Stylist and fashion photographer Leo Li (@Leojeany on social media) is an 18-year-old college student with more drive than a serial entrepreneur. He may be young, but he has his finger on the pulse of the fashion world. He recently attended New York Fashion Week and was photographed by Getty Images at the ultra-exclusive Glam Slam event.
As he prepares to attend Milan Fashion Week in February 2023, Leo has some pro tips about the upcoming trends for spring.
“First off, think retro 90’s style – but updated,” Leo says. “For Winter 2022-2023 we saw the return of the classic sweater twinset from Chanel. Spring 2023 is going to feature big, baggy jeans from names like Bottega Veneta and Tibi. Put your skinny jeans away! You’re looking for loose silhouettes with long hems.”
Speaking of long, Leo says that the maxi skirt will continue as a trend from the Winter season into Spring. Tory Burch, Altuzarra, and other haute designers all showcased super-long skirts in denim, cotton, and metallics. He adds that drop-waist skirts and dresses will be popular, offering a sweet, innocent retro look from brands like Carolina Herrera and Sandy Liang.
But not everything will be all covered up for spring. “Look for super sheer materials in dresses from big designers,” Leo says, pointing to the ultra-delicate translucent pieces released by Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Prada, and Ichiyo. See-through mesh, lace, and other materials offer a peekaboo look for the warming months.
“Not everyone will want to jump on board with a totally sheer dress,” Leo says. “What I often recommend to clients is pairing one sheer item – like a lace turtleneck – with a classic blazer. That way you have this fun, feminine detail while not showing off too much skin.” He adds that tailored suiting will be big in Spring 2023, with clean, crisp lines in pieces from Jil Sander, Peter Do, and Elena Velez. Blazers will be oversized, too, he adds, so keep an eye out for that trend.
“So we’re seeing big jeans from the 90’s and dropped waists from the 80’s,” Leo confines. “But we also get the whimsical bubble skirt shape (Proenza Schouler, Ulla Johnson, and Khaite) from the mid-2000’s, and tons of sequins (Tom Ford, Michael Kors, Nensi Dojaka) which have made a splash in several key fashion decades. Sequins are going to be everywhere – skirts, bustiers, dresses.”
Spring isn’t always warm sunshine; usually a transitional jacket is an essential. For this spring, Leo says go leather or go home. “The zippered pieces shown by Coach and LaQuan Smith are giving biker chic,” he says. “We’re seeing serious leather in not just jackets, but also skirts and dresses.”
In sharp contrast, balletcore is already starting to trend on shelves and runways. It’s a soft, flowing, elegant look, with ballet flats from Larroudé, off-the-shoulder sweaters from Rodarte, and messy ballerina buns on models walking for Blumarine.
Lastly, Leo says that the key color of the season will be acid green, as shown by Fendi and Miu Miu. This vibrant color – almost chartreuse, but not as yellow – showed up in evening gowns, footwear, handbags, and blazers. For those nervous about the color washing them out, Leo recommends utilizing it in accessories, or going with a slightly softer hue, as seen in the Bottega Veneta Small Intrecciato Leather Crossbody Bag in Apple Candy-Gold.