The biggest news in fashion for Spring and Summer 2023 from New York, Milan, Paris, and London.
CREDIT: Style Sage
Fashion month, which lasted from mid-February to mid-March, was filled with the latest spring and summer looks both on and off the runway. From New York to London, to Milan, and to Paris, designers looked to impress with countless innovative and captivating looks. Rowdy is here to break down the most iconic looks from this season.
New York Fashion Week: a Fantasy World of Animation, Anthropomorphism, and Old Hollywood Allure
By Micayla Vereb
This past February, New York City was buzzing with new styles, both on and off the runways. From the catwalk, to the front row of the hottest shows, to out on the street: designers have found surprising new ways to innovate in the world of dressing.
CREDIT: The National
Starting out on the streets of New York, it appeared as if we stepped into a cartoon fantasy world as MSCHF’s Big Red Boot swept across fashion week. This viral boot was released on February 6th by MSCHF and was quickly nicknamed the “Astro Boy” boot as it caught attention through streetwear styles and social media publicity. The boots have been seen worn by celebrities such as Lil Wayne, Diplo, Janelle Monáe, Ciara, Coi Leray, and more. They have even gone viral for being extremely difficult to remove– some wearers have had to be cut out of their boots. All in all, if you have always wanted to recreate the signature repeating outfits of your favorite animated characters, these might be the perfect boots for you.
Moving onto the runway, Collina Strada made waves with her “Please Don’t Eat My Friends” runway show as models crawled and frolicked around the runway in various anthropomorphic looks. The models gave into their inner animals as they emulated their energy, offering an immersive performance to audiences. The show included painted Vans shoes along with crafted tails, horns, snouts, ears, and hooves. Makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench worked with prosthetics and appliques to create these zoological looks and bring the animal spirits to life. The collection focuses on sustainability in fashion as the brand holds its mission for environmental responsibility by using mostly recycled materials.
CREDIT: AP News
Hollywood glamour is a classic style that still isn’t going anywhere as runways were filled with inspiration borrowed from the biggest stars of the mid-20th century. Designers such as Christian Siriano and Phillipe Blond channeled the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor in their respective shows. Siriano showed what he described as "Audrey Hepburn's rose garden at midnight,” inspired by a TV documentary series Hepburn did in the 90s where she visited rose gardens around the world. Ali and Cody Lohan were cast in the show and Lindsay Lohan sat front row to support her siblings.
The Blonds’ show closes out fashion week with an emphasis on the fine jewelry of old Hollywood, specifically inspired by Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Designer Phillipe Blond stunned with glitzy glam of large stones and glistening jewels showcased within the looks. The show was a collaboration with many brands as Blond shared that the crystals were made courtesy of Preciosa, wigs from Oribe Hair Care, and shoes by Christian Louboutin. The showstopper of the event was the closing look worn by Dominique Jackson, showcasing a body-sized diamond with fishnets and a lush fur coat, reminiscent of an Old Hollywood starlet stepping out onto the red carpet. These Hollywood classics are here to stay, as style icons of the Golden Age of Hollywood are still referenced and recreated today.
London Fashion Week’s Eye-catching Moments
By Tessa May
The week meant to honor fashion icons and artists for the city of London did so this year by beginning with a memorial to respect an influential figure that transformed British fashion– Vivienne Westwood. Westwood died in December and was respected at London’s Southwark Cathedral on the eve of the first day of the Fall-Winter 2023 shows.
The British Fashion Council made the announcement afterward that its Fashion Week would be dedicated to Westwood and its theme would entertain a “punk-inspired” aspect, in honor of her enthusing spirit. Designers paid their tribute to Westwood’s impact on fashion through honoring it with their own.
Most notable of these designers was Daniel Lee, the new chief creative officer for Burberry, who launched his first collection for the British Heritage House which implicated a punk-associated style. Lee describes the inspiration for this debut to be the diverse and exciting spirit of London citizens themselves, as he incorporates deep reds and purples, mustard yellows, and hints of royal blue to combine basic color patterns on anything from tartan-like kilts to bomber jackets. Vivienne would have definitely approved.
Other features to be noted were those that went above and beyond ordinary display that took a creative spin on average punk, including AI simulated prints of animals onto gowns by Christopher Kane, and petite ribboning instead of eyeliner done by Simone Rocha in her nautical-themed S.S. Daley show.
