In the age of micro trends and a constantly changing algorithm-influenced universe, it feels a little like a miracle when so many designers’ visions align to deliver us a wide-ranging group of trends for the season. It’s possible this same “anything goes” attitude is why on the spring 2023 runways there was an exuberance and an embrace of a new kind of maximalism—both in materials and approach and in the act itself of accessorizing.
Beyond their practical needs, designers have embraced the idea of bags and shoes becoming a vehicle to add an extra layer of texture, decorative detail, and whimsy. At Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquière blew up the label’s classic change purse and turned it into an oversized clutch-cum-portfolio, while at Victoria Beckham, models delicately carried clutches made of blunt-cut bunches of fringe that resembled carefully tended puppies in the crook of their arms. But the epitome of the new considered accessorizing is the myriad of designers who sent bags down the runway in the same fabric as the coats, dresses, and trousers the models wore. In Valentino’s case, the accessories matched the model’s face. Fashion is a playground, and designers are inviting everyone to play along.
Perhaps in response to the rise of Crocs, Birkenstocks, and other streamlined comfortable basics, footwear has been pushed to the limit of what it can do while retaining its functional quality. At Hermès, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski placed fisherman-inspired leather sandals across carbon sculptures, and Jeremy Scott elongated the toe on a pair of pumps into the head of a pink flamingo at Moschino. Other designers treated shoes like easels, embellishing with ruffles, feathers, fringe, or other metallic knickknacks. This is not the season to be a wallflower—unless you are carrying a bag shaped like one.
Commit to the ’Fit
It used to be that your bag needed to match your shoes. Well, now bags need to match your everything. It can be as subtle as Tod’s structured handbag worn with a matching light mint leather dress, or Sportmax’s psychedelic vision, which includes a practical computer-size tote, a sleeveless top with a train, a midi skirt, and boots. This is the future we were promised!