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This spring fashion season is driven by a mash-up of influences ranging from busy post-pandemic event schedules to a desire for denim.
This spring fashion season is driven by a mash-up of influences ranging from busy post-pandemic event schedules to a growing desire for denim.
“Tailoring, formal wear, dress shirts, going out dresses continues to perform well following the lock downs,” Richard Simons, vice president of buying at the Canadian retailer Simons, says. “There is a strong return to glamour, refinement, and chic elegance. Customers are searching for quality, durability and wearability, buying fewer items but buying smarter, this is the way to go.”
An overarching desire to see the world again — global tourism is expected to rise 30 per cent this year — is also playing into the top buying trends, according to Simons.
“Swimwear and sundresses have been outperforming as airports return to full-throttle mode,” Simons says.
When it comes to fit, Simons says, bigger is better this spring and summer.
“Gen Z customers at Simons are looking for more relaxed shapes,” he says. “The parachute pants are a must-have this season, including low waist jeans, wide-leg cargo jeans and Y2K anything is trending.”
And this desire for ’90s and 2000s nostalgia is a trend that plays particularly well for those who are shopping for secondhand styles, according to Courtney Watkins, founder and CEO of the Vancouver-based designer consignment boutique Mine & Yours.
“This season, I was surprised to see the trend of unfinished clothing making a comeback on the S/S 23 runways in Milan,” Watkins says. “The trend is finding perfection in imperfections and takes me back to that ’90s grunge cool-girl aesthetic with a more sophisticated twist.
The style, Watkins says, creates a sense of ‘effortlessness’ in one’s wardrobe.
When it coms to accessories, the fashion insider says that statement bags are having a major moment this spring, with sculptural elements leading the style pack.
“Sculptural bags have been seen everywhere for the season, from runways to social media,” Watkins says. “This trend excites me because I’ve seen firsthand how a statement bag can elevate any look.”
The pre-loved item pro recommends handbags as a perfect place to start for those who are looking for an entry point into secondhand styles.
“Many of our spring collection handbags get better with age,” Watkins says. “A majority of our clients actually only purchase Louis Vuitton bags secondhand because they prefer the look of the aged leather. Patina is the colour change of the leather on the trim and handles of the bags. This texture adds character to the bag as it ages and makes it a worthy and timeless investment.”
Continuing on the throwback theme, Simons says that vintage-inspired — or straight-up vintage — styles with a “western and boho-chic” theme will also be in demand this season, especially around festival time. A denim maxi skirt was singled out as a style MVP of the season by both fashion pros in the know.
“I’m also ecstatic about the comeback of the maxi length seen from multiple luxury brands in their spring-summer 2023 collections,” Watkins adds. “Mini skirts are still having a moment, but my personal preference is always full length.
“A good flowy maxi dress in your closet can replace your sweat suits and have you looking put together, while still maximizing comfort.”
While understated hues such as camel, grey and brown continue to be popular options, carry-over colours from the more muted tones of winter, Simons recommend embracing a more maximalist hue for those looking to get an early jump on what he says is sure to be one of the biggest colour stories of the season.
“If you really want to stay ahead, buy something red now,” Simons says. “Rihanna started the trend at the Super Bowl. And many luxe collections were showing it on the runways (recently) in Paris.”
The fashion pro says pastels will also be popping up as the season continues.
As for what’s driving the here-there-and-everywhere feel of the spring fashion trend, Simons points to a general desire for the unique; an eagerness for people to feel like they’re forging their own fashion path amid what appear to be increasingly turbulent times.
“I think it is about a sense of individuality,” Simons says. “When I began my career in buying, everyone wanted to dress the same. But today, with the power of social media, customers tend to go the opposite way.
“The global state of the world has such an influence on fashion choices.”
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