Your ultimate 2023 fashion cheat sheet

 (Evening Standard)
(Evening Standard)

After a sleepy, covid-induced two years of virtual shows, plummeting sales and comfort dressing, the fashion industry made one hell of a comeback in 2022.

Fashion week went full throttle, as big and buzzy as ever with runway shows taking place in every major city. At Dior, Kim Jones presented a show for the history books underneath Egypt’s Giza pyramids; Saint Laurent transported us to the Moroccan desert; whilst Gucci took us to a Puglian fortress and Chanel to Dakar.

The parties were plentiful, the destinations far and wide, and the fabulous people whirled from event to event — or in some cases, from one fashion house to the next. With huge shakeups at Gucci, Burberry, Raf Simons and Ann Demeulemeester, 2022 kept fashion editors on their toes and the rumour mill in constant flux.

Last year’s sucker punch of major fashion news stories left us with a jumble of unanswered questions. Not only will the new year bring answers, but new exhibitions, books, talks, parties, and generally, a whole lot of fashion to look forward to. Here’s our cheat sheet for the year ahead.

Dates for your diary

Brace yourselves, for the first set of shows is fast approaching. This Friday marks the beginning of the Men’s AW23 collections, kicking off with Gucci in Milan on January 13 (London’s menswear shows have been combined with womenswear in February) before heading to Paris on Tuesday 17 and closing with Margiela on the 22. You can see the full Milan schedule here and the Paris schedule here.

If you thought there would be a break after 10 consecutive days of shows you thought wrong. Extend your hotel dates because immediately following the men’s shows comes couture. If last season is anything to go by, on January 23 we can expect to see an influx of A-listers saunter the streets of Paris in the name of Haute Couture. Kim K, Dua Lipa and Nicole Kidman not only sat front row back last July, but walked the runway too.

Nicole Kidman walked the runway last couture week. (Balenciaga)
Nicole Kidman walked the runway last couture week. (Balenciaga)

The Fédération de la Haute Couture is yet to announce the full schedule, but if there’s one show you look out for make it Jean Paul Gaultier — who this season has enlisted Colombian-born French designer Haider Ackermann to design the AW23 couture collection. In more recent news, Mugler has announced its return to the runway, which will take place on the closing day of couture week — making it the first Mugler runway in three years.

Once couture week ends on January 26, you have exactly 15 days until the ready-to-wear shows begin in New York on February 10. Unless of course you plan on going to Copenhagen Fashion Week which takes place between Paris Haute Couture Week and New York Fashion Week, from January 31 until February 3. If your stamina can hack it, Copenhagen is worth the visit and exceeds expectations each season — watch out for Stine Goya and Baum und Pferdgarten on February 1, and Holzweiler and Ganni on the 2.

Then come the big players. New York Fashion Week AW23, followed by London Fashion Week (February 17), Milan Fashion Week (February 21) and then Paris Fashion Week (February 27). The season ends on March 7.

Then there are the red carpets. If the shows weren’t enough to keep you occupied during the next three months, don’t worry, there’s also the Golden Globes (Jan 10), the Grammys (Feb 5) the Brits (Feb 11), the BAFTAs (Feb 19) as well as the Oscars (March 12).

In keeping with tradition and taking place on the first Monday in May, this year’s Met Gala is set to honour the late German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, who died in 2019.

This year’s Met Gala exhibition is dedicated to the late German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld (Penske Media via Getty Images)
This year’s Met Gala exhibition is dedicated to the late German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld (Penske Media via Getty Images)

All change!

The final months of 2022 saw a sequence of significant fashion news stories — none however, quite so devastating to Brits than the death of Vivienne Weswood, the queen of British fashion, who died on December 29.

In the run up to Christmas, Raf Simons announced he would be closing his beloved and highly coveted nakesame label; Balenciaga issued apologies for its controversial campaign; Alessandro Michele announced he would be leaving Gucci after seven years as creative director; and to top it all off, Belgian brand Ann Demeulemeester would gain a new creative director Ludovic de Saint Sernin.

