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095: Be your best future shopper
Mapping out a spending plan for FW23.
Welcome to Future Shopper, a special-edition send rounding up the best runway pieces to budget for next season (with a few see-now-buy-now exceptions). Today, with fashion month in the rear view mirror, we’re looking back at the things we’re most likely to buy come Fall ‘23.
At Matthieu Blazy’s Bottega Veneta, one of the best of the season, it wasn’t just bags that set fashion discourse on fire. Blazy’s theater of tromp l’oeil leather from SS23 expanded, with entire deceptive fits apparently crafted of hides manipulated beyond recognition—Mr. “Is It Cake?” of the fashion world is showing off at this point, and we love it. The bags were of course still central: A bullwhip intrecciato bucket called the Kalimero (available for pre-order) had a big whoa moment, and the “shopping bag”…woof. While it wouldn’t be the first time a big brand has turned the disposable consumer relic into an (expensive) object of desire itself—Demna’s Balenciaga has been there on several occasions—the mushroom-leather bag’s pulp-paper effect seems a technical triumph.
Thank god at least J.W.Anderson at Loewe still has a sense of humor, because with the industry-wide return to “real” clothes and general disappointment from other houses known for their levity (ahem, Jeremy Scott at Moschino), things were getting a little tooooo serious. The bag dresses! The joots becoming leather poots! Chicken costumes! His trompe l’oeil printed silks and knits took cues from the greats: Margiela, Gaultier, Galliano’s Dior. And amid everything, a serene jersey dress. Where the brand will continue to win commercially is with its updated Paseo bags—vintage versions of which (the “Aire” bag) you can find for under $200 with some luck.
The design team’s Gucci echoed of Matthieu’s Bottega, Thomas Maier’s Bottega, Raf-era Prada, and Hedi’s Celine (for better or worse). But promising glimmers of focus foreshadowed an era for the brand more fit for these times, should incumbent Sabato De Sarno take the baton. An ultra-thin horsebit belt layered over everything from coats to low-slung skirts could become an essential finish come fall, as could the updated Horsebit 1955 clutch (here’s a Tom Ford-era version in excellent condition). Those wrestling shoes are also pretty iconic. The incertitude, though, is whether shoppers will care to invest in a CD-less collection piece? In this fantasy-league era of fashion house spectatorship, I have doubts.
Demna sent Balenciaga sheepishly down the runway after spending the season shamed amid a child pornography scandal. The setting was stripped of all its usual theater, which in many ways could end up positioning the brand under its current CD as even stronger than before the backlash. A collection rich in smart construction and contemplative shapes was a message to Demna detractors that, wherever you stand on the affair, the designer’s got chops. It’s TBD whether consumers feel that the brand has done its penance through months of boycotts and bad press, but should they find the sober show a credible display of remorse, there are a few obvious places one might express so with their dollar: namely, the inverted-waistband jackets and coats, iterated in suiting fabrics, leather, and denim. The tense-necked jackets sanction this as an obviously Demna production, whose cartoon-villain obsession also produced a remarkable “naked dress” with seamless shoulder additions that liquify the wearer’s body into a caricature.
The full, floral skirts at Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons’ Prada are already among the most coveted items season-wide, toe-to-toe with the brand’s leather triangle bags (the olive green one! the black embossed!) and cherry blossom-origami heels. Ties, too, like the tucked-in ones here, will continue to mount their comeback. The pillow skirt sets will be cover-shoot fodder, but I won’t hold my breath for credible street style.
The Olsens’ The Row doubled down on its prowess for making the best version of things you should aspire to have the best of, in new ways—coats with built-in scarves, oversized suits with leather-cord belts, lady heels—and introduced a new wave of It items, like the Half-Moon Bag or Egli Jeans of past: those falling-off sack dresses worn with a knotted cap or opera gloves, a boot version of their mesh slippers, and loose-threaded satchels and bowling bags.
