London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2023came and went faster than an RAF flypast but that doesn’t mean it left us with little to look at. As always, the programming promised a medley of old and new talent, bookended by the work of buzzy designer Harris Reed, who kicked things off with the help of Florence Pugh at London’s Tate Modern, and of ex-Bottega Veneta creative director, Daniel Lee, who wrapped up the week with his Burberry debut.
The collections gave us a glorious glimpse of the biggest fashion trends set to hit later this year but it was the attendees whose outfits stole the show. Y2K has yet to show signs of loosening its grip but that wasn’t the only major aesthetic on display. Some show-goers opted for neutral shades and styles to suit the season; others were entirely unfazed by the February weather and embraced midriff-bearing ensembles like it was mid-July.
There were enough gowns, metallics, feathers and fringe to provide us with all sorts of inspo until next season. We’ve rounded up the best street style trends you can add to your cart right now.
Denim on denim
Two decades have passed since Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake took to the American Music Awards red carpet in unforgettable matching denim ensembles. That means the double denim trend is right on time for its comeback, as evidenced by the standout street style looks at London Fashion Week. The bold pairing made its official return to the fashion scene in the form of Canadian tuxedos, denim skirt sets, jean jackets over jean dresses and any other imaginable combination of the fabric.
Evening wear is no longer just for evenings – at least not for show-goers. Style stars have been taking their finest ‘fits for a twirl this season, with dramatic silhouettes, ruffled layers, puffy sleeves and tiers of tulle aplenty. Among the most noteworthy looks on our radar was a voluminous holographic number on a guest outside the Huishan Zhang show. These days, there’s no occasion too casual for a gown that touches the ground and we’ll take any excuse to step into a dazzling maxi dress to shake up the regular outfit routine.
Last month, we predicted a ‘coquette aesthetic’ was primed for a major trend takeover in 2023 thanks to spring/summer collections that featured ribbon chokers (Elie Saab), floral socks (Yuhan Wang) and kitschy bows and roses (Acne Studios). Expect the vibe to be romantic and nostalgic à la Kirsten Dunst in Marie Antoinette. The ultra-feminine, playful look appears to have bloomed a bit early this season in the form of eye-catching necklaces bearing large florets of chiffon and denim.
Winter whites have always been a thing but the colour trend is especially popular on the streets of London at the moment. What sets the shade apart from regular white, you ask? Not much, other than the time of year it’s being worn and the garments associated with that season. Think shearling jackets, chunky knit sets, corduroy trousers, tights and scarves in various shades of cream, eggshell, antique – even bridal white – that’ll have you looking like you stepped straight out of a blizzard.
In contrast to the neutral hues of winter whites is the industry-wide, enthusiastic embrace of all metallic everything. The space age style is shining the brightest as fashion week attendees step out in outfits designed for a dystopian dance party. Crinkled silver trousers (a street style highlight), gold and sequin statement skirts (mini, maxi and midi are all fair game in this galaxy) and accessories seemingly made out of foil have us wondering if the fashion gods know something we don’t about an imminent alien invasion.
Remember when popcorn tops were all the rage? If that doesn’t sound familiar, one glance at some of the boldest street-style shots (or the Chet Lo catwalk) will certainly jog your memory. Made from a stretchy, prickly fabric, these Y2K garments call to mind a cartoon hedgehog and they’re being revived as dresses, leggings and even boots for these modern fashion times.
What started as fun and fancy flats favoured by the likes of Miu Miu and Khaite has morphed into full-on fanciful footwear that borders on the surreal. Most notably, the cartoonish boots by MSCHF that had everyone talking in New York crossed the Atlantic to leave their viral mark on British sartorial soil, too. But it didn’t stop there. We spotted equally bright and chunky boots in shades of orange that could’ve come straight off a character in a video game, and furry thigh-highs fit for planet Endor.
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