These announcements left us with question marks and rumours-a-plenty. What’s next for Raf Simons? The designer is co-creative director of Prada (alongside Miuccia Prada), was his decision to allow more time for the Italian brand — or is it fuelled by something else? Could there be something new altogether on the cards for Simons in 2023?

Elsewhere: what does the future for Balenciaga look like now and how will the brand recover? Will Alessandro Michele take to the helm of another fashion house — or will the designer be tempted to begin his own brand? Plus the question everyone’s dying to know: who will replace Michele at Gucci? And what does Ludovic de Saint Sernin’s version of Ann Demeulemeester look like?

Ann Demeulemeester wasn’t the only label to get a new creative director in 2022. In September it was announced that Riccardo Tisci would step down after five years as chief creative officer at Burberry, with ex-Bottega Veneta creative director Daniel Lee filling Tisci’s role. We’ll discover what Daniel Lee’s Burberry looks like next month during the February shows in London.

Days before the Burberry news, it was announced that Nina Ricci would be getting a makeover à la Harris Reed with the British-American designer as creative director as well as the head of his eponymous London-based brand. Meanwhile, Louis Vuitton is yet to announce who will succeed the late Virgil Abloh as creative director — Martine Rose, Grace Wales Bonner and Telfar Clemens are among the rumoured names.

Pre-book, pre-order and pre-plan your outfits…

Giorgio Armani (Getty Images)
Giorgio Armani (Getty Images)

Next month Italian fashion icon Giorgio Armani will release his book Per Amore, an autobiographical text charting his youth, his career and rise to becoming one of the world’s most famous designers. Based on his official autobiography (2015), the book has been updated and re-written. You can pre-order it here.

In September, the V&A will showcase its major fashion exhibition of the year: Gabrielle Chanel, Fashion Manifesto. The exhibition — opening September 16 — is the UK’s first to be dedicated solely to the work of the French couturier. Find more information here. 

Gabrielle Chanel, Fashion Manifesto at the V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum)
Gabrielle Chanel, Fashion Manifesto at the V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum)

Blockbuster films mean blockbuster fashion. Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, coming to us in July, is one of the most highly anticipated films of 2023 and has already ignited the viral TikTok trend ‘Barbiecore’. What people might not be aware of, is that Gerwig has enlisted costume designer Jacqueline Durran to work on the film. One of the most famous modern costume designers, Durran is known for her impeccable work on the likes of Anna Karenina (2012), Atonement (2007) and has worked with Gerwig previously on Little Women (2019). Barbie is certainly a new direction for Durran - we’ll soon see if life in plastic really looks fantastic.

Sex and the City costume designer Patricia Field  will release her autobiography next month. (Shutterstock)
Sex and the City costume designer Patricia Field will release her autobiography next month. (Shutterstock)

Speaking of costume designers, the brains behind the outfits in The Devil Wears Prada as well as Carrie Bradshaw’s legendary wardrobe in Sex and the City, Patricia Field is delivering us an autobiography. The book, which comes out next month, is titled Pat in the City: My Life of Fashion, Style and Breaking All the Rules, and revisits her days of clubbing at Studio 54 to creating some of the most iconic TV character looks of all time. You can pre-order it here.

Another one for your reading list: in March, World of Interiors Editor in Chief Hamish Bowles will add another book to his roster. India in Fashion: The Impact of Indian Dress and Textiles on the Fashionable Imagination will explore the history of traditional Indian dress and its profound impact on European and American fashion. Pre-order here. 

If you’re feeling less like reading and more like partying, Christopher Kane has you covered. In April, fashion designer Christopher Kane and LGBTQ+ collective Sink the Pink team up to bring us the More Joy Disco — a night of fashion-filled debauchery held at the newly refurbished KOKO Camden. The full lineup of DJs and dancers is yet to be announced, get your tickets here.

Elsewhere, there are two centenaries to note: the celebrated American fashion photographer Richard Avedon would have turned 100 this year, meanwhile Disney is hosting a feast of 100th aniversary celebrations and collaborations with the likes of Coach, Givenchy, Adidas and Pandora.