A fresh take on minimalism, lingerie-inspired styling, and the effects of goth entertainment like the Netflix hit show “Wednesday” are evident in Fall/Winter 2023-2024 collections.
In a recent webinar, trend forecasting firm Fashion Snoops named the F/W 23-24 themes, key items and colors transforming women’s fashion and how new designs reflect today’s uncertain times. Here’s a look at how fashion is preparing for another moody season that prizes basics and statement pieces alike.
Themes to watch
Shifting away from the instant trends born on TikTok, Wardrobe Builders represents the most pragmatic and commercial theme for the season, according to Melissa Moylan, Fashion Snoops VP of creative, women’s wear. With brands from Prada to Bottega Veneta exploring “notions of simplicity as well as uniforms,” they’re forming a new vision of everyday style and the “next wave of minimalism,” she added.
In Wardrobe Builders, tank tops, pencil skirts, sharp-shouldered blazers and maxi coats become investment pieces. Denim and tailored pieces fuse casual and dress elements. Black-and-white combinations underscore the minimalism story, while gray becomes the neutral to watch.
Transparent and delicate pieces are central to Fashion Snoops’ second theme, Sensual. Clothing acts as a veil, while off-the-shoulder and strapless silhouettes share space with slinky jersey and satin garments that hug the body in different places, Moylan said. The theme is carried into accessories through lustrous pearls and jewelry with enamel coatings.
The moodiest theme of the season, Midnight Mystic, taps into gothic glamour and opulence. The dark theme, Moylan said, is expressed through dramatic trumpet sleeves, punk-inspired leather pieces, lace-trimmed slip dresses and “sexy attributes such as revealing slits or cutouts.”
Fashion takes on more texture and color in Grit, a theme that Moylan said responds to global turmoil. The theme calls for rugged and primitive looks, artisanal distressing and burnished effects—an aesthetic that aligns with the emerging grunge trend. “We see a lot of interesting interpretations with leather and denim that’s treated to look worn in,” Moylan said.
In Sentimental, designers offer modern iterations of vintage charm. “There was also a very distinct nod to upcycling,” she said, as well as patchwork jacquard, handmade embroideries and mixed patterns that when styled together create a new contemporary tapestry.
Colors to watch
Scarlet, vibrant fiery hues and cherry red are on Fashion Snoops’ radar. Patricia Maeda, Fashion Snoops director of women’s wear, said the high-impact hues reflect the consumer’s state of mind. “It’s important for women to feel empowered. So, it’s no surprise to see these very assertive reds dominate throughout all of fashion month,” she said.
Gray—from light tones to dark graphite shades—is the leading neutral. Maeda said neutrals are gaining importance as consumers look for wardrobe-building items that have longevity. “We’re experiencing a time where there’s a lot of fear of recession, so sustainable neutrals do feel like a very smart choice,” she said.
Lush night shades like purple and purple-tinted blues, emerald green, and rich magenta resonate with notions of dark romanticism. The jewel tones, Maeda added, are being strategically used to evoke emotion and a feeling of luxury.
Saturated pastels like lavender, pink and mint offer soothing and balancing qualities. Soft yellows take on a citrus undertone while cornflower blue makes a strong return. “Consumers are looking for colors that provide a sense of digital escapism,” Maeda said.
They’re also looking for bold and dramatic. Enter hyper-brights like fiery orange, hot pink, yellow, blue and green. Maeda said the colors offer maximum impact, especially when styled as monochromatics.