The Spring 2023 Runway Moments That Will Define Cool Style This Season

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(Image credit: Bottega Veneta; 16Arlington; Miu Miu; The Row; Prada)

Ready to dive in to the next batch of looks that are about to define the coming year? While there are a number of broader trends happening, I'm actually pinpointing a number of specific looks from the S/S 23 runways that I think are the ultimate source of cool style this year.

You see, each season, we look to the runways to determine the overarching trends, but if you really think about it, we can trace the defining elements of each back to a handful of specific looks, whether it was an article of clothing, a novel styling trick, a color combination, or an overall mood.

If you want to know what the fashion set will be adopting, re-creating, and iterating on in no time, I suggest you start with these eight runway moments. Consider this your crash course in spring 2023 fashion. When we first saw them during fashion month last fall, they were the images that blew up group chats and social media feeds, and now that many of these pieces are hitting the market, I can state with conviction that these looks will set the tone—and in a few cases, they already have. Kendall Jenner going pants-less in a Bottega Veneta runway outfit, for one.

From the Miu Miu look that's bringing back the pencil skirt to the rising pants-less trend that Bottega Veneta is pioneering and the '90s tube dresses worth adopting from 16Arlington, continue on the discover the eight popular spring 2023 runway moments to know about before they blow up IRL.

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(Image credit: Saint Laurent)

Key elements: Duster coats, maxi dresses, '80s earrings

My fellow editors and I could talk about the effortless glamour of Saint Laurent's entire spring runway for hours on end. While the collection is masterful in its entirety, there were a number of looks that iterated on the same styling combination that featured long duster coats atop slinky maxi dresses in the same color. Look 26 is one such example, which was done in a rich chocolate brown and accessorized with bold '80s-style earrings and cuff bracelets. The genius lies in its simplicity—the combination of maxi coat and maxi dress is one that can easily be re-created with pieces in your own closet, a surefire sign that we'll see it repeated all over the place this season.

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(Image credit: Miu Miu)

Key elements: Pencil skirts, visible underwear

For the past few seasons, hemlines have inhabited the far extremes of floor-grazing maxis and microscopic minis, the latter of which is no doubt Miu Miu's own influence. But spring 2023 is bringing with it the rise of the knee-length skirt, a hemline that hasn't been deemed "cool" or "trendy" for as long as I can remember. Take note of the way Bella Hadid's pencil skirt sits low on her hips to reveal a pair of logo underwear—a styling choice with the potential to be the next "viral" moment.

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(Image credit: 16Arlington)

Key elements: Tube dresses, icy pastel hues

With all the risqué cuts and Y2K influences at play, 16Arlington's strapless dress is proof that the simplicity of '90s fashion is still having as strong an effect as ever. The tube dress from look three stands out—it's a silhouette we also saw at The Row, Prada, and Khaite—but this version's pretty satin finish and icy blueish-purple hue feel especially fresh.

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(Image credit: Bottega Veneta)

Key elements: Layered sweaters, sheer tights, point-toe heels

Whether or not you know it, you've already seen look 17 from Matthieu Blazy's sophomore collection for Bottega Veneta. It's hardly complicated, just a crew-neck sweater, black tights, and pumps, save for the decision to style the tights as the pants. Kendall Jenner brought the risky look to the mainstream when she stepped out to run errands in L.A. in a version of the same outfit—no pants, just tights—and it sent the fashion world into a tizzy. No matter your thoughts on the pants-less trend, there's no denying the mega impact it's already having.

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(Image credit: Prada)

Key elements: Floral embellishments

Florals that may actually break some ground? Prada has entered the chat. In its S/S 23 collection, pretty 3D floral embellishments adorned tote bags and dresses. Prada wasn't alone, as the pretty details were a common theme in many collections, but for such a niche trend like this, we were surprised to see it take off as much as it did. Ever since fashion month last fall, rosettes have gained major steam with many shoppable options available now.

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(Image credit: Tory Burch)

Key elements: Color-blocking, capri-length leggings

A degree of color-blocking is commonplace on the runways, no matter the season or the year. That being said, the shade mixing that debuted over the last month was anything but stale. Among other designers this season, Tory Burch somehow managed to make a known commodity like color-blocking feel contemporary by combining monochrome ready-to-wear with mismatched bags, shoes, and accessories in shades of blue, orange, and green.

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(Image credit: Mirror Palais)

Key elements: Sheer fabrics, visible lingerie

For its debut runway, fashion insider–favorite label Mirror Palais staged a show in a Catholic church in which sheer fabrics and miniature hemlines were prominent. The contrast of the space and the clothes made the moment even more intriguing but the one look that sticks out the most is a sheer white number styled with minimal lingerie underneath. Already, celebs including Hailey Bieber, who recently wore another of the designer's dresses on her Instagram, have already adopted the "naked" look. Risky? yes. But impactful? Most definitely.

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(Image credit: The Row)

Key elements: Floor-length tailoring

The Row basically invented "quiet luxury," and this season was only a continuation of its impeccable tailoring, especially when it came to the outerwear. Duster coats featured prominently, and considering that the staple is a signature of designers Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's covetable personal style, they're finally offering us a taste of their own wardrobe. 

Next up: 6 Shoe Trends That Are Going to Be Major News in 2023

Editor

Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.