Our favourite runway shows of 2023

Our favourite runway shows of 2023

by Juliette Eleuterio
7 min

This is it, the last day of the year. 2023 brought us a lot – blokecore stayed strong, the bow took over our FYPs, Phoebe Philo *finally* made her comeback, Rihanna served at the Super Bowl halftime show, and a lot more, which you can read all about here. This year also gave us runway excellence, whether you’re still salivating over LOEWE’s giant buttons or still seeing videos of A$AP Rocky and Rihanna in matching pixelated Louis Vuitton fits. Because there was so much, we’ve compiled our favourite 2023 runway shows just for you to reminisce.

Pharrell’s Louis Vuitton debut

There was no show quite as anticipated this year (maybe ever) as Pharrell’s debut at Louis Vuitton. The French Maison had been without an Artistic Director after Virgil Abloh’s untimely passing. And then came Pharrell. Shutting down entire streets for his Paris-based show, the artist definitely made a grand impression with its long list of celebrity support and social inundations. Say what you want about the collection, but its cultural importance is indisputable.

An exquisite one at Maison Margiela

There’s no denying John Galliano’s controversial past, but there seems to be something working when the designer stays quiet, and focuses on designing instead. Maison Margiela’s Spring/Summer 2024 was the epitome of merging Galliano’s whimsical and theatrical aesthetics with house codes put in place by the mysterious Martin Margiela. And yes, we will be placing a bulk order on all pieces made for retail.

Elena Velez threw a mud pit fight we all wanted to join in on

Every once in a while, a small designer gets their name in everyone’s mouths thanks to a jaw dropping show. This year, that designer was Elena Velez. Taking New York Fashion Week on a whirlwind of a journey with her Spring/Summer 2024 collection, the Bushwick-based designer put on a show, with models stepping through mud before all taking part in a mud fight. It was a perfect juxtaposition of the beauty and the grimy, the elevated and the muddied, the controlled and the feral.

We think about Y/Project SS24 at least once a month 

Glenn Martens brought beauty to the brutalism for Y/Project’s SS24 show, applying his signature brand of utilitarian deconstruction to bomber jackets, two-tone indigo denim and baggy boots in a rag-tag display of cool. Later on, we saw ruched dresses dominate the display, which we’re still thinking about now. And how could we forget the “snakelace” which wrapped itself around its victim, perfectly embodying Martens’ elegant approach to experimentation that we just can’t get enough of? 

Kim Jones came around for FENDI

Kim Jones has had his fair share of criticism, both at FENDI and Dior Homme, though for (generally) different reasons. But Jones showed them how it’s done with FENDI’s SS24 show. It was a trip down memory lane, reminiscent of early, traditional runways in its most elegant sense. Jones showcased his true talents as a designer without hiding behind yet another collaboration, and rolled the dice of chance by giving us colours (it paid off, clearly). And honestly, those models were walking.

LOEWE never fails to impress

Hey Jonathan! You have done it again. Constantly raising the bar and doing it flawlessly. The LOEWE Spring/Summer 2024 show was a masterclass in silhouette, proportion and playfulness – bringing the Anthurium to the front and centre of the fashion game as well as showcasing the now iconic pixel jumper for the first time. We also saw immaculate draping, and house muse Taylor Russell open the show. 

Sarah Burton took her final bow at Alexander McQueen
Alexander McQueen ©

Perhaps one of the most sentimental shows this year (again, ever?), the ex Lee McQueen assistant Sarah Burton showed her final collection for the House, after 13 years of service. Naomi couldn’t hold back her tears, and neither could we. Burton, you will be missed but never forgotten.

Tolu Coker revived the schedule
Tolu Coker ©

Tolu Coker was my unexpected highlight of the season. Her show brought energy, detail and authenticity to the forefront of the schedule when it needed it the most. From the sharp, oversized collars to the thin organza of the last look, the collection had it all. And we want it all, too.

Schiaparelli gave a masterclass in couture
Schiaparelli ©

Schiaparelli *is* couture, darling. Despite all the noise surrounding Kylie Jenner wearing a lion head to sit front row at this show, it was the non PETA-panic-inducing looks that I keep referring back to. From the undulating mother of pearl exploded corsetry to the pops of vintage emerald stones amongst gold on another bodice, this collection is my Roman Empire.

Mugler or Anok?
Mugler ©

Love it or hate it, Anok Yai closing Mugler SS24 was the moment.

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