Non-profit organization and fashion career incubator, Fashion Group International, has released its semi-annual FGI COMMUNIQUÉ report following the end of the New York Fashion Week. FGI taps key industry experts to chronicle the latest trends from New York’s Fall / Winter 2023 runway shows, connecting the dots with a look at overarching themes and influences. Sponsored by Hilldun Corporation, the FGI COMMUNIQUÉ serves as an extension of FGI’s legacy established in 1936 – to serve as an indispensable industry resource for the fashion industry and related sectors.
“With excitement and creativity in the air, Fashion Group International is delighted to present our semi-annual FGI Communiqué Report, detailing key New York fashion week highlights of the fall 2023 collections,” says Maryanne Grisz, FGI President and CEO. “The FGI COMMUNIQUÉ is required reading for anyone seeking expert insight into next season’s offerings – from recurring influences and themes spotted on big-name runways to up-and-coming designers poised to make their mark on the industry.”
FGI COMMUNIQUÉ curators for Fall-Winter 2023 are Sharon Graubard, Founder and Creative Director of MintModa online trend service, and Nicole Fischelis, Fashion/Art/Forecasting consultant and FGI board member; both create the daily Fashion Report during NYFW as well as the Global presentation. Gary Wassner, Hilldun Corporation CEO, authors the feature, ONES TO WATCH.
The Fall / Winter 2023 Fashion Group International COMMUNIQUÉ includes day-by-day thematic highlights from established brands and up-and-coming designers:
1 – HAPPY CRAFTY
Dopamine dressing — clothes that make you feel good — kicked off NYFW with joyful looks that combine handwork with brilliant color. Jahnkoy put an emphasis on craftsmanship and cultural heritage for textural pieces with a sporty, streetwear edge.
Emerging designer Bulan layered up super-dimensional knits that managed to be both avant-garde and wearable at once. All Beneath Heaven’s gender-neutral separates were enlivened with crafty embroideries and hand-painted prints that express designer Jimmy Alexander’s interest in the metaphysical for a collection that brimmed with joy-inducing imagery.
2 – LESS IS MORE
Just looking at these minimalist shapes in serene neutrals brings on a sense of order and calm, a welcome relief from all the free-wheeling self-expression and super-dimensional crafts on runways these days. Michael Kors delved into the feminist icons of the 70s for his Michael Kors Collection, but here the era’s bellbottoms and miniskirts were pared down and purified to their very essence.
Korean designer Son Jung Wan referenced the 90s along with futuristic shapes to come up with a funnel-neck cape-sleeved crop-top ensemble. Brandon Maxwell refined his own peplum looks from earlier collections, as in a shapely strapless top over camel pants. Tory Burch continued her journey into the roots of American sportswear this season; her hourglass top over tweedy trousers was the perfect melding of midcentury allure with modern practicality.
3 – FOLKLORIC TRIP
Folkloric costumes offer endless inspiration, as designers celebrate (rather than appropriate) worldwide culture. Burkindy and Marusya Tamboura of Jahnkoy believe that “craft is an ultimate tool towards the healing of mankind”; that idea is captured in desirable pieces that draw from vintage as well as cultural heritage. Carolina Herrera’s Wes Gordon was inspired by the 19th Century Viennese court for a richly embroidered border.
Terry Singh used an Italian red-and-black jacquard for a precisely cut cropped jacket. Monica Paolini and Sean Monahan of Sea explored Bavarian themes as well as Americana for boldly patterned statement pieces. Ulla Johnson, who has long incorporated global handicrafts into her aesthetic, showed a wonderfully dimensional crochet sweater over a trapunto-appliquéd skirt.
4 – LET’S GO CARGO
Elevated cargo looks are having a moment. Hillary Taymour of Collina Strada used a blurred plaid for slouchy cargos that got even more dimension from a box-pleated peplum detail. Rag & Bone polished up the look by topping cargos with a tailored blazer.
Cross-Eyed Moose offered outdoorsy ensembles that stayed true to cargo’s utilitarian roots, while Preston Heron used a multi-pocket approach for a distressed leather set. Marc Jacobs paid homage to the recently departed Vivienne Westwood with romantic Old Masters-inspired silhouettes, here made modern in a crystal-studded olive drab detailed with oversized cargo pockets.
5 – BELLE BOUDOIR
Lingerie looks come out from under with opulent fabric and plenty of lace. Phillip Lim showed Chantilly-trimmed pajama pants topped with a draped tunic. Dion Lee showed off his knack for revealing and concealing with a paneled shocking pink slip-dress, detailed with a triangular cutout.
