Collina Strada Addressed Climate Change in a Weird, Cute, Joyful Way for Spring 2021

Who said focusing on climate change had to be a bummer?

A look from the Collina Strada Spring 2021 collection.

A look from the Collina Strada Spring 2021 collection.

Photo: Charlie Engman/Courtesy of Collina Strada

Collina Strada designer Hillary Taymour has been addressing climate catastrophe through her work for a long time. This season, as fashion shows go (mostly) digital, she took her creative vision online in the form of a video presentation, and the result was more joyful and weird than apocalyptic and scary.

Entitled “Change is Cute,” Collina Strada’s Spring 2021 collection featured bright colors, cheerful hand-drawn prints and some of the brand’s signature silhouettes: barely-there swimwear, comfy-looking sack dresses and skintight catsuits. It was modeled by a cast full of notable names including Kimberly Drew, West Dakota, Aaron Philip and Danny Bowien.

The video itself was just as trippy as the clothing, featuring models walking against backdrops of animated tie-dye cornfields, graffitied island cliffs and an IRL farm (complete with a goat that had “Collina Strada” painted on its side). Taymour collaborated with artist Charlie Engman, illustrator Sean-Kierre Lyons, multimedia artist Alicia Mersy and more to infuse the video with a range of art in different mediums, featuring everything from anthropomorphized mushrooms to rapidly sideways-growing green shoots. 

Meanwhile, the happily goofy rock music in the background featured lyrics that focused on climate change (“the world is not the same ever since climate change/sometimes I wish that it would just stop”), an appreciation for nature (“pollination is the place to be”) and a desire to be connected to the land (“farming is my favorite hobby/plants are made for everybody”). The lyrics made clear that Taymour hasn’t moved on from the climate questions she’s been asking the past few seasons — but her way of dealing with them isn’t going to be all doom and gloom and apocalyptic visuals.

“In this moment of global precarity, the importance of solidarity has never been clearer,” she wrote in the show notes. “In the absence of systems that can hold us, we are forced to hold ourselves.”

It’s significant that this wasn’t all just about “earth-first” branding. The climate impact of the clothes themselves were taken into account too, and much of the clothing was made of deadstock material, an inherently more sustainable option than sourcing new fabric. (Collina Strada had not responded to Fashionista’s request asking what percentage of the collection was made of the “sustainable fabrics” mentioned in the show notes by the time of publication).

See Collina Strada’s full Spring 2021 collection in the gallery below.

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