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  • Anna-Louise McDougall

New York Summer Uniform: The leading trends from NYFW SS23

The top trends, silhouettes, textures, colours, and micro-trends that shaped New York Fashion Week SS23 this September.


models from NYFW SS23: Alice + Olivia blue trend, Bronx & Banco fringe trend, Carolina Herrera bubble hem trend, Gabriela Hearst channel orange trend

September, the biggest month in the fashion calendar kicked off fashion week in New York over five (and a half) days, with what can only be described as pre-lockdown merriment. The city welcomed back the editors, buyers and designers with the full gamut; traditional runways, appointment-only viewings, unique experiences, dinners, and parties. Lots of them.


What will be the New York summer uniform of 2023? Dion Lee’s nocturnal party animals? Khaite’s underworld glamour? The West Coast colors of Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s sunrise, or Marni’s psychedelic sunset? It appears undone summer knits, body-conscious crochet, nearly-nude and lucite sheers in every possible iteration remain the summer uniform for tastemakers, from Priscavera’s club girls to Tory Burch’s business casual.


The color wheel appeared blocked in its entirety in a number of shows, from Prabal Garung, Tom Ford, and Christian Cowan, while languid tailoring made its way through Peter Do, Tibi, Michael Kors and Nili Lotan for office insouciance.


The metaverse continues to work its way into NYFW, as it did in FW22. Tommy Hilfiger, Jonathan Simkhai, Kim Shui, and The Blonds are just a few brands keeping tabs on the tech developments so as to reach and sell to audiences in new and wild ways. They all released NFTs beforehand for those with crypto cash to own a seat at their shows.


And we can’t wrap this NYFW without mentioning three things;

  1. the Italians were in town, both Marni and Fendi (with the baguette, Marc Jacobs, and Linda Evangelista in tow) took to the Big Apple,

  2. Vogue celebrated 130 years with the Vogue World runway - complete with the buzziest models, labels, designers and showstoppers, and

  3. Leo and Gigi were spotted together at the afterparty - I mean - Gigi Hadid chose NYFW to launch her affordable cashmere range, Guest in Residence, which is no doubt set to influence more than a few of her 75 million followers this season.


So, what’s new for Spring Summer 23? Here we break down four of the silhouettes, textures, colours, and micro-trends shaping the clothes to come from the New York Fashion Week that was.



Blockbuster Blue

models from NYFW SS23: Alice & Olivia, Jonathan Simkhai, Fendi, Tibi
Alice & Olivia, Jonathan Simkhai, Fendi, Tibi

Cobalt, ice blue, sky blue, cerulean. Whether it was Fendi’s utility jumpsuits, caps and baguettes, Tom Ford and Maryam Nassir Zadeh each sneaking in an ice blue utility jacket, or the tonal musings of Proenza Schouler’s lace and crochet, LaQuan Smith’s slinky fits or Prabal Gurung’s tulle extravaganza - it’s just gotta be blue.


So, if you’ve been dying for the chance to recite your very own Miranda Priestly-style monologue along the lines of, “It’s actually cerulean” then you’re in luck.



On the Fringe

models from NYFW SS23: Proenza Schouler, Bronx & Banco, Khaite, Prabal Gurung
Proenza Schouler, Bronx & Banco, Khaite, Prabal Gurung

Name a more enjoyable clothing feature. Where there’s tactile, textured fringing, there’s movement. And if a little or a lot, fringed, frayed and fragmented came in droves across the week as the final touch (or whole look) to runway swagger.


Adam Lippes did an ivory silk leno weave for the show’s opening look that beckoned beachside dwellers, while a sweater dress at Ulla Johnson showcased a hand-knitted loose fringed hem made from silk ribbon. Meanwhile, Khaite paired silk fringing with signature leather and denim.



Bubble Hem Revival

models from NYFW SS23 bubble hem trend: Ulla Johnson, Proenza Schouler, Carolina Herrera, Khaite
Ulla Johnson, Proenza Schouler, Carolina Herrera, Khaite

Paris Fashion Week fall winter 22 had the micro mini and it's looking like spring summer 23 has the bubble hem. But leave your Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie visions at the door, this season it’s a world away from Beverly Hills.


Pronounced at Proenza Schouler, despite the volume it felt fresh and minimal with the platform pillow slides. Khaite presented a number of skirts and dresses with tucked hems sleek neutrals, while Ulla Johnson used wool, taffeta and dramatic trapeze shapes.



Channel Orange

models from NYFW SS23 channel orange trend: Gabriela Hearst, Eckhaus Latta, LaQuan Smith, Marni
Gabriela Hearst, Eckhaus Latta, LaQuan Smith, Marni

Zesty tangerine, juicy blood orange, and as Pantone dubbed it “orange peel”, it’s feeling like attention-grabbing, head-to-toe true orange is the break-out colour of summer.


A standout at Eckhaus Latta in vibrant jackets and knitwear, and key to the sunset silkiness of Marni’s colour-bomb parade. For those unwilling to go full Aperol spritz, there was plenty of styling that adopted the colour in cheeky pops on bags, boots, hats, and skirts, like the one Em Rata wore on the Tori Burch runway.


New York started fashion month off with a bang amidst a furious flurry of colors. As fashion month continues, what new trends will make their debut in London, Milan and Paris and what trends will shock us with a surprise revival?


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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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