Found in Issue No. 254
The SS23 Trend Report
- Words By
- Bibby Sowray
- Edited By
- Petro Stofberg
After what has felt like an endless winter, spring is finally on the horizon. With it comes a host of trends to be welcomed into your wardrobe. From the minimal maxi dress to simple sandals, shibori-style prints to the supersized blazer, every trend in our report fits with our ethos of creating a collection you’ll love and wear forever. Here’s the ICONS guide to SS23.
The New Utilitarian
The return of cargo trousers is a small part of a bigger trend: utility. Practical and laid-back, this trend lends itself to off-duty style, while its simplicity makes it easy to slip into your existing wardrobe. Try a cotton utility jacket paired with jeans, trainers and a crisp white T-shirt, a low-key jumpsuit dressed up with heels for dinner out or the aforementioned cargo trousers partnered with a sharp, tailored blazer. Look for neutral shades that nod to the trend’s functional roots, like beige and khaki.
The Trench 2.0
If you haven’t invested in a classic trench coat yet, now is the time. A perennial wardrobe ICON, it enjoyed numerous outings on the SS23 catwalks, and it’s no wonder – it’s seasonless and timeless as well as being the ultimate spring-to-summer cover-up. Classic camel reigned supreme at shows including Dior, Givenchy and Louis Vuitton, where the fits were oversized and detailing was kept to a minimum for a fuss-free look. Stick to the same principles and you’ll have a piece that you’ll wear forever.
The Supersize Blazer
The oversized blazer trend has been big for a few seasons now, but SS23 sees it move away from navy, dark grey and black to be reimagined in earthier, lighter colours. Jil Sander’s peachy-beige version paired with matching trousers was a catwalk highlight, as was Rokh’s pale camel design, with contrasting white lapels and cinched at the waist. If you’re naturally drawn to darker colours, this is a great way to add a paler shade into your wardrobe without feeling out of your comfort zone.
Simple Black Sandals
Flatforms and chunkier styles may have been big news for the past few summers, but simple, pared-back sandals are making a comeback. Think delicate straps and slim soles, the kind of sandals that will blend seamlessly with every outfit in your summer wardrobe.
Tie-dye has long been a summer favourite, owing to the breezy, relaxed attitude it adds to garments. This season it’s shibori-style dyeing that has won a place in our hearts and wardrobes. The traditional Japanese technique creates beautifully organic patterns that, much like stripes, fit effortlessly into a classic wardrobe. Seen at Altuzarra in cool shades of indigo, where it was splashed on dresses styled with a beach-meets-city vibe, and at Ulla Johnson, where bold purple patterns stole the show.
There’s no better time to test out bold colours than in spring and summer. While fuchsia led the way last season, this season it’s the turn of bright red. Once again, it was Valentino – a brand that has long used red as its signature shade – that started a domino effect on the catwalks with top-to-toe red looks, mostly in tailored shirt-style dresses. Michael Kors and Alexander McQueen followed suit with elegant red tailored pieces. The key to this trend? Finding the shade that works best for you, be it a pink-tinged or bold tomato tone.
It’s time to switch out your heavier winter silks and satins for diaphanous parachute silk pieces. This soft, lightweight alternative is the perfect fabric for the warmer seasons as it’s both breathable and can wick away moisture. Opt for fresh summery shades, like the peachy hue seen on the Isabel Marant catwalk, or stick to richer ones, such as navy and black – the lightness of the fabric makes it the ideal way to wear darker colours in the summer. See Jil Sander for the perfect example.
The Minimal Maxi
Far from boring, minimalist pieces are the building blocks of a classic wardrobe. Case in point: the minimalist maxi. On the SS23 catwalks, they were serene in their simplicity, styled with a pared-back elegance at Max Mara, Valentino and Ports 1961. Think of this less as a trend and more of a foundation piece that you’ll pull out summer after summer – worth the investment and so simple to dress up or down, whatever the occasion.
Metallics are most often seen on the Autumn/Winter catwalks, but this year they’re adding a little shimmer to Spring/Summer, too. Got a summer packed with weddings and events? Make metallics your go-to. We love the muted nickel-like tone seen at Altuzarra, a softer take on silver that’s easier to wear. But if head-to-toe metallics aren’t your thing, bring the trend in via accessories – a gold bag makes a bold statement and will become a piece you turn to for years to come to pep up a simple outfit.
It’s time to fall back in love with the humble midi skirt. At Fendi, Miu Miu and Prada they took the form of off-kilter pencil skirts, spliced at the front or side. In real life, we’d recommend investing in more classic denim, cotton or linen versions for spring and summer. Pair yours with fine knits and ballet flats until the weather allows you to switch them out for a simple camisole and sandals instead.
Though blue isn’t traditionally a neutral, we like to think of denim as just that. So this season’s obsession with the fabric is a trend we love. The catwalks saw countless head-to-toe denim looks. From a contemporary take on the Canadian tuxedo at Bally (accessorised with luxe gold jewellery) to Chloé’s denim trench layered over a matching crop top and lace-up detail jeans, pretty much any item that can be rendered in the fabric has been. For a fresh spring spin, test out a denim midi or maxi skirt teamed with a matching denim shirt.
Crochet can be a divisive fabric, but its homespun, bohemian texture makes it perfect for warm summer days – especially if you’re headed to more tropical settings. We like it best when it’s kept simple and monochrome, as seen at Dior and Max Mara. Think about your foundation layers – they’ll probably be visible, so opt for flattering swimwear, underwear or a shape-skimming slip (depending on the occasion). If you’re going for a crochet dress, keep accessories to a minimum to avoid a fussy look. Alternatively, a crochet bag is a great summery style to add to your repertoire.
Of all the noughties trends to have made a return, the one we’re most on board with is ballet flats. In fact, for us, they never really went away. The perfect between-seasons shoe and a more formal alternative to sandals in the summer, they are a true wardrobe essential. Extremely adaptable, they can soften leather trousers, as seen on Celine’s SS23 catwalk, but pair equally perfectly with ladylike trouser suits and midi dresses and skirts, as seen at Chanel and Tod’s.
Admittedly, it’s not the most practical of trends, but there’s nothing as fresh as an all-white look if your lifestyle permits. This spring/summer it has a preppy vibe – think a day out at Wimbledon rather than the beach. A shirt dress is a great way to ease yourself into the trend, as is a crisp white blazer and trousers combo. Just steer clear of red wine.
Back to All Issues