Janties aside, Miuccia Prada’s Miu Miu was largely a styling show—tights are still working overtime it seems, and the key holding speaks to me as someone who takes a high percentage of my mirror selfies keys in hand about to head out the door. The sheer, layered logos and low-rise slip skirts set against polka dots and ‘70s browns were a fantastic if not especially revolutionary look. But the hoodies and “Carhartts,” presented as they were with bookish readers and undie stacks, are bound to be dangerous in the hands of dull dressers (and honestly should have gone down the runway with iced coffees in hand). Say what you will, but Miuccia is clearly having a jolly ol’ time, and I can’t help but giggle along with her.
The motocross movement that’s been reverberating through my real-style circles gets picked up by Luke and Lucie Meier at Jil Sander, whose sporty, graphic leather jackets and pants (styled with tailored wool coats! fuck!) are instant objects of desire. Of all the new bags teased, the caned leather—a natural evolution from this season’s bamboo—will be sought-after gets come September.
Maximilian Davis’ Ferragamo absolutely took it there with the big bag category. Nutty! And so good. The lines and movement of his flavor of minimalism made for a knockout show, but I can’t say I spy any sure shopping wins in apparel, aside from maybe the fencing tops.
Everyone’s playing with denim, but Glenn Martens’ Diesel, a veteran of the tactic, finds novel ways: as a print over loosely tailored workwear and sexy burnout on what might be denim velvet (?), thrilling outfit options for professional-ish moments and parties alike happening later this year.
Daniel Lee’s freshman Burberry collection admittedly made use of the brand’s coat credibility with a few of the more restrained styles—trenches with fur collars, leather ponchos—but the furry accessories would have been more welcomed from Collina Strada (it’s giving RAWR). The overwrought plaid read like a Yandy Harley Quinn costume, which would have been amazing had it been at all intentional. I’ll concede that the water bottle covers were a cute touch, and I’ve still got the purple wellies, a saving grace, on my mind.
Surely pleased they spent the marketing dollars on this demo, Loro Piana is millennials’ new The Row post all of this glib “quiet luxury” nonsense on TikTok painting the latter as too attainable. The ribbed knit breeches, worn with pointy kitten heels, are possibly a do-not-rest-until-I-get-them item (these Lisa Yang lounge pants are a solid hold-over). The whole lookbook, basically, is how I dress at home, throwing things on while tidying up, and it’s how I feel my truest. It’s a welcome dare to do the same, just outside, and probably for far north of $1,000.
The Thom Browne Hector doggy bag is
out evergreen, and the Thom Browne astronaut helmet bag is in. I wish people who wore TB wore TB with the pizzazz of the shows, rather than playing it safe in a full look of tailored trousers and blazer with the stripe signature. There is enormity here I’d love to see explored in the context of a human wardrobe, like, to see these reconstructed-suit experiments out in the world!
Even though I was among the few who actually enjoyed last season’s hijinks, I was still skeptical coming into Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant’s Coperni. And pleasantly proven wrong. Pinching emoji brooches grasped fabric into elegant drapes, reams of herringbone fabric hitched together into tasteful skirts, and painted leather jackets in sleepy tableaus will do wonders in the hands of sceney dressers. The look they put Jill Kortleve in is a top-tier any-evening moment for me.
It’s difficult to perceive Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski’s Hermes for how little I belong to the target market. Is that the point? If exclusivity breeds alienation, I think I’ve encountered it here. While the salability of the collection’s mature, autumnal pieces is a black-box mystery to me, I can appreciate the styling—of a coat lassoed behind the back, a scarf cinching the waist of a leather jacket—and dream about a bag so out of reach it’s practically imaginary.
The Cate Holstein-Khaite girl has always been cool, but we don’t talk enough about how she’s fearless, too. Her latest introduced a new set of confidence-wielding weapons, several torso-clinging, washboard-abs dresses, jacquard car knits, and King Arthur-like tunics among them. Excellent coats and a donut bag will also be hounded across the web come September, but you’d be smart to get them in the Moda Operandi trunkshow on now.
And now for something completely different: Kate and Laura Mulleavy’s Rodarte. A gem in the NYFW rough, I’d consider setting aside a couple bucks per paycheck for the dementedly good gothic lace dresses or flapper-noir gowns, were they not $8,500–$25,000 apiece per the current Moda Operandi trunkshow. An also-very-good raindrop slip is a more reasonable $1,380.
