Fashion Files: Fall 2023 Fashion and Jewelry Trends

Wearable—that word has long been muttered in fashion circles like a backhanded compliment. (See also: commercial.) But a funny thing happened on the way to our post-pandemic norm: After the initial escapist rebound, wearable has suddenly become cool.

Perhaps it’s fatigue from the constant chase for viral catnip, where flights of fancy and high-impact spectacle rule. (Paging Kylie Jenner’s lion-head dress.) Or maybe it’s the result of crushing headline after headline—the war in Ukraine, collapsing banks, inflation. Whatever the reason, fashions in the fall 2023 shows were pared back and understated. The collections prioritized real-life activity and dressing women so they can—gasp—actually go about their day.

Prada, for instance, was inspired by uniforms and beauty in everyday things. Proenza Schouler sent out a terrific collection of uncomplicated clothes—no theme attached. Loewe embraced “reduction.” Designer after designer, from Brandon Maxwell and Bottega Veneta to Christian Dior and Balenciaga, put the spotlight on grown-up codes such as spare tailoring, timeless classics, and neutrals.

All of which doesn’t have to translate to plain-Jane boring.

Take Louis Vuitton’s camel coat—it was leather printed to look like wool. As any woman can tell you, slipping into a simple, beautifully constructed garment can make your emotions soar.

So what does this mean for jewelry? The most obvious cue is one of restraint, which we saw on the runways—single-strand pearl collars or huggies instead of oversize hoops. But don’t worry, there’s still plenty to celebrate. Because less surface distraction on the ready-to-wear leaves room for bijoux to bring color and joy to a woman’s wardrobe. In other words: Let the clothes whisper and the jewelry shout.

Here, we break down the major motifs from the shows.

Andrew Gn fall 2003 runway model
From the Andrew Gn fall 2023 runway show (photo: courtesy of Andrew Gn)

Cuffing Season

Alexis Bittar large twisted gold plated brass and crystal cuff
Solanales Large Twisted cuff in 14k gold–plated brass and rhodium tone–plated brass with crystal, $395; Alexis Bittar
Mara Scalise brass and silver raw organic cuffs
Raw Organic cuff in sterling silver, $1,470, and in 14k gold–plated brass, $395; Mara Scalise

If Nancy Cunard is your patron saint, then rejoice! Not only because a new biography of the rebellious heiress just dropped from St. Martin’s Press. The runways were awash with her style influence—namely, Cunard’s love for chunky, dramatic cuffs, best seen in the 1926 portrait by Man Ray, where her arms are piled high with a hodgepodge of bangles. So there they were at Prabal Gurung, in a mix of glorious silver textures. At Brandon Maxwell, blown up and bejeweled. At Rick Owens, sleekly futuristic. And at Andrew Gn—what else?—glamorous to the hilt.

Arianna Boussard Reifel Ares sterling silver cuff
Ares cuff in sterling silver, $2,345; Ariana Boussard-Reifel
Ben Amun Casablanca gold plated brass bracelet
Casablanca Alboran Sea bracelet in 24k gold–electroplated brass, $395; Ben-Amun
Retrouvai cuff with dendrite tourmaline rhodolite emerald sapphire and moss agate
14k gold cuff with dendrite, green tourmaline in turquoise and malachite, rhodolite in carnelian, emerald in lapis, blue sapphire in labradorite and moss agate, price on request; Retrouvaí

Designers had fun with the trend, too. Bibhu Mohapatra, who name-checked Cunard as his collection’s muse and opened the show with a reading of her poem “Wheels,” sent out oversize resin versions, by Dinosaur Designs, in bright, standout colors. Off-White’s Ib Kamara, inspired by the unpaved roads of his native Sierra Leone, featured big bracelets in the shape of rubber tires. Then there were the ever-fabulous styles by Schiaparelli’s Daniel Roseberry, which included a wide cuff that winked at the trend with a sculpted eye and another with a molded ear, complete with an onyx cabochon for the “earring.” And while we’re on this meta path, he also had a finger-long ring with a red gem for a lacquered nail—which brings us to…


