New York Fashion Week, the FW23 collections
The key to longevity in fashion stands in the brand’s sense of continuity or, more often, in the ability to stay true to the brand’s identity over time. In this perspective, for the FW23 season, many are the brands that are keen to opt for clean-cut, minimal but never ordinary designs, whose details are able to make the difference and the unicity of the garment while remaining in line with the brand’s aesthetic criteria.
At New York Fashion Week, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez have strongly grounded Proenza Schouler‘s Fall / Winter 2023 collection to some of the house’s staples taken from past collections, updated in a more mature fashion. For example, a re-elaboration of their best-selling velvet tie-dye dresses of fall 2018, here translated into narrow shirt dresses, made with ice dye techniques gradually dripping their intense colors from neck to hem, making once again an outstanding impression on the catwalk. At the same time, proving the duo’s creative ability to reinvent themselves over time. “It’s about using our ingredients and not throwing it all out and starting from scratch every season“, Hernandez said.
The resulting tailoring is minimalistic, refined and precise, however assertive. A kind of tailoring that sometimes diverts from the traditional criteria, yet never being transgressive: the shirt cuffs and collar emerged from the jacket, the crotch of a leather wrap skirt was moved to the side; the pocket on the jacket’s bust came doubled, while knits came asymmetrical to twist to the body. The short sleeves of a dress, upon closer inspection, were cut differently into asymmetrical shapes. Prints were kept to a minimum: the ones that did appear – remnants from past collections – were applied on hidden vent panels of minimal dresses, visible with movement.
Constructing classics with a modern twist instead is the idea behind the conceiving of Jonathan Simkhai‘s Fall / Winter 2023 collection for his namesake, rebranded label “Simkhai“.
“I feel like everything is upside down and there’s so much chaos and lots of bad news and just crazy things. A collection that feels grounded was really important to me“, said the designer. Juxtaposing masculine toughness with feminine softer silhouettes was, therefore, his modus operandi this season, adding a distinguishing note to his collection. Edgy shoulders are softened by the sinuosity of the waisted or belted jackets; the delicacy of draped metallic knit dresses finds its counterbalance in the leather don’t-mess-with-me moto looks. The bodice of a sweater is made of quilted puffer fabric which is in tactile contrast with the crispy consistency of the coated denim.
The collection develops through deconstruction, and a balanced alternation of longline constructions – long overcoats and dresses – and disconnected cropped volumes revealing and celebrating the body – a laser cut blazer whose lower part becomes a skirt; a white dress asymmetrically splitting apart and reconnecting through buttons.
There is no need to add unnecessary embellishments to confer value to a clothing collection: both Proenza Schouler’s and Simkhai’s fall / winter 2023 collections are proof that unpredicted details within the construction of a garment can be a successful choice – even if that means messing up the status quo – in order to give a twist to the essential wardrobe pillars and elevate them out of the ordinary.
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