Fashion Week Trends 2023: Peplum, Purple & 12 Other Trends To Start Wearing Now
It’s fashion month which means designers across the globe will be debuting their collections for Fall/Winter 2023—New York Fashion Week just wrapped up and gave us the first glimpse of what we can expect to see in stores, on the streets and in subsequent shows as the fashion marathon continues this month. Whether you’re virtually tuning into runway shows or speed-clicking through your favorite influencer’s Instagram stories, I’m positive that you’ll notice at least one fashion week trend for 2023 that you can’t wait to get your hands on. How am I so sure? After attending fashion shows every day for the past week, I was able to note at least 14 (yes, 14!) solidified trends walking down the runway. Believe me, you have plenty to choose from.
After evaluating a season’s worth of shows, I’m usually able to pinpoint around six major trends—so why were there so many this season? For starters, many of the major trends like the “pantless look”, rosettes and sheer lace dresses were continuations of themes that are currently circulating social media and store window displays. Designers like Jason Wu, Christian Siriano and Rodarte were able to take moments from the current fashion zeitgeist and elaborate on them. This, therefore, allows trends to progress and develop instead of falling into the pit of microtrend fast-fashion doom.
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In addition, New York City champions new and emerging talent which naturally results in a fresh perspective on the runway. This season, AKNVAS, Colin Locascio and MELKE all made runway debuts during NYFW in partnership with Afterpay’s RunwayX experience. These colorful collections represent the future of fashion with accessibility through wearability, open casting calls, body diversity and gender-fluid design taking priority in the designers’ approach.
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MELKE, known for whimsical gender-fluid garments with a sewed-in storyline, led by example with a James and the Giant Peach-inspired collection made it’s runway debut with models of all ages and sizes. The cheeky collection included strategically placed peaches, embroidered rat patches and a lively caterpillar print—Emma Gage, the brand’s designer, was clearly not afraid to cut through the seriousness of NYFW and add a little fun.
AKNVAS brought ruffles to a new level with a colorful collection of tiered ruffle dresses and gowns. The formalwear was unexpectedly paired with more casual outerwear like faux-fur jackets, knit sweaters and jacquard coats.
Designer Colin LoCascio hosted an open casting call in partnership with Afterpay. “With my New York roots being an important part of the brand’s DNA, the open casting call enabled us to involve the local community and include everyday people that represent our brand in my first runway show. It was such a milestone for me to show at RunwayX by Afterpay, and it felt extra special knowing that we were giving others the opportunity to walk a runway for their first time as well,” LoCascio shared.
Though beyond LoCascio and the upcoming crop of designers leading the way, body diversity took a backseat this fashion week despite progress being shown in previous seasons. Social media users quickly took notice of the change and started a trending conversation about the regression online.
Outside of representation on the runway, designers seemed to be on the same page—even if they are known for having very different styles. Shades of lavender and apple red dominated evening wear in almost every show and I’m happy to report that there wasn’t a swatch of Barbiecore pink in sight. On a more divisive note, designers like Tory Burch and Brandon Maxwell put the pep in peplum with the early 2000s style literally shaping their collections. While I won’t force you to bring back the peplum trend (but hey, give it a try!) I will encourage you to pick one trend out of the lineup below and incorporate it with your personal style.
Keep scrolling for the 14 trends you’ll start to see everywhere.
The Prime of Peplum
Your favorite (or least favorite) 2010 trend is back and better than ever. The return of peplum is here to prove that every trend, even ones you vowed to never wear again, will come back in style. Designers like Brandon Maxwell, Tory Burch and Badgley Mischka presented convincing arguments in favor of the peplum trend. At Tory Burch, peplum corset tops gave the trend some major sex appeal while at Brandon Maxwell knit peplum (paired with oversized shorts) presented itself as the new “it girl” uniform.
Better Strap In
Sometimes the trend biggest trends are found in the smallest details. This season there was an influx of strap and buckle detailing on the runway. Whether they were added to mini dresses, formal gowns or just across a bare midriff with a cropped blazer, straps are the new way to add dimension to your look. They act similarly to a cut-out but give the option to cinch and layer as a belt would.
No Pants, No Problem
The pant-less trend debuted last season on the Bottega Veneta runway and has been gaining traction ever since Kendall Jenner wore the look in Los Angeles. Designers like Prabal Gurung, Christian Siriano and Puppets and Puppets joined in on the fun this season with models (of all sizes!) walking pant-less down the runway. The trick to the trend is to create a dynamic silhouette on top that can be balanced out by the simplicity of a pair of sheer tights.
