For Spring/Summer 2023 season, inspiration continues to come from both the natural and the virtual worlds, as print and pattern trends continue to expand on the underlying theme of highlighting environmental or social issues – expressing the need of the times.
Stripes of every kind are reimagined in vibrant colourways, placing an emphasis on the phrase – ‘the bolder the better’. A kitsch take on conversation prints takes centre stage as people all over the world resort to voicing their opinions to bring about radical social and political change. Placement prints and flat florals add to the essence of Spring in general.
Milan emerged as a hot destination for animal prints with several designers featuring the zebra print in particular, and even depictions of actual zebras, as part of their designs.
From mismatched prints to kitschy patterns, classic black and white stripes to electric neons and cobalt blues; coloured zebra stripes to simplified social statement graphics, the international runways of Spring/Summer 2023 displayed a wide variety of both colour and print combinations. Add to that, plenty of bright colours, tie-dyes and ombrés creating a ‘dopamine’ feel to the clothes – and you have the perfect round-up for the upcoming season.
Apparel Resources (AR) has rounded up the key trends in colours and print patterns for Spring/Summer 2023 season in this exclusive report. Read on to discover.
The colour blue is in the limelight for the approaching season with multiple designers embracing the hue within their Spring/Summer 2023 collections. Amongst the gamut, cobalt blue in particular, stands out and makes an impact as the favoured hue for the season.
At New York, Jason Wu presented a cold-shouldered chiffon blouse with coordinated pants and an overlaying backward ‘apron’, whilst David Koma showed a jacket made in technical fabric and matching mini skirt, over-the-knee boots and faux fur bag in London. Milan saw Alberta Ferretti present a cobalt blue satin strapless jumpsuit with a double-plaited belt. Whilst Off-White in Paris presented a tight sweater knit dress with a cold shoulder over a cropped turquoise turtleneck.
Tapping on the dopamine trend, designers across London, Milan, Paris and New York embraced bright colours, tie-dyes and ombrés adding a ‘rainbow effect’ sort of vibe to their pieces.
London-based Agr is known to design knitwear in bright colours whilst emitting a nightclub feel. For one of its looks, the brand presented a tie-and-dye rainbow effect sweater paired with shiny tech pants, accessorised by a crossbody bag that featured an AGR logo. Marcelo Burlon showed a long-line tank top and matching wide-leg pants in ’60s-inspired tie-dye, whilst Études Aurélien Arbet, José Lamali and Jérémie Egry used a kaleidoscope of colours for the finale of their S/S ’23 show. Look 34 included a shirt and shorts in a tie-dye pattern in a rainbow of colours.
Post-pandemic, consumers have been more expressive – opting for bolder and more daring fashion choices – and the trend continues well into the new season across the fashion capitals.
Michael Kors presented a three-piece co-ord suit featuring a crop top, two button blazer and pants – all in head-to-toe neon green, creating a statement, while Mark Fast in London, presented a halter neck mini corset dress with side lacing in the same electrifying shade.
In Milan, Etro presented a neon green satin skirt featuring an asymmetric wide fringed hem with a matching bra top and baseball cap, while Abra, in Paris, showed a mock turtleneck dress with a star embellishment and an asymmetric hemline.
Kitsch is key
A style that began in the art world, kitsch can either be defined as art that appeals to popular taste rather than high-brow standards, or works or items that may be objectively ‘ugly’, but are appreciated in a knowing and ironic way. In fashion, the meaning of kitsch tends to incline more towards the latter, combining different references which often do not match each other, together, to create something very bold and eye-catching.
Characterised by an exaggerated sentimentality and melodrama, it can be said that the resurgence of this maximalism trend began when Alessandro Michele arrived at the helm of Gucci in 2015, post which season after season, more and more designers have been jumping on the kitschy train, with Spring/Summer 2023 being no exception.
Fausto Puglisi’s third collection for Roberto Cavalli was an ‘ode to old Hollywood’ and included some maximalist prints made popular in the period between the two world wars. Look 28 included a tunic and stockings, both in a palm tree pattern under an evening coat that saw the palm trees merge with a leopard print.
Among the ‘rockstar’ styles at Philipp Plein were a series of looks rendered in a hearts and roses print reminiscent of ‘fifties tattoos’. In one of his looks, Plein showed a skater-style dress in red, pink and green over a white background. Marco Rambaldi’s collection included several multi-coloured, bold conversation prints.
Mix-and-match prints are making an impact this season as consumers look to express themselves with bold fashion choices. Tapping on the trend, Snow Xue Gao presented an interesting take via a slip dress that featured an asymmetric hem. It was rendered in two prints – a re-coloured camouflage and a geometric flat floral.
For Spring/Summer 2023, Marrisa Wilson found inspiration in the colours and culture of Guyana, the country from which her parents had emigrated to the US. Look 10 consisted of a mid-length dress rendered in three distinct abstract prints.
Studio 189, the label 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.
Linear patterns aka stripes are big this season – and they come in broadly two variations – one is the classic monochrome, wherein we see black and white and navy blue and white take centre stage, whilst in the other, we see a medley of colours coming together to create a joyful vibe for spring.
