Snow Xue Gao Spring 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the entire planet. Not just undermining the basic workings of the fashion industry but significantly altering people’s approach to fashion in general. With so many people working at home, many people are just staying in pajamas all day rather than creating more laundry.

Comfort is quickly becoming the name of the game in New York Fashion Week (NYFW) spring 2021 season. We’ve already seen many women’s collections featuring flat shoes and loose pants with pockets. Snow Xue Gao’s ready-to-wear spring 2021 knocks it out the ballpark with an easy elegance designed with the #WFH crowd in mind. In fact, with the encouragement of buyers, she’s added a whole new category to her offerings: pajamas.

Snow Xue Gae’s spring 2021 ready-to-wear collection is entitled “Love, Family, and Friends.”  Gao said in a statement, “It’s like a huge pause button, the pandemic slowed everything down, but it allowed people to spend more time with their families and communicate more frequently. Love, family, and friends have become a more intimate form in our lives. I really hope that my clothes can give people a feeling of happiness, relaxation and casualness.”

Gao is an extremely talented tailor who uses her tailoring skills combined with draping to create her dual fabric suits and chic separates.  The first outfits in her look book are two pastel-patterned blazers presented without pants.  Does Gao think trouser-less is the new black? No, it’s a separate that you pop on quickly just in time for your ZOOM call with your supervisors and can easily be incorporated into an existing wardrobe.

Next came Gao’s distinct signature asymmetric half and half looks that play softness against suiting. Many of the pieces are adjustable, offering the possibility of customization. These outfits are elegant and distinctive yet suitable for the office—if we ever go back.

Comfort is yet another important issue. Gao’s pajamas as outerwear may be a bit of stretch, especially at her price points, but a consumer could easily mix them with jeans or jackets. The entire collection was presented with flat comfortable menswear-styled shoes.

The shining stars of the collection are the patchwork dresses made to be slipped on over the head rather than deal with buttons and zippers for quick relaxed dressing.  The dresses themselves are a figure-flattering, eye-catching patchwork of colorful prints.

Images courtesy of Snow Xue Gao

Gao started her eponymous label in 2017, following her debut collection at Parson MFA show. Gao was nominated for LVMH prize and the Forbes Asia 30 under 30 list. She won the Swarovski and Vogue Talents New Generation Award V Files and Camera Buyer Italia Award.

Gao’s style is heavily influenced by the Art Movements and Costume culture between East and West, having grown up during the aughts in Bejing and being educated in New York City.  With an ability to adapt to consumer demand while retaining her signature aesthetic, expect to see more from this talented designer.

—Cameron Grey Rose

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