For the past four weeks, designers from around the globe have put their creations on display in the fashion capitals of New York, London, Milan, and Paris. The runway shows have now come to a close, but the impact of the new fall/winter 2023 collections will be felt throughout the year.
The central theme for the FW23 fashion season was reinvention. This took the form of revamped classics, a new vision for established brands, and the use of upcycled materials to inject existing clothing with new life. The dreamland of reinvention was filled with fitted silhouettes, fun geometric shapes made from cut-outs, and the incorporation of flowing fabrics that moved with models as they strutted down the runway.
This fashion season was not only memorable because of the looks, but also because of the shows that designers put on. In New York, BruceGlen’s collection was introduced by gospel singer Naomi Raine, while Tia Adeola’s show began with opera singer Rebecca Hargrove. Taofeek Abijako’s Head of State collection saw a model’s dress transform into a bathing suit when she showered on the runway, symbolizing his father’s journey to Spain from Lagos, Nigeria.
The FW23 season brought the past into the present with a modern twist. Below are some of the looks you can expect to see in the stores later this year.
From left: Tokyo James, BruceGlen, SELFI, Labrum London
Many designers opted for fastenings with buttons and zippers, placing them front and center instead of keeping them hidden for functionality. Tokyo James decorated the pants and outerwear in his collection with zipper sliders, while SELFI sewed oversized patch pockets onto its workwear-inspired separates. Labrum London and BruceGlen took a more artistic approach in using multiple buttons to add some visual interest into their designs.
From left: Kevan Hall, Duaba Serwa, Kiléntàr, Who Decides War
Pleats found themselves worked into mid-length skirts, leather minis and long sleeves this fashion season. Whether flowing in soft fabrics or solid when crafted from a structured material, pleats add a stylish, three-dimensional element to a look and bring movement to garments as they move with the wearer.
Nine to five
From left: Sergio Hudson, Bloke, Orange Culture, LaQuan Smith
In the spirit of reinvention, this season’s runways were filled with reimagined tailoring in a wide range of colors. Some blazers were cropped, others were double-breasted, and many more were brought in around the waist with belts. Nigerian brand Orange Culture decided to turn the look on its head with a cut-out jacket turned backwards. In true workwear fashion, most blazers were presented as matching sets with coordinating separates paired together.
From left: Feben, Elexiay, Abiola Olusola, Tia Adeola
Crochet and mesh have been around for a while, and it appears that they are officially here to stay. Many FW23 looks incorporated sheer elements to varying degrees. Nigerian brand Elexiay is known for its handcrafted crochet pieces, while designers such as Feben and Tia Adeola created fully sheer looks with knits and lace fabrics.
From left: Tia Adeola, Rendoll, Oríré, Feben
Ruffles may just be the “it” trend of the FW23 collections. Expect to see ruffle details as small adornments on clothes, as well as fully fleshed-out pieces. For a glimpse of what to expect this season, look no further than Oríré’s collection, where ruffles are placed along the bodices and skirts, making them the focal point of the designs.
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