The fashion weeks this season were filled with a sort of joyous excitement owing much to the fact that this season marked a complete return to in-person physical shows after the previous two years spent assuming a hybrid model owing to the pandemic.
For Spring/Summer 2023, avante-garde looks and fashion-forward accessories teamed up with thought-provoking themes and inspirations marked the calendar across New York, Milan, Paris and London.
There were also several significant style trends. Layered looks reigned prevalently, especially on slip dresses. Many designers showed monochromatic looks and a ‘space age’ techno white look stood out. After last year’s preponderance of mini-skirts and short shorts, ’40s style pencil style skirts and dresses made a refreshing comeback.
The accessory categories, including footwear and handbags, are an important part of any retail assortment, and the runway season pointed towards boots, soft plush handbags, metallic material et al.
Read on to discover the top trends set to dominate the season!
ALL MATCHED UP
This season, several designers presented immaculately tailoring pieces with coordinated separates. At, Vetements, Guram Gvasalia presented a series of tailored looks where everything matched among the more expected streetwear and denim pieces his brand has come to be known for.
That included some styles rendered in a checkered pattern and texture reminiscent of Tati shopping bags. Standout looks included a wide-lapeled belted raincoat over a shirt and overlong pants, all in a striking blue and red plaid.
Saint Laurent presented an oversized blouse with a neck scarf and overlong pants, all rendered in a bold black and cream polka dot print, whilst Christian Wijnants showed three pieces in acid green parachute silk; an oversized blouse and knee length shorts under a trench coat.
PREP SCHOOL RE-RUN
The ‘preppy’ look is back once again for S/S ’23 season – but this time around, it’s hyping up the menswear segment.
For men, the trend is being presented with a new twist: less Ivy League, more ‘sport & street’.
A wide range of colourways grace the trend – from pale pastels at Rhude, and neons at MSGM to burgundy and black at Dries Van Noten. Key items and accents included cable knit sweaters, bermuda shorts and collegiate lettering.
At Kenzo, Nigo used the concept of a ‘passing out ceremony,’ inspired by one of Kenzo Takada’s 1980’s shows which was based on the idea of a school’s sports day. Staying true to their signature, Thom Browne presented an array of looks, including tweed coats, blazers, pants and long pleated skirts.
A ‘grown up’ approach to fashion, courtesy Miuccia Prada and her design partner, Raf Simons, the midi-length silhouette made waves on the runways this season. A mid-calf pencil silhouette was prevalent on the Prada runway, whilst Missoni presented a body-con silhouette in various lengths.
At Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, the designer was inspired by two iconic designers of the past, Giorgio di Sant’Angelo and Romeo Gigli. The result was a collection of slender silhouettes, enhancing the body. Look 11 was a mid-length dress in a stretch fabric with a Toile de Jouy print.
Mix-and-match prints are making an impact this season as consumers look to express themselves with bold fashion choices.
Snow Xue Gao presented an interesting take with a slip dress that featured an asymmetric hem. It was rendered in two prints – a re-coloured camouflage and a geometric flat floral.
For this season, Marrisa Wilson found inspiration in the colours and culture of Guyana, from which country her parents had emigrated to the US. Look 10 consisted of a mid-length dress rendered in three distinct abstract prints.
Studio 189 is designed by Abrima Erwiah and actor Rosario Dawson presented a multi-tiered style of five prints including a stencilled floral, a large dot and a variegated stripe, all in a medley of orange, pink, red, yellow and white shades.
Carrying over from its winter reign, boots are making a big impact for the S/S ’23 season.
The incredible success of over-the-knee boots in recent seasons encouraged designers to continue showing them for next spring. Tom Ford’s version was rendered in high shine leather with a crocodile pressed pattern and a strap and buckle detail, while in Puma, the boot was heavier and featured their signature white stripe and logo.
Metallics were all over New York Fashion Week where Christian Cowans and Tom Ford both showed metallic boots.
BEATING THE MONDAY BLUES
The colour blue is in the limelight for the approaching season with designers across the fashion capitals including the hue within their Spring/Summer 2023 offerings.
At Prabal Gurung, the focus was on individuality and several designs displayed a state of dishabille reminiscent of ‘nineties night clubbing attire’. Look 16 included a sky blue slip dress with a royal blue overskirt. Meanwhile, design duo Proenza Schouler showed a turquoise blue fitted lace shirt with a satin collar and cuffs teamed with flared royal blue lace pants on model Achenrin Madit.
Michael Kors showed a sensual collection reminiscent of the 1970s. Look 50 included a sequined below-the-knee turquoise wrap skirt teamed with a deep vee sweater in sky blue.
Head-to-toe black leather and ‘pleather’ looks are in for the upcoming season, especially when delivered as separates.
Christelle Kocher at Koché presented a black leather cropped zip-up jacket and matching pants with a western style belt, while Miaou showed a black leather halter neck zip up top with cropped moto pants. Monot showed one of this season’s key items, the bralette, in black leather matched to a black leather pencil skirt.
In terms of fashion accessories for the season, large soft shapes for handbags are trending this season.
At Coach, Stuart Vevers showed a crossbody bag in soft camel-coloured leather with the C logo as a clasp, while Michael Kors used a soft hobo shape in bright red as part of a total look. At Altuzarra, a soft tote bag in a monotone tie dye print looked fresh.
Placement prints and flat florals emerged as total winners on this season’s runways.
At Jason Wu, a black silk slip dress was embellished with a large placed print of a yellow orchid. Monses presented a bright green long-sleeved shirt dress with a large flat white flower design, whilst Michael Kors, presented a fun take on the trend by introducing a shirt dress, with a sarong wrap tie front featuring a fringe. The print was a large white flat floral on a black background.
Bold stripes were used in many collections to give emphasis to a variety of designs. Studio 189 showed a duo of looks that included a button-down maxi dress in a mix of stripes in peach and white with a candy striped two-piece pant suit in a medley of lilac, peach and olive shades.
Bibhu Mohapatra showed a mid-calf length belted dress in a navy and white awning stripe with emphasis at the waist with a band of solid colour, whilst Batsheva Hay admitted to being influenced by Gunne Sax, a brand made popular in the ’70s and known for its ultra-feminine details. For look ’23, she showed a blouse with ruffles and balloon sleeves rendered in a banker’s stripe of blue and white and accessorised with a red pussy bow over blue denim jorts.
Para-military, utilitarian style has been shown on high fashion runways for the past two decades and this season was no exception.
At Givenchy, Matthew Williams showed loose-fitting khaki knee-length cargo shorts, with a grey hoodie and a contrasting sparkly gold jacket, whilst Beautiful People showed a collection filled with military references. Look 8 was a tawny-coloured ribbed tank top and an olive khaki full-length skirt with several utility pockets.
Isabel Marant’s look 17, modelled by Gigi Hadid, was an oversized jacket in a camo print that looked sun-bleached.