Best of Fashion in 2021 By: Paige Darling

Fashion, like many industries, has been in a weird place over the last year due to COVID-19. From the cancellation of the Met Gala to a virtual fashion week, it has been difficult to truly enjoy fashion. I, for one, miss actually going and getting dressed to go somewhere instead of dressing up to sit at another person's house instead of my own. I even miss seeing other people's horrible outfits, so I can channel my inner project runway judge to deem who has the best look of the week. Despite it not being the best time to show off our clothes, fashion designers have still worked around the clock to give great looks this year.

Best Fashion of 2021

Anne Hathaway Lockdown Movie Promotion

Anne Hathaway wearing Versace

To promote her new movie, Anne Hathaway posted three photos of her wearing Versace, Azzarro and Vivienne Westwood on Instagram. The photo above is my favorite of all the gorgeous gowns she wore. Hathaway always proves her talent time and time again, but she also does a great job with style. Her best looks seem to be ones with metallic and shiny fabric where not only herself but her talent shines. The shape of the dress and glamorous color made this one of the best looks of 2021 so far.

Michelle Obama’s Inauguration Outfit

Michelle Obama wearing Sergio Hudson

Michelle Obama has always proved herself to be a First Lady style icon and I would say one of the best dressed First Ladies. We all loved seeing the Obamas again at the Biden Inauguration, but Michelle's outfit was the icing on the cake. Personally I love seeing high-up women dressed up because women are often dismissed when they express any desire of liking fashion. Somewhere in society, we confused caring about clothes and how you look with being superficial. For women it feels like if you care about clothes, you aren’t allowed to say anything about other important topics; its assumed that you are dumb and have nothing to offer. Of course this isn’t always the case, but it’s still a sentiment we hold unknowingly. I hope women in high positions start to prioritize fashion and look fabulous while partaking in their powerful positions, as Michelle did here.

Simone Rocha x H&M Collaboration

Photos from H&M

Irish Designer Simona Rocha has created a beautiful collection with H&M, releasing March 11. In an H&M press release, the collection is described as a “full wardrobe for the family,” containing her first venture into menswear and childrenswear alongside her usual womenswear. I love the light and airy feminine quality of the collection, filled with puffy shoulders, tulles, pinks and reds and so much more. Even the menswear has a slight feminine touch in there pieces like pearls on the collars. I hope this is only the start to gorgeous H&M collaborations.

AREA Couture Collection

Photos from AREA

Haute couture is reserved for certain brands and designers decided by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode. New York based design company, AREA, has changed up their collection release schedule, placing them in the couture category. AREA has beyond succeeded in their venture with this wonderful fun and festive collection. They challenged convention by not only forgoing getting an “invite” to be a part of the couture calendar but showing the diversity in sizes especially for the couture world. I live for the shiny materials reminiscent of party streamers. Overall the collection has the right amount of drama and playful energy that I miss in high end fashion.

Zendaya in Malcolm & Marie

Zendaya in Malcolm & Marie

My favorite duo, Zendaya and Law Roach, is on the 2021 list for Law Roach’s and Aliétte stylist and designer Jason Rembert, collaboration on creating Zendaya/Marie’s dress for the Netflix film Malcolm and Marie. A beautiful dress that furthered the story behind Zendaya’s character and really exemplified Marie’s trophy-like idea in the movie. Simply put, the dress is gorgeous and another great idea from Roach, allowing him to now say he is a costume designer.

Iris Van Herpen Spring 2021 Couture Collection

Photos from Iris Van Herpen

Iris Van Herpen is known for her futuristic and mind-bending designs. Often inspired by elements like water, she has given the fashion world another intricate and wonderfully thought-out haute couture collection. Her “Roots of Rebirth” collection is inspired by “fungi and the entanglement of life that breathes beneath our feet,'' according to her website. My favorite part of Herpen’s designs are that they are always a continuation of the body from long flowy dresses, broad shoulder pieces, frills off skirts and dresses, and so much more.

Virgil Abloh Louis Vuitton Fall-Winter 2021 Menswear Collection

Photos from Louis Vuitton

Virgil Abloh featured a majority black male model cast for his Louis Vuitton show. His collection for the label is an even deeper look into the impact black people have on fashion and culture. It was heavily inspired by James Baldwin’s 1953 essay “Strange in the Village,” which is about Baldwin’s experience as an African American in Switzerland. By looking through the 70 looks, you can clearly see the inspiration from black culture and fashion through pieces like the overly baggy pants from the 90s, durags under hats and the rework of a jacket worn by Jimi Hendrix. There is a lot of greatness to unpack in this constantly moving 15 minute video of the collection filled with spoken word, dancing and music.

Uncredited photos from websites: L'Officielusa, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, and WWD. Information gathered from websites: Fashionista, Louis Vuitton, H&M, and Iris Van Herpen.