skin. This Dior Eyeshadow Palette lended an icy, baby-blue statement to Yara Shahidi’s upper and lower lash lines. Ashley Graham kept her serve on with a 90s smoked-out wing & parted, sleek hair. It’s definitely about the focus. Beauty couldn’t be brighter. Here are the 17 best Spring beauty looks from the ‘gram.
The dreamy Simone Rocha x H&M drop has just arrived…and it is as ever Simone as her penchant for ribbons and beads would show. The trademark collection embodies an avant-garde, come-as-you-are sense, a freshness that’s expectedly Spring including lightweight trenches, breathy cotton, & beaded knits.
Relying on Fashion’s familiar faces such as Tess McMillan, Adwoa Aboah, Kaia Gerber, & Paloma Elsesser, the multi-month campaign was brought to life (literally!) with THAT Phygital Pop-Up Book.
Simone gets her audiences lost in her maddening attention to detail – yet always, the beautified garments maintain their grounding in Earthy practicality. And it’s ethereal perfection. What can one expect? The Rocha’ed genius of contrast. Dresses are flirtatiously designed to highlight the waist through the Irish Chinese designer’s signature voluminous sleeves and hips.
Sheer coats were etched with romantic details i.e., THOSE headwave-making beaded breast-outliners as shown in her SS21 Collection. Elegance is added via pearl-trimmed collars on an off-white cloqué dress. Lace detailing completes a painterly floral dress. Bows are made to modern corsetry on tulle dresses and blouses. Cloqué fabric (think: jacquard) was romantically made anchor to the dresses. Subtle hints to post-lockdown flirtation?
Simone tributes her Irish roots with doses of tartan grunging floaty frocks, and thus edging the collection with a complete balance of femininity. Pearled brogues, feathered ballerinas, & chunky-soled slides are what’s in for footwear, and whose artful eccentricity is found in her homage & heritage to Hong Kong. Hair (by way of Rocha’s go-to hairstylist Cyndia Harvey), is preened into ribboned bow clips and statement-making headpieces, securing this collection as a portrait of Simone’s femininity.
With the current austerity the world has had reckoned, visual optimism reigns en masse by way of Spring 2021 Fashion Month as a beautifying language for facial adornment (re: otherworldly beauty from Erdem Moralioglu to shockingly vibrant hues from Tom Ford & Christopher John Rogers). From graciously-thick graphic onyx liner to new hair lengths yet to reach its watery potential, escapism, fantasy, and self-discovery are the silver linings of what’s ahead for runway-inspired beauty trends.
POPS OF BOLD
The extrovert’s palette that rules no exception. Tom Ford’s amped exorbitant joie de vivre showcase was met with 80’s inspired flushes of fuschia pink cheekbone draping with metallic-like frosted eyes to match. Christopher John Rogers followed this suit with fantastical lip service of fiery orange. Bora Aksu proved a point of difference with a subdued yet equally glamorous approach. Bright hues were blurred and paired with veiled, translucent masks for a moving, directional display, softly patted by makeup artist Janeen Witherspoon. The takeaway? A potent, juicy springtime boost where serotonin levels electrify with impact.
ALL ABOUT THE SKIN
According to Victoria Beckham, it’s all about what’s on the surface, i.e., minimalist yet radiant skin. And she’s not alone. Proenza’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, coupled with The Row’s Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen, offered an embrace to an earthy, natural approach to beauty. Barely-there, no-makeup makeup has returned, comfortingly. Beckham emphasized the subtle basics that merely deviate from the designer’s signature look: fresh-looking, out-of-shower skin & neutral-toned eyeliner. Lashes were made sensuous with the best-selling Satin Kajal Liner. It’s where Lucia Pieroni dots the line(r). Zoom call ready? Very posh.
THE GRAPHIC EYE
The je ne sais quoi of beauty trends for 2021. What makes the graphic look so genius? It’s seasonless & completely adaptable. Take notes from Paris. Chanel’s take was a thickly-lidded smoky update that followed the eye’s natural arch and lid. Explained Chanel’s Global Creative Designer for Makeup and Colour Lucia Pica, “I really wanted the girls makeup to look very blurry, matte and pristine.” A 1920’s cinematic look with a modern update. Chloe’s proved to find less restraint with an added edge by way of a flick and double-winged liner to a boho lover’s bliss. Dior’s expectedly captured emotion with a daring heavily-handed, kohl eyeliner look – complementing fresh lips & skin.
