New York Fashion Week isn’t over just yet, but it’s already obvious that the season’s top designers were brainstorming in a group chat when they planned out their collections. Even though all the big names—Proenza Schouler, Prabal Gurung, Jonathan Simkhai and the like—had supremely unique ideas, there existed throughout the shows the appropriate amount of overlap and emphasis to make the season’s top trends easy to spot. From statement sleeves and bows to It hues like red and silver, the top trends of New York Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2023 are as whimsical as they come.
The best part about seeing the same trends pop up on so many different runways? It perfectly depicts how versatile a good trend can be. The “no pants” looks (yep, a la the Bottega Veneta SS23 look popularized by Kendall Jenner) at Christian Siriano were a far cry from those at Prabal Gurung, just as the emphasis on bows at Rodarte looked totally different than the same concept at Sandy Liang or Melke.
Trends are truly solidified when designers embrace them and adapt them to their own unique aesthetics, proof that we can do the same at home even without buying trend pieces at designer price points. Below, a look at seven of the most notable trends of the NYFW AW23 season—so far.
Red is undeniably the color of the season, as seen on runways like Christian Siriano, Kim Shui, PatBO, Proenza Schouler, Sandy Liang, Simkhai, Theory—the list goes on. At least a third of Shui’s collection featured head-to-toe red in every way imaginable, from sequined skirts to fur stoles to lace-up pants.
Detached Bell Bottoms
With legwarmers finally piquing Gen Z’s interest, it’s no surprise designers are doing their own more luxe versions for the runway. At Adeam, a tan leather mini was complemented by matching pant legs supported by garter straps. At Vivienne Tam, a model’s colorful ensemble was accessorized with denim from the knees down, no pants needed (and more on that below).
No Pants, No Problem
Designers just didn’t feel like designing pants this season, and honestly? I’m OK with it. Following Bottega Veneta’s lead, Christian Siriano, Prabal Gurung, Dion Lee and more opted out of bottoms and styled models in tops and tights, confirming the Risky Business look won’t be going away any time soon.
Bows were one of the major femme accents designers gravitated toward this season, with Rodarte and Khaite cinching necks with black ribbons for a dark academic feel. Melke showed a statement-making sheer blue top drenched with black and blue bows, while Sandy Liang leaned in hardest of all, utilizing big bows, tiny ribbons adornments and even a black-and-white bow-printed fabric.
Gen Z Yellow
Following red, yellow was easily the second most-spotted hue on the runway, seen at Christian Siriano, Gabriella Hearst, Proenza Schouler, Rodarte and Sergio Hudson, to name a few. Neither a pale banana shade nor a moody mustard, it was bright Gen Z yellow that served as everyone’s shade of choice.
A third color trend brewing was shiny, slinky silver, especially in the form of long, draped gowns. Christian Siriano and Simkhai showed us how it’s done for evening wear, while Dion Lee opted for a few matte silver moments that bordered on light gray.
From teeny tiny rosebud accents at Sandy Liang to massive blooms at Badgley Mischka, Carolina Herrera and Christian Siriano, fabric flowers are back in a big way. It’s worth noting that this was a trend that crystallized on and off the runways, with dozens of street style stars accessorizing with flower collars and scarves à la Carrie Bradshaw herself. Shying away from the signature rosette silhouette, Colin Locascio opted instead for 3D sequined daisies.
While some designers opted for no pants at all, just as many went for a sheer look instead, choosing to reveal black undergarments for a stark contrast instead of opting for a traditional nude illusion. Priscavera and Coach did so with ethereal gowns, while Bibhu Mohapatra, Cucculelli Shaheen, Heron Preston, Frederick Anderson, Jason Wu and Kim Shui opted for textured looks, with Shui’s consisting of some seriously sultry lace catsuits.
While not quite so obvious as red, yellow, or silver, turquoise definitely deserves its rank as the fourth most popular hue on the runway. Christian Cowan certainly leaned into the vibrant hue, and it was also spotted at Kevan Hall, Naeem Khan and PatBO, proving the shade suits a sea of aesthetics.
Last but not least, it seemed multiple designers were dying to channel their inner rockstar this season, as evidenced by edgy looks with lots of leather and tough embellishments at Adeam, Brandon Maxwell, Coach, Cucculelli Shaheen, Foo and Foo and more. Shaheen even went so far as to host their show at live music venue Webster Hall, with the talented Breanna Barbara performing onstage as models strolled through the crowd.