TOP 10 fashion phenomena of 2023

TOP 10 fashion phenomena of 2023

designboom rounds up the top 10 fashion phenomena of 2023

 

Looking back at 2023, we can’t help but remember how Adobe stunned the world with its shapeshifting Project Primrose dress; how MSCHF’s big red boots brought the cartoon world to shoewear; how the GANNI x Modern Synthesis Bou Bag made headlines with its sleek bacteria textile; and how Balena elevated its circular economy game with biodegradable sandals. Combined, these new material explorations and technologies have shifted the currents in fashion design, bringing our attention closer to what style and attires can do for the world — beyond the runway and beyond the closet. Check out our TOP 10 picks spotlighting this year’s most innovative fashion phenomena that swooped in and shook up the status quo. 

 

 

 

USING CAMERA DETECTORS, YING GAO EXPLORES ROBOTIC CLOTHING AS AMBIGUOUS LIVING PORTRAITS

TOP 10 fashion phenomena of 2023
image © Maude Arsenault

 

 

Montreal-based fashion designer and professor Ying Gao returns with her latest mind-bending robotic clothing collection, this time exploring photographic ambiguity, blurred identities, and the public gaze. Titled In camera, the project features two pieces of garments equipped with camera lens detectors that come alive when a person photographs them. Nodding to British figurative artist Francis Bacon’s portraits, paintings created from photographs, these garments evoke hybrid and provisional entities. Their ambivalence is at the heart of the work whose name says it all: both private, behind closed doors (the literal translation of ‘In camera’), and public since they depend on the gaze of the viewer/photographer. The result is a pair of living portraits that echo the faces of strangers, partially hidden behind their phones or cameras, merging in a gallery of blurred identities that are both distinct and similar.

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TAKE STYLE CUES FROM ASTROBOY WITH MSCHF’S ‘BIG RED BOOTS’

TOP 10 fashion phenomena of 2023
images © Garrett Bruce

 

 

New York-based art collective MSCHF is back with another outlandish shoe, the Big Red Boot, this time blending high fashion with the cartoon world. The release shows on-the-nose influence from animated icons like Astroboy and Dora the Explorer’s best friend, Boots. Despite their comically over-inflated size, the boots are designed to be worn with comfort, with a rubber TPU shell and an EVA sole, on which the MSCHF logo is subtly stamped. To celebrate the launch, the design team takes to the streets of New York to capture the outrageous footwear in action. The team writes: ‘You never design shoes to be shaped like feet. Big Red Boots are REALLY not shaped like feet, but they are EXTREMELY shaped like boots.’

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MODERN SYNTHESIS X GANNI BOU BAG UNVEILS LEATHER-ALTERNATIVE, BACTERIA TEXTILE AT LDF 2023

TOP 10 fashion phenomena of 2023
images courtesy of Modern Synthesis and GANNI

 

 

Modern Synthesis, a biotechnology company founded by ex-Adidas designer Jen Keane and synthetic biologist Dr. Ben Reeve, has partnered with Ganni to reimagine the latter’s staple Bou Bag in a new leather-alternative, lower-impact textile made by bacteria. The one-of-a-kind handbag, unveiled at the London Design Festival 2023, showcases the natural beauty and versatility of new innovative bacterial nanocellulose materials, brought to life in the Dutch fashion brand’s signature hexagonal silhouette. The companies are jointly working to make this bag commercially available by early 2025.

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BALENA’S THERMOPLASTIC-INFUSED BIODEGRADABLE SANDALS DECOMPOSE BACK TO EARTH

TOP 10 fashion phenomena of 2023
images courtesy of Balena

 

 

Balena plays the circular economy game. Rather than betting on companies who deem themselves as sustainable-products churners, it forges its own path by producing soft compostable sandals ‘BioCir Slides’ made from flexible biodegradable thermoplastic and mixed with the recycled waste of the fashion industry. Balena relies on science and research and has developed its in-house system BioCir, driven by compostable and biodegradable thermoplastic materials including natural and easily scalable biodegradable polymers. When the compostable sandals reach their end life, they fully decompose and return to the ground, turning into crumbles that fertilize the earth.

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YUME YUME X MYCOWORKS DEBUT HEAD-TO-TOE OUTFIT MADE OF MYCELIUM LEATHER

TOP 10 fashion phenomena of 2023
image © YUME YUME

 

 

YUME YUME, the Amsterdam-based brand renowned for its bold, functional designs, unveils a head-to-toe look made from Reishi™, a revolutionary leather alternative developed by Biotech company Mycoworks using Fine Mycelium™. Showcasing at Amsterdam’s Buro Stedelijk, this unique collection unfolds as a multi-sensory celebration of the fascinating world of mycelium, all while demonstrating the brand’s pivotal shift towards learning from the natural world that responds to the needs and uses of our time. As YUME YUME founder, Eva Korsten, tells designboom: ‘This is the future of materials, it’s so fascinating what kind of intelligent living system it is. I feel there’s a shift happening in the fashion industry’s mindset. Making design pieces entirely with Reishi™ shows that a different future in fashion is possible.’

