Hilde Francq identifies four lifestyle trends in her trend report. Each trend is accompanied with specific colour palettes, textures and materials. These predictions do not take into consideration the effects of the pandemic. Do we fear being again surprised by bad news? Do we look forward in a positive way? How is this polarisation manifested in fashion trends, and therefore in the fashion of summer 2023

Francq’s four main trends are a reflection of our need to change everything from now: “More people are choosing a positive attitude that is diametrically opposite to the hard reality of another large group (and trend). They don’t see the world in a positive light and prefer the worst possible scenario. It can only get worse in this world. Between these poles lies a grey zone, in which two trends are at the center of our lives. These are counter-movements to the widespread digitalization of society that was accelerated by corona. People are seeking additional knowledge to help the world progress. We are also focused on our own needs and don’t forget about others.” According to the trend observer, “we are seeking satisfying, tactile experiences that elevate our lives.”

group of women in blue and pink traditional dresses

Positive attitude

Francq’s first observation is that there is a trend towards positivism. People who support this belief believe we don’t solve pressing issues by complaining and sawing. They make it seem like everything is possible, but the real problem is not hidden. There’s also room for humor. People want to enjoy the time they’ve left on this planet as pleasant as possible. Their world is bright, colorful, inclusive, and open-minded. Although it is not utopian or unrealistic, their world is better. This trend can be seen in the colorful collection that Iris Apfel, a centenarian, created for H&M 2022. Dior plays with this theme in SS22, and allows its male models to roam in a fairytale land in the same dreamy outfits. Balenciaga’s film with the Simpsons shows that luxury labels are well-aware of the importance of self-deprecation as well as humor.

A thorough knowledge

Francq predicts another trend with “Smart is the new coolanno 2023.” We didn’t travel, instead, we learned new things. Training videos were a big hit during the pandemic, and they are still not going away. Understanding production processes is key to our ability to intervene and find sustainable solutions. The creative process has been a trend for many seasons. This isn’t about DIY, but appreciation for craftsmanship. It also has an intellectual side. This is counter-reaction against technological innovations that not only make things easier, but also make it more difficult. The new celebrity is the person who can talk about their craft with great knowledge. This trend is being applied to fashion by Raw Colour, a Dutch design studio that produces textile prints that include climate statistics. Freitag’s “Sweat yourself Shop” plays on this trend: By making your own bag out of tarpaulins you can build a deeper and more lasting relationship with it. Functionality is the key. Belts and buckles play a major role in workwear, uniforms, and other casual wear. This trend is also supported by new materials like Bananatex.

The Hard Reality

This fourth and final trend is that people look at reality with all its negative aspects straight in the eyes so they are not overwhelmed by bad news. Francq states, “We view the world distantly and coldly, with both feet on ground,” in contrast to the beautiful images on social media. This style is futuristic and simple, much like Rick Owens’ dystopian designs. Mirrors are a common feature of this trend. They create an icy atmosphere, reflect reality and can be used to create an icy ambience. In Korea, Burberry opened “The Imagined Landscape Experience”, a huge palace of mirrors in November. Metallics, aluminum, and iridescent effects are all popular choices when it comes to textures and materials. Darker shades that are not as Instagrammable are also on the rise. Bottega Veneta’s withdrawal from social media this spring, in reaction to the homogeneous fashion images created there, is completely in line with this anti-Instagram attitude.

These trends will influence the selection of materials, textures, colours palettes, and combinations for the spring/summer collections in 2023.

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