Couture fall 2021 runway collection review: Depth study on colour trend

Fall 2021 couture collections are more about dramatic shapes in wearable colours. Collections were very heavy with wearable colours like black, white, metallic and red. Mostly silver and gold for the metallic. Lots of black. A lot of collections featured cool tone analogous colour schemes (Colours that are next to each other in a colour wheel). Several collections revolved around a green blue purple colour schemes like Zuhair Murad. Some have a more blue purple, magenta, pink colour scheme like Armani.

The Jean Paul Gaultier collection was mainly blues and navy with some green touches. Overwhelmingly more cool colours across the collections. There are lot of pastels (basically a cute word for tint which is colour + white). In colour psychology pastels are used to soothe. This mixing of pigments with chalks is the origin of the word "pastel" in reference to "pale colour".

Near the end of pandemic its’ all about soothing our frayed nerves vibe. We need some soft prettiness at the brink of the end of the world vibes. Lots of cool soothing colours and soothing pastels and liberal doses of Baker miller pink ( also known as Drunk-Tank Pink is a tone of pink which has been observed to reduce hostile, violent or aggressive behaviour. A colour historically used to soothe). This pink was basically used to paint the insides of prisons to calm inmates down. There is a study that claimed that looking at this colour lowered your blood pressure.

So many collections had a pop of soft green. When green really is not really as popular or a top seller like pink. But the exact shade of soft green really suit each houses personality. Elle Saab often uses soft colours including many pure pastels. Elle Saab had quite a few green looks ranging from a slightly warmer green to a slightly fresher cooler green.

They use pure pastels and nothing to tone down the vibrancy of the colour (Tone= Colour + Grey). Giambatista valley also use fresh vibrant light greens. He also opts for pure pastels even more vibrant than Elle Saab which works with more dramatic overall house aesthetic. Two looks from Jean-Paul Gaultier seems very much sun faded vintage military uniforms deconstructed into dresses. Red and Green are complementary colours. (Colours that are opposite on the colour wheel).

The goal of the complimentary colours is to create harmony while highlighting each other’s difference. It sounds romantic. Three different couture collections feature denim looks. Jean-Paul Gaultier, Schiaparelle and Balenciaga. If in couture everything is hand sewn than these jeans are hand sewn. But hand sewing jeans seems like a waste of time ever.

👉Balenciaga

Balenciaga
Balenciaga

Heavily Black. The vast majority of the collection is all black ensembles focusing on dramatic shapes. There were some bright sparks of colour. In mostly head to toe monochromatic looks. Pinks and blues mostly. Only few embellished looks and few polka dot looks. Also few baggy denim looks and parkas.

👉Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli
Schiaparelli


Schiaparelli
Schiaparelli

These collections don’t have actually that much pink. It’s mostly black, white, Gold with accents of silver and pink. Many collections are black and white, heavy with gold accessories with pops of pink or red. In Schiaparelli’s case heavy gold accessories featuring human anatomy on a back drop of black and white are shown in repeat collections but always in a new way.

👉Elle Saab

Elle Saab
Elle Saab

Lots of black, white, red more than half the collection is pastels mainly pink green and blue and a small grouping of aubergine purple. (Aubergine purple= another name for the colour eggplant, the first recorded use of eggplant as a colour name in English was in 1915). The really different thing for Elle Saab for this season is the multicolour embellishment and two tone gowns. Usually his gowns are all one colour including the embellishment.

👉Giambatista Valley

Giambatista Valley
Giambatista Valley

Signature couture style features high impact evening wear and dramatic shapes focusing more on textures and shapes created by ruching and ruffling and layering in mostly monochromatic looks and not a lot of embellishments. This collection is heavily black, white, Red and Pink with a touch or two of green valley’s colours are often quite vibrant with a preference of red and pinks and usually black and white are the only neutrals.

👉Valentino

Valentino
Valentino


Valentino
Valentino

Tends towards acid sorbet tones. There is a lot of pink in the collections but it’s like quite acidic like rainbow sorbet pink. Their collections are generally colourful include at least one gown in classic valentino red except that one all white collection last season. The designer’s genius really lies in his artful colour combinations in both colour combo ensembles and colours used together in print or embellishment.