OUT-OF-WATER (BEACHLESS) HAIR
This water-bound hair trend needn’t require a pool or beach – just a few drops of hair oil or dollops of pomade. Versace’s SS21 Hellenic-inspired glamourous showcase was all about every inch of sexuality, including the effervescently chic, Ursula Andress straight-from-the-water wet hair look. Chloe echoed the same note, with vestiges to off-duty ease. This Spring/Summer off-the-runway hair will be seen as a bonafide look for summery nonchalance.
WFH easy glamour begins here. Erdem’s otherworldly, intelligent beauty meets Rodarte’s spellbinding aesthetic. Pared-back, the wearer’s beauty undercurrents free & unfettered, with gestures to all encompassing gothic romance. Fantasy comes to mind when Simone Rocha is in the conversation, with pearled headpieces and doll-like blush application on cheeks.With NARS Global Director Uzo Ukaeje, the Mulleavy Sisters opted for Rodarte to turn towards vamp with Opulent Red. Erdem’s take on ethereal beauty was complemented by in-the-garden rosy cheeks & muted eyes with a softly defined brow.
Distilling the elements of femininity for Simone Rocha often involves a Gothic imagination (i.e. the ‘Blood Drip’ earrings), and her Spring Summer 2021 Collection isn’t without exception: intelligent dressing set the sobering showcase as de rigueur for the Irish Chinese designer. Against the backdrop of an unprecedented defined year, Spring is a state of being, a consciousness – and Simone is proving that once again. It is raw and tentative.
Trickling down to the fashion community, hesitation was felt with every stitch. But what was created out of austerity was an unforgettable moment of creative resilience. Enter the Dublin-born Rocha, whose grounding approach to SS21 is a foreboding, emotional reminder that the tide always turns. Simone (though she prefers a runway showcase) opted for a digital display and physical presentation.
And her collection typifies a Rocha’ed signature: Metamorphosis. Each one of Simone’s collections is a graduation of its former. Cycles of rebirth echoed her SS21 collection.
It was an acapella of a shadowy-lit assemblage. A spiritual awakening. Here’s how.
Simone’s collection was a code of contrast: delicate and structured. Beaded crop-tops were armour to a poplin co-ord and silk button-down set. Airy organza coats were etched with what-fairytales-are-made-of castle landscapes. It’s in these details the designer quietly reveals herself.
Ornate jacquard was a structural and decorative foundation to scoop neck dresses and coats. Rococo-esque detailing such as voluminous draping was on display. For instance? Take the modern open-vent polonaise ensemble: Heavily embroidered material is gathered to form a shape akin to a puffball, emphasizing the hips.
With Simone: It always involves ribbons. But too much is never enough. Tulle dresses were given a bondage-y upgrade with the silky fabric. Footwear was prima-perfect with pointe-style shoes. The must-have? Simone took things to new heights with a part-ballerina, part-kawaii girl platform-soled shoe, which was a ‘pointe’ of difference to the regal ensembles. It’s a maddening fantasy with all the right moves.
The ultimate personifier of pragmatic femininity? Embellished breast outliners. Hero for the SS21 collection.
Makeup artist Thomas de Kluyver kept an ethereal approach to Spring beauty throughout. Victorian-era outdoorsy-like blush was applied high on the cheekbones as the under-eyes were kept pale & dialled-down with a (couple or more!) flush of white powder. Pigmented hues such as creamy orangey-tang & rouge were graced across the tip of the nose and cheeks with a soft yet controlled hand—a better-than-the-alternative face tune. Eyes were given a sweep of shadow for contrast.
Hair was maintained at bob-length and coiffed into Hellenic-style ringlets by hairstylist Cyndia Harvey. The (literal!) crowning glory? Beaded bonnets of diamante and pearls were weaved in a mathematical, triangular fashion and were placed on the head with pin-curls poking through. Indeed, hair was as regal as modern.
The sum: It’s an alchemy of innocence & strength, an unbreakable combination that deeply appeals to the designer. As an ode to the Spring we lost, it was a poetic dialogue of re-discovery.
The brand that invites dressing as pleasure? Meet Adeera – the newest ‘It’ Girl label taking style cues from Insta-Girls alike & paving a seasonless brand with love-forever essentials. Marking the sustainably-minded Vancouver label as ever-feminine, Adeera’s latest pre-order only collection, “Edition 1” is built from the oh-so sumptuous appeal of buttery soft Mulberry Silk.
