Spring is always the show that brings out the bright and fun colour palettes. Full of vibrant florals, quirky abstracts, and geological patterns both natural and digital. This year sees new and familiar faces joining in to showcase their take on the fashion objectives of the season.
Ready-to-wear Spring 2023 brought so many attention-grabbing pieces from the usual suspects, but also from the newer comers. Each year we see new ideology designing but also a remix on classic prints from every season. How many times can we see florals? Correct, every single season past and present we will see them and every time they continue to be innovative and different.
This year we saw a return to fashion weeks being non restricted and it did not disappoint. Two years without a standard fashion week has built up the excitement and intensity of what we have missed about fashion week.
New York Fashion Week
Starting with our home base, New York Fashion Week started the 4 major shows off strong, with over 100 brands across 6 days. Many important moments happened over these 6 days, including Fendi’s signature baguette bag collaborations, Proenza Schouler's 20th anniversary show, and live performances from Dev Hynes and the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra. This season saw many different areas of new York come to life and be revived. With brands choosing iconic areas to showcase their collections across Manhattan from and Brooklyn.
The big names have come out Fendi, Dior, Gucci, Balenciaga, and many show-stopping acts appeared to perform and entertain us.
Let’s dig into the shows. First up Tom Ford, a collection created to look through his past collections. Attention grabbing shirts were inspired by cowboy designs, coated in embellishments of sequins and fringing. Metallic blazers reminiscing of 80’s culture paired with hotpants and trousers both in metallic materials which reflected the light to show the material rougher texture. In a juxtaposition from cowboy inspired designs we saw floor length sequin gowns which created the perfect level of disco ball inspiration.
Paris Fashion Week
It wouldn’t be Paris fashion week without Hermes. They are the all-thing French. The set of the show featured a massive sand dune to tie into the dessert rave inspiration, a slightly different style from Hermes, however executed to perfection. To top off their set they featured kaleidoscope lighting which enhanced the dessert rave aesthetic. The light-hearted collection was designed in an element that made the models project an airless floating ability, there sandals were designed as an illusion, created by Pierre Hardy to compliment the idea of the dessert mirage.
One collection from Paris fashion week that was striking was Thebe Magugu Studio. This collection pulled off elegance and attitude. Featuring striking designs and playful textures to create the conversation that conversational prints aspire to have.
The story behind his collection has a beautiful symbolic meaning which is to produce a collection based on his hands, the hands that have helped and worked for him to provide him a definition of who he is and show how the social experiment of fashion. His SS23 collection provides the goodies, from lobster printed jackets to pleated materials, plaids, moody tropical and primary bright colour tones. Not many could pull off a wild collection of mismatched pieces, yet make them look more cohesive, truly understated and striking, all wrapped up into a 24 pieces collection.
London Fashion Week
A key showstopper in the London fashion week line up was Richard Quinn. Not only did he pull off key designs throughout his collection, but he managed to, in a short space of time, add an homage to the late Queen Elizabeth II. Quinn stepped away from his use of bright colours and traditional heavy floral prints to create several all black and elaborately created dresses in respect of her passing. His team tirelessly worked for 10 days straight after the queens passing to create 22 looks, many featuring a black veil as a sign of national mourning. To change a collection that quickly to respond to the current events was not only fast thinking, but a major task to undertake. With his inspiration being craftmanship and the beauty of royalty, his collection was the labour of love to the queen.
Quinn dedicated his full collection to her legacy, as she played an active role in emerging fashion designers. The queen presented Quinn with the first ever Queen Elizabeth II award for design, he honoured this by returning the respect.
Each print that was used held delicacy, rich, and regal status, finely embroidered and designed in the colour of mourning. Delicate lace, beading and floral fleurs enhancing each design to its elegance. It was a different style of collection from Quinn however he took the challenge of creating monotone looks while making them up to his usual eccentric standards which is difficult to do even for the most talented professionals. However, he still produced a handful of colourful eccentric prints, which also paid respects to how brightly the queen enjoyed and was known to dress.
His prints ranged from an orange and black polka dot hooded dress, large scaled floral capes, 3D textured dresses which bolstered in size and finally paired off with a pink and black polka dot jumpsuit with a feathered texture. Each creation riveling those who had showed at London Fashion week and intimidating those who still had to continue too how. Richard Quinn was the winner of London fashion week by truly embracing the British tradition and pulling off the unthinkable during a national period of mourning to respect the legacy of Queen Elizabeth II.
Milan Fashion Week
Milan fashion week showcased many designers, some keeping their basic collections as elevated basics, and others pushing the lines and boundaries to create art in their clothes, and show their personalities through design.
One design collection is Matty Bovan, he has produced chaotic and wild prints which are always so meticulously put together to break the written rules of fashion and re-write his own. The putting together of his collections feels like trying to get on a busy rush hour train and not knowing where to look, you are first shocked and irritated by the amount going on but secretly you love the dramatic craziness. Pairing geometrics in bold blues with an earthy pink toned abstract skirt is not everybody cup of tea but it works, it makes us all stand and stare to appreciate the unconventional beauty. Layers upon layers and three-dimensional sizes and shapes to volumize designs further is what makes Matty Bovan a creative genius on the runway.
While many large fashion houses showcased let downs this season with their plain, see it a million times colours, Versace yet again made up for it. They brought cinematic designs and thought down to every last detail of their show even if it didn’t directly involve the clothes, they knew the difference the scene makes to how the looks perceived. A dark gothic goddess is the name of the show, it could have very easily flopped, but they overall design of clothes and location brought out a charm that was invincible. Their show started in all black looks which firstly could of came off as funeral chic which would have worked if the show had been based in London with the period of mourning, but it took a dramatic turn from all black to an all-hot pink look, followed by purple and then the prints started. Majestic flows of blue and purple chiffon material that creates its own movement mimicked air waves that flowed to the music choice. Pairing dark florals and dark animal also brought out the gothic goddess effect, wild yet feminine, yet strong under the Versace coat of arms. The final touch that made the SS23 Versace collections a favourite of ours was their use of metallics, tasteful yet fun and exciting they gave motion and power to the designs but knew the fine line of tasteful and tacky.
Amy Davidson is a newly graduated textiles designer from Scotland, who loves to travel, the colour orange and hairbands in as many colours and prints as she could possibly get her hands on. Her favourite style of print to work with is anything that’s bold, colourful, and tropical!