Autumn/Winter 2021 highlights: Versace, Hermès, Givenchy, and Dior


By Joan Kong

Autumn/Winter 2021 highlights: Versace, Hermès, Givenchy, and Dior

Following our previous highlight which includes Valentino, Longchamp, Chloé, and Loewe, this round, as Autumn/Winter 2021 Fashion Month is nearing the end, the spotlight’s on four of the biggest Maisons globally—Versace, Hermès, Givenchy, and Dior. Here are some things to expect: Gigi Hadid’s comeback, a show around the world, and a fairytale after dark.

Watch the shows below:


Instead of a runway show, Versace presented its AW21 collection via a pre-recorded film. “I have realised that this is the future, the new way of communicating collections”, Donatella Versace states in the show notes. And to bring the designs to life, she tapped a strong cast for it. Aside from It-models such as Bella Hadid, Irina Shayk, and Precious Lee, Gigi Hadid also joined the line-up this season, making this her first runway since giving birth to her daughter, Khai.

In the maze-like Greca structure, the brand has made quite an impact this season for several reasons. The anchor of the collection goes to its new monogram La Greca, a geometric pattern that’s inspired by Versace’s very own Greca motif. Introduced in an array of sizes and colours, it can be found throughout the collection, from ready-to-wear pieces to accessories including bags, scarves, jewellery, and more. The iconic Medusa print is also given a fun take, as a graffiti Medusa smiley is introduced “as a symbol of celebration, freedom, and dance floor communities”. It’s apparent that Donatella Versace is steering Versace in a new direction, and we’re all for it.


Following the backstage-themed show format it has adopted the past few seasons, for AW21, Hermès upped the ante with not one but three acts—a triptych, as the brand calls it—in different cities across the globe. In New York, Paris, and Shanghai, the French Maison organised live performances that start and end with fashion choreographies, and in between them, was a runway show that was the highlight of the evening. Combining art and fashion, the presentations showcased the womenswear collection the best way possible—via movement.

In this current climate, Hermès is all about giving our wardrobe classics that new lease of life, as the collection “is an expression of the desire to explore the sensuality of new mythologies”. Daywear and nightwear are seamlessly fused together, from the slew of outerwear sets (in denim, leather, and suede) to midi dresses that exude femininity and ease. Even the Birkin bag has been updated with a detachable compartment that doubles up as a clutch.


Welcome to the dark side of fairy tales. Creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri may have approached the fantastical side of fairy tales during Dior’s Couture AW20 collection, but this round, she’s exploring it from a dark and somber point of view. Titled ‘Disturbing Beauty’, the show—shot at the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles—presented looks that referenced a series of folktales.

Like a compilation of storybooks, there were caped looks à la Little Red Riding Hood, schoolgirl dresses inspired by Alice in Wonderland, rose motifs that are an ode to Beauty and the Beast, and Chiuri’s take on toy soldier uniforms in the form of Dior’s iconic Bar jackets. Towards the end, the fairy tale heroines seal the collection on a dreamy and whimsy note, as gowns are elaborately crafted in an explosion of hues. The fairy tale princesses are all grown up, and we’re looking forward to seeing where they’ll be going next.


The Givenchy AW21 show marks creative director Matthew Williams’s first runway show since his appointment last year, and while the SS21 collection gave us a glimpse of his direction, this round, his narrative is loud and clear: he’s creating modern armour for today’s women.

Incorporating the streetwear flair from his own label, 1017 Alyx 9SM, the fashion house’s collection was filled with utilitarian influences that are crafted with couture-like craftsmanship. Case in point: Bela Hadid’s look that was made using a braiding and distressing technique, the sleek and sharp tailoring, and the structural cropped outerwear that are juxtaposed with fluid skirts. “In many ways, this collection is about a constant tension between two worlds,” said the designer. “It’s about finding personal meaning in difficult circumstances; it’s about sincerity in what we do rather than strategy. We wanted to bring a sense of lived reality alongside precision, elegance and extravagance in the clothing and looks.”

For more Autumn/Winter 2021 stories, click here.

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