fashion week trends ss23

Biggest fashion trends for spring/summer 2023, spotted during fashion month

It’s a wrap! Paris Fashion Week has officially closed this year’s last fashion month, serving all the best looks straight from the runway. From sculptural shoes to fairytale stories: these are the most striking fashion trends for spring/summer 2023, spotted in the city of love.
Cover photo: courtesy of Bottega Veneta

Fashion trends spring summer 2023

While Milan was filled with sunshine, in Paris poured rain. It led to fashion spectacles of its own kind, and, most of all, the weather didn’t stop the fashion crowd from playing along in the street-style circus. More than ever, celebrities gathered (and here and there were paid) to attend shows and to be seen. Kylie Jenner was perhaps even a bigger surprise at Schiaparelli than Kanye West at Balenciaga – leading to the absence of Kim K. However, she had her very own moment of fame at Dolce & Gabbana. Celebrity endorsement is an age-old phenomenon, though. In 1768, the tableware brand Wedgwood used royals to endorse their products. Nowadays, the Kardashians and Jenners have gained a royal status of such. When inviting one of their clan, the buzz around a collection will be the talk of the town. Not all fashion houses share this thinking, though. At Valentino, Pierpaolo Picciolo chose only debuting models to walk his show, leading, as a consequence, to a bunch of girls unable to walk his heels. Was it Pierpaolo’s fault or the lack of experience of these girls? To get an answer, we have to wait until shoes hit the boutiques in 2023. One thing, at least, is sure: next season we will collectively embrace the return of the dangerous shoe, which is just one of the many (not so) new trends that emerged. Found out the most profound fashion trends for spring/summer 2023 below.

Star-studded casts, collabs, and front-rows

Seen at: Chanel, Thom Browne, Ann Demeulemeester, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Versace

Naomi Campbell, Erika Badu, Jaden Smith, Anna Wintour, Stromae, Maisie Williams, Doja Cat, Kate Moss, Carla Bruni, Kim Kardashian, Kris Jenner, Gigi, and Bella, Gwendoline Christie, Paris Hilton, Cher, Tyga, and many, many others… The list of celebrities both attending fashion week and playing protagonist roles in the shows is endless. Thom Browne took the cake when it came to celebrity-packed events. Gwendoline Christie opened Browne’s modern fairytale, adorned by a front row filled with many of the names stated above. Naomi Campbell was one of the most welcome guests both on and off the runway, and even Kate Moss appeared at Bottega Veneta in head-to-toe leather. Dolce & Gabbana is the absolute winner of the season when it comes to creating buzz around a collection; expectations were high when they shared Kim Kardashian’s love for the house that goes way back. To be honest, it didn’t disappoint – it was just very, very Dolce, with a vintage veil.

The new formal

Seen at: MM6 Maison Margiela, Rokh, Alexander McQueen, Acne Studios, Chanel, Miu Miu

The new formal takes endless shapes and forms. The common denominator? It’s way more daring than it used to be. Breaking free, seemed to be the common theme. From color-blocking ensembles to head-to-toe leather and, yet again, the visible thong: the new formal is anything but plain.

Romanticism in optima forma

Seen at: Chanel, Sportmax, Prada, Zimmermann, Dior, Prada

When even the usual cool-girl brands (Bottega Veneta) engage in flowers, lace, and sheer materials, then you know it has to be big. A certain dose of romanticism is very welcome in post-pandemic times of war. When referring to earlier eras such as Y2K, fashion (and other crafts such as art) tend to romanticize the specific point in time, solely focussing on what was good, ignoring what wasn’t. On the contrary, Prada showed romanticism in a human form: lace and sheer fabrics were creased and provided with a human touch. Perfection shouldn’t be the highest goal, after all.

Sculptural shoes

Seen at: every show, literally

At Valentino, models weren’t able to walk on their shoes. This isn’t a new phenomenon, however. We all remember Alexander McQueen’s Armadillo shoes as if it were yesterday. Thirty-centimeter heels crafted from wood, models entered the runway at a very, very slow pace. The same happened at Han Kjøbenhavn’s show, while loud music blared through the speakers. At Fendi, one model was entirely fed up and just took off her shoes in the middle of the show. What is it, that designers seemed to have agreed on shoes that aren’t made for walking? The question remains unanswered for now.

