Get ready for egg coats, Westwood mania and the return of skinny jeans, says Joe Bromley
Thanks 2022, it was a lot of laughs – see you next time! As always, style insiders have already traveled from New York to Paris to find out what has the potential to be big this year.
The year-ahead report by WGSN trends forecasters notes that the rising cost of living will be the biggest factor. Their advice to designers? “Versatility speaks to value for today’s cashless shoppers.”
With clothes, it doesn’t have to mean depression. From smart clothes with new technologies that keep you warm, smart colors designed to stay stylish, and investment pieces that can be sold for a profit, there are new ways to get more out of your clothes. Elsewhere, toughness is called for—think ultra-protective bomber jackets and bulky jewelry. Here’s what to bet on next year:
Infrared bright jumpers are rapidly rising to It-knit status. You may have seen Kylie Jenner rocking head to toe in a Y/Project ombré knit dress and balaclava on Instagram. Companies like London-based label AGR, Acne Studios and even Desigual make electric multi-colored sweaters that are simply refreshing. Los Angeles brands Madhappy and ERL also lead the way with uniform tracksuits in the palette for the Venice Beach event. Think summery but cozy.
Luxurious satin gowns with lace trim have been a red carpet staple since 1996, when Princess Diana wore her navy blue Galliano number to the Met Gala. However, new styles will appear in 2023. Florence Pugh supported soft peach versions from Valentino and Rodarte at the London Film Festival and BFI Awards respectively last year, while JW Anderson made them asymmetrical and Burberry came as crumpled minis for their SS23 collections. These negligees are also thriving online, with #Slipdress getting 131.1 million views on TikTok and #boudoir getting 1.8 billion. “Delicate layers of precious fabrics and lace details were essential for SS23,” says Leanne Wiggins, Head of Womenswear at Matches Fashion . “Dress them up for a night out, pair them with a t-shirt and ballet flats in the spring, or with turtlenecks and boots in the colder months.”
2023 is the year to demand more from our clothes – as savings rise, multifunctional, smart clothes offer more for your money. AlphaTauri released their second updated collection of heated capsules in October. Start with a self-heating vest that adjusts the temperature from your phone or with a controller in the inner shell. Another tempting LabFresh invention is LabFresh’s white shirts, which prevent odor and don’t protect against stains (check out the TikTok of customers dousing themselves in red wine for proof). Mother Oxford makes equally mess-resistant shirts and dresses for women. Every wash cycle counts.
The return of skinny jeans
don’t shout The Celine SS23 show notes began ominously: “The Saint-Tropez collection marks the return of the ‘original skinny jeans’. It may be a tough pill to swallow, but if the runways are anything to go by, Noughties Topshop spray-painted denim is making a comeback. “We’ve seen a big comeback as references to the 90s and 00s continue to dominate the runways,” says Leanne Wiggins of Matches. Japanese style stalwarts Comme Des Garçons Homme Plus and Junya Watanabe recently hit the catwalks in body-hugging models, while fashion label KNWLS washed theirs and new Stefan Cook accessorized with ribbon at London Fashion Week in September. I hope you kept your old ones.
Ultra rare vintage
As the cost of living continues to fall, investment properties that pay off will increase rapidly. “Repeat commerce is becoming a solid secondary source of income,” confirms WGSN. Second-hand sites such as Vestiaire, Depop and start-up Finds allow you to buy pre-loved items with the confidence that you can resell them for the same or similar price – remember that more established labels retain their value. Look for top-notch vintage collectibles like Iris Lo wearing Comme des Garçons AW07 archive at the Fashion Awards 2022. In London, Kerry Taylor Auctions has a museum-worthy, One of a Kind by Portabello, and Rellik offers more clothing options and sites. as Grailed, Sea.Lam Archive and La Nausée have Margiela’s, Gaultier’s and McQueen’s.
The death of the grande dame of punk fashion on December 29 shook the industry. The streams of articles and Instagram posts that followed renewed the indelible mark she left on style. Many dug into their wardrobes to share their archive of bullet-tagged outfits online; now resurfaced, they will be worn as a badge of honor. There’s sure to be a celebration of fashion during February Fashion Month, and Westwood’s signature corsets and tartans are sure to flood the red carpets to commemorate.
Sure, I hear you groan, we’ve done our best to reinvent the down jacket. Wrong, says Loewe’s Jonathan Anderson. His latest version is leathery, plump and (for all odds) sexy. Expect to see more of it, alongside puffer jackets from the same family: Arket, 66 North and Diesel have great alternatives.
The sun has set over the intricately folded chains that tangle when the phone is unlocked. This year, necklaces to lock your bike with are better, with everyone from Isabel Marant to COS on board. Libby Page, director of marketing at NET-A-PORTER, has noticed that bulky gold styles are particularly popular. Padlocks and keys are a micro-trend to be aware of in the industry, pioneered by Givenchy when Matthew Williams fronted AW20 and supported by Dua Lipa this festive period. Mulberry makes even more exquisite strands, and Tom Ford puts them on the straps of his shoes. WGSN speculates that “this part becomes a recycling option where old pieces of metal can be repurposed as charms.” To the garage!
Light ginger is all
Pantone Color of the Year 2023 – bright Viva Magenta, while WGSN chose a cool Digital Lavender. I’d be careful with both – go for the one that will last a year and more. “Bright ginger pairs well with creams and whites, a strategic option as black loses favor with neutral colors year after year,” reports WGSN. Pale brown Parisian-style coats, baggy trousers and cashmere cardis are all the rage. Elle UK fashion editor Georgia Medley agrees. “Beige and camel are the colors of the season for SS23”.
Dress (your avatar) to impress
In October, Snap Inc released a study that found that by 2025, nearly 75 percent of social app users will regularly use augmented reality, and the trend continues to tilt. Last year artificial intelligence took the high street and high fashion by storm; H&M launched the Metaverse collection modeled by American supermodel Kristen McMenamy, M&S introduced its AI influencer Mira, and Dutch couturier Iris Van Herpen created dresses made of pixels. 2023: The year we spend on cyberwear?