Rodarte showed a sweep of emerald green for a lace-inset maxi dress, and Anna Sui used a pale matcha tone for a lustrous cami and slip set. Piotrek Panszczyk of Area was inspired by the beauty of fruits, as in a melon-pink underwire bra matched to a curvilinear miniskirt, both studded with faceted crystals.
6 – SILVER LINING
Silvery finishes reign as the metal of choice. LaQuan Smith, maintaining his commitment to high glamour, cut a crinkled metallic leather into a bra-plus-column-skirt ensemble. Anna Sui used a slightly greenish silver for her 60s-inspired mini-trench, worn over sparkly tights and silver cowboy boots.
Bibhu Mohapatra’s sterling tweed pantsuit was shown with a pearly organza bow blouse, perfect for special occasion dressing, and classic shearling outerwear at Coach got a fresh edge when awash in silver. A standout of the season so far was Proenza Schouler’scrinkled silver-plated sheath that was styled over a raw-edged underskirt, creating a look that managed to be opulent and subtle at once.
7 – DENIM BOUTIQUE
The newest denim looks have a quirky, individualistic charm that comes from artisanal treatments and appealing new shapes. Derek Lam used the American Art and Crafts movement as a starting point for his Derek Lam 10 Crosby line, resulting in denim pieces that were both practical and slightly novel, as in a shearling-trimmed vest over cropped jeans.
Marc Jacobs used a luxe mix of denim and velvet for a patchwork coat, and Sally Lapointe showed the must-have wide-leg silhouette, ornamented with shredded rips and topped with a fur-trimmed maxicoat. Heron Preston was inspired by the cool kids on the streets of New York for his bleached denim corset top over mended 5-pocket jeans. Rag & Bone founder Marcus Wainwright was also inspired by real New Yorkers for his chore jacket and pencil skirt ensemble; the shapes are simple, but the mottled bleach treatment makes it special.
8 – MOTO MOMENT
Like jeans and trench coats, motorcycle jackets can be infinitely reinvented while still retaining their iconic quality. For next fall, Jonathan Simkhai played with both deconstruction and toughness, resulting in a biker jacket split into two to become a cropped jacket and matching miniskirt.
Rag & Bone went lean and mean, while Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler added contrast as well as luxury to their version, with a flurry of snow-white fur trim. Omar Salam of Sukeina offered an elegantly tailored pantsuit embellished with gold zips for a look that was more boardroom than biker.
9 – TO THE MAX
The maxi-coat, that 1970s favorite, is back with a vengeance for next fall. Michael Kors showed a covetable camel version, matched to a slim poor-boy sweater, hot pants, and knee-high boots. Christian Cowan’s muse this season was Judy Garland; he did the maxi-over-mini proportion as well, but his coat and short-shorts were jazzed-up with jet beads and layered over a wide-collared white maxi shirt.
Joseph Altuzarra went long-over-long with a spectacularly dyed topper over a matching ankle-skimming silk column. Proenza Schouler’s double-breasted version was cut from nubby wool in a toasty brown, and ensembled with matching sweater and chocolate leather pants. Young-Eun Lee of FromWhere did a soft ivory coat worn over a sweet pajama pant-and-bralette set (bras are an ongoing must-have). And Catherine Holstein of Khaite offered a luxe sweep of fur in an intense shade of bottle green.
10 – LEATHER LOVE
Leather loses its rugged outerwear demeanor and becomes sensuous and supple for next fall. Brandon Maxwell tailored burnished skins into a plunge-neck maxi-dress, while Proenza Schouler gathered scarlet leather into an easy strapless number. Hanako Maeda of Adeam went for a soft-punk look with a harnessed camel leather frock over a matching bandeau and flare-leg “chaps”.
Coach’s Stuart Vevers was true to the house’s leather-craft history with body-skimming separates in a 70s-inflected patchwork. Bibhu Mohapatra used vegan leather for a midi-skirt that was emblazoned with crystal-studded embroidery, and Ulla Johnson enlivened an oversized leather shirt-jacket with big hand-painted flowers.
Gary Wassner’s “Ones to Watch” feature – highlighting ascendent fashion designers and brands – includes RENTRAYAGE, Bach Mai, Custo Barcelona, Puppets and Puppets, DUR DOUX, and Victor De Souza.
“It is critical to the continued development of American designers to support and acknowledge their creativity and innovation,” says Gary Wassner, Hilldun CEO. “Every season I am awed by the emergence of such incredible new talent during NYFW.”