Exclusive to GentleWoman, Fashion Courier reports on the most important trends it observed at ready-to-wear shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris. We hint at what the fashion world will bring for the autumn-winter 2023 season!
Table of Contents:
- Fall-Winter 2023 season: is fashion a mirror of our times?
- Business woman: how do designers dress us for work?
- Punk is not dead: brands pay tribute to the queen of punk, Vivienne Westwood.
- #Y2k rules: what is the TikTok generation obsessed with?
- Exquisite escapism: elegance from the red carpet… for everyday.
- Hyper-femininity: lingerie not just for the evening.
- The new gothic: a dark style with a twist.
Fall-Winter 2023 season: a mirror of our times
The autumn-winter 2023 season is not so much a portion of new trends and fashion trends, but a reflection of our dynamic times. After all, fashion is a kind of mirror that reflects the prevailing reality around us with its unique visual language. Let’s admit it: there is undoubtedly a lot going on in 2023. From redefining the business closet for today’s successful women to the enduring sentiment of the carefree 2000s, designers from New York, London, Milan and Paris are observing the world around them and bringing their reflections on it straight to their runways. Exclusive to GentleWoman, Fashion Courier presents the top six trends it observed at recent ready-to-wear shows.
Although suits never really went out of style, they completely dominated the runways for the autumn-winter 2023 season. Undoubtedly, thanks to the Oscar-nominated film “Tár” directed by Todd Field and starring Cate Blanchett. Controversial conductor Lydia Tár, although a fictional character, has instantly become a real fashion muse. It was even mentioned by Sarah Burton, creative director of Alexander McQueen, in the context of inspiration for the new season. Tár’s film closet has become synonymous with the new power dressing, or business minimalism, which is constructed around refined, classic tailoring. Elegant, tailored pants and coats play a key role in the new collections by Proenza Schouler and The Row. A high-quality suit, preferably made of wool or cashmere, is an investment for years to come, and the selection of cuts this season is truly impressive. This allows you to match the perfect cut to your silhouette. Versace offers a charismatic hourglass silhouette, while at Saint Laurent, wool blazers with flared shoulders dominate, in the style of the 1980s. Anthony Vaccarello, designer of the Paris-based brand, suggests styling them with classic pencil skirts.
Undoubtedly, the pandemic period has caused prolonged chaos in corporate structures, which is having a noticeable – and positive – impact on office dress-code. It allows us to really reflect on what a successful woman’s closet might look like in the “hybrid” world of work – once in an office office and once at a virtual conference on Zoom. New York-based designer Raul Lopez, creator of the Luar brand, and Pierpaolo Piccioli, creative director of Valentino, bravuraly deconstruct the stereotypically masculine office dress-code, and bring stripes, ties and confidence-giving suits into women’s closets, balancing power dynamics.
Punk is not dead
The news in late 2022 of the death of Vivienne Westwood, British fashion designer, undisputed queen of punk and environmental activist, shocked the fashion industry. So it’s no surprise that this season designers paid homage to the visionary, taking inspiration from her unique imageand approach to English style. For Maison Margiela, John Galliano borrowed from Westwood’s play on the Scottish check and 1950s pin-up silhouette, offering a collection that is punk in nature, yet absolutely chic. Marc Jacobs outright admitted that he is “still learning from the words and all of Vivienne’s extraordinary designs.” The best examples of this are the romantic velvet dresses from his latest collection, whose corseted construction rivals the masterful creations from under Westwood’s hand (Carrie Bradshaw’s famous wedding dress comes to mind). As for corsets, a fashion hallmark of the British fashion icon, Dilara Findikoglu also offered intriguing variations on this theme for the new season, but in her signature goth style.
The most moving tribute to Westwood was presented by her husband, Andreas Kronthaler, who, for the brand’s Vivienne show line, displayed a collection consisting of the designer’s greatest hits: Savile Row-style jackets with an exaggeratedly tapered waist, unisex pirate tunics, shoes on deadly high platforms, Scottish kilts and draped, fitted evening creations emphasizing the bust (Westwood was a specialist in this area). The show closed with Westwood’s granddaughter, Cora Corre, in a bridal creation diametrically opposed to the classic white gown. Guests at the show could not hide tears of emotion.
