The commercial trend report, Fall 2023
It takes repetition for a trend to settle into the zeitgeist with enough weight that it provokes your wanting to change the way you think about getting dressed (and therefore the way you think about shopping).
Two of the most salient trends to have emerged from the most recent fashion week — short shorts/skirts and sheer clothes — are from seeds that were planted seasons before. So more than anything else, they’re gearing up to proliferate. No doubt they will bombard us in various shapes and forms on the shoppable internet come spring. But for right now, one among the most overwhelming trends that have multiplied has got to be the leather jacket/coat.
If the recent collections are an indication, the jacket will become leatherwear more broadly — pants, skirts, shorts suits
You name it. But for now, let’s focus on the one category, which can be separated into three subcategories. The first is the long coat:
From left: Simone Rochas embellished coat ($3,760), Saks Potts leopard coat ($1,250), Toteme ‘Raglan’ coat ($2,700), Proenza Schouler trench coat ($626), and Loulou Studio car coat ($875, and it comes in grey too). For a collarless variation in brown, there is this from Max Mara for $1,075 and for a classic double breast duster, here is one from Cos for $890. And I have to show you this.
This one is no doubt the most popular and also probably the most worthwhile to invest in (we have assurance that the trend will persist at least through spring).
Then we have the more classic hip-length jacket, this subcategory includes the motorcycle style, a collared hip-length zip-up, or any collarless number.
But as far as finish, the most popular and trendy of the loot seems to be the look of distress.
Prada brought this finish into the fore with her Spring 2022 collection, and I’m going to give The Row the nail that hammers this one into the hall of fame with the Fall 2023 jacket (far left) that everyone is (4 of my friends are) texting about.
I’ve mostly shied away from wearing leather recreationally — partially because I don’t like how it looks against the staples of my cold-weather wardrobe (knitwear, denim), or maybe the staples as I have known them (nothing like a well-styled lookbook to challenge everything you think you know about what makes an outfit work). But the coats’ presence is inclining me to give them a chance — maybe the Prada way (oversize on top with a micro mini bottom), or styled with something soft — a velvety bias cut skirt, a knit dress, silk pants, or as a characteristically soft interpretation in its own right, like as seen through this one. (I imagine it with tennis sneakers and ambitious jeans).
A.W.A.K.E Mode Spring 2024 at left and resort 2023 at right. Word on the street is they’re relaunching in a few weeks
Speaking of ambitious jeans, we have Alaia to thank for the ongoing surge in barrel-leg pants around town. If Nili Lotan and Toteme were the “approachable” culprits here with their Shon pants and cropped barrel legs respectively, the former has ignited the couture torch. And you know what happens after a contemporary luxury trend goes exclusive, right? Explosion! I’ll zoom this one out a bit, adding more fire to the flame to include the non-denim barrel legs on tap too.
From left: Loewe ($990), By Malene Birger ($318; same shape in cashmere for $480 right here), Matteau ($460), Citizens of Humanity ($290; I like this wash too), Ganni ($357), Frame ($270; these are the best fit for this shape, IMO, they’re easier to style with shoes because they are long. I’d take one size larger)
For a cropped jacket in particular, they add an interesting dynamic and forgiving volume to your overall look without being too fussy. They’re straightforward but interesting, which is a winning combo for the practical among us who don’t want to give up looking cool. I like the longer styles — they’re good foils to gentle tennis shoes and boots. Cropped pants usually work best with sandals because of the ankle exposure, but one way to consider wearing them into colder months could be with socks and flats.
Cow and moto boots
The next style on my mind is the cowboy boot. Well, a cross between the cowboy boot — which you can find on the commerce pages of Prada, Gucci and Dior rn, and the motorcycle boot (derivative of Miu Miu mania to be sure).
Aeyde and Paris Texas have good spins on the both boots for the season. From last season, you can find these from Paco Rabanne (but I think I like these from Partow better) and these from Etro. Less de facto cowboy boot, more motorcycle style that is kind of referential are these, too, from Re/Done.
As far as the classic cowboy style, Luchesse still makes the best ones out there and I got a hot tip via Instagram from a reader from Montana that Ariat is not a cowboy bootmaker to be slept on either. I’m often intrigued when Google Ads directs me towards Tecovas and if you’re looking for a less commercially available option, Etsy is a treasure trove (full search term’s here). So can be TRR.
To call this a return is similar in conceit to the reference re leather jackets, but one topic that has been on my mind since mid-summer is the persistent impact and influence of the old American West on high fashion.
