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Off-White SS23

PFWSS23: Givenchy, Loewe, Balenciaga, and More

Pearl Fontaine

3 October 2022

As we speak, brands in Paris are presenting their collections for Spring/Summer 2023. Here, we’re sharing the debuts from Off-White, Loewe, Balenciaga, Givenchy, and Shang Xia.

Pushing the boundaries of conventional fashion (as we’ve grown to expect from the brand founded by the late, visionary Virgil Abloh), Off-White’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection was titled “CELEBRATION.” It signified the new beginning faced by the house under the direction of Ibrahim Kamara and the boundless possibilities that await it, while honoring Abloh’s 42nd birthday, which fell just after the runway presentation. The hue “IMPOSSIBLE BLUE” (a blue so vibrant it almost becomes warm) was an important motif, first found in a film installation by the director Stephen Isaac Wilson, and in the costumes of its performers. Many of the looks that followed were imagined in the color, accompanied by black, white, and shades of denim, making up a collection with a riveting sci-fi allure. A delicate balance of contrasts, cut-outs, and imagination proposed new shapes and rendered archetypal styles anew—like a suit in blue with embroidery detailing a female figure on its torso, pieces with skeletal X-Ray graphics, extra-terrestrial headwear, and leather jackets with detachable bags sewn into their form.

Loewe SS23

Courtesy of Loewe.

The precision of form, taking notes from nature, was the most memorable aspect of Loewe’s debuts for the Spring/Summer 2023 season. At the center of the runway was an enormous red Anthurium bloom, its peculiar shape standing like a beacon behind looks in springtime hues, bright florals, and exciting shapes. Miniature hems were shorter than ever, seen on a suite of dresses with a structured baby doll silhouette, coats that flared at the hems, and tiny brief-style shorts. Sculpture-like silhouettes appeared in the form of dresses with squared hips, unusual knits that engulfed the wearer like padded protective shields, and a series of looks that took the Anthurium form quite literally, with glossy iterations of its singular petal making up the bodice of dresses or details on handbags. We also saw tromp l’oeil graphics that looked like the pixelated clothing of video game characters, moplike footwear that appeared to be made from deflated balloons, and pieces made from drapery artfully frozen as though they were hung from invisible strings.

Balenciaga SS23

Courtesy of Balenciaga.

A dark, earthen terrain with a muddy path laid the way for Balenciaga’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection. “The set of this show is a metaphor for digging for the truth and being down to earth,” said Creative Director Demna. “Let us let everyone be anyone and make love not war.”Demna’s collection notes detailed the courage and persistence it takes for one to become who they really are—and that unapologetic sense of “other” is one that permeated the designs. Deep moody colors were accented by neons and bright whites, making up looks for men and women, which pulled from influences across the board. There were oversized outerwear styles with biker notions and roomy tailoring shapes; slouchy trousers with pleats juxtaposed with leather corsets or paired effortlessly with tees and sneakers; leather garments covered in handbag straps and hardware. The accessories weren’t to be forgotten—like oversized leather totes with holes merging into leather gloves for the wearer’s arm, boa-like fuzzy coils that looked like toy snakes worn around the neck, stuffed animals with chain accessories fashioned into purses. Some models were even seen carrying an infant strapped to their chest with branded baby carriers.

Givenchy SS23

Courtesy of Givenchy.

Unveiled within the Jardin des Plantes, Givenchy posed an intermingling of cosmopolitan dress from France and America—an effort of cross-pollination much like the graftage of the historic gardens, which have housed the work of great botanists dating back to the 17th century. Through the gaze of the chic Parisian wardrobe and the effortlessly cool style attributed to Los Angeles, the maison’s own archetypes were reimagined for the Spring/Summer 2023 season. The resulting high-low attitude saw new takes on the iconic Givenchy black dress (like one with sleeves that morphed into zipped opera gloves), long skirts paired with tiny bra tops, cargo styles pitted against butterfly chiffons, denim-on-denim looks, and satin trousers with pieces like cropped hoodies and military-informed jackets. Looks were styled with takes on a leather lace-up shoe (including a short heel and a knee-high boot), pointed-toe Mary Janes, Re-editioned bags with ample hardware, and pearl and shiny resin jewelry.

Shang Xia SS23

Shang Xia romanticized contemporary notions of Chinese style, executed in watercolor pastels, ergonomic silhouettes, and toying with ideas of symmetry. There were clean and simple styles like shifts, boxy button-up shirts, smock dresses, and loose tailoring. These garments were seen layered with one another, pairing blouses over comfortable shorts that poked out from underneath or styled on their own, letting hues and details do the talking. A few of our favorite looks included a white shift silhouette with laser-cut floral details with a clutch and chunky platform boots in lavender, a take on a sweetheart neckline seen on a dress with an asymmetric skirt in black and pink, and a shirt-and-pants pairing in easter hues that featured statement buttons at the neck and a flowery detail poking out of the front pocket reminding us of pipe cleaner crafts.

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THE SPRING ARTIST ISSUE
2023

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Go inside the worlds
of Art, Fashion, Design,
and Lifestyle.