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The SS23 Occasion-Wear Trend Report

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Chic Co-Ords

Co-ords are a shortcut to easy, everyday style, but they’re great for special occasions, too. A modern alternative to a dress, a skirt-and-top combo feels fresh and feminine. Take styling notes from Gabriela Hearst, Giambattista Valli and Adam Lippes. The best part? The separate pieces can be mixed and matched with other items from your wardrobe for multiple outfit options.

Soft Florals

Big, blousy blooms are always a good idea, but this occasion season we’re drawn to softer garden florals that make a quiet statement. Delicate pastel tones and wispy, watercolour-esque posies dappled over everything from suits to dresses, as seen at Dries Van Noten, Erdem and Zimmermann, are the perfect way to bring print into your event wardrobe. Keep accessories pared-back and simple, so attention is on the print.

High Shine

Metallics are made for party time – think of them as a contemporary way to do sparkle. Modern, sleek and not at all twee, we love Galvan London’s molten-gold slip dress for a softer take on shine, or take inspiration from Michael Kors and pair a gold skirt with a simple white top and black tailored coat. If head-to-toe metallics aren’t your thing, bring the trend in via accessories – statement gold heels or a shimmering silver bag make a big impact.

Crafty Crochet

Crochet may seem more suited to beach holidays than summer soirées, but allow us to convince you otherwise. The catwalks showed an abundance of beautifully decorative crochet that formed intricate, ornamental patterns perfectly suited to occasion wear. The homespun, bohemian nature of the fabric lends itself to more minimal styling – too many accessories can make it look fussy, so keep the look clean and simple with barely-there sandals and fresh make-up.

The Long Black Dress

No, not the little black dress, but the long black dress. The minimal maxi is big news for SS23, and it’s perfect for event season. Look for styles with simple but impactful silhouettes, like the asymmetric shoulder detailing seen at Ferragamo and Michael Kors. The perfect canvas to dress up or down, the long black dress is your secret weapon to timeless party style. Trust us, you’ll turn to it year after year.

Modern Pastels

Pastels have been given a tougher edge this season with modern, clean lines and boxier shapes. See Victoria Beckham’s beautifully cut soft rose suit as the perfect example. To stop them looking sugary-sweet, keep your accessories directional, like Prada’s platform Mary Janes paired with the palest blue shift dress, or add black accents, as seen at Loewe.

Wearable Sheer

Subtle translucency can have a romantic, ethereal feel to it when done right, while also nodding to the ’90s grunge trend. The key? Go for soft-coloured sheer layers that blend into one another – like Jason Wu’s pale yellow dress layered over a nude bodysuit; the sheerness is almost imperceptible but makes just enough of a statement. Or take Lanvin’s cue and cover a sheer slip dress with a light coat to stop you feeling too exposed.

White Suiting

There’s something eternally chic about a white suit – it feels formal, but relaxed, and makes for a versatile contemporary occasion outfit. Whether you’re a bride looking for an alternative to the traditional white dress or simply want to break out of the occasion-dressing mould this season, this is the way to go. We love it accessorised with layers of necklaces, as seen at Chanel, but equally worn with one simple choker à la Ports 1961.