Fashion

Norma Kamali Pre-Fall 2021

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Add long-range planning to the things disrupted by the pandemic. We’re living day-to-day, with the shimmering promise of a vaccine on the horizon. Norma Kamali was thinking six months out when planning this collection, but after taking in feedback from buyers and customers, she changed tack.

What Kamali is sensing is that there’s a collective need for joy and a desire to get dressed up again. For those who can’t wait to dance the night away or make an unforgettable first impression this collection offers options like a blue lace dress with a bow neck, a black goddess dress that clings to the body like plaster, and a fuchsia slip dress and draped coat.

At the same time that Kamali was dreaming up frocks for weddings and parties and date nights, which at this point are still mostly fantasy scenarios, she was well aware of the fundamental changes that WFH is affecting. “You want to be comfortable. You want to be able to get everything done. You don’t want fashion to get in the way, but you want style to make you feel good,” Kamali observes.

There does seem to be an increasing need for designers to speak directly to very different audiences: people who are essentially dressing for themselves, as lockdown has greatly diminished the social aspect of dressing, and extroverts who still want to dress to impress. Kamali’s approach this season was to offer options aplenty—108 looks, to be exact, which offered freedom of choice but came at the expense of a strong and defined point of view.

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