👉Armani

Armani
Armani


Armani
Armani

Always think about their customer and their customers are mature sophisticated, prefer a more understated glamour that includes more muted colour. This collection has many of the pinks, blues and purples that were popular in this season. But in more subdued tone (Tone= Colour + Grey, Grey mean any sort of grey like warm grey, cool grey, light, dark grey). Their collection still more colourful but little more understated, a little more pulled back.

👉Chanel

Chanel
Chanel

Chanel
Chanel
This collection has all the chanel hall marks. Black and white everywhere naturally. Lots of tweed naturally. Tweed that are black and white with other colours mixed in. Black ribbons everywhere. Ribbon belts as shoulder strap as bow closures. Lots of pastels and the red sprinkled everywhere mixed in with tweed as accents.

👉Christian Dior

Christian Dior
Christian Dior

Christian Dior
Christian Dior

This palette is basically a muted version of colour trends. (Mute= When two Opposites of a colour wheel are mixed together in different ratios). All the pinks here are muted down with some green to create these rosy beigey brownie colour. The greens are muted down with some reds to create soft duller greens and celadons.

There are lots of black and white tweeds as opposed to solid monochromatic black and white looks found on other runways this season. There are more camels and beiges in this collections than any other collections this season.

👉Fendi

Fendi
Fendi

Fendi
Fendi
Backdrop is not good because it really hard to see the clothes. Fendi colour story most closely resembles the Dior colour story. More muted pinks and green. Lots of white some black, lots of greys, camels, beiges. But the similarities end there as these two collections are very different in terms of fabrics textures embellishments and shapes.

👉Zuhair Murad and Iris van herpen

Zuhair Murad and Iris van herpen
Zuhair Murad and Iris van herpen


Aesthetically they are so different from each other. Yet have almost identical colour stories this season. Zuhair Murad collections features extravagant gowns in classic wearable shapes, very sexy often heavy on embellishment creating an old school couture glamour for a sophisticated client. Iris van herpen has ever so slightly crisper brighter versions of the same colours. And combines them with Avant Garde shapes, off the beaten path construction methods creating futuristic glamour for a more fashion forward for a more fashion forward climate.

👉Pyer Moss show

Pyer Moss show
Pyer Moss show

The Pyer Moss show. This show was a tribute to black ingenuity and invention. Each outfit was created to resembles things invented by black people. This pale blue gown with the massive horse shoe this ensemble created to resemble a fire escape ladder hot rollers traffic lights the super soaker water gun the ice cream scoop. The foldable bike frame wireless technology for cell phones. Overall collections colours were strong, bold primaries are the dominant colours. These colours don’t follow the colour trends because the colours here about conveying boldness of concept creating high impact looks showcasing the inventions.

👉Julie- de-lebron

Julie- de-lebron
Julie- de-lebron


  • Designs with sustainability in mind in several ways.
  • One she uses dead stock.
  • She revamps her own unsold stock.
  • She offers new spins on her most popular pieces and her colour story is based on feedback from her customers using colours that sold best for her in previous seasons.
  • She has got some pinks here but different than anyone else’s pinks.
  • She is more navy than anyone else. Except may be Jean-Paul-Gaultier collection.

👉Victor and Rolfe

Victor and Rolfe
Victor and Rolfe

They don’t just dance to the beat of different drummer. (Avant-garde fashions are like the concept cars of the fashion industry). Their collections are always a series of outlandish fun occasionally. Bizarre concept Cars. Their clothes are chosen to illustrate concept more than anything. There are a lot of colours here that intersect the colour trends we discussed before especially the pinks and baby blues. The colours are more reinforce the concept rather than set trends.

Overall review:
  • short volume trend
  • We had a few seasons of oversized, big volume, long maxi, boxy tailoring looks.
This season there is

  • Truncated volume pieces.
  • Big voluminous accessories.
  • Extra volume pieces and sections.
  • With some short in the front pieces.
  • Overwhelming all over the body volume.
(Mullet dress: The short in the front and long in the back).


Author:
Mozahida Akhtar
Lecturer
Department of Textile Fashion and Design
Bangladesh University of Textiles

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