FW23 fashion month has officially concluded, and this season’s runway denim did not disappoint. Last FW was full of massive, over the top productions and PR stunts, leaving many wondering how brands will top all of the hype this time around. Along with the Myriad of viral denim moments, like Diesel X Durex and (Di)Vision’s tablecloth stunt, some brands left the gimmicks behind allowing the clothes to speak for themselves.

Rest assured, denim is still making its mark on this new era of expressive, exploratory and offbeat design with more high-end brands tapping the textile than ever before. While still taking cues from the 90’s and 00’s, these aesthetics are interpreted through a contemporary lens and continue to  push the perimeters of traditional denim design. Gender-fluid fashion and styling is still on the rise, while artisanal and hand crafted surfaces have also solidified their place in the world of denim. And of course the skirt, already a heavy hitter with consumer searches skyrocketing online, brands continue to push skirt silhouette boundaries. 

Seasoned brands like Diesel, Y/Project, Our Legacy and Balenciaga continue their reign as designer denim leaders, while brands like Eckhaus Latta, Anna Kiki, Ottolinger, Foo and Foo, Et Ochs and Mowalola prove that they are solidifying their place in the realm of high fashion denim.

Below we’ve rounded up our top styling, silhouette, wash and surface trends of the season and beyond. 

Twisted Jeanswear

From left to right: Act N1, Calvin Lou, Y/Project, Stella McCartney, Rokh.

As designers continue to push the boundaries of creativity and denim hits center stage this season, new takes on traditional western wear and workwear styling come to the fore. Twisted, layered, deconstructed and repurposed, these total denim looks fuse the familiar with the unexpected.


From left to right: Natasha Zinko, Anna Kiki, Doublet, Gauchere, Balenciaga.

Extreme volume is one of jeanswear’s biggest trends right now with designers such as Doublet and Balenciaga leading the way. Rounded, cocoon-like jacket shapes create a superhero attitude with Natasha Zinko adding quilting for extra punch. Oversized pockets, elongated yokes and giant pant and skirt shapes create a ‘more is more’ double denim effect.

Avant Y2K

From left to right: Alexander Wang, Elena Velez, Diesel, Y/Project, Ottolinger.

After seasons of nostalgic and ironic 00’s looks saturating the re-sell market, Gen Z are moving on. Taking inspiration from early millennial styling and twisting it on its head, these refreshing new takes still tap the sexiness, silhouettes and treatments but in a completely new light. Cut-outs, faux fur and asymmetry are elevated and intellectualized for FW.

Noughties Jeanswear

From left to right: House of Sunny, Mowalola, KWK by Kay Kwok, Act N1, Foo and Foo.

Alongside the skimpy and sexy iterations of noughties fashion was the strong nod to unisex jeanswear looks from a parallel era. Reminiscent of old 00’s and 90’s FUBU, Fiberops and JNCO Jeans, key items tapped understated jeanswear but oversized silhouettes, 00’s streetwear branding and retro seaming. Mowalola caused a stir with her extreme low-slung jeans, celebrating and taking ownership of on black culture tropes.

Extreme Utility

From left to right: Heron Preston, J6, Anna Kiki, Private Policy, Foo and Foo.

A perennial denim trend and endless source of inspiration, workwear continues to drive denim design this season. The current 00’s jeanswear trend influences workwear styling and details, driving J6’s oversized take on the look. Regular workwear fan, Heron Preston taps industrial fireman’s fastenings whilst Foo & Foo utilize chunky carabiners. Private Policy’s stylized carpenter detailing looks fresh in color block denim.

Dark Tailoring

From left to right: Et Ochs, Acne Studios, Balmain, Balenciaga, Phillip Lim.

Acne, Et Oches and Philip Lim are just some of the high-end names currently exploring elevated denim looks for a more sophisticated and understated market. Belted trench and workwear silhouettes add refinement to unisex styling whilst corseted, tailored pieces create sexier lines. Dark and saturated denims cement this story in the premium market.

Floor to Thigh Skirts

From left to right: Victoria Beckham, House of Sunny, Kimhekim, Veronique Leroy, Mowalola.

The denim skirt continues its reign on the runways with these new iterations from micro to maxi lengths. The longline, deconstructed (and often upcycled) skirt emerged as a key item last season and continues to dominate many designer’s collections with fishtails and mermaid silhouettes becoming key. Ex Balenciaga designer, Kimhekim inventively bridged the gap with his asymmetric mini-maxi, whilst Mowalola teamed a super short hem with a dangerously dipped rise.

