The buzzword from the fall/winter 2023 collections was "wearability" as brands showcased clothes meant to be worn and lived in, and items as simple as tank tops and hoodies got the designer treatment. In large part, the pendulum swung even further in that direction during fashion month for the spring/summer 2024 season, as designers focused on clothes that reflect our modern lives and what women actually want to wear. This time around, the pieces felt a bit more grown up and a bit more elevated, albeit just as essential. Yes, designers are thinking about what will sell, but they are also considering what is truly worthy of a spot in our closets.
We're seeing this unfold in a few ways. First, designers are taking the current leading trends to a new place. The fiery red dominating for fall was replaced with a more accessible shade of oxblood. Sheer outfits veered away from the "naked" aesthetic and took a modest, approachable direction. We also saw this play out with looks that are built around where our real-life days take us and how we're dressing for them. Traditional clothing shapes were tweaked with cool, modern updates, while big, overstuffed bags echo the realities of busy days.
This doesn't mean that directional trends for the adventurous dresser weren't present, though. Hot pants were at the center of the co-ord sets that are all but guaranteed to take over for spring. Styling on the runways also reimagined how to get dressed with unexpected pairings—a study in inventive ways to wear all of the pieces we've collected over the years.
Ahead, read more about the 10 key trends that are set to define the spring/summer 2024 runway collections.
Photo:Versace/Launchmetrics; Valentino/Launchmetrics; Saint Laurent; Miu Miu; Hermès/Launchmetrics; Gucci; Ganni/Launchmetrics; Bottega Veneta; Tom Ford
Bold, fiery red is the color that defined the fall/winter 2023 runway shows, and we're already seeing that play out in what the style set is wearing this season. Looking ahead to spring 2024, rich black cherry is how red evolved on the runways. For Sabato De Sarno's debut collection at Gucci, the creative director notably made Gucci Rosso a color central to both the runway looks and new branding for the fashion house. It was spotted on trams running through Milan, on Instagram posts, and on billboards. The deep shade of oxblood didn't stop there. At Versace, Valentino, Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, and Hermès—to name a few—the color took up significant real estate on the runway. Early adopters are already adding burgundy pieces to their wardrobes now, but we're predicting the color will dominate in an even bigger way next year.
Photo:Altuzarra; Brandon Maxwell; Ulla Johnson/Launchmetrics Spotlight; 16Arlington; Khaite/Launchmetrics Spotlight; Valentino/Launchmetrics Spotlight; Louis Vuitton; Chloé/Launchmetrics Spotlight; Bottega Veneta/Launchmetrics Spotlight
There's been a lot of chatter surrounding eras in fashion over the last few years. We're cumulatively in our minimalist era, our oversize era, and—on TikTok at least—our siren era. Although it's easier than daring to test the waters with a variety of different styles, brands, and trends, dressing inside of a bubble is kind of the opposite of everything we've ever loved fashion and clothes for. From what we saw on the runways this season, designers are starting to agree. Rather than developing a collection based on one through-line aesthetic, creative directors were creating pieces that felt true to the modern-day experience, crafting a wardrobe that women would actually want to wear. Skirts and dresses that stem from traditionally feminine and romantic forms had just the right amount of edge, representing our real-life experiences and messiness and showcasing the do-it-all nature of our everyday lives. Simply put, spring 2024 is all about clothes that are made just for us.
Photo:Alexander McQueen; Gucci; Ferragamo; Tom Ford; Isabel Marant; Bally/Launchmetrics Spotlight; Max Mara/Launchmetrics Spotlight; Prada/Launchmetrics Spotlight; Carolina Herrera
Last season, hot pants rocked fashion's boat—hard. Miu Miu's beaded short shorts, modeled by none other than Emma Corrin, and cashmere undies styled alongside classic gray hoodies made us all rethink our ability to style teeny-tiny bottoms. This time around, designers such as Peter Hawkings for Tom Ford, De Sarno for Gucci, and Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons for Prada are taking the look a step further by adding a matching aspect, making a case for ditching standard-issue suits and cozy sets and replacing the pants with bottoms that show off a little—or a lot—more leg.
Photo:Givenchy; Brandon Maxwell; Prada/Launchmetrics; Proenza Schouler/Launchmetrics; Ferragamo; Peter Do; Carven/Lauchmetrics; Altuzarra; 16Arlington
For years, we've seen the rise of naked fashion, which culminated in gauzy see-through looks that left little to the imagination everywhere from the runways to the red carpet. The momentum for sheer pieces isn't slowing down, but we are seeing a shift in how the items are being styled—now in decidedly more modest ways. At Altuzarra and Carven, sheer pencil skirts were paired with crew-neck knits and pointed mules. At 16Arlington, skirts designed from blurred paillettes were topped off with crisp-white poplin shirts. At Prada, shift dresses made from delicate organza in a range of pastels seemed to float across the runway. They were lined, though, so they only imparted the illusion of sheerness. What each of these looks showcases is a new age of sheer that is more approachable and more wearable than the completely bare looks that permeated the last several seasons.
Photo:16Arlington; Chanel; Wales Bonner/Launchmetrics Spotlight; Gucci; Loewe; Tory Burch; Miu Miu; Ferragamo; Prada/Launchmetrics Spotlight
Just like in relationships, the best, most looked-up-to outfits are the ones that aren't an obvious match. Instead, they work because they feature the perfect level of contrast. This is something that the designers at Prada, Wales Bonner, Tory Burch, Chanel, and more recognized and placed center stage in their spring/summer 2024 shows. At Prada, Simons and Prada paired delicate slip skirts, kitten heels, and dainty collars with utilitarian wax coats, and at Ferragamo, Maximilian Davis played with the contrast of sexy, Matrix-esque patent-leather boots and a billowy, ivory-colored trench coat. Track shorts were donned with blazers and structured jackets while jersey separates were paired alongside sequin tops and sleek pencil skirts. In fashion, opposites really do attract.
