Christopher John Rogers chose not to show at "New York Fashion Week" last month (probably for the best), allowing more time for him and his small team to put the final touches on his Spring 2021 lookbook — and naturally, the girls are gagging.

Who needs a runway in this economy (and CJR's are always a highlight) when some fabulous photographs can conjure the same kind of magic? On a day where the likes of Chanel and Louis Vuitton staged massive fashion shows in Paris to mixed reviews, CJR's colorful digital format was a welcome reprieve from the same catwalk formula many legacy brands are still adhering to while a pandemic rages on.

Of course, Rogers didn't start out his career by showing at Fashion Week, but rather with carefully staged lookbooks that captured his brand's signature sense of exuberance and optimism. In fact, Spring 2021 saw several nods to some of these early collections, from the black and white checkered prints to the bulbous strawberry-shaped skirts.

That's not to say Rogers didn't explore some new territory as well, as his first foray into knitwear demonstrates. While he's best known for jewel-toned eveningwear and dramatic volumes, the clingy bodysuits and stretch knits in bright stripes marked a new chapter for the brand as it experiments with new categories in keeping with his ethos of practical glamour.

Citing artworks of school children as a starting point, Rogers' playful sensibility ran wild in circular graphics sewn on boobs, rainbow Swarovski crystals, multi-colored belt loops and graphic primary hues that will no doubt land on every trend report's color-blocking section this season.

The casting was once again A-plus, with gray-haired beauties and dark skin tones running aplenty. Some of the models have been with CJR since the beginning, and the standout hair moments courtesy of Naeemah Lafond for Amika made for some of the most visually arresting beauty images of the season.

It's fitting then that Rogers closed out his show notes with this emphatic statement on the different moving parts that made the collection possible: "Spring 2021 is as much a testament to the endless light that creativity can shine, as much as it is about the tenacity of teamwork and the optimism possible through fashion."

See more looks from Christopher John Rogers Spring 2021 in the gallery, below.

Photos courtesy of Christopher John Rogers/ Emmanuel Monsalve

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