4 denim trends for fall/winter 2023

As part of the most recent edition of the Kingpins denim fair, which took place from April 20-21 in Amsterdam, Denim Dudes owner Amy Leverton presented four denim trends to expect for the upcoming season Fall/ Winter 2023.

The report was complemented by an expo at the entrance of the event, which showed a range of looks related to each trend. The exhibition was part of a new concept for this edition of Kingpins, for which the fair selected some of its exhibitors to be part of the installation, giving them the opportunity to exhibit the garments that they themselves created and developed.

The trends Leverton examined matched the general mood of the stock market and reflected the current post-pandemic state of mind in society, with elements of escapism, post-apocalyptic optimism and a desire to give back to the Earth.

(From left) Image: Vetements AW22, Isabel Marant AW22, Balenciaga AW22 – all courtesy of CatwalkPictures

Simulacrum

Closely linked to the growing popularity of a Balenciaga-esque atmosphere and the blurring of the lines between reality and digitization, this trend revolves around exploring how the online world can often have real-life consequences. The word simulation summarizes the concept itself, defined as the imitation of reality.

It comes at a time when brands are harnessing the possibilities of digital implementation, launching major technology partnerships, meta marketing, and digital asset launches such as virtual reality wearables or non-fungible token (NFT) collections.

Many of the silhouettes in Simulacrum focus on protecting the body from the outside world, seen in balloon shapes and exaggerated utilitarian clothing that reflects the sense of pride that surrounds the trend. Modernizing styles from the past is also strong, like the rejuvenation of low-rise jeans and the acid-washing techniques that made their mark in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The colors in this trend range from dark and moody, hinting at the apocalyptic essence it touches, to more saturated in-line hues like bright orange and electric blue.

(From left) Image: Etro AW22, Christian Siriano AW22, Marni AW22 – all courtesy of CatwalkPictures

The outsiders

This trend also refers to post-apocalyptic themes, but unlike dark digital exploration, The Outsiders is all about optimism and a deep connection to the land. Homegrown artisan products and farming techniques are highly prized for this trend, which emphasizes clothing that has strong meaning to the wearer.

The aesthetic is closely aligned with a popular trend from last year: Goblincore, which focuses more on aversion to capitalist structures through eco-friendly clothing.

Special attention was paid to natural washes and mineral tones, which is reflected in on-trend colors including army green and indigo. However, these are in stark contrast to neon orange and luminescent yellow, which were seen at the other end of the spectrum, very much in line with the modern rejuvenation of hippie culture.

(From left) Image: Blumarine AW22, Labrum London AW22, Matty Bovan AW22 – all courtesy of CatwalkPictures

miracle

Responding to customers looking to fill a void post-pandemic, Wonderment focuses on a sense of escapism, with clothing that seeks to closely align with the wearer’s emotions. As with the current dopamine clothing movement, this trend is all about evoking joy and fun through bold styles and color choices.

One particular highlight is inspired by the legacy of the late Virgil Abloh, whose work encouraged young designers to brighten up haute couture. This influence can be seen in cartoonish designs, hand-finished styles, recycled textiles, and psychedelic surfaces, all of which sum up the vibrancy of this trend.

Each color of Wonderment is designed to play, a key element in the trend that seeks to promote experimentation, expressionism and creativity. Bright yellows, blues and oranges mix together and offer a wide range of color options that want to be usable all year round.

(From left) Image: GCDS AW22, Mark Fast AW22, Molly Goddard AW22 – all courtesy of CatwalkPictures

gently

Softly has been described as one of the hottest trends of the season. It has a more philanthropic approach to fashion, with a particular emphasis on slow-growing companies and low-impact products. Authentic storytelling is a core part of Softly, which encourages brands to safeguard heritage, elevate cultural stories and respect long-standing traditions, caring for both the planet and people.

As the name suggests, Softly’s color scheme revolves around pastel and autumnal hues, with a particular focus on raw materials and processes, such as raw denim and natural dyes.

Like the other trends, reworking and repurposing are defining characteristics, but they are seen more elevated, with techniques like shibori tie-dye and hand embroidery. The silhouettes conform to the calm and serenity that Softly has explored, defined through the use of cocoon shapes, long lengths and streamlined workwear.

This article originally appeared on FashionUnited UK. Dutch translation and editing by Caitlyn Terra.

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