Fantasy world

Seen at: Thom Browne, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Loewe, Victoria/Tomas, Fendi, Prada, Balenciaga, Off-White, Botter, Sportmax, MSGM

In times of recession, fashion paves the way for escapism. It was clearly visible at Louis Vuitton, where accessories and details were magnified on a ridiculous level, while Thom Browne successfully recreated A Cinderella Story including a star-studded cast. Gucci designed a fairytale of its own kind, with twins in the leading roles. Alessandro Michele felt inspired by his youth; his mom had an identical twin sister, who felt like a second mom to him. He replicated this sense of belonging and togetherness with two shows, separated by a curtain in the middle of the runway. Guests weren’t aware of the other half of the twins, until the finale when the curtain dropped. Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton created psychedelic prints for the spring/summer 2023 collection of the house. Other planets, rays of sunlight, and unknown creatures feature the clothes, referring to a place far, far away.

Back to basics

Seen at: The Row, Bottega Veneta, Tod’s, Rokh, Victoria Beckham, Stella McCartney, Max Mara, Filippa K, Burberry, Gauchere, Jil Sander

We all remember fashion anticipation to the financial crisis in 2007. The Row’s aesthetic has been predominant ever since. While some still stick to this style, others followed Alessandro Michele’s more over-the-top approach as soon as the crisis was over. With wars, political tensions, and a pandemic on the agenda, it feels natural to revert to these timeless stunners. At Bottega Veneta, Matthieu Blazy created some very basic looks, worn by Kate Moss among others. A watchful eye, however, immediately noticed that the looks were crafted from buttery soft leather. At Samsøe Samsøe, gorpcore played a leading role, whereas Tod’s relied on their signature classics. Overall, basics are more interesting than ever.

The intersection of art and fashion

Seen at: Balmain, Han Kjøbenhavn, Loewe, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Valentino, Coperni, Ester Manas, Botter

Art met science and fashion at the Coperni show. Bella Hadid entered the runway more or less naked, and soon paint would cover her body. It led to a body-hugging dress, created from scratch with special liquid-to-fabric paint, developed by scientists the brand collaborated with. It surely was the talk of the town for the moment, however, Coperni wasn’t the only brand to consider art. At Loewe, Jonathan Anderson created real fakes based on natural phenomena, whereas Alexander McQueen embraced the sculptural side of art.

New grunge

Seen at: Balenciaga, Han Kjøbenhavn, Ann Demeulemeester, Ottolinger, Victoria/Tomas, GMBH, Gucci, Yohji Yamamoto, Coperni, Lutz Huelle, Gauchere, Heliot Emil, Courreges

Y2K-goth-grunge seems to be one of the favorite street style aesthetics of the season, with a peek at Copenhagen Fashion Week. Sporty sunglasses, band T-shirts, black baggy trousers, and sleek hair were predominant. On the runway, this style fitted into the collections of Han Kjøbenhavn (the absolute frontrunner of the trend), Alexander McQueen, and Yohji Yamamoto.

Head-to-toe leather

Seen at: Tod’s, Max Mara, Bottega Veneta, MM6 Maison Margiela

Leather clothing feels like a safe bet in uncertain times. It protects, keeps you warm, and only gets better with each wear. Louis Vuitton created sculptural leather suits, while Bottega Veneta and Tod’s focused on suppleness and wearability. At MM6 Maison Margiela, leather looks were juxtaposed with lingerie-inspired pieces.

Big skirt energy

Seen at: MSGM, Prada, Fendi, Cormio, Tod’s, Gucci, Issey Miyake, Anna October, Dries van Noten, Dior

It’s time to ditch your favorite pants because skirts will play a significant role in next season’s wardrobe. After micro skirts, it was about time to lengthen up. At Fendi, Bottega Veneta, and Dries van Noten, long flowing skirts took the lead. So long, Miu Miu’s micro!