9 Fashion Predictions for 2023
Goodbye Miu Miu skirt set, hello anthurium dresses! Plus: the future of Condé, a weird Met Gala, and more.
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This year will likely be defined by an absence of pandemic-related restrictions that hampered daily life and fashion events over the last three years. In that time, entire businesses (e.g. movie theaters) went bust, consumption habits of both goods and content changed, work habits were altered, and blithe acceptance of privilege and elitism gave way to mass awareness of a system viewed as rigged and unfair. As a result of all of this, the way many of us dress and engage with fashion day-to-day changed considerably. These ideas are what informed my predictions for the year ahead.
1 - The Met Gala will have peaked. This year, the Met Gala fêtes the Costume Institute’s exhibition on Karl Lagerfeld. We tend to lionize people after they die, but since Lagerfeld’s death in February 2019, his legacy has faced unusual — but not unwarranted — scrutiny. Lagerfeld occupied the rarified stratum of fashion figures that couldn’t be “canceled” — he retained his lifetime appointment at Chanel and reputation as one of the world’s best and most important designers despite repeated offenses. He was openly disdainful of larger bodies. He called German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s acceptance of Syrian refugees a “huge error,” saying, “One cannot — even if there are decades between them — kill millions of Jews so you can bring millions of their worst enemies in their place.” He photographed Claudia Schiffer in blackface and yellowface and the images ended up on the cover of German magazine Stern Fotografie in 2010 for an issue featuring his favorite shots of her. Did he start fashion trends and influence culture while he did these things? Sure. But his vision of luxury was one of old-school exclusion and prejudice, which is something that’s impossible to brush under the rug in 2023.
I do not think the Gala is “over.” I suspect it will remain a huge spectacle and that many fans watching will be able to lose themselves in the red carpet. The masses (in America, anyway) don’t know who Lagerfeld is and won’t have a ready understanding of his legacy. The gush of content that all those red carpet images unleash onto social media won’t suddenly be squelched by an exhibit on one person viewed by many fashion followers as problematic. (After all, the Picassos still hang on the walls of the same museum.)
But last year’s Gala — headlined by the Kardashians, notably Kim allegedly damaging a historic garment — felt like a turning point for the event from its peak to what may be a slow decline.