Stella McCartney, Michael Kors, Tory Burch and More on Getting Inspired by Nature

The Four Percent

UNLESS YOU’RE fortunate enough to live in, say, Scotland’s notoriously haunted Castle Fraser or that Spanish cement factory that architect Ricardo Bofill turned into a thoroughly grand, surreal abode, your living room probably isn’t that inspiring. Perhaps that’s why designers like Stella McCartney, Michael Kors and Burberry ’s Riccardo Tisci turned to nature’s infinite array of visual cues while conceiving their spring collections in quarantine. They found design ideas in Hawaiian rainbows, the reassuring changing of the seasons and memories of childhood afternoons spent strategizing how to climb trees on family farms. All these influences and more helped pull designers out of their lockdown slumps and assemble buoyant, unboring spring offerings. Here, several collections inspired by the great outdoors, including one born out of an imagined seaside love affair between a mermaid and a shark.


Designer Charaf Tajer’s spring collection, titled “After the Rain Comes the Rainbow,” was inspired by a pre-lockdown jaunt to the islands. “A rainbow in Hawaii is like a divine cascade of pure color,” he said. “Hawaii for me is like a dream.” With this collection, he strove to let others alter their own reality.

Tory Burch

Executive chairman and designer of her eponymous brand, Tory Burch grew up on a Pennsylvania farm where she gardened with her mother and routinely climbed trees. For her spring 2021 line, Ms. Burch summoned those bucolic memories, relying on “natural fabrics, colors and materials.”

Proenza Schouler

The brand’s co-designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez conceived the collection “while quarantining at our farm in the Berkshires,” immersed in the seasons, watching “winter melting into spring.” Their chief goal: Create clothing that felt like an optimistic “antidote” to a difficult year. 

Jason Wu

“My father is an avid landscaper so I have always been surrounded by nature,” said Jason Wu. Like his dad, the designer finds “endless inspiration” in flowers and plants, which is apparent in his verdant, bloom-splashed spring collection. 

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