The Spring 2023 Runway Moments That Will Define Cool Style This Season

Fashion

Ready to dive into the next batch of looks that are about to define the coming year? While there are a number of broader trends happening, I’m actually pinpointing a number of specific looks from the spring/summer 2023 runways that I think are the ultimate source of cool style this year.

You see, each season we look to the runways to determine the overarching trends but if you really think about it, we can trace the defining elements of each back to a handful of specific looks, whether it was an article of clothing, a novel styling trick, color combination, or an overall mood that was evoked.

If you want to know what the fashion set will be adopting, recreating, and iterating on in no time, I suggest you start with these eight runway moments. Consider this your crash course in spring 2023 fashion. When we first saw them during fashion month last fall, they were the images that blew up group chats and social media feeds and now that many of these pieces are hitting the market, I can state with conviction that these looks will set the tone—and in a few cases, they already have. Kendall Jenner going pantsess in a Bottega Veneta runway outfit, for one.

From the Miu Miu look that’s bringing back the pencil skirt to the rising pantsless trend that Bottega Veneta is pioneering and the ’90s tube dresses worth adopting from 16Arlington, continue on the discover the eight popular spring 2023 runway moments to know about before they blow up IRL.

Key elements: Duster coats, maxi dresses, ’80s earrings. My fellow editors and I could talk about the effortless glamour of Saint Laurent’s entire spring runway for hours on end. While the collection is masterful in its entirety, there were a number of looks that iterated on the same styling combination that featured long duster coats atop slinky maxi dresses in the same color. Look 26 is one such example which was done in a rich chocolate brown color and accessorized with bold ’80s-style earrings and cuff bracelets. The genius lies in its simplicity—the combination of maxi coat and maxi dress is one that can easily be recreated with pieces in your own closet, a surefire sign that we’ll see it repeated all over the place this season.

Key elements: Pencil skirts, visible underwear. For the past few seasons, hemlines have inhabited the far extremes of floor-grazing maxis and microscopic minis, the latter of which is no doubt Miu Miu’s own influence. But spring ’23 is bringing with it the rise of the knee-length skirt, a hemline that hasn’t been deemed “cool” or “trendy” for as long as I can remember. Take note of the way Bella Hadid’s pencil skirt sits low on her hips to reveal a pair of logo underwear—a styling choice with the potential to be the next “viral” moment.

Key elements: Tube dresses, icy pastel hues. With all the risqué cuts and Y2K influences at play, 16Arlington’s strapless dress is proof that the simplicity of ’90s fashion is still having as strong an effect as ever. The tube dress from look 3 stands out—it’s a silhouette we also saw at The Row, Prada, and Khaite—but this version’s pretty satin finish and icy blueish-purple hue feel especially fresh.

Key elements: Layered sweaters, sheer tights, point-toe heels. Whether or not you know it, you’ve already seen look 17 from Matthieu Blazy’s sophomore collection for Bottega Veneta. It’s hardly complicated, just a crewneck sweater, black tights, and pumps, save for the decision to style the tights as the pants. Kendall Jenner brought the risky look to the mainstream when she stepped out to run errands in L.A. in a version of the same outfit—no pants, just tights—and it sent the fashion world into a tizzy. No matter your thoughts on the pantsless trend, there’s no denying the mega impact it’s already having.

Key elements: Floral embellishments. Florals that may actually break some ground? Prada has entered the chat. In its spring/summer 2023 collection, tote bags and dresses were adorned with pretty 3D floral embellishments. Prada wasn’t alone as the pretty details were a common theme in many collections, but for such a niche trend like this, we were surprised to see it take off as much as it did. Ever since Fashion Month last fall, rosettes have gained major steam with many shoppable options available now.

Key elements: Color blocking, capri-length leggings. A degree of color-blocking is commonplace on the runways no matter the season or the year. That being said, the shade mixing that debuted over the last month was anything but stale. Among other designers this season, Tory Burch somehow managed to make a known commodity like color-blocking feel contemporary by combining monochrome ready-to-wear with mismatched bags, shoes, and accessories in shades of blue, orange, and green.

Key elements: Sheer fabrics, visible lingerie. For its debut runway, fashion insider-favorite label Mirror Palais staged a show in a catholic church in which sheer fabrics and miniature hemlines were prominent. The contrast of the space and the clothes made the moment even more intriguing but the one look that sticks out the most was a sheer white number styled with minimal lingerie underneath. Already, celebs including Hailey Bieber who recently wore another of the designer’s dresses on her Instagram have already adopted the “naked” look. Risky? yes. But impactful? Most definitely.

Key elements: Floor-length tailoring. The Row basically invented “quiet luxury” and this season was only a continuation of their impeccable tailoring, especially when it came to the outerwear. Duster coats featured prominently and considering that the staple is a signature of designers Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s covetable personal style, they’re finally offering us a taste of their own wardrobe. 

Next up: 6 Shoe Trends That Are Going to Be Major News in 2023

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