Trends & Takeaways from NY Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2023

NY Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2023

Kate Spade AW23 at NYFW by BFA, Sansho Scott

Like clockwork, fashion month has descended. From February 10 to 15, the fashion industry turned its eyes to the Big Apple for New York Fashion Week AW23. As we eagerly anticipate the start of spring, New York designers look even further ahead to the Fall and Winter 2023 season. 

Recently, the love-it-or-hate-it naughties style has dominated key fashion trends and women's clothes. We've seen everything—from the return of low-rise pants, Uggs, and Juicy Couture sweatsuits, Gen Z have certainly claimed the resurgence of the controversial trend.

But what's next? Observing the scene outside New York Fashion Week venues often gives us a sneak pick into the top trends before they even arrive on the runway. That said: NY Fashion Week has introduced a slew of key trends set to strut into our lives. It's time to start taking notes.

Trending colours for the Autumn Winter 2023 season as predicted by colour experts Pantone. Image courtesy of Pantone trend report.Trending colours for the Autumn Winter 2023 season as predicted by colour experts Pantone. Image courtesy of Pantone trend report.

Colour expert Pantone released its seasonal colour trend report ahead of the Fall 2023 New York Fashion Week debuts, and it looks like we're headed towards a very vibrant autumn.

The colour experts at Pantone predicted a spicy lineup for the AW season—and the red-orange colour palette is perfect for those peacocking for the paparazzi! Red will undeniably be the colour of the season, as seen on runways including Christian Siriano, Proenza Schouler, Sandy Liang, and Theory—the list goes on. 

Red is the colour that we relate to drama, but in many way it’s as classic as black or navy – and became a significant theme during autumn/winter 2023 shows. Maximilian Davis, who has made the colour his signature as creative director at Ferragamo, is very definitely an advocate. But the list of designers playing with the fiery shade is long.

Gen Z Yellow 

Easily the second most-spotted hue on the New York runway, yellow was seen at Gabriela Hearst and Sergio Hudson, to name a few. Don't be mistaken—there was no mellow yellow in sight. Instead, high-visibility Gen Z yellow served as everyone's shade of choice.

But don't worry, Pantone's Fall 2023 report has some more subdued shades for the colour-averse, including five New York Fashion Week "new classics" of creamy ivory, chic brown, a deep greyish blue, rich chocolate and metallic grey.

Bow trend on the catwalk at NYFW AW23. Dia Dipasupul / Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows / Peter White / Wireimage / Design by Kaitlyn Collins

Put a Bow on it

With spring usually synonymous with more feminine styles, designers gravitated to major femme accents for the AW season. Rodarte and Khaite cinched necks with black bows, whilst Melke showed a statement-making sheer blue top drenched with black and blue bow adornments. Sandy Liang utilised big bows, tiny ribbons, and even a black-and-white bow-printed fabric in her collection. 

No pants, No problem

Kendall Jenner recently made waves for strutting around in public wearing sheer Calzedonia tights without pants—as it turns out, she was indeed onto something. Confirming the oops-I-forgot-something trend is going nowhere, Bottega Veneta, Christian Siriano, Prabal Gurung and Dion Lee opted out of bottoms and styled models in tops and tights.

Knitwear trend, behind the scenes of Eckhaus Latta for their Autumn Winter 2023 show at New York Fashion Week. Photography by Cris Fragkou

Statement Knits

Given temperatures were too warm for statement coats—knitwear took centre stage. Rodarte showcased gothic glamour with a collection of primarily black dresses, but their web-like knitted gowns captured the brand's true essence. Whilst exquisite knitwear in floor-length silhouettes flawlessly exhibited the quiet luxury of Khaite.

Maxi Moments

Maxi skirts and even floor-skimming dresses are easily usurping the micro mini and are sure to be spotted all about town. Sandy Liang, Saks Potts and Proenza Schouler all favoured the maxi hemline. 

Slinky Silver

Silver was everywhere, in the form of long draped gowns, and often paired with sheer and see-through fabrics and lots of embellishments. 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.

Flower Power

From teeny tiny rosebud accents to massive blooms at Badgley Mischka and Carolina Herrera, fabric flowers are back in a big, big way. This was a trend that really took off both on and off the runways, with dozens of street-style stars accessorising with flower collars and scarves for that Carrie Bradshaw look. 

Mary Jane's must-haves

New York saw a steady stream of perfect ballet flats. Whether you prefer a pointy toe, almond toe, or round toe—Mary Jane's have proved to be a key trend. Whilst fashion does love a stiletto, sometimes you have to be practical, and attendees tip-toeing it atop six inches will indeed cause delays en route to the next show. 

Luxe legwarmers

Legwarmers - the 80s athleisure trend, if you like - have piqued interest recently, and so this season, designers are creating their own luxe versions for the runway. Instead of legwarmers, think detached bell bottoms, usually in leather and paired with a leather mini skirt. 

A nod to rock 

And lastly, it seemed many designers were desperate to channel their inner rockstar this season, as shown by an array of edgy looks with lots of leather and tough embellishments. This could be seen at Adeam, Coach and many more.

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