Difficult times – the global economic crisis, inflation, the war in Ukraine – make us eagerly seek a break from the brutal reality in fashion. The sentiment of the carefree 2000s is no longer just an obsession of the TikTok generation, but a leading trend at world shows. DsQuared2, the brand that 20 years ago ruled the fashion industry with ripped jeans, tuxedo blouses embroidered with zircons, baseball caps with funny slogans and a screaming logo present on every inch of clothing, is returning to its archival aesthetic for the fall-winter 2023 season. The brand’s new collection is hardly different from the one shown in… 2003. At Blumarine, Nicola Brognano tempts with draped, jersey dresses and cargo skirts. Gucci, this season still without its new creative director, Sabato Sarno, is returning full steam to the ultra-sexy Tom Ford style that resurrected the Italian fashion house more than two decades ago. Diesel creative director Glenn Martens is attracting a younger generation of customers with his feisty approach to denim and logo-mania, inspired by the loud Y2k aesthetic. No wonder it sells: after all, who didn’t dream of diesel pants in the early 21st century? Fashion likes the feeling of déjà vu.
The new season will delight fans of elegant, glamorous style. Exaggeratedly long, typically evening silhouettes are being adapted for everyday lifestyle. This is best demonstrated by Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons in Prada‘s new collection, where dresses made of raw, utilitarian fabrics are finished with trainers, and elongated cuts of pairs and coats take inspiration from haute couture cuts. In New York, Joseph Altuzarra also presented an evening closet with everyday wear: silk, trailing skirts and dresses he styled with down jackets with fur hoods. The effect is impressive. Long, exquisite dresses appeared on the Paris runways of Victoria Beckham and Balenciaga. At Rick Owens, the flowing, even flowing along the body silhouettes had a cosmic effect, especially when worn with oversize, avant-garde capes covered in sequins. The fascination with the red carpet and fantasies of Hollywood glamour are a form of sweet escapism that tempts fashion designers – as well as us consumers.
The lingerie trend in ready-to-wear collections is still going strong. The grunge style of dressing in subtle petticoats is still prevalent, but this season designers have reinvented sensuality with lacy negligee embellishments. Boudoir dresses in shimmering satin appeared on the Bottega Veneta runway, as well as at Louis Vuitton, where Nicholas Ghesquiere leaned into quintessential Parisian style. At Tory Burch, hyper-feminine silhouettes inspired by the 1950s charmed New York Vogue editors, who had shunned lace and corsets for seasons. Forgotten preppy classics, such as cutesy cardigans, pencil skirts and stockings, were the highlights of Miu Miu‘s new collection, which closed out this exciting fashion month. I don’t think any collection has received so much applause this season. With this collection, Miuccia Prada says: play with softness, lengths and fabrics with a lingerie style – but to avoid being too literal, choose heavier accessories, such as men’s oxfords, for styling.
The dark charm of Wednesday Addams and Tim Burton’s film universe became an unexpected antidote to the candy references to Barbie and viral bubble-gum pink that we saw literally everywhere last season. In many of the collections for autumn-winter 2023, one could sense an existential melancholy – such as Ann Demeulemeester and Dries Van Noten. But the dark style can also be approached in a playful way. At Rodarte, gothic witch style has its own magical appeal in the form of black gothic dresses with elongated sleeves (as if pulled straight out of Morticia Adams’ closet) or fairy brocade wings, which can be worn nonchalantly as an accessory to tulle dresses or DIY (do-it-yourself) hand-knitted sweaters. A similar ironic effect was achieved in Moschino‘s collection, where Jeremy Scott offered leather rampons for ball gowns, and the elegance of tweed ensembles was radically broken by pointed Iroquois hairstyles on the models’ heads. As you can see, the apocalyptic mood is worth taking with a pinch of salt.
From sleek minimalism and the return of power dressingto a modernized approach to punk style and an obsession with the aesthetics of the 2000s, the fall-winter 2023 season has a lot to offer. You can already start to be inspired by the solutions offered by the designers of the high fashion industry. At GentleWoman, we keep track of new trends and fashion tendencies, but keep a healthy distance in mind. Trends come and go: while your own unique style is truly timeless!