Giambattista Valli fall 2023 runway model
From the Giambattista Valli fall 2023 runway show (photo: Jonas Gustavsson/Sipa USA/Newscom)

Seeing Red

Rush Jewelry pink tourmaline gold ring
Balloon pink tourmaline ring in 18k yellow gold, $5,900; Rush Jewelry Design
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak baguette cut ruby watch
Royal Oak Selfwinding Ruby 41 mm with 45.6 cts. t.w. baguette-cut rubies in 18k white gold, price on request; Audemars Piguet

Black is the new black, and so is gray, high-shine silver, and neutrals. We saw spice tones and shots of lavender. But no color swept the runways for fall 2023 quite like rich and vibrant red. It was everywhere—and set against the prevailing sobering palette, an all-the-more-potent statement style. Consider these crimson entrance-makers: Marni’s leather pantsuit, Bora Aksu’s frothy ruffled lace dresses, not to mention Dolce & Gabbana’s entire finale lineup (crystal-encrusted column gown, feather chubby).

Tessa Packard shit fuck Welcome to Miami earrings
Welcome to Miami earrings with dyed jade, diamonds, resin, and plastic in 18k gold and brass, £1,900 ($2,305); Tessa Packard
Bahina onyx crystal coral paste earrings
18k yellow gold earrings with black onyx, rock crystal, and coral paste; CHF1,750 ($1,886); Bahina
NeverNoT blue topaz red enamel Red Rock ring
Red Rock ring with blue topaz and enamel in 18k gold, $9,474; NeverNoT

What’s great about this trend is the variety. You have a treasure chest worth of stones to choose from, both semiprecious and oh-so-glamorous, as well as enamel and stained wood. Among our favorites: Giambattista Valli’s door-knocker earrings, which featured a jumbo teardrop surrounded by more gemstone finery, and La DoubleJ’s demonstrative cuffs and cocktail rings dotted with gold cabochon accents. For those who think Pantone’s color of the year, Viva Magenta, is a touch too pink or girly, scarlet is a perfect alternative. And like a bold red lip, it doesn’t take a lot to make an impact.


Balmain fall 2023 runway model
From the Balmain fall 2023 runway show (photo: Aurore Marechal/Abaca/Sipa USA/Sipa via AP Images)

Button Up

Lele Sadoughi gold lace heart button earrings
Gold Lace Heart Button clip-on earrings in 14k gold plate, $145; Lele Sadoughi
Anabela Chan black velvet poppy recycled aluminum earrings with lab grown sapphires and simulated black diamonds
Black Velvet Poppy earrings in recycled aluminum, 18k white gold, and rhodium vermeil with lab-grown pink sapphires and simulated black diamonds, $2,506; Anabela Chan

Let’s be honest: Button earrings never really went away. Still, there was something refreshing about seeing the trend surging on the fall runways. It’s no coincidence that this style—which has long been a signifier for the ladylike and polished—is growing at a time when designers are turning their attention to self-assured suiting and the classics. It’s a little ’60s by way of Jackie Kennedy, a little Working Girl ’80s.

Anton Heunis rhinestone CZ earrings
Earrings in gold-plated brass with rhinestones and CZ, €188 ($200); Anton Heunis
Yun Yun Sun Isabella brass and CZ earrings
Isabella earrings in 14k gold–plated brass and CZ, $320; Yun Yun Sun
Sauer Constellation flash onyx gemstone earrings
Constellation Flash earrings in 18k yellow gold with onyx, colored sapphires, amethysts, tsavorite, and diamonds, $10,500; Sauer

To be sure, these styles are a wonderful way to inject glamour into daywear—like at Balmain and Versace, which paired precision tailoring with blinding gemstone buttons. At Tove, Camille Perry and Holly Wright accessorized their minimalist outerwear and separates with quick flashes of gold: flat floral earrings, done in collaboration with Completedworks. And, of course, if ostentation is your comfort zone, there’s always Carolina Herrera’s Look No. 5: multi-pearl buttons, a pearl collar, and a neat little skirt-suit, dotted with bejeweled glitz.


