Who doesn’t like a chance at new beginnings with a heavy dose of authenticity? Fortunately, the cartel of hope the turn of a calendar allows as you step into a new year has ‘fresh-take’ written all over it—always a good thing, when you are brimming with new ways to look at tired old ideas. And in fashion, almost a pre-requisite, for its circular nature that invigorates imagination, setting the mood for style that is impossible to ignore.
If 2022 was about testing maximalist waters where ‘core’ became an oft-used suffix for every trend that emerged (think barbiecore, cottagecore, wednesdaycore, cluttercore, balletcore, auntiecore, clowncore and the list goes on…), making spray painting a dress on supermodel Bella Hadid look as effortless as coming up with your own version of butter board, fashion collaborations between unlikely heroes (Gucci X Adidas, or Balmain X Barbie), Dior giving us sci-fi meets men’s fashion in the great pyramids of Giza extravaganza, or controversial campaigns, and painful goodbyes, fashion firmly held its own.
Without a doubt, watering the sustainability plant in 2023 will continue to remain a big talking point with the rise of resale luxury market and best practices adopted by fashion’s new voices. And hopefully, in a turn-around, subtle impact will come in the form of logo-free handbags and upcyled fashion. Pushing the ageist envelope, a new generation of consumers is set to be on the rise in 2023: YOLD—a vibrant combination of young and old baby boomers who range from late 50s to 70s year-olds, done with what is deemed antiquated, eager to embrace ageless style.
From new guards at legacy fashion houses, rise of the vintage, sartorial gender-fluidity to metaverse and more, here’s your complete guide to the biggest fashion moments that will dominate in 2023.
Romancing all things vintage
When Miley Cyrus welcomed 2023 in a medley of archival looks for her New Year’s Eve Special, co-hosted by country legend Dolly Parton, it set the tone for what was to come. Everything cool and collectible was part of the special—goddess-style Versace dress from the Spring Summer 2006 collection to a sparkling minidress from Bob Mackie’s Fall 2002 collection. Cut to her highly anticipated song Flowers that dropped on January 13, where Cyrus is seen strutting down the streets of Los Angeles wearing a vintage gold lame dress from Saint Laurent’s Fall/Winter 1991 collection—it’s clear the vibe is owning your worth and resurgence, regardless of timelines, with a fresh POV in a brand new year. Other celebrities who flourished wearing vintage in 2022—Zendaya in a strapless Bob Mackie gown in black and teak (1998) that she wore to the Time 100 gala, Kylie Jenner in archival Mugler and definitely not an outing (plus drama) to forget: Kim Kardashian in Marliyn Monroe’s iconic ‘Happy Birthday Mr. President’ dress she attended the 2022 Met Gala in. According to report published by The RealReal (world’s biggest online marketplace for authenticated, resale luxury goods) millennials and Gen Z are driving the demand for vintage with Prada and Simone Rocha being top favourites. Of course numerous instagram-based thrift stores have also seen a sharp rise in India over the past few years, encouraging circular sustainability.
New arrivals and POVs in fashion
After Alessandro Michele’s departure in November last year, while everyone pinned their hopes on the recently concluded Milan Fashion Week for Gucci to announce who would be next to helm the fashion house, the wait lingers on. However, rest assured, all eyes will be on British designer Daniel Lee’s (former creative director of Bottega Veneta) vision for Burberry since his announcement as successor to Riccardo Tisci in October last year. He will be showcasing his first collection in London this February.
Still, yet to fill the gaping hole since Virgil Abloh’s sudden death in November 2021, close competition for the top honour at Louis Vuitton is rumoured to be between Martine Rose, Teflar Clemens, Grace Wales Bonner and now Colm Dillane. The men’s show in Paris held on Jan 19, included a collective of talents led by American designer KidSuper founder Colm Dillane (also nominated by the CFDA as the emerging designer of the year in 2021) as part of a ‘contributor collective’ for the showcase. British-Trinidian designer Maximilian Davis on the other hand will be presenting his second collection for Ferragamo in February, as Ludovic de Saint Sernin is gearing to take the reins at Ann Demeulemeester.
Gender Fluidity 101: Men in Skirts Haul
Although the idea of men in skirts began to be popularised in the ‘80s by designers like Jean Paul Gaultier, Giorgio Armani, John Galliano, Yohji Yamamoto and Kenzo Takada (despite history being privy to the Scottish kilt’s existence since the 16th century), 2022 saw mainstream celebrities and A-listers like Brad Pitt to Lil Nas X and ASAP Rocky make a strong case for men in skirts and lace! Jared Leto promoted Morbius last year in a flowing cape made of lace—the delicate garment had also made its presence felt earlier on the menswear runway for Saint Laurent, Versace, Moschino, Burberry and other brands. Afterall, both men and women wore lace since its inception in 16th century, with it being considered as a symbol of absolute wealth. No longer limited to queer rebellion though, the resurgence of maxi skirts in AW23 lineup, from Martin Rose to Gucci, signals to a new norm taking shape. An indulgence in free expression, 2023 is likely to see this forward no-holds-barred gender fluid trend gain widespread acceptance. Note: Insta influencers Siddharth Batra pushing the boundaries with corset, saree and leather, followed by model Mark Bryan, and dancer Jainil Mehta amongst others. And of course, hard to miss and difficult to ignore, Ranveer Singh giving us lehenga style skirt way back in 2015.
Awe-Inspiring locations and sets
One of the highlights from last year as far as out-of-the-world showcase of runway ready collection went was Kim Jones’ AW23 outing in Cairo, Egypt at the Giza Pyramids. This year though, the focus will be the eastern hemisphere with Gucci heading to Seoul to present its Cruise 2024 collection on May 15 (to celebrate 25 years since it opened its first store in South Korea) while Francesco Risso will take Marni to Tokyo for the brand’s next showcase. What's increasingly becoming hard to ignore is K-pop's influence in all things style and beauty. From Dior, Prada, Givenchy to Chanel, legacy brands and emerging talent know it's an alliance of wins.
Metaverse, NFTs and Decentraland
In the first edition of the first ever Metaverse Fashion Week held last year, brands like Selfridges, Dolce & Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger, Paco Rabanne, Elie Saab and others who showcased saw 1,08,000 people attend the event. The second edition of the Metaverse Fashion Week (MVF) hosted on Decentraland (a 3D virtual world-based platform where users can buy virtual plots of land, designers can buy and sell clothes and accessories) is scheduled for March 28-31, 2023. The curatorial theme of MVFW23 will be ‘Future Heritage’ aimed at connecting innovation to tradition. Futuristic, bold, limitless, and inclusive, can't wait for the great unravelling.
Trending Style Aesthetic: Dopamine dressing meets varied fantasies, utility wear and more
With cargo pants having a moment (think Balmain, Dion Lee and Coperni) alongside sheer, sequins and cut-out dresses, 2023 will be all about owning your resurgence. Note: keep it casual but make it stylish. With lingerie as outerwear already a sleeper hit with Gen Z and wearing your rebellion on your tees (as memes or statement one-liners and the go-to since changing times collided with unique POVs) a given, everything is fair game as long as you feel confident and comfortable in your skin. On the colour spectrum—play with viva magenta’s statement making hue, toned down digital lavender, gray, and cobalt blue—everything that asserted itself heavily on the runways in 2022 and looks likely to dominate this year as well. Until the style aesthetics of the much awaited Barbie movie scheduled for release on July 2021 present you with a world full of dopamine energised alternatives.
Lead image: Deepika Padukone Instagram