The Spring-Summer 2021 collections were surly particular, someone would even dare say unprecedented. There have never been runways with masks, but their style doesn’t lack inspiration.
Fashion is like a record, you decide which song to listen to, but the songs are sooner or later over, and then what is left to be done? You can take inspiration from them to create something new, some records inspired by the great classics since human beings need references.
But which record do these 2021 collections take inspiration from? What was the year that, alongside 2020, is remembered as “the year of masks?” It was another equally difficult time, which also involved the use of masks: the 1940s.
It was not so strange at that time to see people wearing an “accessory” such as the mask that, unfortunately, has become part of our daily lives too. Those were real gas masks, which were worn due to the vapors used in the previous two World Wars: different causes, but same fate, and citizens were strongly recommended to use them for personal protection.
But beyond the unexpected and unwanted mask, the 2021 fashion shows showed us other trends that were developed in the ’40s.
The first trend worth to be mentioned is that of shoulder pads, a must even during the much more famous ‘80s. This accessory was born for male military jackets, but in the post-war years, it appeared even in the female wardrobe to give it a more rigorous look, in line with the military spirit of the post-war period. With the memories of that terrible period increasingly fading away, shoulder pads became, especially in the ‘80s, a way to represent a new type of woman, independent and bold.
Another trend that made its comeback on the catwalks of the SS2021 is the so-called Patchwork, the combination of different fabrics to give life to a new piece of clothing, and the Print Mixed clothes, which are the union of more patterns. Today these trends are almost seen as a game, but the first clothes that featured this curious characteristic were not born for the amusement of some designers.
Their appearance in the 1940s was due to a practical purpose: women had to recycle and reuse old clothes of which, sometimes, only some parts could be used again.
In England, as well as in Italy, programs to make practical, long-lasting, and, above all, economic clothes were made. They were called Utility Programs, a name that could have been made up even in the current historical period, where more and more clothing brands are adopting an eco-sustainable approach that cares about the environmental impact.
Here’s a little curiosity: to save money, and with the lack of fabrics, women used to draw on their legs a line with the eye makeup pencil and to apply a coloring cream on the legs; this is what we would now call a Full Makeup Legs!
Next on the list is a piece of clothing that never goes out of fashion, of very ancient origin but always trendy: the skirt. In the SS 2021 runways, we can see very long or, on the contrary, very short skirts, and the detail they have in common is the High Waist which, as in the famous Dior 1947 model, emphasizes a narrow waist, shaping the beloved hourglass silhouette that enhances the female body and its shapes.
Let’s move on to the last common trend between our current days and the 1940s, even though there are still many more to discover!
In order to obviate the too casual garments, some “secondary protagonists” were included in the look and, even if they are often underestimated, they have the power to completely change an outfit: we are talking about accessories. Hats, scarves, and headwear, used to draw attention to the head and the hair. Simple scarves transformed a hairstyle into a bun or half-bun, raising the entire figure. Does it look familiar to you?