10 Best Collections of Spring 2021 – Christopher John Rogers

In the official “Fashion Month” line up Christopher John Rogers swooped in and presented one of my favorite collections of the season. He decided not to show in he well earned perch on the schedule during New York Fashion Week, but it was well worth the wait. He won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award last year and the CFDA Emerging Designer of the Year award this year. I have been captivated with every collection CJR has presented, and this was no different. He LOVES drama and color. That was on display this season for sure. In a Zoom interview with VOGUE Runway’s Janelle Okwodu he said “Part of the reason why the collections have been so well-received is that they’ve been quite visceral in terms of the way they were conceived. [Our team] has been like, ‘This feels exciting, we enjoy this’ instead of investigating why.” I feel like this is what designers really should do. I was just talking with friends about how commercialized many of the biggest houses are. They have a formula that they know sells and even houses like Alexander McQueen who hold avant garde creativity at their core seem to have become redundant. Christopher John Rogers does not. Each season seems like a new experiment in the codes that he has set for his house. Drama, color, femininity, and structure. These are the core of what CJR is all about and this season delivered exactly that in a way we haven’t seen from him yet. He embraced abstract pattern and a myriad of bold primary colors this season. “I was away for four months and couldn’t do anything physical with my hands, so I just bought crayons and color pencils and started scribbling like I was a kid,” Rogers said to VOGUE Runway. “I wasn’t trying to create anything specific; I just wanted to have fun and express myself. It’s about getting back to the way children see the world through very simple shapes. They put energy on the page when they draw, so this was about simplifying and translating that energy into the clothes.”  The colors and patterns elevated basics that I definitely think will sell. The more glamorous and red carpet worthy looks are AMAZING as well. There is a lot of red carpet potential in these looks. So continue to read to find out who I want to see bringing this collection to life out of the lookbook and on the red carpet. Mixing bold floral pattern with a padded tulip hip skirt this thin strap tea length gown is definitely one of the best looks from this collection. It did immediately make me think of a Rosie Assoulin Spring 2017 gown that was worn by Naomie Harris; mostly because of the fluorescent floral pattern and the hips. Now this look is far from easy to pull off. I would love to task the gorgeous Kerry Washington with bringing this look to life on a red carpet. I feel like she has the presence to really make this look work. With a sleek cropped center parted bob, defined eyes, deep red glossy lips, a blush satin Jimmy Choo ‘Cloud’ pearl flower embellished frame box clutch, a pair of gold Jimmy Choo ‘Tesca 100’ strappy sandals, and glamorous MATEO New York 14k gold and white pearl curve form drop earrings this look would be absolutely MAJOR.

Now while pattern and texture is a hallmark of this collection there were some really good solid colored pieces as well. One of them was this traffic stopping orange strapless gown which features a column front and a draped cape back. Orange is such a bold color to wear anytime of day, but especially for evening. There are only a handful of orange red carpet looks I love, but I can imagine that his is going to be a major red carpet moment when it gets worn. I would love to see Danai Gurira be the person who brings this look out of the lookbook and onto the red carpet. She knows how to handle drama and color and I can just imagine how good this look would be. I would style this look with a major sculpted updo, smokey eyes, glossy nude lips, a pair of matching orange Giuseppe Zanotti ‘Neyla’ ankle strap sandals, and a MAJOR exquisite necklace of undulated design, with emeralds, diamonds, and pearls, the central emerald weighing 4.5 carats, while the diamonds 25 carats total, mounted on 18kt yellow gold. Made in Italy, circa 1965 sourced from vintage jewelry dealer Eleuteri.Not all of Christopher John Rogers gowns are all about unapologetic glamour and drama. Sometimes they evoke more a laid back causal vibe, but they always make a statement. Case and point? This camisole slip gown which is sand colored from the front, but explodes into a color-blocked rainbow in the back. Now this gown isn’t something I would expect to see on a major awards season red carpet, but I feel like Gabrielle Union would definitely rock it for a gala fundraiser. I took inspiration from the laid back vibe of the look for the styling. I would love to see Gabrielle rock the red carpet in this gown styled with a big high bun of braids, defined eyes, deep burgundy glossy lips, a pair of black and brown Brother Vellies ‘Midnight Woven Olivia’ chain detail ankle strap pumps, and statement 18K Rose Gold set Fernando Jorge ‘Comet’ waterfall earrings made up of white diamonds and lapis lazuli. ​

I was looking at this sand quilted silk strapless tulip skirt tea length gown I couldn’t get Zendaya out of my head. I would have just gone on with using her as the pick, but the shape is so similar to the Christopher John Rogers gown that she wore for the Emmy’s last month I wanted to branch out. I was obsessed with this look as it was one of the tame-er looks from this collection and I feel like Anya Taylor Joy would take this gown and really deliver it on a red carpet. I feel like in the line up of stars I’ve picked to wear this collection that Anya stands out for sure, but I feel like she has the presence to really make this gown come to life. Style it with a loose romantic updo, defined eyes, soft pink glossy lips, a pair of light gold crystal embellished Sophia Webster ‘Giovanna’ cross strap slingback sandals, and a statement Bulgari ‘Barocko’ collection white diamond and multicolored precious stone necklace for a pop of color and I know that this could be one of the best Christopher John Rogers red carpet moments ever.Tessa Thompson was wearing Christopher John Rogers before he was cool. Since he hit the mainstream we haven’t seen Tessa rock a look from his collections. I want that to change. I cannot recall Tessa ever giving us a big princess moment on the red carpet, so why not ask her to give it to us wearing this black ballgown with bright neon piping detail all over the bodice. I feel like this look is a very modern take on the ballgown and that is what I think would make it such a cool look for Tessa to rock on the red carpet. I would go left with the styling opting for a half up and down braided hairstyle, defined eyes, nude lips, a pair of black croc chunky platform Christian Louboutin ‘Foolish’ sandals, and a statement rainbow ombre Pomellato ‘Gourmette Caméléon’ chain choker made of a list of precious and semi precious stones to long to go through. It would definitely be a super cool moment for her to bring to life.

Now I had to put this wish into the universe to finish out this review. The moment I saw this neon color-blocked knit catsuit with bullseye detail on the breast my mind immediately went to Cardi B. I could see her rocking this with a matching fur coat for street style or on its own as a performance ensemble. I know the looks is something she would be drawn to and I would love to see her rock this with custom mismatched orange and yellow Christian Louboutin ‘Round Chick Alta 120’ platform peep toe half d’Orsay ankle strap pumps, long sleek center parted locks, crazy nails done in matching colors, defined smokey eyes, and bold red lips. What do you think about this collection? Who would you like to see bring looks from this collection to life on the red carpet?

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