Sexy, Sensual and Slinky for Spring ’23
Get ready for naked summer, 2023 edition. As fashion weeks concluded, it’s clear that we are all in for an uplifting, body-positive season that puts the female form in the spotlight. While previously Gen Z has driven the skin-is-in trend, this time around it applies to the womenswear market as a whole, offering countless ways to either expose or accentuate the body. Perhaps most interesting is how we see sexy evolve toward a new sensual way of dressing that will ultimately drive business.
There is no denying that Y2K remains a defining moment in fashion, and moving into Spring ’23 it holds even more power. Blumarine continued to tap into the narrative best, while aughts queen Paris Hilton closed the Versace show, proving just how influential this wave of sexy is. What’s more is that there’s so much product that aligns with this aesthetic. It may have started with Gen Z’s post-pandemic need to dress up and go out in a body-con mini dress, but for Spring ’23 it’s all about bottom options as well as denim on the rise as a part of the Y2K look. Cargo pants will absolutely be a must-have item, especially in satin varieties. In terms of silhouette, low-rise waists are where it’s at, applying to jeans, skirts and those baggy cargos. Tops maintain the position of less is more, with proven shapes like the crop top and bustier. As an added hook for this aesthetic, a handful of brands sighted Burning Man as a reference, both directly or indirectly, with pops of bright colors, psychedelic prints and an assortment of the items just mentioned.
With so much energy packed into Gen Z’s take on sexy, it could be challenging to explore how a contemporary customer may interpret body liberation. Fortunately, for Spring ’23, designers offered a sensual take on hyper femininity that is heavily inspired by lingerie but goes beyond familiar bra tops and corsets. Victoria Beckham identified with this look, featuring body-skimming slip silhouettes with cascading ruffles, while Bottega Veneta’sslipdresses offered a closer glimpse at intimates-inspired construction with pronounced seams. Elsewhere, it was hard to ignore the transparent materials spotted throughout collections in the form of fluid chiffons, sheer mesh, organza and fine-gauge knits. Sheer dresses and separates from Miu Miu and No. 21 exposed bras and briefs underneath, and while they don’t scream commercial we can be sure that new iterations of the “naked dress” will apply to evening and special-occasion attire. For example, the combination of sheer mesh with sequin embellishment is a surefire winner, often manifested as this season’s trophy dress. Offering more day-oriented wearability, sheer layering over pants as well as sheer blouses should be considered as a way to move lingerie beyond the boudoir.
The Slinky Dress
Reflective of both younger and contemporary consumers, there is one particular item that applies to all. The slinky dress enters as a seasonal must-have item, typically in jersey, which hugs the body in all the right places. This works as a mini dress for a customer who is already familiar with ruched styles as an iteration of body consciousness. But more exciting and directional is the slinky column dress spotted in abundance at Saint Laurent and many others, which signals a return to long and languid shapes. Sleeveless tube styles nod to ’90s minimalism, while column skirts are also worked in. Knitwear applications in column shapes allow for daytime wear, while design details like halter necklines, cutouts and trains elevate eveningwear in a sophisticated way.
Designers are clearly invested in the celebration of women’s bodies by revealing more of them as a form of empowerment. Whether achieved by body-skimming silhouettes or a flash of skin, these are trends for women of all sizes to embrace. To that point, Ester Manas did a fantastic job of featuring models of all sizes on the runway, something more labels should certainly implement. After all, every woman deserves to be represented and feel sexy. The fashion gets us there, but it’s the feeling it gives that lingers long after the clothes come off.
About Fashion Snoops: FS is a global trend forecasting agency helping leading consumer-facing brands around the world unlock innovation and propel growth. Through a combination of human and artificial intelligence, we analyze cultural shifts and interpret detected patterns in order to surface trend-driven business opportunities. Learn more at www.fashionsnoops.com