For some, the ocean can be seen as a source of stability — a constant, unchanged force. Others view it as a boundless place, where it’s easy to get lost, or imagine entire worlds just under the surface. It’s been a source of inspiration and escapism for many, for centuries. Given the climate in 2020, it’s not exactly surprising that we’re seeing this powerful, sometimes spiritual symbol come up in so many Spring 2021 collections.
It began in London, with Burberry: In his show notes, Riccardo Tisci said he was inspired by “a love affair between a mermaid and a shark, set against the ocean, then brought to land.” Fellow British brands Rixo and 16Arlington leaned more into the mermaid narrative, showing warm-weather lines with sea life prints, coral colorways and even seashell accessories.
Then, over in Milan, Versace paid homage to Gianni Versace’s “Trésor de la Mer” collection for Spring 1992, reimagining an under-the-sea world with bedazzled starfish, coral and seashell accents, as well as jellyfish-like ruffles. Emilio Pucci also looked to the ocean, with a marquis pattern drawn from the Capri seaside in sheer silks.
Clearly, designers are seeking a welcome escape from land in the new year. Should the next few months convince you to adopt a mermaid lifestyle, you’ll definitely be able to dress the part come March.
Spring 2021 won’t hit stores until next year, but ocean-inspired clothes and accessories are already on the market. Click through the gallery below for shopping options to help you adopt the look for fall.
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