As every season, Heuritech’s fashion experts spent the “fashion month” analysing more than 4200 runway photos from the FW23 collections to identify all the key trends and themes. Beyond that, with the help of Heuritech’s AI trend forecasting solution, they can predict the future behaviour of trends and how consumers will adopt them, providing brands with an in-depth analysis of their market.
After past years focused on over-dramatics and high social media exposure moments, the Fall 2023 runway shows signalled a return to the lifeblood of the fashion industry: craftsmanship and design.
Instead of relying on theatrical moments, the collections focused on practical yet meticulously detailed garments, almost as if seeking to prove their commercial weight rather than creating spectacles for popularity online.
Balenciaga returned from the shadows with a stark contrasting presentation of the precedenting ones to its global scandal. Did this sober white canvas display serve as a total redemption? Not quite sure yet; however, we can understand the sentiment.
Ditching experimental performance was a common thread within all fashion houses. Perhaps feeling fearful of encountering the sharp guillotine of cancel culture, they all opted to lay low this time. And it was a step in the right direction.
Suffice it to say, while we are experiencing a global scenario filled with drama and tensions, sober and clean presentations were indeed a comforting move and well received by spectators. In the mid of an uncertain future, the narrative was not one of opulence but of sangfroid.
This season elegance and power dressing whispered instead of shouting.
One of the biggest triumphs of the season, Anthony Vaccarello for Saint Laurent took inspiration from Melanie Griffith’s iconic office attire of exaggerated shoulder jackets, smoking, and velvet and blended it perfectly with the iconic skirt suit constructed out of menswear fabrics just as Saint Laurent himself often did.
Image: Saint Laurent FW23
This ease of engagement with the past pays genuine homage to decades of excellence, high standards of elegance, and woman empowerment.
Time Capsule: homage to heritage as part of trends’ lifecycle
Almost as a déjà vu, a homage to heritage marked the Fall 2023 collections. For instance, Balmain embraced the old codes of the house and centred its collection around classicism.
Chanel circled the show around one of the house’s emblematic symbols, the Carmelia, a proud nod to the late Coco Chanel’s history. Versace looked back to the 90s with a mood board showcasing almost only Richard Avedon’s 1995 images of Kristen McMenamy.
Image: Chanel FW23
And for Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri revisited the brand’s heritage of the 1950s and Paris as a postwar city; she did so by celebrating Catherine Dior, French Resistance fighter and concentration camp survivor, and singers Edith Piaf and Juliette Greco.
Schiaparelli’s turbans and shapely dresses, staples from the late designer Elsa’s wardrobe, were also a delightful throwback.
Elevated Uniform: upgraded minimalism beyond social media
By letting go of buzzy shows, Fall 2023 womenswear runways surprised viewers with a variety of simple but thoughtful and incredibly well-cut pieces, which brought a sense of a uniform.
Minimalistic shapes were upgraded with intricate details such as hanging sleeves, utility straps, buckles, metal studs and gathered details. For instance, sweater dresses demonstrated asymmetric elements, blazers and jackets were cropped, shirt dresses were gathered, and workwear looks showcased elegance.
Barrocore: rebooted flamboyance for womenswear
Like the preceding menswear collections, the Fall 2023 season revolved around an unapologetic flamboyant and opulent character. It felt like designers needed to express and exteriorise to tackle the global morosity of the world we currently evolve in.
As the Baroque period was characterised by a profusion of mobile accessories, sophisticated decorations, the use of bold colours and precious fabrics, it is no surprise that for this edition, one of the focus designers chose to invest in was all about volume, evening wear, nonchalant and re-appropriated corsetry, exaggerated 3D ornaments, colourful, shiny and imposing silhouettes taking possession of the space.
Key Trends Forecast
Trench coats are timeless wardrobe staples that combine both a sense of elegance and practicality. Given the emphasis on these two qualities in this season’s collections, it’s no surprise that they appeared to be a star trend for this season.
At Rokh, Dries Van Noten and Dior were elevated with luxurious materials and intricate details. Dundas’ iteration was a bold patent leather one with a pinched waist and a fur collar. The trench coat was not just reserved as outerwear. Some brands also presented them as dresses, or even in the case of ACT N°1, they reimagined into an off-shoulders version.
According to Heuritech’s trend forecasting data, they will experience a slight growth for next Fall 2023.
Another pleasant surprise was the appearance of head accessories on the runway. Perhaps to contrast with the more sober garments, designers embraced the motto ‘the quirkier, the better’ when it came to headwear this season.
From formal hats echoing a return to heritage to random head accessories almost out of a child dress-up bin, no head was left unadorned. They were given room for playful experimentation within a season characterised by practicality.
Image: Private Policy FW23
Delicate veils at Roisin Pierce beaded, chainmail face coverings at Puppets & Puppets, Heron Preston, and Di Petsa, and whimsical bunny ears, crowns, face flower crowns, and metallic cages were just some of the unique and playful headpieces on the runway.
Understanding trends behaviour
In terms of colour, we spotted an unexpected incline towards red. From Fendi to Hermès to Marni, this colour was the star of many monochrome looks.
Analysing the trend behaviour of red, our data proves that the red dress is a constant riser with a 5% growth compared to last year. Contrary to that, and probably due to the focus on elegance, this season saw the red sneakers as a consistent decliner.
Due to its incorporation into suit looks, the formal red pants marked their big comeback this season with a trend forecast of 15% growth vs last year. The red jacket continues fluctuating in the market with a 6% growth.
Report | FW '23 Women's Fashion Weeks
The Fall 2023 fashion weeks were a celebration of craftsmanship and pure technique with historical undertones. As an ode to their past, designers revisited the traditional pieces that have become iconic from their fashion houses and brought them to a contemporary sphere.
Those explorations of past decades also circled back to moments marked by women’s empowerment.
Left: Miu Miu FW23
Even if some brands persisted in creating buzzy presentations, possibly with the goal of online exposure and some were still successful. The attention went to the ones who focused exclusively on the clothes, what their creations represented for women’s power dressing and executed them meticulously. As Angelo Flaccavento pointed out, less was more this season; the calmer shows were the ones that stood out.
According to Heuritech’s experts