She whom they call mother, Chloe Sevigny, wore one of New York’s most immediate looks at Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez’s Proenza Schouler: a softly sloping blazer corded off with a leather cable belt, an open crisp button down, and boxy leather skirt. That look, plus the rest of the collection including a revisit to the PS1 bag, is up for pre-order on the brand’s site.
Westwood-esque draped digital prints dominated at Carly Mark’s Puppets and Puppets, where the high-drama renaissance dresses were joined by realistic rose and egg appliqués stuck on bags and busts, plot-twist tailoring, and scene-stealing gag bags (extensions of the cookie purse that started it all) shaped like landline phones and bananas.
Huy Luong, Dylan Cao, and Jin Kay’s Commission might be the most New York brand around these days, its lookbook a perfect two-way mirror for how people dress: reflecting their best back at them, with knowing enhancements like cloud-like windbreakers and “double” tailoring.
Rich-inner-life award this season goes to Sara Lopez’s A—Company, whose clothes can immediately make you the smartest person in the room. A luminous silk set and longline grey suit are heady, sexy to-buys.
Lily Meismer and Jack Miner’s Interior built a sad-girl world with a couple of very cool, moody party dresses: one white and drop-waisted and another red cashmere that hovers like a balloon.
Stella McCartney does horse girl, which circumvents the tired equestrianism of redundant heritage brands with the slack of our present prep obsession—and her signature rock-royalty flourish. The huge polo with baggy suit pants were a styling win, and the braided, cutout bodysuit is just flat hotttttt.
Sarah Burton’s Alexander McQueen was an elegant return to the minimal homme-femme inversions of the 2000s—androgyny through boys in corsets, girls in ties, and denim workwear. Even the bags flouted convention, held flipped on their heads.
Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood was more of a celebration than a sadness, being the first show following the name-bearer’s death late last year, with massive, ebullient bows a ringing reminder of the late icon parsed by her husband and successor.
Jean Touitou’s A.P.C. (which just sold a majority stake to L Catteron) is back on the runway, and it brings with it a natural progression to indie sleaze: cardigan emo. The French king of denim is well-positioned to recapitulate the era of Japanese selvage and graphic designers with bookshop tote bags as sex symbols.
Daniel Roseberry is bringing Elsa Schiaparelli’s haunting realism to ready-to-wear. Finally. The house’s greatest hits reach masses in the form of gold and leather body parts (the belly-button belt!) and keyhole motifs.
Patric DiCaprio and Bryn Taubensee’s Vaquera puts on a great show—an IRL meme generator with class and sass—and delivered some pieces that’ll kill at retail come fall, including those extra-wide grommet belts, lingerie trousers, and boxy leather pants.
Johnny Johansson’s Acne Studios’ forest nymph collection produced a generous helping of event dresses for people with an air of trouble and mystery.
Dilara Findikoglu’s mohair micro-shorts will be a clamoring IG get, but her dangly nameplate belts will be the main item racking up account tags.
Yuhan Wang gave great party dress with iterations on her collapsing lace creations and some new floral-appliquéd numbers. A patchworked skirt suit was also screamingly modern and elegant.
Satoshi Kondo’s first season at the helm of Issey Miyake has some clear hits, especially the extension of the winding skirts and dresses from last year. Meanwhile Glenn Martens’ own Y/Project struck something with its manipulated jersey gown, which feels fresh amid all this season’s denim.
Other universe creators continued, well, creating universes. Zoe Gustavia Anna Whalen and Elena Velez turned out updated Edwardianisms, and we’ll all be wearing Raul Lopez’s Luar ties before the year is up, possibly (hopefully) with one of Sintra Martins of Saint Sintra’s black column skirts or dresses.
Overall highly wearable collections from Maria McManus (genius sock styling), Nomia (absolute outerwear necessity), Fforme (chromatic excellence—might be the next Toteme), Tove (conGRADuations on stepping up a tier, right?), and Emilia Wickstead (the tradwife fantasy they should be selling us). Ditto fashion week first-timer Duran Lantink, one to watch.