Cargos, color, cutouts and a continuation of the Y2K aesthetic are key women’s wear takeaways from the Spring/Summer 2023 fashion runways according to Fashion Snoops.
Melissa Moylan, the trend forecasting agency’s vice president of women’s wear, recently discussed these and other fashion trends culled from the recent catwalks during a live webinar.
“I think in terms of bottoms [the cargo pant] was really exciting. We hadn’t seen that in a while. And the cargo content conversation just continues to grow,” she said. “We see this in so many different ways. It’s not just Y2K-centric, although it could be positioned as that with a great jean or denim expressions and twills. We also extend it from not only your bottom pant style, but also into a short style which we saw at Givenchy.” Silky and satiny cargo pants from Fendi and the oversized pockets by Louis Vuitton also exemplify the cargo design wave well, Moylan added.
She surmised that this return to function and increased storage capacity in apparel was rooted in the “revenge travel” people are taking after being stuck at home during the pandemic.
“Utility designs will continue to surface,” Moylan continued. “We saw this from a detail expression in a really big way with these just huge large utility pockets especially coming out of Miu Miu. We also saw it in the form of items like the cargo pants and outerwear like parkas and bomber jackets that make a comeback.”
She also mentioned Altuzarra as a good example of the fad. That label was inspired by “intrepid explorers” but it added a bohemian layer with shibori dyes, another trend she said was evident.
However, she named “the column” the definitive silhouette of Spring/Summer 2023. “It started to emerge the past season or two ago, but it really comes into its own here, both in the form of dresses or skirts so it’s a very long slinky shape that kind of hugs the curves of the body,” she said. “We’ve even seen variations in denim. For example, this could tap into the recurring theme of knit sweater dresses.”
A flared shape is also a popular look in what she called “a very denim-heavy season.”
Dyes and color—whether muted or bold—are other big news, Moylan noted.
“We’re really excited about the return of pastels this season,” she said. After two years dominated by “really bold, vibrant hues,” she added, “this season kind of marked a return to gentler colors with a more lighthearted sensibility that’s led by colors that are soft, such as pinks, tangerine, citrine and blues and yellows. We also started to see more saturated pastels that emerge such as the deeper tone of lavender and mint green.”
While pale hues are back in, bright ones continue to be important accents. Referring to them as “highlighter” shades, Moylan said neon yellow, lime and chartreuse continue to expand and evolve in the new collections.
Cutouts appeared on many dresses as well as bottoms where skin flashes at the hip, tapping into “new erogenous zones,” she said. “It’s almost like everything is fair game here. So we see exposed shoulders, bustlines as well as the sides that still continue to be a focus for cutout details.”
The Y2K revival also remains relevant with the Burning Man festival serving as an inspiration for luxury labels. “We had Sportmax in Milan, where they were inspired by ravers and even Hermès in Paris incorporated some Burning Man-esque prints and patterns. But ultimately this look is about bright pops of colors sheer materials, a lot of skin revealing, items we continue to see that garments that are just closer to the body, items like the broad top corsets or bustiers as well as extreme minis,” she said.
She added that Blumarine’s Little Mermaid-themed collection probably captured the Y2K trend the best with both its denim and nods to Oceania.
In general, she said denim continued its always-changing progression for Spring 2023. “We saw denim go through this sort of youthful route evolution, or rebellious launch,” she said. “Denim serving as this new catch-all category for all things artistic with interpretations or details like hardware embroidery in terms of washes. We saw the comeback of these kinds of yellowed sandblasting effects, as well as upcycled materials.”