Fall is—finally—here, and you still don’t know how to style your wardrobe? No worries. The Fall 2023 runways are here to help. Just close your eyes for a while and think back to the three biggest catwalk shows defining this season’s aesthetic. We’re sure you’re now flirting with Miu Miu’s no-pants librarians, the Valentino suit-and-tie women and Jacquemus’ coquette girls wandering Versailles. So, which character do you want to unlock this season?
From left to right, the Valentino suit-and-tie women, Simone Rocha’ coquette girls rocking London Fashion week and Miu Miu’s no-pants librarians
What’s in fashion: austerity for dark times, pressure to produce viral content on TikTok, and more
From geek to androgynous and coquette, the themes for this autumn express a renewed, confident woman who can be and do it all.
The emergence of an austere and neutral colour palette and a number of never-seen-before black coats after the dramatic shots of colours seen in previous collections is one of the biggest shifts in the fashion landscape, seen as a reflection of the gloomy socio-economic period we are currently experiencing.
Since the arrival of TikTok on our phone screens, a multitude of implacable fashion trends and their infinite iterations have invaded the app, putting increasing pressure on brands that are in search of balance, sobriety and realness as they navigate the economic slowdown.
Amidst the flurry of trends, we can spot three main themes that are rapidly emerging and penetrating our society.
Suited, booted and empowered
From left to right, new office uniforms from Cos, Gcds and Valentino
This year, more than ever, female power is in the air.
A more androgynous and masculine woman captured by the allure of the necktie and white shirt has been a constant source of inspiration for every designer, with this style becoming increasingly popular in the streets, on social profiles and on red carpets. One of the most talked-about outfits at the recent Venice Film Festival in September was Kasia Smutniak’s suit designed by Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli, which was part of the brand’s Black Tie Fall-Winter 2023/24 collection.
In recognition of the increasing need to have more women in leadership roles, today’s power suit is designed with a focus on rigorous and padded shoulders, often complemented with rope belts or structured silhouettes to accentuate the waist.
Timeless and versatile, the look can be complemented with a black tailored coat, a must-have piece of outerwear for the season.
Pearls, bows, pink pillows and Sofia Coppola’s movies: your starter pack as a Coquette
The coquette aesthetic as seen on the Fall 2023 runways of Sandy Liang, Simone Rocha and Jacquemus
An aesthetic born to reclaim femininity, almost in contrast to the formality of the new office attire, the coquette girl is inspired by the Regency mode and Madonna’s 90s fashion era of crucifixes, layered pearl necklaces and lace, evoking a sense of nostalgia mixed with innocence and romance.
The trend further references the costumes seen in cinematic pieces like Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, with its exquisite extravagance, and Adrian Lyne’s Lolita, with its subversive sensuality.
Leading frills, bows, lace gowns, childlike rounded collars, puffed sleeves, and romantic volumes are the distinctive elements of the hyper-femininity wave.
The coquette aesthetic also encourages the vintage mania if you want to add a retro feel by reviving your mother’s closet with pieces like see-through shirts, babydoll dresses and pastel colour tights.
With billions of views on TikTok, the coquette girl is one of the most re-created looks of the moment
The library is open
YouTuber Emma Chamberlain represents the Geek fashion trend at its best
The geek chic trend is all about bringing realness back to the catwalk, emphasising a more intellectual approach to fashion that prioritises practicality and functionality.
Layering is one of the key features of the trend, with turtleneck sweaters, shirts or wool cardigans worn under jackets, furs or coats, often adding a middle layer, too.
This look, seen as an evolution of the geek style of the early 2000s, expresses a new kind of sensuality with pencil midi skirts or extra mini shorts, popularised by movies like the Revenge of Nerds (1984) and the comedy series Ugly Betty (2000s), recognised as milestones of this aesthetic. The nerd glasses are the accessory that best identifies with this style, adding an unexpected, cheeky touch to the overall look.
Geek chic is also the go-to style for YouTube star and Gen Z’s fave trendsetter Emma Chamberlain. It is no coincidence that she attended the latest Miu Miu show in Paris – the brand that introduced the hot-girl librarian style on the Fall 2023 catwalks.