London Fashion Week’s AW23 collection has given Y2K fans trends to get excited about this summer. Sporting a mix of colourful cobalt blue, ’90s-inspired patterns and an echo of 70’s Britain, this year’s big four have come together to pay homage to fashion history.
From Burberry designer Daniel Lee’s punky catwalk to JW Anderson’s counter-culture nostalgia, it’s clear that 2023 fashion trends are going back in time.
Let’s delve into 2023’s homage to hometown style and reveal the fashion designers offering us a slice of nostalgia with their SS23 collection.
Paying Homage to Hometowns during AW23
London Fashion Week’s AW23 collection was all about paying homage to hometowns. In February 2023, we saw designers come together to celebrate their roots and present sentimental style.
Irish nostalgia stuck out in particular, especially as the country undergoes a huge cultural movement in the fashion and film industry. As Irish actors Barry Keoghan and Paul Mescal won big at the 2023 BAFTAs, Irish designers Robyn Lynch and Sinead O’Dwyer saw success on the runway.
Opening February’s London Fashion Week this year, O’Dwyer aimed to transport viewers back to 1940s Ireland in the most inclusive show of the season. Presenting a collection inspired by her grandmother, each contemporary piece worn by models of all shapes, sizes and abilities conveyed Sinead’s nostalgia as she reminisced about growing up in the sleepy Irish town of Tullymore.
Let’s not forget Irish menswear designer Robyn Lynch, who also used his platform to delve into Irish culture. Combining the inspiration of Irish landscapes and the colour green with contemporary oversized hoodies and technicolour tracksuit sets, he injected an element of sportiness into his designs, turning nostalgia into something modern.
As the runways heat up for SS23 collections, both Irish-inspired design and nostalgic trends are tipped to dominate the next London Fashion Week. Let’s meet some of the designers already championing nostalgic fashion on the back of the AW23 show.
Meet the Designers Championing Nostalgia on the Runway
London Fashion Week’s AW23 runway saw nostalgia take centre stage. As we saw designers throw back their collections to Y2K inspirations, it’s no surprise that this summer, we’re expected to see the streets flooded with vintage style.
Don’t believe us? Here are some of the designers already championing nostalgic fashion in 2023.
As a key player in the luxury fashion industry, Burberry knows how to start a trend. Leaning into nostalgia during the AW23 London Fashion Week, Burberry’s punk-inspired collection echoed the streets of 60/70’s Britain.
“I want fashion to be fun again like it was in the 1960s,” said designer Daniel Lee. “You couldn’t wait to get the clothes and put them on, and I think we’ve lost that.”
The traditional Burberry Nova check was still centre stage, but this time it was seen on oversized outwear timeless turtlenecks, and the reimagination of the classic British duck trapper crocheted hat.
Lee’s adaption of Burberry can only be described as edgy and youthful. His reimagination of what has become a high fashion heritage label paid homage to nostalgia while shining a light for the future.
JW Anderson has also become a designer to watch for nostalgia lovers. During London Fashion Week AW23, this designer paid homage to nostalgia in a radically rebellious approach.
“British fashion needs to step up and say something at a moment when the country is in a paralysis,” Says Anderson. “We can’t hide behind history and heritage. I believe in a creative future for this country, but it is going to require a lot of heavy lifting.”
In an ode to fanboys and fangirls, JW Anderson presented a giant penis-covered billboard at his roundhouse runway, also releasing garments that riffed on brands like Coca-Cola and Tesco. This playful collection paid homage to ‘fandom nostalgia’ aiming to start conversations about gender and rebellion against governing powers.
“I wanted something which was about how you kind of reconcile the past and how you deal with what you have done,” said Anderson in a recent interview with Vogue.
Coming in with one of the most entertaining clothing collections at London Fashion Week was New York designer Conner Ives. Debuting his ‘Fashion Mania’ collection he created a runways of dreams for Y2K lovers.
Each runway look was inspired by a pop culture moment from the 90s-early-’00s, referencing moments from Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1999 film Magnolia, The Parent Trap and even iconic looks from 00’s sensation Kate Moss.
Better still, Conner’s collection embraced sustainable fashion trends and natural style. From frames to frills, his climate-friendly clothing collection aimed to pay homage to his childhood nostalgia while offering a beacon of hope for a more sustainable future.
Runway predictions for AW24
While nostalgia may have shaped the runway so far in 2023, the theme of sustainability and timeless elegance could be in store for 2024.
As vintage fashion trends move forward, the emergence of ‘upcycling’ could influence high fashion houses to reuse past designs and reimage iconic collections.