4th January 2021

10 Things to FALL for in 2021

After the year we've all had we all need something to look forward to in 2021. THE FALL team picks out a few of many highlights.

It would be fair to say that most people left 2020 behind with extreme prejudice when 12am hit on December 31st.  Unless you’re in the super-billionaire class like Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk, you probably weren’t able to increase your wealth by almost 30% during the worst public health and economic crisis in all of our lifetimes.  2020 was ugly, dispiriting, dangerous and life-threatening – with more ugly piled on top.  Division dominated everything, facts and science became enemies to be attacked and social distancing put a strain on the very interactions that hold societies together.  For those of us whose lives are connected to art, culture and fashion, there were new and innovative ways to do what we do, and enjoy what others do, to kept us and, frankly, the entire world sane.  But it’s not the same.  We all know it.  And with the start of the vaccine rollouts we’re already over looking for different ways to digitally interact and ready to start looking forward to a life outside of our living rooms/quarantine zones.

Prolonged and enforced restrictions on the freedom to live is a great way to go back and appreciate all the little things you may have been taking for granted before the world stood still.  Corny as it may sound, creative people need the space to be creative, even if it’s just for the ability to go out and find inspiration individually or among others.  There are many things we missed in 2020 and too many people have already lost too much.  But hope is meaningless with nothing to look forward to.  So, in no particular order, these are some of the events and milestones – big and small – THE FALL team are looking forward to in 2021 to make us (at least) feel like things are right with the world again.

1.   THE FALL S/S2021 Issue – BIG

Elarica Johnson in Erika Cavallini from THE FALL A/W202 – A Story of Colour

Of course, we have to start with our own contribution to world culture.  The spring/summer issue is due in March (current global circumstances allowing) and will hopefully feed into a new mood of optimism at the time with BIG stories, BIG talent, BIG shoots and BIG ideas.  This is something we’ve been working on since the publication of the last issue in October and we cannot wait to  reveal more.  Stay tuned, follow us on social media and sign up to our mailing list for exclusive information and content.

2.  The Return of Fashion Weeks

Duotzen Kroes, Amber Valetta, Carolyn Murphy, Karlie Kloss, Tommy Dorfman and Jennifer Coolidge, Loewe A/W2020 Show.

The title here is a bit of a misnomer.  International fashion weeks never really went away, just the physical component.  Fashion weeks almost entirely revolved around digital presentations and streaming capabilities in 2020, with only a few with the resources to put on (sometimes not very) Covid-secure shows.  Apart from the ability to get a real sense of the collections with your own eyes, socialising and networking is the lifeblood of the fashion community and that sort of general camaraderie was sorely missed.  We’re not holding out much hope for the autumn/winter shows in Jan/Feb but by the time the spring/summer shows arrive in Sept/Oct vaccine rollout should be almost near completion and there will be a strong desire for the fashion community to really come back with an enormous bang – if only to show the world what they had been missing.

3.  The 40th Anniversary of Michael Kors.

Michael Kors by Victor Demarchelier

Back in November in our review of the Michael Kors S/S2021 show we remarked on the fact that 2021 will also be the 40th birthday of the Michael Kors label.  Kors is a giant of the fashion industry whose personal story could be a testament to determination and tenacity as well as talent.  Since Kors first launched his label in 1981 at Bergdorff Goodman in his native New York he has had to navigate some tough and choppy financial waters over the years to grow the label to be the celebrity endorsed powerhouse it is now, with over 750 stores worldwide at last count.  Another reason 2021 will be a good year for Kors so look out for more features on this from us soon.

4.  Last Night in Soho – Anya Taylor-Joy

Anya Taylor-Joy and Matt Smith in Last Night in Soho (2021)

With the return of normality to the world we’ll all be able to remind ourselves what it feels like to ‘go to the movies’ again.  It seems like such a novel concept now but one of the consequences of cinemas being shut for so long is there’s a backlog of great films for us to go see this year.  Last Night in Soho stars our very own A/W2020 cover star, the mighty Anya Taylor-Joy.  After her seismic performance in The Queen’s Gambit last October on Netflix, Taylor-Joy returns to the big screen in a story about hip fashion design and culture in the Sixties that’s billed as a drama/horror/thriller.  All of which is the kind of intriguing combination you should expect from director Edgar ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World‘ Wright.  There’s not much more in the way of details at the moment but the anticipation is already growing.

