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  • Anna-Louise McDougall

Raw Power: All the emotions from London Fashion Week SS23

The show must go on: all the top trends from an unexpectedly emotional but always experimental London Fashion Week SS23.



London Fashion week powered on through another morose turn of events; this time, Her Majesty’s passing. There’s only so many times you can say, “the show must go on”, but at London Fashion Week it went on, taking a slightly sober turn, but not without the experimental, the dangerous and the sense of humour that has come to define British design.


According to The Times, like those who respectfully queued to farewell the Queen, the fashion set instead of rushing and bustling, forming orderly queues to see the shows.


Parties and dinners were cancelled, soundtracks were updated, some guest lists were stripped of major front rows and (apparently) some of the more risque looks were left on the cutting room floor. So what happens when a national period of mourning runs its course during fashion week? The results were even more resounding.


Sunil Makan, editor of Marie Claire told The Times, “Without the champagne and parties, it’s all about the clothes and the creativity.”

Ida Petersson, buying director at Browns, agreed, “there’s been more time to reflect on the work.”


And the work? Fittingly, female empowerment and femininity driven by female designers. Body-conscious silhouettes, cropped waistcoats, micro-mini skirts and bumster-levels of low-rise trousers dominated the millennium-revival aesthetic. Everything seemed to be assigned a ‘core’ or an ‘aesthetic’, leaving the ‘trend’ to almost out-trend itself. Which might be the most 2022 thing of all.


JW Anderson showed his namesake collection for the first time in years, Chopova Lowena held their first runway show and 16Arlington came out on top alongside KNWLS, Poster Girl and Fashion East as one of the more talked about up-and-comers.


Erdem, Simon Rocha and Bora Aksu took to dramatic interpretations of period clothing in bustle skirts, tulle and shirting. Meanwhile, Molly Goddard and Nensi Dojaka lived up to their buzz with transparent fabrics, vivid colour, and along with others, pushed the boundaries with representation on the runway.


So, what will we see everywhere come summer 23? Here’s a hint.



RRD (Risqué Red Dress)

models from London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2023 featuring looks from Molly Goddard, Nensi Dojaka, Feben, Fashion East, Rejina Pyo
Molly Goddard, Nensi Dojaka, Feben, Fashion East, Rejina Pyo

Lingerie-inspired, transparent dresses have become the runway norm of late, but now we’re getting a colour moment to replace the LBD. NYFW SS23 had blockbuster blue and now LFW is giving us red. And what’s more alluring than red?


Feben and Rejina Pyo had a little something for the 90s party girl, while Molly Goddard and Nensi Dojaka opted for sheer fabrics and tulle. Karoline Vitto for Fashion East ensured the hallmarks of risque, sexy clothing weren’t left just for the sample-sized - citing inspiration from, “the bulge of an armpit, a squish of hip fat, or the curve of a back roll” in her show notes.



The Low-low-down

models from London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2023 featuring looks from David Koma, Poster Girl, Masha Popova, Mark Fast, Knwls
David Koma, Poster Girl, Masha Popova, Mark Fast, Knwls

The waistline that’s not leaving. The social-media worthy low-rise trouser, derived from Alexander McQueen has the same amount of irreverence, if not quite the ‘bumster’ levels of low we’re all holding our breath for.


So, slightly more wearable? Poster Girl and Mark Fast think so; with acid-washes, lace-up features and baggy legs. KNWLS probably had the highest capita of low-rise waistlines, paired with stringy crop tops and printed, mesh fabrications.



Bold biker jackets

models from London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2023 featuring looks from Feben, Knwls, David Koma, Helen Anthony, Masha Popova
Feben, Knwls, David Koma, Helen Anthony, Masha Popova

And what better to pair with low waist jeans? A statement biker jacket. Very 2000s music video, with very (core of now) Barbie-core styling, this time-honoured silhouette has taken a turn for the glamorous.


High-sheen in lilac at Masha Popova, acid-wash and perfectly grungy at KNWLS and David Koma showed his fair share of buttery-black, oversized and embellished jackets.



Sheer Drama

models from London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2023 featuring looks from Simone Rocha, Bora Aksu, Susan Fang, Erdem, Molly Goddard
Simone Rocha, Bora Aksu, Susan Fang, Erdem, Molly Goddard

Last season London was loving the babydoll dress, and this season they’ve gone one further with the potent use of tulle. Big, fluffy, and flouncy wasn’t enough for some of the runways dominated by romantic colour and statement silhouettes.


Erdem was in the pocket with sombre floor-length veils, Bora Aksu presented modern frills and lace, while Simone Rocha paired tiered tulle with ruffles and floral bomber jackets.


With a season already this exciting, we're sure to see lots more breakthrough trends to come in Milan and Paris. Don't miss a single beat and subscribe to our newsletter to get all the latest trends sent directly into your inbox.




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.


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