Off-Beat Layers

From left to right: Rokh, Our Legacy, Institut Francis De La Mode, Private Policy, Y/Project.

After debuting on last season’s runways, the skirt-over-pant look continues apace, appealing to a gender-fluid audience and tapping androgynous, 90’s styling. Mismatched prints, textures and fabrics add eclectic appeal whilst a fresher iteration on the trend taps pant-on-pant looks. 

Upcycled Aesthetics

From left to right: Central Saint Martins, Ahluwalia, Awake Mode, Private Policy, Natasha Zinko.

As both young and seasoned designers now tackle the unavoidable subject of waste every season, we see the trickle-up effect of DIY designers and bedroom makers on the runway. Unfinished looks, frayed hems, patchworked textiles and offbeat construction continues to not only become accepted design details, they also offer the opportunity for exclusive and one-off pieces, a concept coveted by fashion aficionados and the everyday consumer alike. Whether using deadstock garments and fabric or creating new pieces; putting the idea of recycled textiles in front of consumers in the form of upcycled designs has proved to be an effective brand strategy.

Engineered Surface

From left to right: Who Decides War, Chopova Lowena, Institut Francais De La Mode, Diesel, Y/Project.

Another aspect of denim design drastically shifting this decade is the textile itself. While hardened denim heads may only consider indigo twills, younger talent are pushing the boundaries of textile construction and manipulation. Y/Project, Diesel and Who Decides War are major brands that have notably spearheaded this aesthetic, however, this season it was Ju Bao, an Institut Francais De La Mode knitwear major, who raised the bar with his collection entitled ‘Annihilation’. Composed of the most realistic and hand crafted knit denim we’ve seen thus far. The young designer explored the concept of quiet distress and destruction that humans have a tendency inflict on both their denim and their environment over time.

Negative Space

From left to right: Institut Francais De La Mode, Y/Project, Avavav, Mowalola, Coperni.

Skin is in. A sentiment explored though different design techniques (like the sheer pairings below) continues to reign on the runways. Crafted cut outs and seemingly missing pieces can be used to create patterned designs, peek-a-boo details, and creative constructions that warrant a double take.

Sheer Pairings

From left to right: Victoria Tomas, Cecilie Bahnsen, Y/Project, Act N1, Diesel.

For many of us, hopping right into the “no pants, pant trend” might feel like an extreme place to start, but as sex and body positive narratives solidify themselves into mainstream ways of thinking, subtle and not so subtle pops of skin become an accessory of their own. Pairing such drastically different fabrics such as our beloved, sturdy denim with soft, sheer, draping chiffons, georgettes or crepe silks, not only speaks to the duality of design in today’s world but offers an interesting take on mixed media clothing creations. 

Artful Spray Wash

From left to right: Heron Preston, Chet lo, Uma Wang, Eckhaus Latta, Y/Project.

Spray finishes have expanded beyond traditional application techniques taking on more artful forms. Painterly surfaces, soft edges and intentional placements all play a role as color and contrast continue to push traditional denim design of the last decade in a new direction.

Yellowed Indigos

From left to right: Diesel, Anna Kiki, House of Sunny, Isabel Marant, Y/Project.

Tapping into Gen Z’s love for the 00’s nod as they experience these denim finishes for the first time around, designers are taking less literal interpretations of yellow and dirty tinting and pushing their application into a more elevated realm. Whether playing with the complementary nature of indigo and yellow hues or opting for a modern expansion of a sprayed and tinted surface, yellow tones are here to stay.


From left to right: Heron Preston, Eckhaus Latta, Jonathan Simkhai, Victoria Beckham, MM6.

Coatings have been more than trickling down the runways for the last couple of years, and have certainly come a long way from the cheesy, silver coated skinny jeans of the 00’s. A more elevated approach gaining popularity are laminited like surfaces. Transparent coatings that allow twill lines and fades to pop through whilst adding an extra level of shine and surface interest reminiscent of patent leathers.

Playful Hardware

From left to right: Foo and Foo, Anna Kiki, Kimhekim, Lado Bokuchava, Act N1.

Eclectic trims and metal detailing have been on the rise for the last several seasons, as DIY culture allows for deeper exploration and a broader application of decorative and charmed surfaces. Leaning into a punk-pop vibe, this season designers played with heavy, bold, eye catching and offbeat trim pairings and placements.

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