Best In Class: Style Trend Report

Photo: Showbit

The spring/summer 2023 runways offered up sartorial delights big and small. From the practical pleasures of spacious pockets and luxurious shirting to the sublime joy of goddess gowns and sprays of flowers, these are the standout trends of the season.


The idea of the uniform is one that is constantly shifting but one constant has always been the classic shirt. The white button-down is a staple of every wardrobe, but the elevated, luxurious versions shown by designers this season were anything but basic. Far from their masculine origins, these new takes on shirting felt instead fresh and feminine. Tory Burch and Peter Do, for instance, have taken the idea of the modular wardrobe into new, exciting territories with clever, versatile layers. Erdem and Sacai’s Chitose Abe, meanwhile, showed sumptuous white shirts that played with the concept of restraint and release while Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli presented crisp toppers with poetic portrait necklines.


Chains were spotted all over the runways of spring/summer 2023—and not just draped around necks. The way they have been deployed this season fell somewhere between garment and accessory. At Chanel and Stella McCartney, they lent an edge that served as a counterpoint to delicate minimalism, while at Gucci, facial chains telegraphed an otherworldly vibe.

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Designers took the concept of arm candy to a whole new level this season with creations that spark joy, whether rooted in whimsy or nostalgia. For his final Gucci collection, Alessandro Michele accessorised with furry Gremlin figurines and sparkly teddy bears. See also the literal dollhouse Nicolas Ghesquière sent out at Louis Vuitton, the canine carriers at Thom Browne, and the crustacean clutches at Moschino.


Contrary to the beliefs of one notorious fictional editor, these can be groundbreaking when done the right way. For spring/summer 2023, designers found novelty in florals by thinking three-dimensional. Best in class was Jonathan Anderson, who planted a gigantic fibreglass anthurium in the middle of his LOEWE showspace. On the runway, that same bloom was turned into breastplate-like garments or even smaller versions that hovered over a nipple. Dries Van Noten sent out a floral fantasia of clashing prints, colours and textures, with giant rosettes creeping up the models’ necks. Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons also had rosettes on their minds, which broke up the soft, gauzy minimalism of their Prada collection.


This season, a coterie of designers dabbled in a bit of revisionist history by resurrecting a garment many thought had been left behind in the 18th century: the crinoline (or at least, the hip-enhancing effect of one). Gone was all the weightiness and stuffiness; in its place, a dynamic new energy for this anachronistic look. At Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri’s ode to Catherine de’ Medici cleverly blended gilded glamour with the ease of sportswear. At LOEWE, Jonathan Anderson gave the pannier a modernist update that was almost two-dimensional in its sharpness. The versions at Lanvin and Christopher Kane were light as air in lace and sheer chiffon, while Paco Rabanne’s had a punk attitude with lashings of chains and studs.

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Hoop earrings are back in a big way, and we mean big. The latest versions seen on the spring/summer 2023 runways have been exaggeratedly scaled up—serving as dramatic punctuation for a range of visions, whether it’s Olivier Rousteing’s regal Afro-futurist looks at Balmain, Tom Ford’s bombastic ode to Eighties glamour, Marine Serre’s futuristic sportswear, or the laidback partywear at Courrèges.


Designers are stepping it up when it comes to statement footwear. The most interesting shoes of the season have a sculptural quality that put them a cut above. Dior and Bottega Veneta both showed heels that took on the shape of inverted commas. At Ferragamo, new Creative Director Maximilian Davis devised a brilliant take on the House’s logo, while Dries Van Noten’s golden curved heels evoked the work of Brancusi.


Fashion’s fascination with all things Y2K doesn’t seem to be abating anytime soon; in fact, it has now entered the next level of skimpiness—underwear as outerwear. The spring/summer 2023 runways were awash with countless variations on lingerie dressing. There were sheer nighties, silken slips and lacy camisoles, but things weren’t as sweet as they seemed. At Louis Vuitton and Paco Rabanne, the look was given a tough-girl remix with latex and leather. Meanwhile, a whiff of horror came through at Prada with its homage to Rosemary’s Baby. Christopher Kane leaned sci-fi with clear vinyl straps tracing skeletal outlines on the body, and Versace paid tribute to a grungy Kinderwhore aesthetic.

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Power dressing doesn’t have to mean dressing like one of the boys. This season, there were myriad propositions for channeling your inner goddess via looks that foreground the female figure. With dresses ruched and draped in the style worn by figures of ancient Roman and Grecian myths, the body is highlighted in a way that is as much about the conceal as it is the reveal. At Saint Laurent, Anthony Vaccarello cut empowerment into cloth with his hooded, fitted and elongated silhouettes. Pieter Mulier at Alaïa took a primal, instinctive approach with the way he twisted, chopped and gathered fabric, while Rick Owens’ brand of glamour for the season took on a flavour that melded the paganistic with the futuristic.


We love a trend that delivers both function and form. Many designers looked to the practicality of workwear this season, and turned out cargo pockets large and plentiful enough to forego bags. At Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquière played with scale—supersizing zippers and pockets to bold new proportions. At Fendi, Kim Jones’ cargos came in silk; the pockets in the shape of the brand’s iconic Baguette. Miuccia Prada kept her mini-everything story running at Miu Miu for the third season in a row—the oversize pockets lending a new dimension to her teensy low-slung shorts and skirts. Meanwhile, in his last collection for Burberry, Riccardo Tisci mixed utility and lingerie with puffed-up pockets in delicate lace.

Photography: Showbit