In the age of ‘clickbait’ clothing, it appears that designers are shifting towards wearable items that not only work for every day but draw inspiration from life itself–going so far as mimicking it whether in jest or as a tribute.
To backtrack, the Spring/Summer 2023 runways were still heavily influenced by the early noughties with mini skirts, platform shoes, to denim-on-denim looks. There was also a penchant for surrealism as seen in the buzzy designs from Schiaparelli and Loewe.
Recent collections from the Fall/Winter 2023 runways, however, point to a more pared-down aesthetic that suggest wardrobe-building that's mindful and more personal. You'll see what we mean with these six brands below whose thoughtful collections are leading the way:
1. Proenza Schouler
Known for its eclectic, often vibrant aesthetic, Proenza Schouler presented a more streamlined look for Fall/Winter that was directly inspired by daily life. “It is simply a collection of clothing we find compelling and essential right now, a complete wardrobe,” says designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez.
The result was black and white suit jackets with matching leather skirts, metallic accent pieces, comfy fleece hoodies, and slit skirts that swayed with movement.
2. Dries Van Noten
On the other hand, Dries Van Noten took on a more sentimental take on dressing, drawing inspiration simply from “the intimate, tender moments between a garment and its wearer… The pleasure of fabrics and the life they take on over the years, cherished, used, repaired and given new meaning for today.”
There was a romantic rawness that prevailed; evident in the undone hems, top stitching details, golden brocade, and wrinkled metallics. Accessorized with oversized gemstones as if discovered from an old jewelry box.
Another brand that went introspective was Courrèges. The show opened with a model walking while hunched over her phone. This curved body was apparently what inspired the entire collection which was filled with ovoid shapes and arm slits in front of jackets–perhaps to allow for easy texting. Often accessorized with a circular mirror front and center as a statement, the futuristic ensembles were a solitary journey inwards. “Through the dark, through the smoke and mirrors, I see you,” goes the voiceover.
4. Bottega Veneta
Under the creative leadership of Matthieu Blazy, Bottega Veneta has been making a strong case for artsy, everyday refinement. The brand embraced the quotidian head-on last Spring/Summer whose spirit carried over to Fall/Winter. Think socks as shoes (that are actually made from woven leather!), leather shopping bags (now a BV staple), more tanks and jeans, pajama-like sets, and skirt suits for the office.
Speaking of the office, Gucci’s Fall/Winter show was meant to evoke a workplace, complete with elevators. The collection is pivotal because it was designed by an interim team as the brand awaits the debut of new creative director Sabato De Sarno, following the end of Alessandro Michele’s era.
Departing from the latter’s wildly opulent vintage aesthetic, the new direction is more sensual and languid. It spanned officewear, eveningwear, casualwear, to outerwear–all totally wearable yet still very Gucci with touches of faux fur, velvet, and splashes of color.
Miuccia Prada is known for her cerebral design approach. Her collection in collaboration with Raf Simons was no different but they didn’t search far for inspiration. The duo referenced various uniforms that are often overlooked, such as those of nurses, which resulted in A-line silhouettes with white skirts and knitted sweaters. There were also dresses with epaulettes as a salute to the military.
“This collection is about finding beauty everywhere, beauty of different kinds… Everyday life deserves beautiful things. Because every day of life counts,” she said.
7. Miu Miu
One brand that recently made headlines with its latest collection was Miu Miu, also under the creative direction of Miuccia Prada. Netizens couldn't help but feel so "seen" after viewing the "relatable" pieces: models appeared with bed hair, pantless outfits, cardigans, and laptop bags, as if rushing out the door to head to work.
Even Loewe is peeling it back a bit by going for simple slouchy boots in lieu of its previous doll-like shoes; while Ferragamo and Coperni made a case for a future-ready wardrobe. Will audiences follow suit? We’ll have to wait and see.
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