Refined Chaos: Trend Report from Men's Fashion Week SS23
Progressive masculine tailoring, contradictory fabrics, chaotic colour, and shorts. Lots of them. Here are the top 7 trends from Menswear SS23.
Menswear Spring Summer 23, not for purists. Even Rick Owens added neon caftans and holographic cargo pants to a sensationally signature apocalyptic backdrop. Back in the summer swing of things for the first time since 2019, from Pitti Uomo to Paris, menswear, much like its skin-baring counterparts, had an overall suns-out-guns-out disposition.
Both emerging brands and heavy hitters offered a slippery gender-neutral perspective; progressive masculine tailoring with plenty of twists, softer fabric compositions, chaotic colour, and shorts in every possible length and look.
Usurping gender signifiers in clothing ensured Men’s Fashion Week SS23 was a study in blending feminine and masculine codes. Fendi, No.21 and Etro were among those who offered gentle masculinity and intriguing ambiguity.
‘Choice’ also appeared as a common theme across the collections, which is a nice, neat way to process everything offered in any given show; something truly for everybody. Refined technical garments, conversational stripes, loose-fitting denim, and mismatched tailoring meant that menswear today is largely a reflection of the new world order. You are what you wear. Anti-logic and instinct are in.
This was a sentiment echoed by Miuccia Prada, who told Vogue pre her and Raf Simons’ show (that merged leather micro shorts, skinny suit pants, and gingham coats), “...a coat, jeans, a suit. They appear simple but are the result of a process of choice… It is a combination of a long process of design and decision, and then of instinct. It is a matter of style.”
So, when looking beneath cloudy conceptual visions, fireballs, skateboards, and wedding cakes, if you simply consider the idea of ‘style’, everything becomes a little clearer. Amid the grand displays, headline front rows, and model superstars—the big, kaleidoscopic picture can always be distilled down to singular shapes, styles, prints or patterns.
That said, here are 7 trends distilled from Menswear SS23 from London, Milan, and Paris, coming in hot to a range plan near you.
The traditional summertime and schoolboy garment had the SS23 runways in a chokehold, pushing its very boundaries to the limit. Paris Fashion Week FW22 gave us the micro mini and Menswear SS23 followed with short shorts.
Designers from every corner of fashion month had this subversive menswear hemline in common; double-layer sports shorts at Dior Men, french-style at Ami, tattoo-baring at Celine, tailored at Thom Browne, Prada’s leather and frayed denim at Fendi.
And while it remains to be seen on who and how much these short shorts will show up, if the tastemakers are leading the charge, there’s bound to be a following.
Soft bois rejoice! While the usual tropical, summer prints were out in force, most brands zeroed in on presenting minimalist, block colour pastels in mixed and unexpected fabrics and textures. Zegna designer, Alessandro Sartori explored his signature unconventional approach to tailoring in the sorbet palette, while Craig Green took ordinary everyday menswear to a far-off planet, not least with the peach, fairy floss pink and apricot colourways.
Brave new office
As we saw in FW22, officewear and formal suiting is back in droves, but not without certain signifiers of the new world; cropped lengths, slouchy trousers, skinny fits and a range of tie shapes.
Dries Van Noten and D&G looked to baggy pinstripe pants, jackets were single or 1.5-breasted, cut slim and low at Prada, and Celine reached a new level of the skinny tie.
Logomania has been doing the rounds for a number of seasons now, but this time? The logo is more sophisticated, and even more powerfully wearable. With sweatpants being left in the laundry basket, logos move away from sportswear (mostly), what’s left is a dynamic approach to casual-formal and formal-casual.
Shrunken and crochet knitwear at Louis Vuitton and D&G, Kenzo’s signature logo style was off to work, Givenchy played with grunge denim and if you missed Fendi’s patch pocket insignia, then you definitely didn’t on the bucket totes.
The shorts may be getting shorter, but denim silhouettes are expanding. Milan’s runways were full of baggier, distressed wide-leg styles. Dolce and Gabbana showed the bleached and battered kind you’d most likely see in a Y2K Enrique Iglesias or Lenny Kravitz music video, while 1017 Alyx 9SM and Fendi presented low-slung cargo styles. You know the wider, nonchalant silhouette is a thing if the Parisians are on board; Ami offered dark indigo jeans, and even Hedi Slimane gave the Celine crew a pair or two.
Met with clashing colours and powerful prints, the stripe trend is anything but straight this summer. Far from beach-side breton or indie boy bands, these stripes are having a varsity moment; vertical and horizontal, the bolder the better. Notably at Versace, Kenzo and Dries Van Noten riffing off strict pinstripe, rugby and formal codes for playful, exuberant results.
Say hello to well-orchestrated chaos. From Louis Vuitton to Rick Owens, traditional fabrications, treatments and silhouettes were instead reinterpreted for the contrary. DSquared styled a checked blazer with a low-slung tie-dye sarong, or printed beach pants, while 1017 Alyx 9SM presented long-hem moto leathers and deconstructed jersey pieces. VTMNTS had the bright idea of jeans and snap-front shirts, hot pants and thigh-high boots in reflective silver leather.
Don’t be caught in your linen on linen this summer.
About the Author
Anna is a writer and journalist, with seven years experience in copywriting, digital marketing and eCommerce. Anna has worked with leading Australian fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands over the past seven years, including sass & bide, Sportscraft, and Peppermayo. She now runs her own freelance business, Papercut Copy, and will never not feel weird about writing her bio in the third person.