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2023 fashion: Festive spirit that evokes the imagination

By Ricky Toledo and Chito Vijandre, The Philippine STAR Published Dec 21, 2022 5:00 am

With the return of parties and a lot of our pre-pandemic life, a festive spirit can be seen in 2023 with neons, metallics, and '20s fringes. It’s not like the past three years were just forgotten, however, since the needs of everyday life are given priority with multi-pockets, cargo pants, and hardworking denim.

The metaverse and circular fashion are also in the conversation. Formal wear is redefined, as consumers rethink how they dress for work and special occasions. The ease of lockdown has crept into the office and events with more relaxed looks, but when the right occasion calls for it, nothing but a statement-making outfit will do.

With the return of Ternocon in January, what to wear will certainly be crucial, as fashion enthusiasts will be keenly watching what the style leaders will proffer for this most-awaited cultural and fashion event to kick off the year.

The Rise of the Balintawak

Balintawak by Joey Samson for Ternocon, digitized by CFS Studios for Vogue Philippines

The terno’s rural sister, with its more relaxed air, is just the right ensemble to highlight after the pandemic. Ternocon has screened the country’s best emerging designers, who were mentored by established designers through lectures, workshops and consultations for the past year, to come up with contemporary takes on the balintawak, which will be showcased in a show in January at the newly opened CCP Black Box Theater, a fitting venue for ensembles that push the boundaries of creativity while respecting the construction principles of our national dress.

The Metaverse and Circular Fashion

Fashion in the metaverse is more than just fantasy, since it provides a space to digitize a circular fashion system, checking supply chains and ethical practices for sustainability.

Balintawak by Chito Vijandre and Ricky Toledo for Ternocon, digitized by CFS Studios for Vogue Philippines

At the recent CFS (Circular Fashion Summit), Bea Valdes, editor of Vogue Philippines, talked about how the future is more about “stewardship” than “ownership” as part of being a responsible citizen in the fashion ecosystem. With climate change worsening, consumers are more mindful of the garments they purchase and brands have to be more careful about “greenwashing.”


Christian Dior SS2023

With utility a must and with the advent of the mini bag, the need for more pockets has resurrected 1930s British army cargo pants in both utilitarian and luxe fabrics. Diesel and Fendi toe the line between military aesthetics and streetwear influences. Even skirts are not spared of pouches, which are affixed like fanny packs at Louis Vuitton and Prada.


Chanel SS2023

The comfort and seduction of boudoir wear are reflected in all the sheer looks in monochromes, witnessing a rise in VPL (visible panty line), as well as bras and other form of underwear being revealed in see-through skirts and dresses.

Goblin Mode

Ottolinger SS2023

Even brands known for pristine looks like Erdem are venturing into grunge territory. Is it a coincidence that “goblin mode,” an unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy and slovenly form of behavior, is also Oxford’s word of the year? Rejecting social norms and expectations, a natural result of pandemic lockdown may have something to do with the resurgence.

Hip Movement

Issey Miyake SS2023

Sixteenth century farthingales, 17th-century panniers, and 19th-century crinolines are all the rage to live out all those costume dramas we’ve been watching — from more historically accurate versions to deconstructed and minimal ones.

Goddess Draping

Schiaparelli SS2023

Old Hollywood films have also made an impact, with goddess gowns and all forms of draping done with jersey, velvet, sheer organza, and chiffon. By both revealing and concealing the body, the pieces are discreetly seductive.


Alexander McQueen SS2023

For those averse to embellishment or draping, severe cuts of asymmetry is the way to make a statement. It’s a dynamic silhouette that’s made for movement, as well as a sexy look with a bit of mystery by not showing too much skin.


Bevza SS2023

Breastplates and body-molding bodices provide the protection to face the world again. They came metallic at Dolce & Gabbana with panniers, as solid capsule minis at JW Anderson and perforated capsules at Noir Kei Ninomiya.

Y2k Denim

Alexander McQueen SS2023

Waistlines are down and bellies are exposed as denim takes over with a Y2K bent. At Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton revived the “bumsters” of the founder, who said, “That part of the body—not so much the buttocks, but the bottom of the spine—that’s the most erotic part of anyone’s body, man or woman.”

1920s Fringe

Bottega Veneta SS2023

The roaring Twenties after the Spanish Flu is revisited after experiencing our own pandemic—through lots of fringes, feathers and wraparound boas. Texture and movement, in metallics and neons, add to the fun of celebration.


Gucci SS2023

For partying like you really deserve it, there’s nothing like the shine of silver or gold. They come in many shades, from matte and subdued to glittery, with paillettes and sequins aplenty.