Futurist nostalgia

Isabel Marant FW21
By Cristian Burbano | Fashion | 7 March 2021

Isabel Marant is travelling through decades and genres: brushing shoulders with 60s icons Joplin and Hendrix, through the folksy western aesthetics of the 70s, into 80s futurism and then ending the night with the pulsing beat of 90s gabber.

‘A vision of the past or a projection into the future?’ asks the FW21 show notes. Moving between the lines, the designer offered her own distinct take on future-retro informed by the past but shook up with maximum fizz.

Before the show, invites were sent to guests in the form of a cassette player, loaded with feel-good hits, as the brand’s social media feed filled with videos showing models bravely singing along to these tracks acapella.

The collection’s accompanying fashion film was shot at a large open-air brutalist car park in the outskirts of Paris. The camera followed models as they walked through the vast concrete space before finishing at a rave-like scene with heavy strobe lights and a pounding soundtrack by Gabber Eleganza – a nod to the long lost parties of the past year perhaps? and hope for their return. 

60s references transported us back to Woodstock and the Summer of Love with knitted and crochet looks alongside psychedelic florals and paisley prints. While Western impulses manifested as fringe and stitch detailing, signature cowboy boots and Navajo belts. We were also treated to a full 80s futurist experience with a peplum detail bodysuit cast in iridescent vinyl fabric, the same fabric also used for a men’s shirt a few looks later. The decade’s penchant for athleisure was not forgotten with oversized shell suit jackets in colour block options. A journey through memories – past, present and future.

GALLERYCatwalk looks from this show