When we talk about sewing, we are really talking about a change of shape. It’s not just that the silhouettes change, but we periodically reconfigure the meaning we place on tailoring as well. And often this is linked to changes in the way we look at the body and the roles of women in society. Around the same time that Coco Chanel introduced the streamlined, cylindrical, and somewhat androgynous figure, American women had won the vote and the Model T was in mass production. Society and women were on the move. The post-war desire for a “return to normalcy” saw a retrograde approach to the genre (see Revolutionary route), supported by Christian Dior’s heavily architectured New Look. You got the idea.
We didn’t get a single new silhouette for fall 2021, but we did have a material and conceptual tailoring overhaul, as well as four debuts.
There was the young Andrea Brocca, the Sri Lankan-Italian designer, who explored the happy medium, and the experienced Pieter Mulier, who came out at Azzedine Alaïa with a collection that included covers of specific archive pieces ( like perforated leather corset belts) but also captured part of the spirit of the late designer’s form-fitting dressing. This, at a time when the “sexy” wardrobe is being redesigned outside the male gaze.