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WASHABLE 3D-PRINTED SHOES BY ZELLERFELD CAN BE BROKEN DOWN AND REMADE AGAIN

TOP 10 fashion phenomena of 2023
image courtesy Zellerfeld

 

 

Shoe company Zellerfeld wants to democratize sneaker-making. In fact, it tailors all of its 3D-printed shoes based on the user’s fashion tastes and feet size. The thermoplastic material it uses for the shoes allows Zellerfeld to produce spongy and recyclable footwear. When the user is over their Zellerfeld kicks, they can just give them back to the company. Zellerfeld then will break the shoes down and remake them from the same filament that sews the shoes. The neon shades of Zellerfeld’s 3D-printed shoes immediately capture attention. From vibrant orange to saturated red, the colors give a confident impression from the get-go. The design follows through with the recyclable footwear’s futuristic style: bulging dots, crocodile skins, swing-style loafers, and boat-shaped smiles. The closed-toes shoes vary in designs too, and those who prefer boots-like or office sneakers can find their own pair from Zellerfeld’s collection.

 

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MEET PROJECT PRIMROSE, ADOBE’S REAL-LIFE INTERACTIVE DRESS THAT CHANGES DESIGN EVERY SECOND

adobe-project-primrose-interactive-dress-change-design-designboom-1800

video stills by Adobe Creative Cloud via Youtube

 

Adobe premiered Project Primrose, an animated, shapeshifting, and interactive dress that can change its design and style almost every second at the Adobe MAX 2023: Sneaks presentation in Los Angeles on October 10th. Christine Dierk led the unveiling where she shocked the audience as at a click of a button her interactive dress covered in scales began to shift its patterns almost continuously and at her command. Later on, as seen in the video, she tells the viewers that they can also just leave the created designs animated and that the outfit can even detect the movement of the wearer, making the design sway and slosh in the direction the wearer goes. Project Primrose’s premise is to make a wearable, adaptable, and flexible dress made with non-emissive textiles where content creators and designers can flash their designs and creations onto the interactive dress as if it were their canvas.

 

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TIGER SUMMER PUFFER JACKET USES COLD BEER TO COOL DOWN BODY TEMPERATURE

TOP 10 fashion phenomena of 2023
images courtesy of Tiger Beer

 

 

Heatwave loses as Tiger Beer and fashion designer Izzy Du create the first summer puffer jacket that keeps the body temperature cool, lowering it by up to five degrees Celsius using cold beer cans. Viewers can try the wearable technology firsthand in Paris at Izzy Du’s pop-up on 127 rue de Turenne between October 1st and 3rd, 2023 and during Paris Fashion Week 2023. The fashionable summer puffer jacket has a network of tubes filled with water which is pumped around the wearer’s body. These tubes make contact with key points where the arteries are closest to the skin. As soon as the wearer puts ice-cold cans in the beer pockets, the canisters transmit their temperature to the network of tubes to chill the water, thus cooling down the body temperature before sweat begins to form. Wearing a puffer jacket in the summer might attract attention from onlookers, but donning it is no longer just for fashion. In the case of Tiger Beer and Izzy Du, it means protecting the wearer’s health from suffering extreme heat.

 

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CHAMPION’S BIODEGRADABLE SWEATSHIRTS AND JOGGERS DECOMPOSE OVER TIME

TOP 10 fashion phenomena of 2023
image © Champion

 

 

Good things may come to an end, and that’s definitely the case for Champion’s new biodegradable sweatshirt and joggers designed to decompose over time. The Eco Future Reverse Weave collection has an expiration date. It doesn’t mean to last long; it is meant to be worn repeatedly until its materials break down from having been worn so often. Champion’s Eco Future Reverse Weave is crafted with CiCLO, an in-house, eco-friendly technology designed to speed up the natural breakdown of materials used to produce the sweatshirts and joggers.

 

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STONE ISLAND’S THERMAL-REACTIVE ICE JACKET SLOWLY CHANGES COLOR FROM HOT PINK TO COLD WHITE

stone-island-ice-jacket-thermal-reactive-polyurethane-pigments-designboom-1800

image courtesy of Stone Island

 

For its AW24 collection, Stone Island unveils its thermal-reactive Poly Strata Ice Jacket which changes color from pink to stucco white when it gets exposed to heat or cold. The heat-sensitive garment was first introduced by Stone Island in 1989, and today, its Poly Strata Ice Jacket gets an upgrade as the brand infuses reactive pigments micro-encapsulated into the double layer of polyurethane. When the thermal-reactive Poly Strata Ice Jacket moves from a hot to a cold area, the design brings up a mix between the pink and stucco white shades, creating patches that resemble thermography scans.

 

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see designboom’s TOP 10 stories archive:

 

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2020 2019 —  2018 — 2017 — 2016 — 2015 — 2014 — 2013

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