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Next Era Fashion: A Phase of Luxury Without Logos

by Samara Morris

Image Credit: Christian Vierig / Contributor / Getty Images

Chiara Ferragni, known for her vibrant and logo-rich style, seemed to have switched to incognito mode during the recent Fashion Week in February. The Italian fashion icon, boasting a staggering 29 million followers on Instagram, surprised onlookers with her neutral-toned ensembles. This shift towards more subdued and minimalist looks was not unique to Ferragni, as other notable influencers also opted for understated aesthetics.

Tamu McPherson sported white knitwear at Ferragamo, while Camille Charrière embraced gray cashmere separates at Prada. The likes of Caroline Daur and Chriselle Lim chose classic camel outerwear at Max Mara and Lanvin, respectively. This transition represents the dawn of the quiet-luxury era, where quality, refinement, and subtlety reign supreme.

Image Credit: Christian Vierig / Contributor / Getty Images

For McPherson, the founder of the fashion, beauty, and wellness platform All the Pretty Birds, the return to the fashion calendar's rhythm has been demanding. As a response, she finds herself gravitating towards classic pieces that offer timeless appeal. This yearning for a dependable and enduring wardrobe stems from the uncertainties of the post-pandemic world. Fall 2023 runways offered just that - a reeducation in the fundamental aspects of style. The collections showcased essentials that can be worn and enjoyed consistently. This shift from the vibrancy of the past few years to understated elegance emphasizes quality and design intricacies.

During New York's fashion scene, Proenza Schouler's 20th-anniversary show epitomized this turn towards essentials. Their collection spotlighted wardrobe staples, exemplified by muse Chloë Sevigny wearing a black leather midi skirt and a tailored jacket cinched at the waist. Tory Burch embraced structured mix-and-match separates in muted tones. Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors embraced their signature styles, including chalk-stripe suiting and soft knit dresses.

In London, Tove's runway debut was a notable highlight. The minimalist label, known for its modern classic dresses with subtle details, showcased 33 looks styled with effortless Charvet slippers. Milan's fashion scene embraced tonal dressing, with labels like Brunello Cucinelli, Loro Piana, Bottega Veneta, and Giorgio Armani championing head-to-toe neutral shades. Even the more eccentric houses like Fendi and Gucci joined the trend, making monochromatic ensembles a pervasive choice.

Paris remained true to understatement, with Hermès and Demna both adhering to this aesthetic. The Fall 2023 collections collectively echoed the sentiment of choosing quality over opulence, celebrating clothing's ability to convey elegance without ostentation.

This shift towards quiet luxury coincides with contemporary pop culture's embrace of similar aesthetics. Fictional characters embodying this refined sensibility, such as the Roys from HBO's "Succession" and Cate Blanchett's Lydia Tár in "Tár," have amplified the trend's visibility, particularly among younger audiences. This newfound popularity reflects a desire for confidence and control amid the chaos of the current world. The appeal of such an approach extends beyond wealth and influence, resonating with those seeking stability and assurance amidst uncertain times.

While luxury pieces with price tags exceeding $3,000 remain exclusive, economic uncertainty and environmental awareness are contributing to the growth of the fashion resale market. This shift towards circular fashion aligns with the resurgence of timeless pieces that can be worn and resold, reducing the wastefulness of the fast-fashion cycle. Brands like Loro Piana and the Row have experienced increased demand among younger consumers, indicating a shift towards quality, trendless clothing.

Luxury retailers are also adapting to this shift. Net-a-Porter's resale program and clothing repair services reflect a broader acknowledgment of the changing fashion landscape. Designers like Stella McCartney embrace this shift, focusing on creating environmentally responsible pieces that stand the test of time.

Smaller brands are also championing the cause of quiet luxury. Totême, known for its minimalist approach, continues to provide unfussy, well-constructed pieces. Fforme offers modular wardrobe building blocks, emphasizing versatility and longevity. A--Company specializes in tailoring with unique details, while Veronica de Piante creates intricate knitwear and jackets.

Image Credit: Christian Vierig / Contributor / Getty Images

Ultimately, this movement towards quiet luxury represents a counterpoint to the maximalist extravagance of previous eras. As the world grapples with a myriad of challenges, including geopolitical instability and climate crises, fashion is recalibrating to emphasize timeless quality and enduring style. This return to essentials speaks to a broader shift towards mindfulness and sustainability, fostering a new appreciation for the understated elegance of quiet luxury.


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