Fashion Recap 2023: A Comprehensive Lookback on the Year’s Fashion Evolution

Fashion Recap 2023: A Comprehensive Lookback on the Year’s Fashion Evolution


Discover the style evolution of 2023—from the discreet opulence of quiet luxury to bold statements in Mermaidcore and Barbiecore 

There are many things 2023 has brought us, including an AI arms race against private companies. Yet what AI may not predict is the rather diverse and fastidious fashion trends, aesthetics, and -cores of the year. Microtrends, anyone? Much like modern movies themselves, a lot of them are only reimagined from their original counterparts. Denim has been turned to avant-garde duty, no sleeves have become mega sleeves, and underwear as outerwear. Yes, it’s been a crazy year in fashion, so here is a fashion recap of 2023. 

RELATED: MEGA Fashion Forecast: The Trends That are Set to Take Over in 2024


Heart Evangelista wears a shell ensemble by Schiaparelli at the GMA Gala 2023

This isn’t your typical maritime feel; it’s more dreamlike, like—you guessed it—a mermaid. Think iridescent, beachy, and a touch of sparkle as this trend is a vibrant, in-your-face statement. Mermaidcore isn’t about the laid-back; it’s about embracing the extravagant. It’s a bold choice for those who like their style to scream rather than whisper.

Quiet luxury

In the quiet luxury trend, browns and creams often rule

Ah, Sofia Richie. In understated affluence, picture logo-less, top-tier clothing served as a subtle mask for the well-off. The wardrobe embraces neutral, business-casual attire—envision slacks, cashmere sweaters, and reserved necklines and hemlines. Despite its name, the charm of hushed luxury lies in its accessibility across a spectrum of price tags. Whether your sweater commands a princely sum of PHP500,000 from Brunello Cucinelli or a thrifty PHP5,000 from Massimo Dutti, it’s an exclusive elegance recognized by the select few, shrouding most in mystery.


Pink was naturally the main color for Barbiecore

The wild resurgence of Barbie through Greta Gerwig’s live-action movie has kickstarted the launch of a thousand collaborations: Balmain, Burger King, Crocs, Fossil, and AIRBNB, just to name a few. It’s all things pink and plastic. However, the surge of this trend phenomenon can be traced back to the 2022 Valentino Fall runway show, where it made its mark as Valentino Pink PP, named after the fashion house’s creative mind, Pierpaolo Piccioli.

A new denim

Kim Chiu takes on a double-trend: cargo pants in denim

Denim is a welcome staple in any wardrobe; it will always exist, like hunger. Like hunger, we have different cravings, whether it may be a denim overshirt, white jeans, or baggy jeans. Burberry elevated the denim game, playing with its structures. For their pre-fall collection, Diesel tested with raw denim foundations, employing techniques like “baking” to yield a distinctive leathery appearance. The craving for all things denim has reached an unprecedented peak.

Tailoring and utilitarian

Kathryn Bernardo wears an oversized tailored blazer

As people return to physical workspaces, tailoring takes center stage—ranging from figure-hugging and sculpted to oversized and laid-back, spanning from clean minimal black to vibrant embellishments. A suit, whether a jacket paired with pants, skirts, or shorts, stands as a surefire way to achieve a polished look. What’s intriguing about tailoring is its role in an inclusive wardrobe. Go on, grab the new Junya Watanabe, and put on some colorful tights—they’ll still work.

Skin is in

Liza Soberano leaves her top open

Cut-out dresses are an opportunity to showcase some skin and inject visual fascination into the attire. These cut-outs, whether subtly uncomplicated or daringly intricate, hinge on the design. It’s a tasteful revelation, showcasing a subtle sliver of skin, a peek-a-boo effect that tantalizes the imagination. Meanwhile, sheer fashion is experiencing a resurgence, but with a twist. It transcends the conventional nude and takes on a feminine persona—think ruffles, maxi dresses, exaggerated sleeves, and silk shirts in this sheer renaissance. Show a little skin, and you’re in.

Underwear as outerwear

Emma Corrin walks for Miu Miu Fall/Winter 2023

What was once subtle glimpses of underwear beneath partially undone trousers has evolved into a more questionable choice, of which is the abandonment of pants. While the concept of integrating underwear into outerwear isn’t groundbreaking, the present adoption rate is pronounced. If we’re venturing into a trouser-free society, let’s fully indulge in lingerie.

Dramatic sleeves

Big, dramatic, mega sleeves take the win

Introducing the showstopper of the year: statement sleeves on steroids. This trend is not here to share the spotlight; it demands center stage, eclipsing any attempt to steal its thunder. While everyone is showing skin, the arms command magnified attention. This maximalist movement sweeps the floor—sometimes quite literally—in can’t-be-missed ways that it’s almost exciting to try out. If there’s one trend on the list worth going for, go for the mega sleeve.

It’s clear that 2023 served as a dynamic presence of self-expression, innovation, and diversity. From quiet luxury to Mermaidcore, each trend left its mark in its way. Denim saw a transformation, tailored styles took the spotlight, and the revival of skin-revealing and sheer fashion added femininity. The year also embraced bold choices, from Barbiecore collaborations to the abandonment of pants.

Here’s to a year that dared to defy the conventional, inviting us to explore the boundaries of style with courage and creativity.

Photos: MIU MIU (via website), KIM CHIU, KATHRYN BERNARDO, LIZA SOBERANO (via Instagram)
Featured Image: MEGA ARCHIVES

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