If New York Fashion Week proved anything, it’s that designers are getting back to the fundamental basics – both through the collections they produced and the everyday moments that inspired them. From the hyper-realism of Area’s fruit frocks to a more pared-back take on the modern work wardrobe a lá Priscavera, the top trends from the Fall/Winter 2023 runways are all rooted in pragmatics. And as Afterpay’s resident Fashion Psychologist Shakailia Forbes-Bell explains, it’s simply a reflection of the times.
This shift towards sensibility comes on the heels of the industry’s affinity for “post” pandemic peacocking, think, disco-ball dressing, ankle-breaking platforms, and micro mini skirts, where fun was the focus. But this season, with most settling into their new normals – i.e., going back to the office, a lot of designers are spotlighting wearability in the form of posh coordinate sets, elevated denim, and minimal tailoring – hints of glam, like rosette details, included. Others, such as emerging designer Kate Barton are finding magic in mundane items (such as a fish in a fishbowl) and offering up literal interpretations of the images on their proverbial mood boards.
Ahead is a list of the trends to come out of New York Fashion Week worth having on your radar.
Top Drawer Dressing
Undergarments beyond the bedroom are nothing new – look at the rise of corsets and slip dresses (see also; skirts) as proof. But designers like Wiederhoft and Tory Burch are amping it up with contrasting takes on shapewear-inspired dresses, while Kim Shui’s lace teddies and jumpsuits offer a modern take on boudoir style. Anna Sui’s neon-colored slips have a chic yet disheveled Grey Gardens look when styled under shaggy faux furs. Both Elena Velez and Rodarte produced collections in the vein of this trend.
Head to Toe Sequins
Though sequins aren’t the pinnacle of wearability, when paired with relaxed silhouettes in monochromatic coordinate sets, they become a lot less daunting. These two-step looks ran rampant during the fall 2023 shows in New York, with Kate Spade’s shimmering green sweatsuit leading the charge on day one at the Whitney Museum. Embodying Rodarte’s whimsical spirit, the brand’s matching embellished sets were finished with ruffled hems for a more artful approach.
Thanks to fashion’s never-ending affinity for nostalgia, inklings of the ‘80s rosette resurgence have been bubbling under the surface for a few months. On the runway, the trend manifests as evening wear adornments, as seen at Christian Siriano and Carolina Herrera. Puppets and Puppets replaced traditional bodice cups with red rosette details, whereas Alejandra Alonso Rojas presented floral chokers alongside its colorful collection for the new season.
For Fall/Winter 2023, there was seemingly an influx of designers that found inspiration in everyday items like food. Area sent a host of banana-themed dresses down the runway, while the first look at Maisie Wilen’s is quite literally a ‘brown paper bag’ dress. Heron Preston’s NYFW debut was a little less on the nose, though he attributes the use of barbed wire and chainmail – a nod to NYC’s personality. And the always enjoyable Collina Strada took a fauna approach, showing t-shirts with dogs on them and a lifelike fur motif throughout that’s surprisingly wearable.
The New Work Wardrobe
If there’s one takeaway from the New York Fashion Week runways, it’s that whether you’re back in the office or not, minimal tailoring and leather suiting staples deserve a spot in your wardrobe this season. Both Brandon Maxwell and Coach’s lineup include an assortment of low-slung maxi skirts with matching jackets, and Sandy Liang leans into the laidback librarian aesthetic it’s now known for. While Priscavera offered a less buttoned-up but equally cool take on tailored separates.
Much like the beauty trends from this week, fashion is being heavily influenced by gothic romanticism right now, and considering the popularity of Netflix’s Wednesday series, it makes sense. Enter stage right: Deep color stories, dramatic proportions, and a host of all-black ensembles. Adeam designer Hanako Maedea cited the punk rock music from her teenage years as a touchpoint of inspiration – the lyrics to Blink 182’s song “Miss You” are quite literally quoted in the show notes. In turn, the collection was chock full of gothic references— including dark but colorful tartan prints, puffed sleeves, and leather accessories like dramatic ruffles, long opera gloves, and corset belts. Similarly, Priscavara described its collection as “bossy gothic” with sharp tailoring and a lot of leather.
Check back next week as we breakdown the trends from London Fashion Week.