Erdem fall 2023 runway model
From the Erdem fall 2023 runway show (photo: Jason Lloyd Evans/courtesy of Erdem)

In the Mood for Love

Lionheart diamond heart curb link necklace
Diamond Heart curb link necklace in 14k yellow gold, $11,780; Lionheart
Guita M labradorite heart necklace
Labradorite Heart necklace in 18k yellow gold, $8,000; Guita M

Designers are getting frisky, judging by the abundant barely-there and innerwear-as-outerwear looks. There were slips, bras, lace, and corsetry galore—plus, a mountain of 200,000 red condom boxes as the backdrop to the Diesel runway. Even designers who nodded to the season’s subdued hook got playful. Case in point: Miu Miu’s Miuccia Prada, who paired simple cardigans and demure kitten heels with…nothing. No bottoms, just undies.

Royal Chain half heart gold hoop earrings
Half Heart hoop earrings in 10k gold, $75; Royal Chain
Westnan Atelier x Deborah Pagani black heart hair pin
Black Heart hair pin, $110; Westman Atelier x Deborah Pagani
Emily P Wheeler heart Lucy Ring with yellow sapphires
18k yellow gold Lucy ring with ombré sapphires, $2,400; Emily P. Wheeler

On the sweeter side of this amorous theme? Serious heart symbolism, as seen at Lela Rose, Antonio Marras, and Erdem, whose designer, Erdem Moralioğlu, channeled an enchanting gothic Victorian romance—complete with heart earrings. Marco Rambaldi enlisted jewelry designer Priscilla Anati to create heart-shape hardware, necklaces, and dangling earrings, while Paco Rabanne’s Julien Dossena re-created Salvador Dalí’s 1949 gold, ruby, and diamond Pomegranate Heart for a stunning gold-sequin halter and skirt. (The collection was an ode to the friendship between Dalí and Rabanne.)

Lest you think this is a one-note motif, take a look at the chokers from Etro and Coperni. The former features lovebirds kissing, and the latter—in a tech-heavy collection where robot dogs had a starring role—the heart hands emoji.


Badgley Mischka fall 2023 runway model
From the Badgley Mischka fall 2023 runway show (photo: Noam Galai/NYFW: The Shows/Getty)

Swing Time

Misahara Noho drop diamond gold earrings
Noho drop earrings in 14k yellow gold with diamonds, $9,000; Misahara
Bounkit cascade onyx statement earrings
Cascade faceted statement earrings with black onyx in 14k gold–plated brass, $575; Bounkit

Elongated, stretched silhouettes—creating a strong, elegant line—were also big for fall 2023. Maxi hemlines alluringly hung low; at Rodarte, even the sleeves poetically trailed the floor. We saw that linear shape in jewelry as well, creating one of the more captivating trends of the season: the long earring.

Misho XXL Nido DOr gold plated bronze earrings
XXL Nido D’Or earrings in 22k gold–plated bronze, $296; Misho
Matturi Whispers of Merce Nile diamond morganite onyx earrings
Whispers of Meroë Nile earrings with diamonds, morganite, and onyx in 18k yellow gold, $19,140; Matturi Fine Jewellery
Irene Neuwirth mixed tourmaline pave Gemmy Gem multi drop stick earrings
Pavé Gemmy Gem Multi Drop Stick earrings with mixed tourmaline and diamonds in 18k gold, $15,720; Irene Neuwirth

It’s a look that adds energy, no matter the style—from the delicate (Kate Spade’s candy-colored shoulder dusters) to the audacious (Andrew Gn’s decadent chandeliers). Badgley Mischka gave us tony fringe earrings, while Ulla Johnson went bohemian with her extended semiprecious drops (plus suede fringe pumps!). Our personal favorites? The silver offerings from Alexander McQueen, which struck myriad tones. Some featured long, graceful wisps of a flower; others, more substantial petals. Supermodel Naomi Campbell wore the boldest version, a single breathtaking orchid that hung so low it brushed against her collarbone. We’ve talked a lot about dressing for being out in the world, but we bet these swinging statement earrings will have people making a beeline for those Instagram selfies too.

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