NYFW 2023 presents emerging designers, sustainable textile trends



New York Fashion Week | The Stillman Exchange

Andriana Kourkoumelis

New York Fashion Week commenced from Feb. 10 through Feb. 15, bringing in all the latest styles and forecasting the fall and winter season.

The show schedule included some of the most recognizable fashion houses, such as Tory Burch and Christian Sirianowho gained traction for reinventing silhouettes using interesting textiles and bold colors. In conjunction with these notable names in the industry, emerging designers took a more sustainable approach to upcoming trends in fashion.

Designer Sam Finger, who is based in New York City, presented a show on Feb. 11 featuring recycled textiles and second-hand clothing. The pieces were combined to create unique, ready-to-wear designs inspired by the Brooklyn creative scene.

Ruffles made from ribbed tank tops and skirts comprised of eight pairs of vintage jeans have given Finger’s work recognition from top fashion news publications, including Vogue. This unordinary use of fabric has gained traction in a variety of shows this season, cementing itself as something to look out for in everyday wear.

Tara Babylon is another designer not afraid of using vintage pieces to create something completely new and different. Babylon’s ready-to-wear fall and winter collection, titled Winter Babylonia, debuted on Feb. 10.

Loud colors, old band t-shirts and ‘70s punk inspired pieces brought a twist to the sustainable fashion world. In addition to Babylon’s use of fabrics, the collection displayed gothic and punk trends that were increasingly prevalent this year. Aside from the typical fishnets and all-black outfits of the subculture, Babylon introduced pattern mixing, most notably incorporating flames, plaid and florals.

These patterns are created through weaving techniques featuring South Asian carpet textiles. Babylon’s recycled designs represent how original fabrics and pattern-work are no longer limited to traditional materials.

Zoe Gustavia Anna Whalen made her NYFW debut by presenting a fully recycled fall and winter ready-to-wear collection titled “Saturn Return.” Whalen’s work showcased spiritual and medieval silhouettes with a modern twist.

The designer sourced discarded fabrics and deadstock materials from places like Salem, Massachusetts, the Amish country and London, staying true to the inspirations behind each garment. The use of these pre-loved textiles adds to the vintage feel of this collection while also being ethically made.

Through Whalen’s art she highlights another trend seen frequently on the runway during fashion week — undergarments as everyday wear. With styles incorporating corsets and re-imagined paniers, the designs tapped into Victorian era influences.

Whalen’s self-proclaimed title as “an artist and designer whose medium is cloth and human form” is clearly shown through her NYFW presentation, filled with intricate organic shapes that reconnect the body back to the earth.

The fall and winter installment of NYFW 2023 overall introduced designers making change in the industry through sustainable practices while producing experimental silhouettes for everyday wear. These trend forecasts depicted during fashion week are predicted to come into full swing during the fall and winter months.