Living it Large

By Rebecca McNelly-Tilford

We are large, larger than life, well in the fashion sphere we are. Large, big, almost 3D shapes have been the trend for while now but this season there is more detail. 3D elements can completely transform the way our eye looks at something. From a visual 3D manipulation that tricks the eye to big bold silhouettes. See more subtle shaped experiments or small delicate 3D element details to embroidery and texture. All an illusion of sorts that brings a piece of fashion to life.

Iris Van Herpen

Iris Van Herpen is a designer who always brings 3D elements into every collection. The SS21 coture collection features volume upon sleeves of dresses and gowns as well as creating unique silhouettes.

Simone Rocha

A more subtle approach to 3D can be seen within Simone Rocha’s SS21 collection. Embroidery elements from lace and beading add volume and texture as well as bold silhouettes transforming simple dresses to statement pieces.


While the overall designs within the Kenzo SS21 collections are simple and mainly monochromatic, the addition of sheer netting, headpieces and rolled fabric create volume and 3D shapes to the collection.

Christopher Kane

Christopher Kane embraces creativity for the SS21 season, using unconventional materials such as paint and glitter layered together to create rare patterns upon materials that within themselves create large bold layers and a 3D outcome.

Alexis Mabille

3D can also be used for couture designs as showcased in the SS21 Alexis Mabille couture collection. Using layering, ruffles and fabric placement to create individual silhouettes.


The Versace SS21 collection takes inspiration from the Versace Spring 1992 collection. Using motifs of starfish and seashells and oversized ruffles.


3D elements are bold in the Halpern SS21 collection. Complete taking over the shape and manipulating the silhouette for the collection. Using shapes for spears to create entire looks, or adding feathers for texture. The volume and pattern influences are not shy within this collection.

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen’s Pre-SS21 collection is another example of how 3D elements can be just hinted at, from the traditional texture adding the volume of ruffles to laying materials add a simple splash of 3D.

Richard Malone

Richard Malone is a master at creating unique silhouettes with the manipulation of fabrics and the SS21 was no different. By layering, rushing and ruffling fabric it re-creates its own unique texture that adds volume and a simple 3D effect.

Matty Bovan

Matty Bovan is never shy to create 3D designs. Layering multiple fabrics, with many different prints results in a feast for the eyes. Unusual silhouettes are created with softer volume, and more subtle 3D elements can be seen on the accessories or minor details added to the garments.

All together these collections show examples of how 3D can be dramatic from silhouettes and shape, or subtle from the use of embroidery, layering and fabric manipulation.

Read more about the Spring Summer 2021 collections here:

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