SPRING 2023 SHOWS: LONDON MOURNS THEIR QUEEN BUT THE SHOWS MUST GO ON

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

 

Erdem’s show finale felt like a page being inscribed in the annals of British fashion history. This was a tribute to the Queen. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

London Fashion Week’s Spring 2023 season was like no other. England’s longest reigning monarch passed away on Sept. 8, at Balmoral Castle, plunging the nation into 10 days of official mourning. Queen Elizabeth II was 96 years old when she passed and ruled Britain 70 years. As per the Queen’s wishes, Prince Charles became King Charles III, as he promises to walk in his mother’s footsteps.

The Final Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. (Photo Credit: Ranald Mackechnie, Courtesy of Buckingham Palace)

Shows were scheduled to begin September 15th and end on September20th, but major brands like Burberry chose to cancel their show altogether, and some wondered if fashion week would — or should — happen at all. But of course, the shows forged on as many designers paid their respects to her Royal Majesty.

On Sunday night, Sept. 18th — the eve of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II — the line of people waiting to pay their last respects to the late monarch stretched so far through the heart of the British capital that it could be seen from space, according to The New York Times. The following morning, September 19, the queen’s state funeral took place at Westminster Abbey; then a legion of military officers towed her casket through the streets of London in a processional to Windsor Castle. Naturally, it was all very touching — from the little tantrums to the unbelievable crowds to the mournful bongs of Big Ben that backdropped the funeral march. Queen Elizabeth II is now at her final resting place which is marked with a new ledger stone in the King George VI Memorial chapel, Buckingham Palace has said. The stone slab bears the name of the late Queen, her husband Prince Philip, and her parents, with the two generations separated by a metal garter star.

While Britain is also a country with a national identity forged in times of heartache and trouble — of which there recently has been plenty for designers: the continuing fallout from Brexit, the pandemic, and the likelihood of recession. Out of respect for the Queen, all of the parties this season had been canceled, but many young designers rallied for their shows to go on. And thankfully they did, because London Fashion Week always serves up such inspirational fashion moments.

A look from JW Anderson’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Ayesha Kazim for The New York Times)

“It has been a challenging two years,” Harris Reed said in an interview with The New York Times. “Speaking with my fellow young designers, most of whom have put their entire brand budgets into shows to bring in sales and brand awareness, it is so important, now more than ever, to support the small brands in London.”

A look from Harris Reed’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

London has a reputation for embracing and nurturing young fashion talent, and this season there were a number of breakthrough emerging designers, such as Chopova Lowena and Karoline Vitto; but the fashion old guard also reminded us of why the capital’s fashion reputation also rests on the rich depth of its storytelling. And while London Fashion Week was filled with emotion, fashion designers proudly honored their Queen.

Looks from SimoneRocha’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Acielle)

A look from Chopova Lowena’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Here are a few of the biggest trends that came out of London Fashion Week:

PAYING TRIBUTE TO THE QUEEN (ELIZABETH NOT ALEXANDER)

A number of British designers paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in their collections. Case in point, designer JW Anderson, whose finale was a black T-shirt with the words “Her Majesty The Queen 1926-2022 Thank you” on the front.

“It felt important to keep going, because this is a time when London needs to stick together, and right now some of this city’s young designers are at risk of losing their businesses,” JW Anderson said to New York Times reporters backstage, as revelers outside drank the night away. “That is an extremely British attitude.”

Here are a few other designers who honored the Queen this season.

JW Anderson, who fought to keep London Fashion Week alive in the midst of unprecedented “royal mourning,” ended his London Fashion Week show with six lovely words. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A silent catwalk with the Union Jack wrapped tight around the heart at Dilara Findikoglu’s Spring Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)Traditional lace collars and black netted crowns took the spotlight at Richard Quinn, whose 2018 fashion show was attended by Queen Elizabeth II herself. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Tiny crochet corgi dolls became a key accessory at RuiRui’s show. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The speakers went silent at the show for Halpern’s opening look, which paid homage to the 1957 ballgown the Queen wore to greet French president Charles de Gaulle. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Great Britain, ultra tiny dress. The Union Jack rises at Poster Girl’s Spring Show. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Bora Aksu’s show opened with a military drum salute before turning into a parade of looks inspired partly by the Queen’s military service in World War II. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

DOT ON

We will all be seeing spots this season as designers offered the playful graphic print on everything from dramatic suits to frothy frocks.

A look from Richard Quinn’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Molly Goddard’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Harris Reed’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Bora Aksu’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Halpern’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

CUT-IT-OUT

The sexy cut-out trend is going strong for spring especially in sultry gowns that will surly get you noticed at your next bash.

A look from Nensi Dojaka’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Halpern’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Christopher Kane’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from JW Anderson’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from David Koma’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A-ROUND-WE-GO

Bubble shapes are all the rage this spring 2023 season. From futuristic spear-shaped hemlines to rounded peplum shapes, these dramatic objects add a playful flare to your wardrobe.

A look from Richard Quinn’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from JW Anderson’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Harris Reed’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dilara Findikoglu’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Christopher Kane’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

YOUR NOT SO BASIC TEE

Everyone’s favorite basic gets a quirky make-over this spring. And what timing! Just as UoF is about to launch an entire series on drafting cut & sew T-shirts and 4-way stretch knits!

A look from Christopher Kane’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dilara Findikoglu’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Molly Goddard’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from JW Anderson’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

TRAINING DAY

Add some drama to your next affair with floor-sweeping trains. Whether you opt for the minimal slip dress version or a maximalist feathered skirt, these dramatic hemlines are oh so sexy.

A look from Harris Reed’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Halpern’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Erdem’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Christopher Kane’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from David Koma’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

FEELING FROU

Frothy, romantic ruffles were all over the runways during London Fashion Week.

A look from Molly Goddard’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Halpern’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Erdem’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Bora Aksu’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Simone Rocha’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

So tell us, what is your favorite spring 2023 trend so far?

 

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Antonia Sardone

Antonia Sardone is a new contributor to the University of Fashion. She is also a freelance fashion consultant, stylist and writer. Antonia Sardone graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in Advertising Communications, Marketing and Fashion Journalism. She is an industry veteran having worked for WWD for over fifteen years and has strong relationships with designers worldwide. Today, Antonia Sardone continues to write reviews for WWD as well as work with many contemporary designers on a variety of projects from helping to re-launch their websites to writing their brand books. She enjoys raising her children to be creative individuals, as well as styling, writing and traveling.