Mar 10, 2023
Restarts and Resets in the Fashion Month Gone By
Tim Blanks and Imran Amed discuss the highlights of the Autumn/Winter 2023 collections, including Daniel Lee’s debut at Burberry, a transitional show at Gucci and Balenciaga’s first brand statement in the wake of the advertising scandal.
This season was a “restart” for the global fashion industry, says Imran Amed, BoF’s founder and editor-in-chief. The Autumn/Winter 2023 collections felt like the first return to normal after the pandemic — especially as Chinese fashion professionals were finally able to return to runway shows following extended Covid-related lockdowns that limited their international travel.
A number of fashion’s biggest brands used their shows as a way to start a new path. Burberry rolled out its first collection under its new creative director Daniel Lee, while Gucci unveiled its first collection since the departure of Alessandro Michele. At Balenciaga, Demna returned to a more subdued approach after the brand fell under intense criticism at the end of last year after it was accused of sexualising children in an ad campaign.
But overall, fashion was still fixated on navigating all the uncertainty that prevails in the world, economic and otherwise. “If there’s one thing we learned over the last few years — it's that anything can happen,” says Amed. “Everyone was preparing for the unknown, the uncertain.”
* Over the course of the season, designers, editors and enthusiasts were talking about how the purpose of fashion has evolved. “It wasn't just brands, it was individual designers who were processing what they're doing and what they need to do, because obviously the future looms very dark and very uncertain,” says Blanks.
* Gucci is in a transitional moment, with new creative director Sabato De Sarno’s vision for the brand still to be unveiled. The brand’s first post-Alessandro Michele show was all over the place, according to BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks. “It was chaos, but enjoyable chaos,” says Blanks.
* Daniel Lee put a strong emphasis on Britishness for his Burberry debut. Meanwhile, Matthieu Blazy’s Bottega Veneta show was a cohesive parade of clothes that doubled down on craft and storytelling, says Blanks.
* Diesel’s Glenn Martins is solidifying himself as a designer to watch with his work in today’s vernacular of denim and celebratory sexuality. “It's a mark of genius, what he manages to do with things that are really familiar — that alchemy of fashion,” says Blanks. Martins put a mountain of 200,000 condoms at the middle of his runway.
* In his first collection since the brand came under fire for its controversial advertisements, Demna — known for his ironic stunts — focused on the clothes, a nod to the label’s founder Cristóbal Balenciaga.
* Top 10 Shows of the Season: BoF’s editors pick the top ten shows of the Autumn/Winter 2023 season.
* At Paris Fashion Week, Less Was More: In an age of clickbait fashion, it was acts of reduction that, paradoxically, stood out most, reports Angelo Flaccavento.
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