Three of the major fashion cities have their own homegrown luxury labels peddling the style: Ralph Lauren in New York, Etro in Milan, and Isabel Marant in Paris. What is it about the sensibility that retains such a timeless intrigue?
Beyond the cowboy boots, which my friend Lauren often points out are just an incredibly unique and interesting shoe shape — one no other boot has come close to, you can trace the wearing of denim on denim and suede fringe jackets to the Old West too. It’s a complicated cultural marker because of the way many Americans understand the founding establishment of this country, but in suspending those implications, or divorcing them from the purely stylistic characteristics of the time, I wonder if the cues derived from the Old West, are simply the most visually emblematic of American fashion in that they produce comfort, unique style, and most important, sheer practicality.
I’m hot on them to wear with nice structured tops and slouchy jeans or suits.
As far as jewelry goes, time to dust off that Elsa Peretti! The silver finish is usurping gold’s throne. Responsible for this one could well be Sophie Buhai, who has long sculpted in silver. Agmes has been at this rodeo for years too.
And I’m going to throw back in here The Row’s comb necklace (for gravitas).
It makes sense when you consider all the leather jackets inclining a sort of toughness to come out. (Although a silver finish is also a sleek alternative to gold set against a handbag in some shade of buttery camel leather.) And not to mention all the black leather and fabric chords we spoke about last summer. They just mesh better with a silver hang charm (on which the swirl or nautilus symbol seems to be most popular).
Shu shu tong silver and red drop earring ($80), Ben Amun totem necklace ($195), Ben Amun spiral necklace ($245), Elsa Peretti XL bean necklace ($1,150; this is a nice interpretation from Agmes for over than half the price), Paco Rabanne chunky chain bracelet, ($405), Le Sundial spiral studs ($400), Annika Inez large clasp bracelet ($194; for $299 this tennis bracelet from the same brand is really nice too)
The pieces most interesting to me include so much of the Peretti range, these nautilus earrings from Le Sundial, Ben Amun’s spiral necklace, Paco Rabanne’s classic chain bracelet, and Elhanati’s recent collaboration with Connie Valese.
While I might want to wear silver on the limbs, it’s all about gold on my body. But not just any gold, it’s an almost but not quite acidic yellow gold that is shiny, but not mirrored.
From left: Khaite boots ($1380; have been waiting for these to populate on TRR to suggest as an alt), Bode tap shorts ($660), Dries van Noten top ($681), Paco Rabanne mini skirt ($650), Cefinn mid-length skirt ($610), Forte Forte gold trench ($355), Dodo Bar Or leather pants ($596), Ganni jeans ($370)
The most interesting pieces seem to come in leather, and I think about wearing them with red and black.
The easiest way to get into it is probably with a bag — something adventurous like this belted one from Gabriel For Sach ($325) pair of shoes — like these flats (red socks, black mini skirt, ivory knit), though if you’re going to do it, you probably really want to do it, you know?
What else do we have, what else? Oh, to the point right above (and last week’s send), there is a lot of red, like a burnt-deep hue, with a tinge of blue to it. Most of it is styled (at least in my head) with a deep shade of true blue denim and camel beige.
Knits in the full range from “roasted tomato” to “fiery squash” and the more common names like poppy and bordeaux are everywhere. I maintain that a layering turtleneck is the best red item to add to your wardrobe — it’s like a little kick for your everyday black and whites, beige and navies, or denim and browns but I do love a classic button-down too, and I’d be remiss to leave out my very own cashmere wrap sweater, these heels from Toteme or this blazer from By Malene Birger.
From left: Cafe Leandra x Pure Cashmere wrap sweater ($195; I like this crew neck from Massimo Dutti a lot too), By Malene Birger blazer ($515), Polo button down shirt ($125), Toteme pumps ($680), Alo Yoga knee cap leggings ($88; and in the realm of bottoms, I like this wrap skirt from MNZ too), MNZ carnation scrunchie ($70)
The last thing I’ll mention is a detail I just noticed — most of the new loafers out there right now, at least from The Trifecta (Khaite, The Row, Toteme) (but also Emme Parsons) don’t contain a strap across the front tongue.
I got the Emme Parsons pair at the end of the summer and have noticed that they are surprisingly more wearable than the other loafer shapes I’ve had. It might be a perfect storm of how they fit the foot, engage with pants and skirts, and are finished.