While I can’t point to Taylor Swift’s Lavender Haze as the definitive inspiration for this runway trend, there is no question that purple will be the next “it” color in fashion. Icy shades of lavender purple popped up in most of the designer’s collections this past New York Fashion Week with standout pieces being shown at Laquan Smtih, Altuzzara and Christian Cowan. This shade of purple is a great addition to any wardrobe because it can be worn all year round. It looks like Barbiecore pink finally has some strong competition.
Fully Faux Fur
Faux fur jackets had a major resurgence this winter and if the runways are any indication, the trend will be coming back in full fluffy force next year as well. Celebrities like Hailey Bieber have been sporting faux fur on ski trips and New York City trips alike bringing back the look of old-school winter glamour. Now designers like AKNVAS and Colin LoCascio are incorporating grungier versions of the trend into their collections with leather accents and causal street styling.
Red Hot Ready To Wear
If icy purple isn’t your shade, perhaps you’ll play into the classic shade of apple red that stole the show this season. Whether it was incorporated into formal wear or a look fit for a club, red is without a doubt the hottest shade on the runway. Sandy Liang, Kim Shui and Jason Wu all used the color to anchor their formalwear pieces. All 2023 brides should expect guests to rock red at their weddings (whether that’s taboo is up to your interpretation).
Every once in a while, a trend will seemingly reach a peak in popularity before it even has a moment to take over the runway. That’s the case with the rosette or floral appliqué trend, which seems to be multiplying in designer’s collections by the dozen. Carolina Herrera, Christian Siriano and Sandy Liang were a few (of many) designers to add rose appliqué detailing to their runway pieces. For every piece with rosettes on the runway this season, there was double being worn in street style photos and in the front row. The trend is primarily being sported through neck ties and handbags right now but will begin to transition onto actual clothing pieces over the next few months.
Leagues of Leather
Vintage, distressed, oversized leather jackets are all the rage right now but we will start to see a more tailored approach to the material with long leather dresses. Three major players in elevated, wearable womenswear design, SIMKHAI, Brandon Maxwell and Altuzarra included long, soft leather dresses in their collections this season. The material provides a unique versatility that would fit occasions from an intimate date night out to a grand-scale formal affair—choose your shoes accordingly.
Cue the Capes
If you have a flair for the dramatic, you’ll love the gothic-style capes that fluttered down the runway this season. With black lace, sequins or velvet, capes are officially going to steal the title of “chicest outerwear” from trench coats. While capes were styled as evening wear at Rodarte, Michael Kors and Carolina Herrera, I’m eager to see the Vampire look styled with jeans and ballet flats for a romanticized office commute.
Best Believe It’s Bejeweled
Sequins are so yesterday, this season it is all about jewels. Brands like Brandon Maxwell, PatBO and Carolina Herrera gave their designs a royal touch with jewel embellishments evenly placed all over the garment. As spring approaches, you can anticipate this trend taking over tweed jackets and mini dresses—if you’re looking for an easy way to add some gems to your wardrobe right now and get ahead of the trend, I suggest pinning a jewelled brooch onto a bomber jacket or button-down shirt.
Off The Runway, Off The Shoulder
Cut-outs and one-sided obliques were big runway trends last season but they’re starting to be replaced with another way to show a little skin—the off-the-shoulder dress. While this trend isn’t necessarily work-appropriate, the look is sure to dominate your five-to-nine outside of the office. Ulla Johnson debuted a knit dress version of the trend fit for a casual Saturday while Altuzarra gave the trend a body-con spin for the evening.
Something I really enjoyed about this season’s runway shows was the continuation of trends. The metallic trend is a great example of a micro trend that continues to grow into the mainstream. Michael Kors created a monochrome metallic look by pairing a sparkly jumpsuit with a matte grey coat. Proenza Schouler leaned into the material and created a gorgeous “car crash” metal dress where the fabric appears to have been shaped and impounded.
Tucked and Tailored
It’s time to take your oversized blazer to the tailor and have the waist taken in. After years of oversized domination, blazers are now to be fitted and tucked at the waist. As demonstrated by Jason Wu, the rest of the blazer’s silhouette maintains its oversized shape while the core buttons are at the waist. Another way to get the look is simply adding a belt, as seen on Chloë Sevigny at Proenza Schouler. Dare I say that this transition is further proof of the peplum revival?
A Sheer Thing
Last season, it seemed as if every garment on the runway was sheer and NSFW. While models this season were definitely more covered up, the sheer trend still had its moments, specifically involving black lace. This version of the naked dress is subtly both gothic and girly with designers like Jason Wu and Rodarte using ruffle trim to soften the edges. I love this trend because it can easily be worn over a black bodysuit, bra or tights depending on your comfort level.
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