Despite the dismal March weather and the frustrations of the enduring COVID pandemic, Blumarine’s new Fall 2021 ready-to-wear collection offers a refreshing glimpse of early 2000s kitschy glamour. The collection includes chunky bedazzled butterfly belts, bubblegum pink fake fur collars, and the lowest of low-rise jeans, serving a full Y2K (year 2000) comeback moment.
Founded in 1977 by Anna Molinari and Gianpaolo Tarabini, Blumarine quickly made a name for itself in the fashion industry as a brand with a uniquely flirtatious and evocative Italian style. While Blumarine’s popularity soared in the late 80s and 90s, the brand has struggled to stay youthful and relevant as trends have continued to evolve. While Blumarine has historically lacked a strong social media presence, their most recent collection has certainly garnered the attention of a younger audience, as clips from the show have been circulating on TikTok and are generating a bunch of positive chatter.
Blumarine’s new creative director and visionary, Nicola Brogano, was appointed towards the end of 2019. Prior to starting with Blumarine, Brogano assisted Giambattista Vali with his ready-to-wear and couture collections, as well as launched his own self-named brand in 2015. While ‘Brogano’ is similarly romantic in style to Blumarine, Brogano mixes faux leathers with soft silhouettes to produce an edgier look.
Brogano brings a youthful and innovative perspective to the brand, taking inspiration from 2000s party and fashion icons Britney Spears and Paris Hilton for this season’s runway looks. And it shows: this collection is unapologetically sexy. The near-overwhelming layering of bold prints, sequined dresses, and fake fur all screams, “Look at me! I’m hot!” in the absolute best way.
Blumarine’s fall collection features 47 outrageous looks. The show opens with a daring pair of leopard print trousers, styled with a baby blue floral print and lace top and a gargantuan, gem-encrusted butterfly belt. The butterfly is a recurrent motif in this collection; its shape is depicted on decorative belts, chokers, and waist-chains, as well as sewn into ribbed shirts and dresses which appear later in the show.
Courtesy of Vogue Magazine
If this collection of ridiculously low-rise jeans and tiny tops tells us anything, it’s that skin is in. Specifically, midriff. In addition to bare bellies, the models sport ultra-short mini dresses and micro skirts to show off a whole lot of leg. And what better to pair with those minis than a pair of crisscrossing strap, thigh high stilettos?
The collection is styled with a keen eye by Lotta Volkova. Volkova’s Instagram is an amalgam of the fantastic and the carnal, and she’s worked with brands like Adidas and Givenchy in the past. Fabulously tacky, candy pink fur earrings are paired with matching fur collars and fluffy purses. A ruffled, leopard print dress is draped with a mustard-colored jacket. Dresses already embellished with sequins are belted at the waist with massive rhinestone-covered butterfly emblems. In this collection, more really is more.
Blumarine’s resurgence follows on the coattails of a widespread Y2K revival, as brands like Skims and Juicy Couture embrace the velour tracksuit nearly fifteen years after its heyday. In 2020, we witnessed Juicy’s comeback after a fashion fall-out in the mid 2010s, as well as the relaunch of Kimora Lee Simmons’ previously defunct label, Baby Phat.
According to fashion theorist and historian James Laver, fashion trends tend to be cyclical, with pieces rotating in and out of style every twenty to 30 years. Out of Laver’s Law comes the more commonly referenced twenty-year-rule, which boasts that contemporary fashion trends that are popular now will likely become popular again in, give-or-take, twenty more years. If we apply this theory to the year 2000, we could have predicted that its trends would resurge, well, right about now.
While Blumarine’s Fall 2021 collection reflects a fresh and daring trajectory for the brand, the recurrent rose motif elicits a nostalgia for Blumarine’s soft romanticism of the past. However, Brogano’s vision for the future of Blumarine will continue to push the brand in a new direction.
“My Blumarine is more dirty, bitchier, sexier,” he said.
Brogano’s innovative designs have recently garnered the attention of some A-list celebrities. Back in December of 2020, Kendall Jenner posted a photo on Instagram of her wearing a look from Blumarine’s spring 2021 collection. In addition to Jenner, Ariana Grande, Rihanna, and Dua Lipa have all reportedly asked for clothes from the brand.
Blumarine’s Fall 2021 collection is a refreshing return to a super luxurious past. The looks are fierce, they’re sexy, and they’re in your face. To me, this collection feels very timely; not only do these looks signify a shift away from Blumarine’s previously quiet romanticism, but also the collection’s nostalgic appeal brings us back to a time pre-COVID, when dressing up for a night out didn’t seem so utterly unobtainable. With Brogano at the helm, I am eager to see what comes next for Blumarine.