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Spring/Summer 2023: “The metaverse gets a counter-reaction through refreshing simplicity”

By FashionUnited


Fashion |REPORT

Coach SS22, via Catwalkpictures.com

“For a caterpillar it is necessary to go into a cocoon to become a butterfly. To undergo a metamorphosis. Remarkably, viruses are also needed in that cocoon to make this process possible,” said trend forecaster Christine Boland during her webinar for SS23, which has been appropriately named Meta Morphosis. The fact that the world is going through several major changes has already been emphasized by the trend forecaster, but now it is becoming increasingly clear which way the world is heading.

“Times like these require a lot of resilience, creativity and innovation,” says Boland at the start of the webinar. For that it is necessary to have good energy and inspiration and to feel strong. Boland hopes to provide that inspiration with its trend analysis for summer '23. FashionUnited selected multiple insights to share with you.

Harmony plays overtone in SS23

Various elements recurred several times in the currents that Boland and her team established. One of the recurring factors was the suit. “Nowadays we no longer call it the 'men's suit'. It's just 'a suit',” said the forecaster. She does add that the suit fits ideally into the 'embracing ambiguity' trend. This trend is all about contrasts that are miraculously still in harmony. For example, a suit, which is usually quite rigid and tight, can be combined with an item that exudes sensuality. Think of a lace item, a corset or something sheer. Or the suit itself can get a sensual look through the use of textures.

Harmony is a big factor in Boland's trend forecast for SS23 anyway. In the previous season, unexpected contrasts came to the fore, such as the combination of materials or the mix of colours. In previous seasons it was all about sanding combinations, now the surprising elements stand out less than before. Harmony predominates.

Prabal Gurung SS22, via Catwalkpictures.com
Stella McCartney SS22, via Catwalkpictures.com

Nanoverse of nature is a big influence for SS23

As always, nature is a big influence. However, this time it is more abstract, at the nano level. When you zoom in on various processes and structures in nature, wonderful worlds emerge. “We are going to value natural intelligence more and more,” Boland predicts. Then one can think of patterns and colors that inspire designers, but the use of natural materials to color fabrics is also receiving more attention. In recent years, various innovations have already seen the light that makes it possible to color clothes with pigment from fungi. Nature is also reflected in the trends for SS23 through the shapes and volumes. For example, think of wavy fabrics by means of pleats, or cloudy volumes with the help of drawstrings, and don't forget the watery colors.

A striking element that frequently returns is the high 'craft' factor. For example, many versions of macramé are returning in a trend that Boland calls 'creating cultures'. According to the trend forecaster, it is a true mixture of cultures from which a new design language arises. In addition to macramé, there is a lot of wickerwork to be seen, but there is also room for a multitude of fringes.

Alberta Ferretti SS22, via Catwalkpictures.com
Alberta Ferretti SS22, via Catwalkpictures.com

Christine Boland on SS23: “Counter-reaction to the metaverse through 2D look”

Perhaps the most striking trend is the counter-reaction to the metaverse. It's no secret that the metaverse has been popping up everywhere lately. For those who are not yet familiar: the metaverse is a virtual space that connects all virtual worlds by using the internet and augmented reality. Several fashion companies have jumped into the virtual world in recent months. But it is precisely this abundance of 3D and digital that creates a need for something simpler. “Naive but not childish,” according to the trend forecaster. This need translates, for example, into a more 2D appearance. For example, think of prints of buckles on shoes or clothing, where in reality there is no buckle. “It's refreshingly simple. It is a relief from all the complexity around us."

Coach SS22, via Catwalkpictures.com
Coach SS22, via Catwalkpictures.com

As always, Boland gives attendees plenty to think about. Fortunately, you don't have to deal with everything. The forecaster repeats the advice that one should see what appeals to them, what sticks, and then move on. We'll have to wait a few more seasons to see what's stuck with brands, designers and retailers for SS23, but at least the choice is huge.

This article was originally published on FashionUnited.NL, translated and edited to English by Kelly Press.

Christine Boland