Psychedelic patterns winter 2021

Winter 2021: A continuity of psychedelic patterns in fashion

Key takeaways

  • Psychedelic patterns made a generous appearance during the most recent 2021 Fashion Weeks.
  • Fashion designers including Raf Simons and Dries Van Noten transmitted their own interpretations of the psychedelic print through their collections.
  • This Winter 2021, tie dye is expected to rise +6% in womenswear in Europe, and psychedelic patterns in general will be popular in all seasons.

The psychedelic print is one of the biggest print trends of 2020, recalling the style of the 1960s and 70s, a wraparound we’ve noticed through a variety of trends recently. While the print has endless variations, the most defining are its sinuous lines, organic shapes, and bold colors. The psychedelic print has notable similarities to tie dye, another major print trend at the moment, with abstract, curving shapes and bursts of melting colors.

Model poses for Collina Strada's SS21 RTW collection in a psychedelic print shirt jacket
Collina Strada gets generous with psychedelic print for her SS21 RTW collection

Psychedelia during 2021 Fashion Month

During the Spring/Summer 2021 season, psychedelic prints were featured in the collections of Raf Simons, Paloma Wool, Lecavalier, Collina Strada, Dries Van Noten, and more, with all of these designers rejoicing in a similar funky aesthetic. This versatile print is donned by all genders, on any garment, for any season, with a universal appeal that explains why we have been seeing this trending print everywhere.

psychedelic patterns in fashion

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Zooming in on two designers in particular, Raf Simons and Dries Van Noten, we can note the room for experimentation within the print. Raf Simons opted for colorblocked, well-defined swirls that gave dimension to the garments’ long, flowing sleeves. The collection was dubbed Teenage Dreams as an homage to films centered on youth revolt — nothing says youth revolt more than the 1970s, when psychedelic prints first became fixed in fashion. Simons’ prints for the SS21 collection were inspired by the 1979 film Hair, not a far cry from the current Gen Z sentiment of uncertainty. 

Dries Van Noten, on the other hand, combined his menswear and womenswear collections for SS21 in the same way that many designers have announced for FW21’s Fashion Month. The Dutch designer seems to be ahead of the curve in more ways than one: the psychedelic theme throughout the collection alludes to the hope that this summer, we will be free from lockdown.

For the prints themselves, Van Noten drew inspiration from the early 20th-century films of Len Lye: the designer describes the prints as “psychedelic sun, sunshine and moons, light bars, and palm trees.” While the prints are simple at first glance, their bright colors and organic shapes fit the collections balloon-sleeves and fluid silhouettes. 

Model poses in Dries Van Noten SS21

The rise of psychedelic patterns this 2021

Throughout all seasons of 2021 across Europe and the US, psychedelic patterns are forecasted to maintain their visibility: for instance, tie dye is predicted to rise +6% in Winter 2021 compared to last season. The unisex psychedelic print, thanks to the inclusive collections of a range of designers, is set to brighten garments from tops, to outerwear, to pants.

photo profil de l'auteur, Mélanie Mollard

About the writer: Mélanie Mollard, Fashion Content Writer

Mélanie writes about the fashion industry and its many features through the lens of AI and applied data.

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