Daniela Gregis showed a voluminous black and white striped voile dress cinched with a crochet belt, whilst Ports 1961 used classic menswear as an inspiration to present a number of graphic prints. Look 26, in particular, consisted of a silk shirt and pants combo rendered in stripes, in both navy and white, as well as black and white. At Vivetta, an eye-catching pantsuit in bold blue and white stripes served as the perfect example for the trend, whilst at Anteprima, among several styles rendered in bold stripes, was look 27, a tank dress featuring a side split over shorts, all in variegated navy, white, black, silver and beige stripes.
Balancing the massive influx of dopamine-inspired colourways, mismatched prints and maximalist patterns, we see a new wave of neutrals sweeping the runways – posing as the perfect yin to the yang.
In London, Burberry presented a twist on its traditional raincoat over matching pants, rendered in neutral tones while at New York, Adam Lippes showed a dirndl style skirt with a matching ruffled top and tall sunhat.
Milan saw Bottega Veneta present slender pants with a cream tank top worn under a plaid shirt, while Gauchere, in Paris, showed a three-piece suit that includes a two-button jacket, overlong pants and a top with a crinkled surface.
The Spring/Summer 2023 runways were awash with the return of the ‘preppy’ look, especially in a big way for the men’s segment, wherein the trend is being showcased with a new twist: less Ivy League, more ‘sport street’.
This season also sees the trend being rendered in a wide range of colourways – right from pale pastels at Rhude, to 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 1980s shows which was based on the idea of a school’s sports day. Look 22 featured a two-button seersucker blazer in green blue and yellow stripes, paired with yellow and red striped Bermudas, marled knit odd socks and fringed white loafers. At Paris, Alexandre Mattiussi showed a mash-up of American prepster style and Parisian cool at Ami. Look 17 consisted of a classic navy and white striped ringer tee and short white shorts under a windcheater with flap pockets. A baseball hat, socks and sandals completed the look.
Staying true to its signature, Thom Browne presented an array of looks including tweed coats, blazers, pants and long pleated skirts.
Milan saw MSGM present a rugby shirt in broad hot pink and black stripes embellished with a MSGM brand crest. It was worn over a blue and white striped shirt and shorts, black socks and MSGM-brande sneakers.
Making Social Statements
The post-pandemic era has ushered in a time of radical social change and a new wave of protest movements, which have in turn, mobilised people to express their sentiments and voice their opinions in a big way.
Apart from taking to social media and marching in protests, consumers are also adopting clothing featuring expressive graphic statements as a means to rediscover their voice and let their thoughts be known.
In this regard, brands are resorting to applying simple yet bold, one-word prints over the fronts and backs of tees and outerwear in exaggerated proportions to render maximum impact. Vertical placements allow for even bigger statements to be made on longline pieces whilst contrast backgrounds amplify outsized lettering.
All matched up
This season, several designers presented immaculately tailored pieces with coordinated separates.
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 – namely, an oversized blouse and knee length shorts under a trench coat.
Vetements 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 – including some styles that had been rendered in a chequered pattern and texture reminiscent of Tati shopping bags. Standout looks included a wide-lapelled belted raincoat over a shirt and overlong pants, all in a striking blue and red plaid.
Following their success this year at the retail level, pants suits in bright colours or in an all-over print go forward into the upcoming season as well. Frederick Anderson’s version for Look 14 of his collection, showed a matching jacket and slim flared pants rendered in a blue and green no-print print.
Long associated with royalty, the colour purple is making its comeback both on the runways and retail level for the upcoming Spring/Summer 2023 season.
In Milan, Giorgio Armani presented a one button-heavily embellished longline blazer in purple, with a matching skirt over pants in chiffon, while Marques’ Almeida showed a purple bias cut sweater and skirt with centre slit over knee high boots, in London. New York saw LaQuan Smith present a version of low rise pants paired with a matching halter neck bra embellished with purple sequins, paired with a white transparent shirt, while Christian Wijnants in Paris, presented a purple trench coat with matching shorts and a white shirt worn with black patent platform boots.
Animal prints have secured a segment of their own and there is no outcasting them in any given season. A classic in its own right, animal-inspired prints keep reinventing to suit the vibe of the times and this season cements the fact further.
Spring/Summer 2023 sees zebra stripes gain momentum with a number of designers and brands opting for the distinct animal print for their collections. The only difference this season – there is no holding back when it comes to colour! Vibrant zebra print is just as novel as classic black and white!
Versace made a strong case with a long, fitted tunic in a red and burgundy zebra print over heavily embellished pants, whilst Missoni saw Filippo Grazioli rendering several of the house’s signature knits in monochromatic mixes of the print.
When it comes to mixing bold prints together, Stella Jean is no newbie, and this season saw some of her garments feature actual pictures of zebras while others showcased zebra patterns mashed up with other prints. Look 2 boasted of both – a boxy short sleeve jacket featured a placed jungle print. This was shown over a bra and a mid-length skirt. The skirt featured an orange crochet grid over ticking stripes and a zebra print in black and white with a raffia trim.
Gucci made heads turn with his choice of casting – twins walking down the ramp showcasing looks together. One of the brand’s looks saw a showstopping duo of maxi dresses in a sparkling orange and grey zebra pattern worn by twins, Jake and Josie Dupont.