Here’s your exclusive first look with Adeera’s dream design team (& best friends) Shannon & Emma on their lust-worthy label & more…
Situated in a shadowy-lit room accentuated by a golden hour glaze – Adeera’s first collection, “Edition 1” – is a sartorial play of contrast. Providing a resurgence of bygone detailing in combination with unapologetic sensuality – Adeera epitomizes its exacting namesake – strength & independence. And this is how they define their “ideal” girl to be, wholly marking femininity as uniquely celebratory from “the elegant and edgy, the fearless and timeless,” showcasing all sides of the self – as described by the brand.
Founders Shannon & Emma began Adeera with a shared search of wanting more – a hunt on the perfect statement garment with priority on responsible design. The result?
“Chic. Feminine. Edgy,” the design duo shares.
Adeera officially marked its debut on Oct. 6th with six essential styles – including the 001, a one-shouldered blouse with an asymmetric décolletage neckline; the 002, a tie-front top; the 003, a silk organza tie-back blouse; the 004, a skimming mini skirt finished with upholstery trim; & the 005, a waist-hugging belt tiered with bows.
Dubbing their collections as “Editions,” each garment undergoes a process of production between 7-10 weeks, 2-3 weeks after its initial launch. What can you expect? Silhouettes awash in pearled ivory & deepened black hues, revealing its quiet lustre as it moves with you.
Mulberry Silk leads Edition 1 into an inner world guided by the aesthetic of Victorian nonchalance – without teetering on the old-fashioned. The fabric is imbued with Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification which guarantees that safety is ensured during its chemical-free production process. The silky anchor is reformed to where no remaining material goes untouched – as Adeera’s collections precede into dream-like accessories, such as the 006, a silk organza hair scrunchie.
On the path to their official launch, Adeera has found its bearings, as the team tells me, “it’s been a long process of designing, building, and iterating the brand” as each garment can undergo an arduous process of fittings, fittings, & more fittings (the 001 underwent an upwards of 12).
“[The] industry is not an open book, [therefore] you really have to dig”, Shannon and Emma shared.
An ode to the feminine silhouette, expect styles to mirror Hellenic curvature & gentle ruching, which are informed by the brand’s reminiscence with bygone dressing. Anew, styles are made hero by capturing ethereal romance, as languid silk is secured with such techniques as corset-style boning to be unveiled as alluringly trend-transcendent.
Behind the ever-enchanting aesthetic, the limited-run collection has early grounding in ecological integrity. Adeera is doing it their way.
Fashion’s reckoning with the textile industry comes with an overdue history of exploitation as 80% of women accumulate its workforce, with only a small fraction (re: single digits) being recipients of a livable wage. Our Earth’s well-being doesn’t fare better. As one of the largest polluting industries globally, the environment is at its breaking point, with billions of tonnes of carbon emissions clouding our skies coupled with an ever-pilling of waste in our landfills & oceans. Adeera’s changing these statistics.
As regarded by their philosophy, “transparency always”, Adeera maintains talent within Canada, minimizes waste with pre-order only collections, and partners with factories with safe & fair working conditions, while in disclosing their path towards sustainability, step by step.
“Being a sustainably minded business means to work every day and in everything you do towards being as sustainable as possible. We understand that no one can be 100% sustainable all the time, so being transparent is key. Don’t lie about what you’re putting out there. Own that you’re doing your best and making the efforts to get better. In every launch we will be one step closer to 100% sustainability.”
Adeera finds balance. And it’s what we’ve been waiting for. As it all begins with a cause, the label aesthetically draws from escape.
Within a post-lockdown world, a return to feelings of empowerment through optimism & assurance remains to be an antidote in the realm heightened uncertainty. “Our vision with our brand is, through our garments, to give women confidence and an escape from a world full of uncertainty”, Adeera shares.
Moments of adversity inversely heads self-discovery. For Adeera, they believe in dressing for one’s pleasure. An act of finding oneself is undoubtedly a revelation of inner strength, & borrowing from the label’s own definition, Adeera represents you.
Comforting pleasures luxuriously made for effortless adornment? Co-sign.
As we’ve been following the ongoing, devastating consequences of systematic racism globally, we’ve been looking to be continually conscious on how we can dismantle this system of oppression through raising the profile of Black-Owned Businesses & Designers. Too often in the Fashion Industry, Black talent is neglected despite significant contributions to this realm.
To be an anti-racist ally for change, with our collective support and buying power, we can vote with our dollars and prompt economic & cultural transformation. We’re putting a spotlight on outstanding Black-Owned Businesses you can support now & forever. *Images are linked*
Founded in 2013, Brother Vellies is a footwear & accessories brand which was established by Toronto-born Creative Director and Founder Aurora James whose premise was to celebrate cultural heritage through traditional African craftsmanship & techniques, with an emphasis on feminine eclecticism. James founded the 15 Percent Pledge based on a call-to-action for brands to increase their shelf-space of Black-Owned Businesses to 15%.
