New York Has Spoken—These Are the Looks That Will Define Spring 2021

Why, yes, it is that time of year again: It's the glorious beginning of fashion month. The spring/summer 2021 shows have officially kicked off in New York this week, and although the pandemic has restricted the number of in-person events, the show must (literally) go on. Virtually, of course. So in addition to NY mainstays like Jason Wu and Anna Sui, we're excited to see brands that are getting hotter by the minute, from Collina Strada to Bevza to Chocheng. 

Let's face it—the frenzied week can be a bit overwhelming to digest, so consider this your ultimate cheat sheet to the Big Apple shows. Below, we're breaking down every noteworthy show with the standout looks and the emerging trends from each. Expect these looks will be all over your Instagram feeds next spring. Don't say we didn't warn you. 

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Tom Ford
(Image credit: Courtesy of Tom Ford)

Like many designers this season, Tom Ford wanted his spring collection to inspire a sense of carefree escapism, and that's just what he delivered on. Throughout the lookbook images, models paraded joyously in bright jewel tones and plenty of relaxed, easygoing silhouettes that still felt elevated. Large aviators were a standout piece that accompanied several looks as well.

Trends to watch: Undone shirting, oversized aviator sunglasses

Shop the current collection:

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Khaite
(Image credit: Courtesy of Khaite)

Khaite presented its spring collection in a moody short film that aimed to acknowledge the paradoxes we're currently facing—of doom and hope, intolerance and endurance—and the airy, feminine looks anchored by heavy accessories evoked that same dichotomy.

Trends to watch: Ruching, off-the-shoulder necklines, kitten heels

Shop the current collection:

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Collina Strada
(Image credit: Courtesy of Collina Strada)

If the name "Change is Cute" is any indication, the world Collina Strada created to present its spring collection is just as optimistic about the future of our planet as the clothes are. True to form, the designer tapped a diverse cast models who donned the collection's quirky hand-drawn prints, plastered onto everything from slip dresses to sweatpants.

Trends to watch: Printed tights, asymmetrical necklines

Shop the current collection:

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Sandy Liang
(Image credit: Courtesy of Sandy Liang)

All the reasons Sandy Liang has earned a spot as a cult-favorite brand were on full display in her spring collection. The looks, shot at unmarked corners around NYC, were steeped in the designer's signature playfulness and nostalgia. Also featured throughout the collection was the Margot print, a unique pattern inspired by Sandy's love for Margot Tenenbaum, Ponyo, and paws.

Trends to watch: Heavy-duty boots, midriff cutouts

Shop the current collection:

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Jason Wu
(Image credit: Courtesy of Jason Wu)

A beachy getaway in Tulum was the inspiration behind Jason Wu's spring 2021 collection, and the theme of escapism couldn't be any more fitting. Models glided through a trail of palm fronds in fun-loving jewelry, breezy dresses that could easily double as swim coverups, and tourist-inspired—no destination necessary.

Trends to watch: Sporty sandals, craft jewelry, bucket hats

Shop the current collection:

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Ulla Johnson
(Image credit: Courtesy of Ulla Johnson)

The main takeaway from Ulla Johnson was the potential for a new modern bohemian style to emerge. The strongest looks from the collection included colorful crochet dresses and tops paired with artsy sculptural earrings.

Trends to watch: Crochet clothing, single statement earrings, ankle-tie sandals

Shop the current collection:

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Bevza

Bevza's spring collection speaks to the minimalist inside all of us. Its pared-back silhouettes felt clean but fresh, and the designer introduced a palette of pale yellows alongside its signature neutrals that we're already noting for next spring's color trends. Another noteworthy item that has trend potential: slit-hem pants. 

Trends to watch: Pale yellow, split-hem pants, dresses over leggings

Shop the current collection:

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Rodarte
(Image credit: Courtesy of Rodarte)

In lieu of a runway, Rodarte chose instead to shoot its lookbook in front of the dramatic Southern California landscape and the designers' hometown. From the imagery to the clothing itself, the collection was like stepping into a period drama while the bold floral prints and oversize collars held a kitschy element.

Trends to watch: Victorian-era collars, "grandma" florals, socks with heels

Shop the current collection:

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Marina Moscone
(Image credit: Courtesy of Marina Moscone)

Marina Moscone's focus on simplicity with great quality was more present than ever in this collection, in which simple silk dresses were paired with chic flats. In fact, many of the looks were delightfully approachable. 

Trends to watch: Halter-neck dresses

Shop the current collection:

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Anna Sui
(Image credit: Courtesy of Anna Sui)

Like Jason Wu, Anna Sui embraced "touristy" sandals and bucket hats but interpreted them with the designer's distinctively whimsical aesthetic. The crochet accessories were particularly strong as were the face masks that matched several looks. Truly a show for the times.

Trends to watch: Crochet accessories, sporty sandals, vintage florals

Shop the current collection:

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Adeam
(Image credit: Courtesy of Adeam)

If classic pieces and tailoring are your jam, then you'll rejoice in Adeam's spring runway where reworked shirting was a major theme and the Bermuda shorts point to long shorts' continued popularity. Also noteworthy: chain-embellished loafers.

Trends to watch: Reworked shirting, neutral tailoring

Shop the current collection:

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Markarian
(Image credit: Courtesy of Markarian)

This season, Markarian doubled down on its wedding and eveningwear focus. Bows were one of the most memorable motifs throughout the collection, which were tied off of sleeves and as the straps of dresses. In addition to bridalwear, the collection also featured a number of more casual dresses that could easily be worn for other spring and summer soirées.

Trends to watch: Bows, halter necklines

Shop the current collection:

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Veronica Beard
(Image credit: Courtesy of Veronica Beard)

Veronica Beard showcased its spring collection in a picturesque field where the light linen pieces and paisley prints fit right in. Suiting is an ever-present motif for the brand as well and this season, we're especially taken with the way the blazers were styled with bra tops, a trend that's been making the rounds on our Instagram feeds, too.

Trends to watch: Bra tops, pearl jewelry

Shop the current collection:

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Chocheng
(Image credit: Courtesy of Chocheng)

Up-and-coming brand Chocheng continues to prove its one to watch. This season, the collection nodded to the retro elements that were iconic of Jackie O's style, including three-quarter sleeves, skirt suits, and bow-tie details. 

Trends to watch: Bows, platform sandals

Next: These Are the Biggest Fall 2020 Trends, Period

Editor

Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.