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Fashion in 2023: The 18 Fashion Moments that Defined the Year

Some measure a year in time: time spent at work, away from work, in front of a screen, away from a screen. Others do so in milestones: a promotion, a new apartment, an addition to the family. At Vogue Runway, the year is measured in seasons—spring, fall, and everything in between—and in fashion moments.

Remember when Daniel Roseberry went viral for his faux taxidermy animaux at Schiaparelli in January, and then again in November for his guest starring appearance opposite North West in The Kardashians? Recall the Super Bowl halftime show? Don’t ask us who won, or who even played; we’re talking about the instant Rihanna revealed her second pregnancy wearing custom Loewe and Alaïa.

Speaking of big reveals, this was the year that Pharrell Williams took over Louis Vuitton men’s with a massive show on the Pont Neuf in Paris that he capped off with a performance where he was joined by Jay-Z. This was also the year of Beyoncé’s Renaissance and Taylor Swift’s Eras tours, and their many custom-made looks. In the absence of red carpets this summer, these tours offered brands the opportunity to remain visible, and us observers the joy of experiencing fashion at its boldest.

With dual American and British Vogue September covers and an Apple TV+ documentary, 2023 was also a big year for Linda, Christy, Naomi, and Cindy. The original Supers were once again dominating pop culture, though Linda Evangelista’s reemergence post-Coolsculpting debacle won the most hearts. On the topic of returns, welcome back, Phoebe Philo!

Ah, but as is the case in any year, 2023 bore witness to the end of a few eras, too, most significantly Sarah Burton’s at Alexander McQueen. The beloved designer left her post at the house she helped build after 26 years with one of the most touching fashion shows of recent times. Burton left quietly with no big interviews, her show being her one closing statement, but her exit started a conversation nonetheless. Why are most creative directors at luxury houses white men? That’s a question we’ll be digging into well into 2024.

Daniel Roseberry Breaks the Internet With Faux Taxidermy Animaux

The January couture’s other most talked-about show was Haider Ackermann’s turn as guest-designer at Jean Paul Gaultier. With its serpentine gowns and elegant, elongating tailoring, the collection was a spellbinding reminder of Ackermann’s talents. But there’s another reason why folks are still talking about it. The Internet is convinced that this is where Timothée Chalamet and Kylie Jenner first linked up. They’re a pairing as surprising as Ackermann and Gaultier, and arguably equally as transfixing.

Oh Baby! Rihanna Scores a Touchdown At the Super Bowl, Announces Her Second Pregnancy in Loewe and Alaïa

Has a designer’s early retirement and subsequent return ever received as much coverage as Phoebe Philo’s? The designer exited Céline in 2017, leaving her customer base without its sartorial oracle. What will people wear now? was the question everyone tried to answer in her absence, other designers included, and to say that a number of worthy alternatives did not emerge would be a disservice to them. In 2021, Philo announced she would return with an eponymous label. The first drop was finally unveiled in October of this year, and there was no critic who did anything other than praise it. How could they not? Philo offered a blueprint for her fans to return to form.

After almost four months without red carpets, Hunter Schafer and her new stylist Dara Allen resuscitated film premiere dressing on the press circuit for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes. Schafer has never played it sartorially safe, but she upped the ante with numbers like the painterly Schiaparelli fall 2023 couture look she wore in Berlin, the custom Prada set based on the fan-favorite spring 2009 show, and that Marni floral dress from Franceso Risso’s spring 2024 collection. These are not your usual red carpet looks, but the kind of straight-of-the-runways pieces that supers fans would choose for themselves. That Schafer and Allen are both trans women only adds to how special this moment is. We are so back—’tis a famine of beauty no more.

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