As with the years that preceded it, 2023 is sure to introduce a few dominating fashion items and aesthetics. It could be the result of a TikTok video repeatedly going viral (see: Matilda Djerf's voluminous hair and just as voluminous blazers), or the It-girls of the moment cementing something as the next highly-coveted piece (see: the Balenciaga Le Cagole, pre-controversy). These trends all start somewhere, and are often more predictable than we realize.
After a year ruled — arguably more so than any other fashion era — by micro-trends, some of the most notable niches, like balletcore and gorpcore, are poised to go macro in 2023, having already made their ways to runways. To get a solid sense of what's on the come-up, we asked industry experts about what pieces they predict will take off and how they think we'll be dressing in the next twelve months. Whether you're into the edginess of the denim resurgence or prefer a ballet-style cutout dress, there's something for any and every aesthetic out there.
Though fashion pulling inspiration from ballet isn't necessarily new, 2022 certainly saw this become more mainstream than ever before.
Collections from Molly Goddard and Simone Rocha featured plenty of ruffles and floaty tulle that inspired a year's worth of red-carpet fashion. Florence Pugh embraced this more than anyone else: The actor called on designs from the likes of Rodarte and Valentino to play with billowing tutu-like skirts and voluminous tulle sleeves, taking the typically minimalist aesthetic to a whole new level. Alison Stiefel, general manager of ShopStyle, says we can expect this level of "airy dressing" to transition into a more wearable trend into 2023.
"Searches for [lace, tulle and sheers] remain on an incline heading into 2023," she says. "Sheers were big in 2022, and we will be seeing this style extend into feminine, lingerie details on a variety of pieces like lace bottomed skirts, tulle sleeves on tops and mesh dresses."
Brands like Nensi Dojaka offered some of the most convincing arguments to incorporate these more feminine aspects of the style into our everyday wardrobes, not just for a red carpet moment.
Utility Over Everything
With Y2K styles such as cargo pants and gorpcore-style sneakers on track to maintain their chokehold over the industry into the new year, there are plenty more utility-based trends to look forward to.
In 2022, we saw lots of multi-functional fashion become more popular than ultra-trendy, one-time-wear pieces, suggesting the prioritization of longevity and practicality. Trend forecasting group WGSN believes this will continue to resonate: Per a report shared with Fashionista, "survivalist, protective design and performance attributes" are the new luxury. People are looking for clothes that don't just look pretty, but also serve purpose in their everyday lives.
Rickie De Sole, women's designer fashion and editorial director of Nordstrom, is buying into the idea of "the 'new uniform,'" which she defines as "practical functionality and relaxed tailoring combined for a polished uniform of elevated basics with subtle Y2K details." This idea of "practical functionality" can also translate to the impending big-bag revival, where many are opting for more storage in their purse, rather than a cute micro-bag that forces you to pick between wallet or phone.
Denim was a big trend on the Spring 2023 runways, but these weren't your average blue jeans. JW Anderson showed tops with denim collars while brands like Diesel and Masha Popova presented refreshing takes on the construction of the well-loved material. Stiefel sees "reconstructed and deadstock design denim" playing a major role in the trend cycle: "[Brands] are doing a great job recycling old denim and turning them into fresh, creative styles."
Fresh takes on the denim jacket are proving to be where people can find creative spins on a classic favorite. This trend is no coincidence: The utility factor pushes the piece further.
"As we continue to think about hard-working pieces that build the perfect wardrobe, a denim jacket is key," says Jodi Kahn, VP of luxury fashion at Neiman Marcus.
From denim corsets and repurposed waistbands to expertly manipulated ruching, there are apparently plenty of new ways to enjoy denim (another regression into Y2K-era fashion).