Embedding an ultra-feminine sensibility into the decidedly sensual aesthetic of her namesake brand CUSHNIE, Creative Director & CEO Carly Cushnie artfully formulates sex appeal within her womenswear collections, emphasizing on form & structure. Cushnie’s Spring ’19 NYFW Runway Show marked the emancipation of her first solo collection and defined the brand as assuredly luxurious & sophisticated. Expect fluid silhouettes, sumptuous silk charmeuse, & re-imagined necklines.
Merging West African textile traditions with modern silhouettes, globally-renowned Lisa Folawiyo melds perenially-chic femininity with alluring craftsmanship. With Ankara dress-wear as inspiration, through fanciful embellishment & texture, Lisa Folawiyo transforms the tradition of African aesthetics as decadently anew & as decidedly hers with her namesake label. Adorning Solange, Lupita Nyong’o, & Lucy Liu; discover beautifying motifs within her collections.
Christopher John Rogers
The architect of THAT bulbous strawberry-shaped cropped top, Christopher John Rogers is a force to be reckoned through his unapologetic use of vibrant colourways, harmonious showcases of lustrous silk, & experimental silhouettes. Exemplifying self-assured celebratory femininity, the Louisiana-born designer was the top recipient of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards in 2019. Expect voluminous shapes & all-encompassing captivating details.
Alluring. Architectural. Decadent. For lovers. Balancing sensual femininity with empowering strength, TyLynn Nguyen achieved a perfecting sartorial formula to a beautifying collection of the most luscious and luxurious undergarments. Her self-titled collection consists of intimate mesh panties, refined underwire-less & laced triangle cup bras that move with you with maximum comfort.
Based in Cape Town, South Africa, Sindiso Khumalo is a prolific textile designer who merges sustainable fabrications with African storytelling in her alluring designs. A distinct narrative that embraces her Zulu & Ndebele heritage, Sindiso Khumalo’s namesake brand evokes a visual language of empowering identity through ornate patterning & silhouettes married with the promise of ethical craftsmanship.
Embracing eclectic, unapologetic femininity punctuated with detailed colourways and contrast, EDAS is a sustainable accessories brand regarded for their ornate jewelry & supple leather goods. EDAS’ collection, “edas x Mexico” fuses founder’s Sade Mims creative talents with the artisanship of makers in Leon, Guanajuato to form a line that unveils a beautified, authentically-crafted narrative of Mexico. Discover their Charro One Shoulder Wrap Top, Luna Earrings, & Charcoal Delantal Top.
Dreamt by Stylist and Fashion Editor Brittany Kozerski, JADE Swim is a minimalist yet sensual swimwear line laden with innovative silhouettes and styles. Regarded for its shape-enhancing cuts, JADE honours its alluring namesake from nature. Bright & Earthy tones reign within their sporty collections. Your next Summer uniform begins with their editorial-approved “Evolve” One-Pieces.
Kai Avent-deLeon established Sincerely, Tommy in Brooklyn, New York where unbearably chic high-end emerging designers are stock-listed. Located in the neighbourhood of Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy, Sincerely, Tommy maintains an eclectic aesthetic while diversifying to community-orientated ventures with the launch of S,T Coffee, S,T Well, & S,T Eat & Stay. Avent-deLeon launched her thoughtfully-priced line, Sincerely, Tommy, capturing the essence of fresh femininity discerning shoppers crave.
Contemporary with nods to cultural storytelling, established in Johannesburg, South Africa, Thebe Magugu is a Fashion Brand that emphasizes on women’s ready-to-wear. From stitch to finish, Magugu’s designs are conceptualized and manufactured within the African continent. Woven within the fabric of his collections, Magugu’s approach to sartorial design embraces his African roots, which perfected through reimagined tailoring.
Unapologetic sexiness with an embrace to sartorial 90s fashion defines the editorial aesthetic of Briana Wilson’s line, Matte Brand. Defining a decade into modernity, Matte’s latest collection, “Matte 1992”, epitomizes unabashed femininity. The cult-loved brand is at the forefront of representation which includes women of colour, shapes, & body types. Find forever essentials such as their body-hugging leisurewear.