Piglets, baby chicks, and even rats were printed on skin-tight dresses on Christopher Kane's runway. / CREDIT: CNN
The week included a jam-packed schedule where emerging brands ended up outnumbering these more established labels such as Burberry and Christopher Kane. For example, Greek label Di Petsa staged its first catwalk after hosting a presentation in 2020 and introduced a sage-inspired show. The Brazilian designer Karoline Vitto displayed how her new collection was built with larger bodies in mind. Additionally, designer Sinead O'Dwyer began the week by introducing a cast which quite possibly could have been the most diverse, including pregnant models, handicapped models, and models of varying sizes and backgrounds.
Sinead O'Dwyer expressed importance of this inclusivity through featuring an extremely pregnant Tessa Kuragi on their first runway, while Di Petsa, whose noble wet-look gowns have been worn by Kylie Jenner, Lizzo and Gigi Hadid, opened with the creation of several garments that almost perfectly mimicked a baby bump.
Pregnant artist and model Tessa Kuragi walks in the Sinead O'Dwyer show / CREDIT: Dazed
Body inclusivity doesn’t end there, as new designer Susan Fang debuted her first childrenswear collection, featuring mini floral dresses displayed on toddlers accompanied with adults wearing the matching look. Her collection brought playful innocence into the show, while further promoting diversity between clothing displays among ages.
Many brands took advantage of this week to express the go big or go home catchphrase.
"(I want people to) think as big as possible." says designer Hari Pillai to CNN when being asked about his physically diverse pieces: inflatable trousers. The brand responsible for Sam Smith’s viral Brit Awards look of latex inflatable pants distinguishes themselves from the red carpet to the runway by putting models in them just a few days later, gaining mass amounts of interest.
Designer Hari Pillai becomes the latest London student to go viral with an astonishing collection. / CREDIT: Yahoo
Sartorial creativity and freedom continuously emerged through displays of humor and cultural references during the week. Young Natasha Zinko provided an amusing show, displaying a collection that incorporated plastic green six-packs and Hulk-inspired makeup, forming quite the comical look.
A model walks the runway during the Natacha Zinko show in a bright green six-pack. / CREDIT: Vogue
"I love a nice reference," American designer Connor Ives told the press after his second-ever London runway show, in which he included a subtle indication to the 1998 film “Parent Trap” in. Ives' final look was a bridal dress and white veiled top hat which was stirred by a scene from the movie. Film inspiration doesn’t end there as Matty Bovan claims his fascination with 1982 movie “Bladerunner”, and suggests his creations are partly stimulated by it as he claims, "It was positively dripping off the screen at me".
The main takeaways of the week?
Humorous references, punk spunk, and diversity dominance are continuously fueling London’s passion for fashion.
Sex Positivity & Simplicity: The Future of Fashion at Milan Fashion Week
By Sabrina Castro
With Italy being home to a large number of great fashion houses, Milan fashion week is always a very highly anticipated showcase. This season was no exception, with Italian designer brands like Diesel, Bottega Veneta, and Ferragamo making history on (and off) the runways with their fashionably-innovative looks.
Between the Jennifer Coolidge impersonator and giant condom mountain, how can we talk about Milan fashion week without first talking about Diesel? News outlets and fans worldwide thought they were seeing double as Jennifer Coolidge seemingly simultaneously attended Diesel’s red carpet at MFW and the movie premiere for “We Have A Ghost” in California. Diesel’s red-carpet J. Cool turned out to be British makeup artist and drag queen Alexis Stone, known for their hyper-realistic transformations. If you thought this would be the only viral moment for Diesel at MFW, think again. Opening up the show, the brand paid tribute to both sex positivity and their upcoming collaboration with condom brand, Durex by centering their show around a mound of over 200,000 scarlet-red condom boxes. The collection--along with 300,000 condoms- is set to hit Diesel stores this upcoming April.
CREDIT: Instagram: @/diesel
Next on the schedule, Fendi’s designer Kim Jones had a specific muse for this season’s collection of reimagined classics: Delfina Delettrez Fendi, fourth-generation Fendi heiress. Delfina currently serves as Fendi’s jewelry designer, and Jones was immediately inspired by her ability to make archived pieces look modern. He says, “The first day she walked into work she was wearing blue and brown, and I thought she looked so great. There’s a chicness but a perversity to the way she twists Fendi, which is what I love.” As the models made their way down the runway in a celestial tunnel of blue light, many of the looks included basics like knitwear or blazers with a literal or figurative twist: cardigans twisted around the neck or a scarf fastened as a half sweater.
