Fashion's Biggest Spring Trend Is Also Its Most Literal
Everyone responds differently to stress, and after a year of shared tumult some unpredictable outcomes have included: influencers raising chickens, and an egg salad sandwich T-shirt selling like hotcakes. Designers, from Edie Parker to Bottega Veneta are selling egg-shaped clothing in egg-inspired colors (the latter makes shoes in a shade named Egg Yolk). Others have actual egg motifs. This, in a year when many of us have, let's say, lowered the bar on home cooking and come to rely on the humble egg for our daily protein. Spring is officially here, and it's beginning to look like the season's biggest fashion trend is also quite possibly its most literal: eggs. They're suddenly everywhere.
The egg obsession is something that we've been working up to. At one point in 2019, the most liked photo on instagram was a random egg. The pandemic has only amplified the egg's power, imbuing it with unexpected meaning. After more than a year of being cooped up, overwhelmed, out of sorts, we can see something of a fresh start - rebirth - in the symbolism of the egg that feels all too necessary as many begin to plot their escape into plein air. For those stepping an uneasy foot out of the house for the first time, there's comfort in eggs' soft, soothing color palette; their shape without a single hard edge.
We just can't escape the egg. Even the queen of downtown cool and purveyor of quirky beaded bags you can't scroll through Instagram without seeing is in on it. Susan Alexandra created a bag with a big, yolky pearlized egg just like the kind you'd find in your steaming hot bodega sandwich (available in hair clip form, too). In a bright shade of sky blue with its near-neon yolk, the bag is a playful piece with a much deeper meaning. "I infuse all of my pieces with symbolism, and eggs represent rebirth and new beginnings," explains Alexandra. "What better perfect totem for this new year of brand new beginnings and hope? The egg is such a charming and visually appealing symbol - at once irreverent and nostalgic."
And when we said "literal" we meant it: This line is made in collaboration with the country's leading ethical and sustainable producer of actual eggs, Handsome Brook Farms. Shoppers can get cartons of farm-fresh eggs with their egg bag and barrette, plus donate eggs to NYC community fridges.
As for high fashion, there are almost too many eggs on the runway to put in our basket. For Loewe Spring 2021, designer Jonathan Anderson rendered voluminous pieces - heavily puffed, rounded sleeves, and cocoon-like skirts that resembled a hard-boiled egg ready to be plopped into a lunchbox. Louis Vuitton, too, had blobby coats and jackets for spring 2021 like an egg running on the plate, and a few seasons earlier released a perfectly shaped egg bag, dubbed the LV Egg Case.
Rising designer Caroline Hu's spring 2021 collection was done entirely in eggshell white, and one dress in particular resembles the bulbous silhouette of the egg white you might find in your salad, along with the textural sentiment of its broken, jagged shell. (A bit feathered and fluffy feeling, too, it's almost a 'chicken or the egg' riddle rendered in fabric.) Prada's Spring 2021 coats - in a color that can only be described as hardboiled yolk - hang over the wearer like a protective shell.
Comme des Garcons and JW Andersons' fall 2021 collections also showed very round, cocoon-like wearable egg concoctions (the former of which had egg-white like films of fabric and the latter resembling a soft boiled egg smashed open for a lazy Sunday morning). And there's been absolutely no shortage of buttery-hued egg accessories out there, like Edie Parker's cracked egg clutch and tray.
We can also thank Simone Rocha for the trend. A few seasons ago, Rocha began producing elegant egg-shaped handbags in marbled pink, black leather and pearlescent white, and for spring 2021 she introduced pearl chains, gem-encrusted handles and beaded straps (shown in the collage above). "I designed the pearl egg as I wanted to take something so historically classic but create something refined and playful," says Rocha. "Playing with the proportion, so that it could hold and cradle your belongings." Like a real egg, the silhouette serves as a warm, fragile, and feminine protection for what's inside.
One of fashion's favorite jewelers, Sophie Buhai has been selling egg pendants since 2015, and in 2021, considers them a true signature of the brand. "I have always been drawn to the egg shape as a symbol of life, fertility, and purity," she says. "Some of my favorite artists have interpreted the egg in their own ways, including [bronze artist Constantin] Brancusi and Man Ray. I love the surrealist quality of the silver egg around a woman's neck. It's a powerful symbol to adorn oneself with." She also offers them in gold.
The fashion egg can be traced back hundreds of years, and it's near impossible to forget the OG: Fabergé, the Russian jewelry brand founded in 1842 that continues to make all things egg-luxury. Tracing back to the brand's beginnings, the reason for exploring eggs in finery were similar to what's making them popular today: an ode to femininity and organic beauty. "Mainly because it is a perfect design, courtesy of mother nature, we make very simple gold egg pendants without any further embellishment to emphasize its natural beauty," says Josina von dem Bussche-Kessell, Fabergé Global Sales Director. "We make Fabergé eggs in all colours and sizes but only in the one shape, as we believe we can't outdo the perfection of nature." This year, the jewelry brand even collaborated with Game of Thrones for the show's 10th anniversary. The result? A $2.2 million 18-karat white gold egg with diamond panes and rainbow moonstones that feels very dragon-chic. If this proves anything it's that 2021 is the year of the egg.
Today's egg trend plays up the natural elements, going beyond form to celebrate the many soothing hues eggs spill forth, from creamy whites to farmer's market browns. And manicurists have already declared yellow the color of the season for summer 2021. If you have yolky fingertips in your future, it won't be hard to complete the look. Fendi, Gucci and Chloe swept shades of egg-farm friendly neutrals throughout their Spring 2021 collections.
Fendi gave us well-cooked omelette dresses, shown above next to a robin's egg shade. Gucci served up Eggbeaters from a carton straight onto a pair of tights (below) and bags. Meanwhile, Chloë kept things cool in dresses the color of a light poach. And internet-beloved brands Khaite and Nanushka, which were already well-known for elevated casual clothing in calming colors, amped up their ovo-inspired offerings in spring 2021: Khaite with more hardboiled-egg shaped sleeves and fresh, eggshell-white shades; Nanushka with a color palette that bordered on the more organic side of things - slightly yellowed, soft browns.
Designer Simon Jacquemus has, for the past few seasons, rendered crop tops, structured pants, and summer dresses in the softest shades of organic brown, buttery yellow and shirred egg off-white. On the brand's website right now, a lookbook features a model alighting in a field, who very well could be on the hunt for free-range eggs. For Spring 2021, the brand's overcooked yolk skirts and trousers took a front seat, bringing other barely there yellows and whites along for the ride. A white gown with a rounded bottom looks like the perfect boiled egg perched on its cup.
In 2021, fashion has been manifesting comfort, that's for sure. Plenty of people have swapped jeans for sweats or cute stretchy pants without looking back. Now that many are experiencing their first tastes of leaving home (and dressing accordingly), fashion has found a new way to bring comfort along: oddly enough, it's in the form of a comfort food.