Photo:Sandy Liang; JW Anderson; Rokh/Launchmetrics Spotlight; Bottega Veneta; Brandon Maxwell; Jil Sander; Meryll Rogge; Proenza Schouler/Launchmetrics Spotlight; Fendi
After Matthieu Blazy sent a model wearing a soft-yellow slip with a navy sweater tied effortlessly around her waist down the runway at his debut F/W 22 show for Bottega Veneta, everyone in fashion knew immediately that the styling trick would be a thing. Then Kendall Jenner wore the exact look to the US Open, and the rest was history. Ever since, we've been tying our knits in every which way—around our necks, waists, and more. Anything but the way they were actually intended to be worn. Now, for spring 2024, a new evolution for the hack has arrived, and it involves pieces that take the work and creative effort out of styling your sweaters like a cool girl. This time around, the knots are built in. From halter dresses at Proenza Schouler that come attached with tied-up sleeves across the chest to chunky, ribbed sweaters at Bottega Veneta with sleeves that are designed to be tied and not worn, one thing's been made abundantly clear this season: Every outfit is made better with a knot in it.
Photo:Bottega Veneta; Victoria Beckham/Launchmetrics; Miu Miu; Balenciaga; Hermès/Launchmetrics; Vivienne Westwood; Ludovic de Saint Sernin/Launchmetrics
Runway shows reflect the world around us in many ways, and designers took that to another level this season. Handbags, of all places, seemed to be a commentary on our busy modern lives and everything we're quite literally juggling throughout the day. At Bottega Veneta, XXL totes were packed with newspapers, blue jeans, and button-down shirts that were nearly falling out. Models similarly lugged overstuffed handbags down the Miu Miu runway with high heels and a change of clothes spilling from inside. Immediately following the show, Instagram was flooded with posts from those who identified with the reality of packed-to-the-brim bags and the on-the-go lives they mirror. The bags instantly conjure images of celebs such as Jane Birkin and Ashley Olsen whose lived-in Hermès bags were worn-in, beat up, and stuffed with everything possible from wired headphones to used paperback books. The bags are a far cry from the micro-mini bags that took over in years past that couldn't even fit an iPhone inside. These are instead pieces designed for the lives of the people wearing them and the places they are going. The bags are often ludicrously capacious, but that actually makes a lot of sense considering everything that needs to fit inside.
Photo:Alexander McQueen; Khaite/Launchmentrics Spotlight; Burberry/Launchmentrics Spotlight; The Attico/Launchmentrics Spotlight; Loewe; Bottega Veneta; Gucci/Launchmentrics Spotlight; Ferragamo; Prada/Launchmentrics Spotlight
Fringe always shows its billowy, festive face in some form or another during fashion month, but this season's offering, which was both more substantial than usual and more interesting, felt miles ahead in terms of style and oomph. At Prada, fringe- and hardware-embellished belts were worn with tailored short-shorts co-ords and utilitarian wax jackets. At Khaite, oversize leather jackets accompanied flowing maxi-length fringe dresses that appeared dark in mood but light in feel. At De Sarno's debut show for Gucci, simple white tanks helped to make silver-and-oxblood fringe midis seem surprisingly casual.
Photo:Tory Burch; Max Mara/Launchmetrics; Altuzarra; Tove; 16Arlington; Givenchy; Dries Van Noten; Jil Sander; Khaite
Unsurprisingly, coats are always central to the fall/winter collections, but when they are just as prevalent in the spring/summer collections, it makes us stop and take notice. That is exactly what happened during the spring/summer 2024 season as designer after designer sent models onto the runway in beautiful outerwear. Tory Burch's oyster-pearl satin car coat was reminiscent of an iconic style Gwyneth Paltrow wore in the '90s. Other brands, including Max Mara, Givenchy, and Altuzarra, made the case for luxe, structured satin coats worthy of a black-tie event. Making a further argument for opulent coats, brands such as Khaite, Dries Van Noten, and Jil Sander styled outerwear pieces on their own or completely covering up what is underneath. The message was clear: Rather than merely serving as a piece to throw on over a meticulously styled outfit, great outerwear is the focal point.
Photo:Alaïa/Launchmetrics Spotlight; Chloé/Launchmetrics Spotlight; Gucci; Bevza/Launchmetrics Spotlight; Altuzarra; Brandon Maxwell; Tom Ford; Khaite/Launchmetrics Spotlight; Phillip Lim
Usually, when we talk about accessories that can make or break an outfit, they're big earrings, a statement bag, or some Carrie Bradshaw–level footwear, be they on-trend ballet flats or worth-the-pain pumps. Not quite so often are belts involved in the discourse, but after a few seasons of rising popularity, spring 2024 proved itself to be the zenith of fashion's belt campaign. Brands like Brandon Maxwell, Khaite, Alaïa, and more featured eye-catching waist fasteners that, despite ultimately being a practical wardrobe item, were also the focal point of the outfits they were paired with. Our take? Go simple with your clothing. After all, if you splurge on a stellar belt or two, it won't matter what you wear it with.