5.  Not Your Muse – Celeste

Keeping with the wider entertainment theme, we’re also really looking forward to the debut album from one of the UK’s best singer/songwriters, Celeste.  As challenging as 2020 proved to be for all of us it also turned out to be the breakthrough year for the Miami-born recording artist.  Buzz had been building all year for Celeste’s big soulful vocals and individual personal style (all 6’1″ of it).  Her year culminated with the sultry vocals for the coveted John Lewis Christmas ad – a perfect springboard into a big year for her.  Celeste’s first album, Not Your Muse, reaches us in the spring and given what we’ve heard from her so far 2021 could very well turn out to be Celeste’s year.  Again.

6.  The Met Gala

Lady Gaga at The Met Gala, 2019

After the fashion weeks themselves arguably the biggest fashion event on the world calendar is The Met Gala, the annual charity event held at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Modern art.  In recent times the event has morphed into a kind of extravagant costume party – but not of the Halloween type.  Cutting edge high-fashion meets daring and outlandish costumes that might also feel at home in Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element or the parties of President Snow in The Hunger Games.  2020’s Met Gala last May was obviously cancelled.  A determination on 2021’s event has yet to be made but, considering this year’s variables with the predictable slower then needed roll-out of vaccines in America and a general reluctance to continue observing health guidelines, the viability of this year’s even is still touch and go at the time of writing.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed though.  We all need that bit of extravagant escapism at the moment.

7.  Continued Social Activism and Climate Action

One of the other few positives about 2020 was the rise of social activism.  Racial and social justice inequality in America sparked debates, conversations, anger and demonstrations on the streets across the entire world.  If there is one thing that came out of 2020 that can make us all a little more hopeful for the future it’s the people – young and old, black and white and everything in between – who finally decided to stand up, make their voices heard and cement their places on the right side of history when the future looks back.  The street protests and the conversations that ensued were arguably the most inspirational points of 2020.  Now, with the arrival of a new American president in a few days time and the one-term rebuke of the most destructive and immoral administration in world history, science, and particularly climate science, will return from exile and be back at the heart of global economic and health policy.  Look to see the US rejoin and then work to strengthen the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and the re-institution of environmental regulations on the world’s most egregious and wasteful polluters.  Start reading our entire Sustainability in fashion series here.

8.  THE FALL A/W2021 Issue – A Tale of Two Cities

Bianca Saunders from THE FALL A/W2020 – A Story of Colour

The autumn/winter issue of THE FALL is set to be the biggest and most pivotal yet.  We’re not going to give away too much information on it yet but if you have some literary knowledge you might be able to work out the theme from the title alone.  Sign up to our mailing list to get exclusive updates about all of our plans for 2021 first to your inbox.

9.  Bags: Inside Out Exhibition – The V&A

Tracy Emin for Longchamp, 2004

Art is another area that has suffered greatly in 2020, particularly show spaces, exhibition halls and museums.  One of the stark reminders of what we have all been through has been the continued strong desire to actually go and ‘see’ art as opposed to just looking at it on a computer monitor.  At the beginning of the pandemic there were some in the art world who feared that the longer it went on the more people would change their behaviour permanently and begin to think of actually seeing art live as ‘quaint’ in a new digital paradigm.  We don’t agree.  In fact, we think the old maxim ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ holds true here as well.  So, one of the exhibitions we’re really looking forward to is Bags: Inside Out at London’s V&A in September.  Dedicated to fashion’s favourite accessory, you’ll be able to enter a world of craftsmanship, functionality and, of course, style!  Sponsored by Mulberry, it will be a treasure trove featuring all sorts of brands from big to unknown and all sorts of styles, from royal commissions to contemporary artist collaborations.

10.  The Fashion Awards 2021

Fashion Awards 2020 Honourees, Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons

Awards season was and probably will be a strangely hollow affair for 2020/21.  We all knew when things like the Cannes Film Festival and the Met Gala were cancelled we’d be lucky to enjoy any of the shows, events and the pageantry we all once took for granted.  So it proved with the Fashion Awards last December.  The event was presented entirely as a YouTube livestream.  While the British Fashion Council has done some real yeoman’s work in trying to make their digital events credible alternatives to physical events, the impact of social distancing felt even more tangible having to watch the awards in a completely disconnected fashion (no pun intended).  But, by the same time this year we think there will be a strong desire to return with a bang with a new, live, in-person event at London’s Royal Albert Hall.


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