New York Fashion Week 2023: Fall/Winter Runways, Trends, and More
February 20, 2023
A sharp contrast to last September’s big buzz for the S/S23’s edition of New York Fashion Week, it’s hard to pinpoint if it’s the chill that still clings to New York air that’s left this F/W23 season’s New York Fashion Week with a comparatively more modest turnout.
Familiar faces like Peter Do, Ralph Lauren, and even ex-CFDA lead Tom Ford, were missing from the designer line-up, with Marc Jacobs also choosing to present his S/S23 in tribute to the late Vivienne Westwood at his ‘Heroes’ show a week prior instead.
Still, strength isn’t all about the numbers, and our candidates hold up strong against the much-hyped European houses of the city’s Spring-Summer run. Despite these absences, this F/W23 season sees exciting label shows from up-and-coming talents.
Amongst the line-up are ex-director to Kendall + Kylie Colin LoCascio, 2022 CFDA ‘Emerging Designer of the Year’ Elena Velez, and Taofeek Abijako who founded Head of State. Plus, the New York runway debut of Heron Preston as well as a long-overdue spotlight on Raul Lopez’s Luar, which closed as the week’s finisher.
From designers that smashed the challenge to ‘bring it to the runway,’ to the sea of what we predict will become the next ‘it’ items thanks to front-row attendees, here is a round-up of the most iconic of runways and VIP fits from 2023 New York Fashion Week.
Puppets & Puppets
Leading up to their Sunday show, Puppets & Puppets installed a ‘cookie cam’ to the label’s Instagram, where fans can witness a lo-fi POV of the brand’s it-bag, the cookie handbag, getting ready for its time on the runway receiving backstage prep and touch ups. On the other side, audiences are sat against sculptural morsels of leftover food and dirty dishes, with wedding cakes piling up around the tiled floors.
The iconography of food continues into the apparel too, with models sporting fried eggs cheekily placed over the bust like pasties and splattered against bags and shoes, in addition to banana handle bags. Mixing design influences that seem like a collection culled from garage sales all over, label designer Carly Mark throws in a multi-textural combination of snakeskin, animal prints, paisley, lace, and cord that brings kitsch to high fashion.
Environmentalist sentiments were not subtle at Collina Strada, yet designer Hillary Taymour managed to tie together its elemental messaging with brazen and unabashed looks that boundary breaking fashion front and centre, instead of nulling the ethical values at hand through ham-fisted (pun intended) social issue co-opting.
Titled ‘Please Don’t Eat My Friends,’ the collection stunned guests with absurdist animal prosthetics crafted by artist David Mattingly, with all garments having been made organically, or from recycled and deadstock fabrics that speak to the brand ethos of sustainable making.
Taking over the emptied-out Williamsburg Savings Bank for the evening, Rodarte transformed the space into a sparkling banquet room set with brightly burning chandeliers, silver platters, and gothic glamour. Sweeping satins, Victorian detailing, tar-black Siouxsie Sioux makeup, and 1930s silhouettes came together to unearth the fantastical beauty in darkness.
Inspired by faeries, designer Kate Mulleavy had worked with her mother, who drew up colour pencil references that found life in an abstract patterning placed over a fairy print dress. A collection that is prim yet primed for movement, Rodarte deftly captures a crepuscule elegance that seeps into our dreams.
The latest chairman of the CFDA, Thom Browne celebrated what NYFW is all about, paying homage to the roots of New York’s fashion at The Shed, where he let his unique vision fly free. Theming the collection around ‘The Little Prince,’ the heart-warming fable by French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, his F/W23 run was at once elaborate and heavily detailed yet imbued with a sense of unadulterated wonder.
Playing with structure and patterns, signature Thom Browne suits were deconstructed and reappropriated into sculpture-like works that referenced the symbols deeply intertwined with the Prince’s tale. Taking up a liminality in form and representation, the line of apparel shifts between time-honoured construction and new-fangled combinations, with an androgynous presentation.
Having graced many a runway in the European scene, Chloë Sevigny was seen strutting for Proenza Schouler, opening the show in a structured blazer and leather skirt with boots to match. We also saw Pose’s Dominique Jackson quite literally glinting in a diamond – singular, you read that right – and fur getup closing for The Blonds, Jon Gries who plays Greg in HBO hit White Lotus making a cameo at Eckhaus Latta, and experimental electronic songstress Eartheater following up her turn at Mugler with a walk for Elena Velez.
Guestlist Trend Report
While we are beginning to see midi length skirts and calf length kilts hit the scene in womenswear this year, there has been a surge in the number of male celebs rocking up to front row in tailored skirts as well. From BTS' RM at Dior to Eric Nam at Thom Browne, we are seeing the introduction of skirts into menswear that could potentially, finally crack into the mainstream.
Dialling up on the opulence, there was a strong return to old-world glamour that shone amongst guests. Think bright metallics and eye-catching furs, both icons of wealth that have been given a contemporary twist through an updated, streamlined silhouette and pared down textures and styling. Notable appearances include; show host Wendy Williams in a pastel pink poof of a coat at the Daniel’s Leather show, which she dressed down with a snapback and black jumpsuit, the front row of Christian Cowan in beautiful sparkling silvers and golds, as well as Olivia Ponton in a slinky lustrous coat and dress set at Spring Studios.
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