Style / Fashion

10 Moments That Shifted Fashion in 2023

From Taylor Swift’s concert fashions to Margot Robbie’s Barbiecore and MSCHF’s absurd madness, 2023 was an exciting year for fashion.

Dec 26, 2023 | By Sanjeeva Suresh

The year that saw the revival of the 90s supermodel also witnessed shocking label closures and tumultuous rebrandings amidst a scandal or two. In this retrospective, LUXUO highlights the year’s top 10 noteworthy moments in fashion and how they played a part in shaping fashion’s landscape.

1. Dynamic Depatures

Tom Ford bids farewell to namesake label with a series of re-issued looks that harken back to seasons past. In his archival womenswear collection campaign we see the likes of Amber Valetta and Karlie Kloss “mourn” the designer. The retrospective collection was shot by Steven Klein and styled by Carine Roitfeld. Along with Tom Ford, Sarah Burton leaves Alexander McQueen after two decades as creative director.

2. Phoebe Philo’s Comeback

Phoebe Philo announced her return after a six-year hiatus following her departure as the creative director of Celine. Her return was a frenzied affair which saw her highly anticipated collection get sold-out within hours of its launch despite little marketing. The sucess of the Philo profile and brand marks a new era in the democritisation of luxury fashion.

3. Moschino Madness

Earlier this year, Jeremy Scott annouced that he would be stepping down from his role as Moshino’s creative director after 10 years. David Renne was later named as his successor only for the young designer untimely death, 10 days into the role.

4. Magic Men

Pharrell Williams for Louis Vuitton, Sabato De Sarno for Gucci and Sean McGirr at McQueen showcase a new dawn for menswear. While we have yet to see a menswear collection from Sarno, his debut runway collection at Milan Women’s Fashion Week in September this year, was a skin-baring minimalistic take on luxury showcasing a departure from his predecessors’s “more is more” approach. Formerly the head of ready-to-wear at JW Anderson, Irish designer Sean McGirr is known to pack a sartorial punch and could be just what the McQueen maison needs to add the edge back into the house post its Sarah Burton era. Pharrell Williams on the other hand is continuing the legacy of his predecessor Kim Jones but this time adding a lot more star power into the mix. His recent Louis Vuitton pre-fall 2024 menswear collection in Hong Kong not only saw A-listers but was infused with his own brand of “futuristic dandy”.

5. The Return of the 90s supermodel

Christy Turlington walks for Ralph Lauren, Naomi Campbell for Dolce & Gabanna – the era of the 90s supermodel not only appeals to a different demographic but signals the change in the longevity of the term “supermodel” as we know it.

Read More: LUXUO Style: The Latest from New York Fashion Week and the Fashion Industry

6. Concert Collection

First we saw Rihanna at the Super Bowl halftime show performance wearing a custom Alaia coat paired with a bustier from Loewe’s spring/summer 2023 collection. Then Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour where she donned a now famous Atelier Versace silver bodysuit, a Roberto Cavali fringe dress along with a whimsical Etro orange number, each differenciating a different side of Swift and her music. Beyoncé’s Renaissance showcase on the other hand was supreme glamour at its finest. Among the many custom looks she wore were Balenciaga couture gown, a Balmain polka-dot dress, a tasseled Agent Provocateur corseted body suit and a sport-inspired look from Telfar to name but a few. If these three music icons are anything to go by, it may be that fashion has gone off the catwalk and onto the concert stage.

7. BarbieCore and the Neon Effect

The year the world was taken over by the impact of Mattel’s Barbie. Everything was coming up pink as the fans were enamoured by the series of looks seen on Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie. While we may have seen this new found appreciation for hot pink last year with Pierpaolo Piccioli’s Valentino runway, Margot Robbie’s depiction of Barbie onscreen may have showcased the plethora of fluorescent-inspired looks, from a 50’s pin-up swimsuit to a fringed cowgirl look.

8. MSCHF’s Mayhem

This was the year MSCHF (pronounced “mischeif”) mastered the art of clickbait with the brand’s viral microscopic bag and absurd red boots. Their speck-sized tote measured all of 657 by 222 and 700 micrometers which is equivalent to about the size of a grain of salt. The neon green creation was a take on Louis Vuitton’s monogram tote bag and was intended to be a commentary on the “impracticality of ever-shrinking luxury handbags”. At a digital auction, the “bag” went on to sell for approximately USD 63,750.

MSCHF then outdid themselves with cartoon-esque 3D boots which was once again a social commentary. Constructed from a TPU rubber shell, the boots abstract shape was intended to “free us from the constraints of reality” stating that the “continued blending of cirtual and IRL asthetic has us chasing supernormal stimuli”.

9. Jacquemus’ Surreal Digital Campaigns

Jacquemus’ revolutionary campaign was part of new chapter in 2023’s surge of surrealist marketing. These CGI campaigns often featured absurdist concepts with the use of artificial intelligence. The brand released an eight-second video which features their Bambino bags rolling down the streets of Paris.

10. The End of “Quiet Luxury”

Avant garde aesthetics return to Paris Fashion Week marking the end of “quiet luxury”. In January, Viktor & Rolf unveiled their Spring 2023 collection which featured upside down ballgowns alongside distorted and inverted three-dimensional printed bodices. Schiaparelli’s Daniel Roseberry also delivered a surreal showcase with conceptual, trompe l’oeil silhouettes and spray-on bodices for their spring and fall haute couture collection. While couture showcases are typically known to be more ostentatious than their spring/summer and autumn/winter collection counterparts, 2023 marked the end of fashion’s “less is more” approach… at least when it comes to haute couture.

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