Street Style’s Most Popular Piece for Spring 2023 Is Delightfully (and Refreshingly!) Grown Up
Survey recent street style trends, and you’ll come across: Those viral, cartoonish red booties by Mschf that look better suited to Super Mario than Manhattanites; Miu Miu’s miniskirts so micro, you need a scope to spot them; and an oversized belt by Diesel which could technically be worn as a skirt. The common thread? While eye-catching, none of these trends are relatively wearable to those who prioritize timelessness over hype. To insert myself into the narrative, I, personally, don’t really want to wear any of them.
Fast forward to February of 2023, and behold—a Prada dress (to be more specific, a collection of dresses and separates) took street style by storm. There it was on Rickie De Sole, Nordstrom’s Women’s Designer Fashion & Editorial Director, walking about Milan. She opted for the lavender-hued skirt paired with knee-high boots and a black button-up. Later that week, influencer Jenny Walton wore the dress version in a tangerine color that’s sprayed with lilies of the valley to attend Prada’s fall 2023 show. Earlier in the season in New York, Vogue.com’s executive fashion and beauty director, Lisa Aiken was spotted in the magenta-colored skirt on her way to sit front row. And even outside of the fashion week circuit, Moda Operandi founder Lauren Santo Domingo wore the green dress (adorned with tulips) to a benefit. For me, a lover of polished, pretty clothing who likes to partake in fashion without appearing as fashion road kill, here was a trend that felt decidedly grown-up, sophisticated, and incredibly wearable.
Looking at retailer‘s offerings of this coveted collection, it’s clear that these skirts and dresses are resonating—many sizes are out-of-stock. All these pieces are part of Prada’s spring 2023 collection, which also featured sumptuous satin outerwear that evoked evening coats of the 1960s; utilitarian collared gray jumpsuits that were baggier than catsuits but more fitted than hazmats; and sheer jumpers that appeared more like organza than knitwear. “Life and humanity crafts the clothes—not superficial embellishment, but traces of living, leaving marks. This idea of clothes shaped by humanity excites us,” said Miuccia Prada of the collection.
The venue for the show, The Prada Fondazione, was covered in black craft paper for the occasion. It was a life-imitating-art moment because the aforementioned, street style-approved dresses and skirts are inspired by torn paper. All the pieces feature springy colors that don’t meet the hems but appear jagged and frayed, as though the garment was watercolor paper, torn, and sculpted into a sheath dress. In reality, it is a cellulose-based technical fabric, but let’s just pretend it’s paper. “The most simple, modest material,” per Prada and Raf Simons.
Cue the applause for Prada, who delivered an It item that somehow has lots of hype but none at all.