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The AW23 Trend Report

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As summer draws to a close, it can be hard to say goodbye to the season of holidays, sundowners and longer, brighter days. But with the onset of autumn comes the opportunity to rotate your wardrobe, ready it for cooler temperatures and rediscover your cosier pieces. Whether you’re looking to rework existing items or add a few new ones to your forever wardrobe, our AW23 trend report is here to help. As ever, we’ve surveyed the catwalks through the W. ICONS lens to bring you the trends rooted in timeless style, not those that will come and go. Here’s the ICONS guide to AW23.

Leather Weather
Leather comes into its own during autumn and winter. In the season’s unpredictable weather, it’s as functional as it is stylish, and just one leather piece in your wardrobe is enough to add an edgy twist to your staples. Whether you opt for an easy-to-wear pair of leather trousers, softened by pairing with wool and cashmere, as seen at Proenza Schouler, or go full pelt with a leather dress for a winter wedding or event – we loved the strapless version worn with combat boots at Gabriela Hearst – leather is an ageless addition to your wardrobe. Don’t feel like you have to stick to black, though – rich burgundy and brown are great seasonal alternatives that look and feel less harsh than black.

Zimmermann | Gabriela Hearst | Proenza Schouler

Hot Red
Red never goes out of style, but this season it’s all about a particularly vibrant, brighter-than-bright shade of rouge. On the catwalk, it was worn head-to-toe (lipstick included) for maximum impact at Stella McCartney, Theory and Eudon Choi – a great styling idea for autumn and winter events. But if that’s a little too far for you, try adding just one piece in this zingy shade into your wardrobe, like an oversized blazer or knit – red always pairs well with denim, as well as typically autumnal shades such as camel, burgundy and black.

Eudon Choi | Theory | Stella McCartney

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – the trench is always a good idea, especially for autumn, when it comes into its own in the transitional-weather period. If you already have one in your wardrobe, take inspiration from the looks of the season by keeping styling classic. We loved it thrown over a denim skirt at Tory Burch – a huge trend from spring and summer that you can carry through – and cinched at the waist with sleeves pushed up at Alexander McQueen – a great way to make it feel more work-ready and formal.

Tory Burch | Alexander McQueen | Isabel Marant

Clutch Control
It’s time to pack away your basket bag and get ready for the new season’s styling trick – a bag carried like a clutch. No need to buy a new bag, this is simply about reworking what you’ve already got and looking at it in a different way. Possibly not the best option for your everything-but-the-kitchen-sink everyday tote, but a great way to rethink how you wear your favourite bags for evening and events.

Ferragamo | Jil Sander | Miu Miu

Slouchy Denim
Jeans have slowly been getting more relaxed over the last few seasons, and we like it. This season, it’s less about wide-leg styles and more about an overall more slouchy silhouette when it comes to denim – looser all over and puddling at the hem, as seen at Gucci, Victoria Beckham and Bottega Veneta, where they were styled to perfection with a plain white tank (a hard-working forever staple), bag-as-clutch (see previous trend), and a pale pink shirt tied nonchalantly around the waist.

Gucci | Victoria Beckham | Bottega Veneta

The Gathered Dress
Philosophy Di Lorenzo Serafini
If you favour simple pieces with subtle twists, the gathered dress is for you. In tones from traditionally autumnal to light neutrals, they were a notable trend on the catwalks, and a gathering of ruching is a timeless feature that always has a place in your wardrobe. Super-flattering, it works best on fabrics like jersey, turning what could be a boring piece into something altogether more special. Keep accessories pared back and minimal.

Tove | Altuzarra | Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini

Knee-High-And-Over Boots
Whether grazing the knee or hugging the thigh, long boots are big news this season, and the perfect way to transport some of your spring and summer pieces into autumn. Take Isabel Marant’s lead and use over-the-knee boots to carry short floral dresses into cooler weather, or follow Stella McCartney and Loewe’s advice and use them as a way to restyle oversized shirts and blazers as outfits in their own right.

Stella McCartney | Isabel Marant | Loewe

Buttery Yellow
Soft, buttery yellow is by far our favourite shade of the season. It’s probably a colour most associated with spring and summer, but there really needn’t be any seasonal barriers when it comes to colours – if a colour works for you, it works all year round so embrace it, whatever the weather. This silky tone was seen on an array of styles, from evening dresses to knitwear and outerwear, proving its versatility. It’s particularly beautiful when paired with simple black or white.

Loewe | Prada | Tove

Simple Suiting
Though the silhouettes may alter, in general, suiting never dates, and you’ll wear it the most in autumn and winter. On the catwalk, it was simple and classic (just how we like it). Styled with practical flat shoes and minimal accessories, trousers were cut looser and blazers slightly oversized, in neutral tones like stone beige and soft brown. Look to The Row and Gabriela Hearst for your ultimate low-key-but-luxe workwear inspiration.

Gabriela Hearst | Eudon Choi | The Row

The Crisp White Shirt
We know you’ll already have one of these hanging in your wardrobe, making it the perfect trend. This season, rather than using it as a foolproof outfit building block, make it the star of the show by contrasting with black separates and forgoing any spotlight-stealing accessories, to form an impactful look. Buttoned-up, open cuffs, untucked, tucked… it doesn’t matter how you wear it, it’s the intention that matters.

Alexander McQueen | Proenza Schouler | Prada

Statement Studs
A statement earring is always something worth having in your style arsenal. They’re big news (literally) this season, in the form of sculptural, oversized studs. Unlike longer chandelier styles, they work well with any neckline and look particularly good with short hair and updos. Invest in one great pair and you can wear them anywhere – from work to weddings and everything in between – a fuss-free style statement that will pep up any outfit.

Rokh | Zimmermann | Ferragamo

The XL Black Coat
Coat season is almost upon us. An essential piece for chillier temperatures, it’s important to get it right – especially as it will become the finishing layer to every outfit for at least the next four months. If you’re on the lookout for something new this year, opt for black, extra-long and oversized – a classic combination that was seen all over the catwalk but also won’t date. Go for the highest wool content you can afford (it will wear better than synthetic fabrics), invest in getting it professionally dry-cleaned at the end of each winter and store with moth-prevention products like lavender bags or cedar balls in the spring and summer months to prolong its lifespan.

Gucci | Tove | Givenchy

The Knitted Dress
You can’t go wrong with a knitted dress, as the catwalks prove. One of the most versatile items you can invest in, this is a piece that will see you through to next spring with ease. Wear now with ballet flats or trainers, then switch to chunky-soled flat or mid-heeled boots as the temperature drops.

Fendi | Tod's | Coach