The AnOther Team’s Top Fashion Moments of 2021

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Gucci Spring/Summer 2022
Gucci Spring/Summer 2022Courtesy of Gucci

As the year draws to a close, the team behind AnOther Magazine reflect on their favourite fashion moments of the past 12 months

Susannah Frankel, Editor-in-Chief

“Gucci Love Parade. It was just so ambitious, so audacious, and expressed with such warmth and humanity. Despite the mythic location, it was its own world, a world that recognises the magical power of fashion but always with the importance of a cultural context in mind. That feels more meaningful than ever now. It was lovely to see a McQueen show in London too: the skies under which we all grew up together were the backdrop and then printed onto clothing too. It’s a beautiful idea. Comme des Garçons. Always. The scale of Rei Kawakubo’s imagination and her drive to create without compromise is very moving.”

Katie Shillingford, Fashion Director (Womenswear)

“Saint Laurent. It was my first time back in Paris seeing shows since a pre-pandemic PFW in 2020, just days before the world was locked down. Sitting in that monumental space, right in front of the Eiffel Tower, just as they turn on the twinkling lights at 8pm, was pretty magical in and of itself … There followed the most formidable line up of women who stormed down the catwalk in towering stripper shoes, each owning their power look (whether it be a bare chest under a trouser suit with a wallet tucked into the waistband, a jacket with no trousers, a rose-printed Lycra body suit) and spike heels, never even faltering on the wet runway.

“It felt like the essence of Saint Laurent and made me remember why I love fashion and why I love watching fashion shows in person. The glitz and the glamour of it all, the flashing Eiffel Tower and the rain pouring down the catwalk – it was truly fabulous and was one of the most joyful moments all season.”

Ellie Grace Cumming, Fashion Director (Menswear)

“Dior Men. Kim has had a remarkable year, beginning with the beautiful and poetic Peter Doig collection, followed by the Dior x Sacai collaboration and incredible Cactus Jack show with Travis Scott in Paris, finishing with the homecoming London Jack Kerouac collection.

“Louis Vuitton men’s. The most incredible show in June, which at the time everyone felt how special but no-one knew would be Virgil's final moment, the Miami show just days after his passing will stay in all our memories as the most poignant celebration of his life and creative journey.

“A personal highlight was working on Kim’s first Fendi Couture show in February, still. In the midst of coven restrictions, the show was filmed without an audience, a tribute to Virginia Woolf, with Kim's incredible library of her books set up in a viewing room, a cast of the most inspiring women, we all cried in awe afterwards at the special moment that had brought us all together.

“Aside from that, emerging menswear designers such as SS Daley, Phipps and Thebe Magugu have all shown standout collections. And I’ve been excited to watch and see Michaela Stark’s work develop and progress with her recent performance with Jean Paul Gaultier at the 3537 space in Paris.”

Alexander Fury, Fashion Features Director

“It’s always difficult to pin down a singular fashion moment – especially in times as fractured and multifaceted as these. But for me, three stood out this year – and all were fashion shows, the format I think we all realised we missed.

“The first was Pieter Mulier’s debut for Alaïa – a house very close to my heart. Staged on the street outside Azzedine’s door, it was profoundly respectful, yet not static. It amounted to a re-addressing of house codes for a new era and a new audience, an investigation into the archives Azzedine Alaïa so lovingly guarded, but reworked. And I think Azzedine would have appreciated that. Afterwards, in a grand Alaïa tradition, everyone gathered together to eat dinner and celebrate the collection. For me, after so long, it was like coming home – back to Paris, back to Alaïa, back to fashion.

“In the same week, the salon show unveiling Demna Gvasalia’s spectacular revival of Balenciaga’s haute couture line was awe-inspiring: not just the clothes, which were incredible, but the entire environment, resurrected from the past. It was like walking into an archival image – that’s where I first met Miren Arzalluz, director of the Palais Galliera and former head of the Cristóbal Balenciaga Foundation in Getaria. She looked like she was having a heart attack – that’s how impressive the resuscitation of those salons were. But the collection itself looked forwards, rather than backwards – which is what couture should be about. A laboratory of ideas.

“Ideas are, of course, what makes Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons so exciting: I felt honoured to be able to – finally! – physically experience one of their Prada shows. But it was also fascinating how they integrated technology into each of the two shows they staged, simultaneously, in Shanghai and Milan. It reflected, for me, how electronic communication has become a part of our everyday lives, an idea very much pushed to an extreme over the last two years. Here – as in reality – video screens opened windows between people across the world, which seems a beautiful concept. It reflects the positive takeaways from the strange life we’ve been living - and honestly, will probably continue to live for quite some time. Sobering thoughts, but great fashion continues to be created. And I am incredibly grateful for that.”

Sophie Bew, Editor

“I think Demna Gvasalia’s first couture offering for Balenciaga was one of the most exciting fashion moments this year. Couture denim, padded opera coats and UFO saucer hats fulfilled and exceeded all expectations of such an event. Seeing Kim Kardashian wear it all out and about IRL added extra meta-joy to the whole shebang, too.”

Rebecca Perlmutar, Fashion & Marketing Coordinator

“My favourite fashion moment of 2021 is a personal one. I’ve had the pleasure of working with designer Richard Malone for a number of years now, but this season’s Spring/Summer 2022 show was particularly special. Set in the Victoria & Albert Museum after hours, the ornate setting was a glorious backdrop for Richie’s newest collection. Experiencing this alongside Richie and his team, stylist Nell Kalonji and casting director Holly Cullen was a moment I won’t soon forget.”

Ted Stansfield, Digital Editor

“I think my favourite fashion moment of 2021 was Rafael Pavarotti and Ibrahim Kamara’s Same Spells, New Rituals story in the Autumn 2021 issue of Dazed. I keep going back to it. The colours, the textures, the silhouettes, the drama … 

“At the risk of sounding corny, I feel like IB uses clothes like a painter uses paint, or a sculpture uses material, wielding shape, form, line, colour and texture to create looks that border on art. Every one of the looks in the story is a masterpiece – but there’s 32 of them.

“I can’t get over the variation of them and yet the consistency, too – they’re all so different, so imaginative, so mind-blowingly creative, but they all feel like they belong to the same universe. A universe I feel like I’ve never seen before, but want to be immediately transported to. And yet for all the looks’ creative mastery, they also speak to the fun of dressing up. Which is what, in my mind at least, great fashion does.”