Tom Ford Spring/Summer 2021 Ready-to-Wear

“I think we need an escape.”

“Designing Spring/Summer 2021 was an absolute nightmare.”

Those were the words of the iconic American designer and CFDA chairman Tom Ford that opened the little video footnote on his Spring/Summer 2021 Ready-to-Wear collection. Usually known for putting on bedazzling, elaborate shows (his Fall/Winter 2020 show, for instance, had the likes of JLo, Hunter Schafer, Kylie Jenner and Miley Cyrus decked in the front row), this coronavirus-ridden fashion season has presented a particular challenge for renowned creative: how to dream up a range and deliver that lustrous, luxurious experience of a fashion show without being able to host the actual event IRL?

These season’s challenges were more than abundant: when the global pandemic shut down fabric mills, ateliers, sample rooms and corporate offices all around the world, Ford quite literally had to think outside the box. In the end, he tapped into what the future holds for people all over the globe and what we are going to want and need in the most arduous of times. “I just finished designing the Spring/Summer 2021, and the last thing I want to see are serious clothes,” Ford explains. “I think we need an escape.”

The collection he put on the runway back in February was appropriately filled with athletic gray sweats and DIY’d jeans (as if maestro Ford has been looking into the crystal ball), and the glam casual trend continues into this summery range: more skin, less pretense. The whole collection seems to have been designed to be worn with ease, even with is more dressy garments — silky tracksuits, shirts unbuttoned to the label, pull-on pants with a discrete logo waistband. The range is full of colorful prints: cheetah, zebra, florals, tie-dye — pick your poison, as one might say. And with all of these pool robes and colorful flower print pants, Ford had his message loud and clear for the audience: he’s all geared up to bring fashion to the next level once COVID-19 loosens its sinister grip.

“I would say that ultimately, I’m very optimistic about fashion post-pandemic. Self-adornment is part of human nature; wanting to communicate something about yourself through fashion, through the things you wear is part of human nature.”

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