CREDIT: Time International
As the hot ticket of the season, Bottega Veneta concluded its self-dubbed “Italia” trilogy of shows with this collection. The purpose of the trilogy was to unite the past, present, and future of Italy into one cohesive vision, with this last show outlining the direction of the label’s future as a fresh take on style and sophistication. Bottega Veneta’s designer, Matthieu Blazy, closed out the show by sending the world’s first Chinese supermodel, Liu Wen, down the runway following her 3-year hiatus. Her look? Jeans, a white tank, a pink sweater tied at the waist, and an oversized leather tote. The message? Even simplicity can yield chicness with Bottega Veneta.
CREDIT: FullPrinting Store
CREDIT: W Magazine
Finally, we cannot talk about Milan fashion week without tipping our hats to Maximilian Davis, the creative director at Ferragamo who has been tasked with redefining the luxury label. Davis is a 27-year-old black designer from the UK who launched his own label in 2020 following his graduation from the prestigious London School of Fashion. After catching the attention of celebrities like Rihanna, Kylie Jenner, and Dua Lipa with his designs, Davis is now diving all into Ferragamo. This is especially exciting because new, emerging talent is something we rarely associate with Italian fashion houses.
All in all, the designers of Milan Fashion Week definitely didn’t disappoint this season. The looks of this season’s collections embodied risk yet practicality, chicness yet sophistication. It’s safe to say that major Italian fashion houses are moving in a new direction: a more modernized and minimalistic style of clothing in the age of sex positivity.
CREDIT: Jing Daily
Paris: Fashion week in the city of love was enchanting
By Ilyssa Mann
From Off-White to Rick Owens, Paris Fashion Week’s runways did not cease to amaze. We will take a look at Paris’s boldest runway looks from fashion week and briefly divulge the meaning and intention behind the unique looks.
Let's start with Comme des Garçons, one of the most extravagant runways of the week. Designer Rei Kawakubo wanted to “explore the Big Bang” with her Paris installment (HypeBeast).
The show started with four models wearing extravagant and geometrical floral outfits that were minimalist in their approach to having minimal colors. These outfits mostly featured dark blues and black.
CREDIT: Salvatore Dragone / Gorunway.com
Then, an explosion of colors entered the narrative, just as I would visually imagine the Big Bang to have a burst of color.
CREDIT: Salvatore Dragone / Gorunway.com
Suddenly, the models appear to be in wardrobes straight out of Alice in Wonderland. The only consistent aspect of the show is the bold shapes and minimalist coloring in black and white.
CREDIT: Salvatore Dragone / Gorunway.com
Similarly, Off-White’s designer Ib Kamara looked to the stars for inspiration. His runway collection was titled “Lunar Delivery,” which was a techno-fashion look mixed with themes of afro-futurism and Martians.
At the show's beginning, models were adorned in all-black outfits accessorized with silver circles, giving the look a technology feel. The looks were sleek and futuristic, almost like the wardrobe from Men in Black got an upgrade.
CREDIT: Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com
The first pops of color are orange and blue. The orange immediately points viewers to the martian theme embodied in the runway's construction. The light blue hints at the moon, which will later re-appear as a pattern on the clothing later on the runway.
CREDIT: Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com
The newly named creative director of Off-White made his debut with a big bang. I wonder what ground-breaking look he will come up with next and which planet he will draw inspiration from. He successfully managed to make martian fashion the new desire.
Lastly, designer Rick Owens created a runway that told a building story of madness. The looks started fairly subdued and built up as they went on, finding more extravagant draping and accessories.
Below you will see some looks from the beginning of the show before hints of color and chaos are introduced into the narrative.
Black is definitely Rick Owens’ color. Even in the simplicity of an all-black outfit, Owens manages to make it creative and different. Soon the pieces pick up color, but many of the outfits maintain large bulging shapes, making it impossible not to catch the viewer’s eye.
Each of the aforementioned runways had its own distinctive taste. However, they all shared the values of being innovative and avant-garde, making them my favorite runways from Paris fashion week. These three designers came out of Paris fashion week with the most notable runways, setting the bar higher in the world of fashion.
Rowdy online writers Micayla Vereb (New York), Tessa May (London), Sabrina Castro (Milan), and Ilyssa Mann (Paris) contributed to this article.