Anchored in its literal translation to “flourish” & “bloom”, lemlem is ever-reminiscent of a brand whose moral-driven mandate is woven within the fabric of their DNA & the embodiment of its Amharic-lended namesake.
lemlem founder Liya Kebede sought to preserve traditional weaving techniques, & safeguard the market for locally produced goods & employment opportunities from her native Ethiopia. Made entirely in Africa, beautified, decorated patterning and gentle colour palettes awash the Ethiopian brand’s elevated aesthetic.
Derived from a namesake that symbolized a powerful union, Third Crown designers husband-and-wife couple Kofi and Kristin Essel conceptualized an aesthetic that celebrated their Ghanian & Jamacian roots. With a synchronous discerning allure for architectural structure and geometric design, Harlem-based Third Crown reimagines show-stopping jewelry as elegantly understated. Storytelling through gestures of love.
Standing for strength and beauty inspired by the artist herself, TOVE is a London-based brand conceptualized by co-founders Camille Perry & Holly Wright following demonstrated industry experience. TOVE is defined by its minimalist, yet decidedly feminine aura, which is exemplified by its languid silhouettes and considered fabrications.
From an unconventional start as a Mechanical Engineer, Caribbean-raised Aisling Camps found herself as a graduate at FIT & must-know Fashion Designer with the fruition of her namesake label. The Brooklyn-based designer’s signature essentials include her enchanting fringe-mapped basics, & drop stitched cable knit sweaters finished with lace-like interwoven sofilo yarn. Thoughtfully-curated, globally-minded pieces are made dreamlike & wearable.
From Christopher John Rogers to Jacquemus, the ultimate edit of emerging & established designers is nestled at Sherri McMullen’s namesake concept store, McMullen. The Bay Area-founded, all-inclusive brand features African and African-American designers based in the apparel and home décor industries. Transcending trends; elevated, eclectic, and sophisticated brands with an editor’s sartorial insight are yours to discover at McMullen.
Otherworldly and transcendent, Grace Wales Bonner’s Menswear & Womenswear collections are a tactile exploration of identity, race, and culture. Wales Bonner’s gender-fluid designs evoke a merging of European and Afro-Atlantic traditions, emphasizing intellectual conceptions of literature, critical theory, and art. Soulful and contemporary, signatures are distinguished through sharp tailoring.
For more information on how your can donate & support worthy causes, please visit 15 Percent Pledge & Black in Fashion Council
The Ultimate Monochromatic Co-ed Showcase of 90s Playful Minimalism
Dubbed “L’année ‘97” or “The Year of ‘97”; Jacquemus’ insatiable Ready-to-Wear and Menswear Collections for Fall 2020 reintroduces 90’s sensual minimalism to our style dossiers. Why do we all love Jacquemus? Semblant within all of Jacquemus’ collections is a boyish, spirited approach drawn by his childhood. Iterations of linen were on display as it graced and draped high-voltage supermodels such as Laetitia Casta, the Hadids, Adut Koch Bior, Joan Smalls, & Doutzen Kroes. Being a rigid texture, the transformative nature of this textile was made sculptural, dimensional, & directional – manipulated to various, dream-like forms to our delight.
Featured hues included a medley of blue, ecru, khaki, hazy taupe, lavender, & pastel green. Gentle, the tonal showcase dictated a visual language of simplicity & purity – with linen acting as a storied anchor. The natural monochromatic palette of the ready-to-wear and menswear collections nodded to the ethereal, yet provided contrast. Though from previous collections’ past this was a dialed-down, neutral colourway – Jacquemus brilliantly teased us with pops of his eponymous neon-pink – as displayed in the iconic Spring/Summer 2020 show in his native, lavender-filled Provence. The signature pink popped & melded with the collection with utmost flair. Punctuation, perfected. In addition, new bag styles roamed the spacious runway such as a horizontal version of the iconic Chiquito; amongst varying silhouettes.
Jacquemus appeased our appetites for playful approaches to minimalism with a dialed-down colour palette, yet tested conventions to this streamlined design philosophy. The sumptuous detailing & “undoing” of the garments nods to the most storied of deconstructionism. Made tangible, the “unfinished” nature of the garment is a twist that informs re-imagined conventions of pared-back styles. We saw this through the appearance of trompe l’oeil peek-a-boo waistbands on trousers, gathered linen, and playful eyelet detailing. A melange of streetwear-inspired puffer coats, crop-tops, body-con, tonal multi-layering, & looser cuts were awash on the catwalk.
As the ultimate storyteller, Jacquemus proves once again to be the sartorial architect of muse-worthy fashion; as a twist of construction signals a figment of genius from the spirited designer – making classic styles anew, meaningful, & timeless.