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Who Decides War S/S 23 Collection Is Multi-Thematic

The Caribbean-inspired summer collection touches on themes of climate change, religion, and women's allyship.

Who Decides War’s Spring/ Summer 2023 collection sends you on a one-way ticket to a private paradise— featuring a Caribbean soundtrack with artists like Bob Marley and scenic isle views to match. On initial viewing of surfboards and floppy sun hats, the collection is a postcard remembrance of the transition from the summer months. While the show was an ode to founders Everard Best and fiancé/ design partner Téla D’Amore’s roots, this was no escapist collection.

The duo also wanted to highlight climate change’s impact on Caribbean islands. You can see this represented in the repeated use of the word “shockwave,” emphasizing the quickly evolving atmospheric conditions—not for shock value but impactful awareness.

This Pacific feel was augmented in collaboration with artist Omi who spray-painted landscaped ocean views, ombre sunrises, and swayed palm trees through distressed cutouts creating dynamic and dimensional looks. Best and D’Amore aren’t new to the importance of texture. The unofficially titled Underwater collection showcases various manipulation techniques that show a true eye for detail on the design team’s end. 

Who Decides War S/S 23 Collection Is Multi-Thematic
NEW-YORK, USA – SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway during the Who Decides War Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2023 fashion show as part of the New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2022 in NY. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Through purposeful distressing, picturesque embroidery, and meticulously manipulated denim, no look was left feeling flat. Known for their upcycling of denim, the line was no short of eye-catching jeans. Encrusted with tear-dropped gems, overlaid lace, etched ripping, and accented distressed fringe, the collection’s denim was a unique fusion of punk and hip-hop flair for a refreshing take on surface detailing. You see these masterfully articulated in the final look— a logoed accordion denim tiered skirt paired with a black asymmetrical studded lined top. The closing hero look was crafted for Nike inspired by the controversial denim mini skirt Serena Williams wore to the 2004 US Opening.

Another repeated motif that is symbolic of the WDW brand is its use of arched stained glass windows. While usually religious, the brand translated the symbol into layered windowed cutouts and elaborately embroidered portraits. The multi-thematic collection further addresses religion with the centralization of the Madonna as the backdrop for the show. Before the final walk, you see from the inside of the suspended white sheet a blue spray paint falls down the sides of the white sheet. The particular hue of blue is also representative of the holy figure. D’Amore states the importance of the figure being the brand’s emphasis on allyship to women. The Madonna reflects the brand’s pledge to expand into the womenswear space within that allyship. 

Who Decides War S/S 23 Collection Is Multi-Thematic
NEW-YORK, USA – SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway during the Who Decides War Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2023 fashion show as part of the New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2022 in NY. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

See all the looks from the Caribbean-inspired collection below.