This time last year, it was all about the micro mini skirt. Dangerously short types from Miu Miu were all the rage; belt-like embossed leather versions, resembling rubber tires, took over Diesel designer Glenn Martens’ runway; and banded styles by It-Girl labels like Danielle Guizio and Miaou dominated social media feeds. Now, it seems fashion has its sights set on another exaggerated length for the Spring/Summer 2023 season — the maxi skirt — confirming that the industry thrives on antithesis.
“Fashion, in general, is seeing a moment of extremes,” says fashion forecaster Kendall Becker. “Daywear is [more] classic-leaning while eveningwear is quite over-the-top and colors are either washed, near-neutral or vibrant and loud. With that said, I wasn’t shocked to see the resurgence of maxis as a rebuttal to the micro-mini.”
According to Fashion Psychologist Shakaila Forbes-Bell, “People like to use their style as a way to reflect the current cultural zeitgeist.” The Big Dress Energy author explains that the current shopping trends are reflective of the state of the world, citing the war in Ukraine, the housing crisis, and natural disasters as examples of why the masses are toning down their closets: “[Shoppers are] dressing in somber styles that are a bit more utilitarian and pragmatic.”
On the runways, modest ankle-length hems made a swift comeback all throughout Fashion Month. In New York, brands like Altuzarra and Theophilio offered up denim iterations, while Elena Velez took a more tailored approach to the silhouette that channeled '90s effortlessness and ease. Fashion powerhouse Givenchy presented embellished knit maxis in Paris, while a slew of free-flowing draped styles came out of Milan. Becker’s favorites included styles A.W.A.K.E. Mode, the London label that showed floor-sweeping tulle skirts during its showcase in Paris.
“[The brand] has mastered the combination of sartorial and wearable. The architectural woven maxis looked great while the plays on sheerness, ruffles, and slits felt fresh, too," she says. "I was also fascinated by Christian Dior this season. The historical circle skirts were unique, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they’re translated into street style next season.”
In terms of what’s available on the market now, model-turned-designer Elsa Hosk featured an assortment of column maxis in the debut collection for her eponymous brand, Helsa, including an ecru style that sold out almost immediately. Meanwhile, Rick Owens’ Drkshdw label has been releasing longline skirts in an array of fabrics and materials for seasons now. On the celebrity front, Bella Hadid has been seen sporting cargo styles from Coperni and Ice Studios, while her sister Gigi modeled a denim iteration.
When it comes to styling, the key is keeping the outfit’s proportion at the forefront. Midriff-baring tops will create a cinched shape, while a plain, fitted tank or tee will allow the extra-long skirt to be the star of the show. Follow Dua Lipa’s lead for a less conventional take by pairing an ankle-length skirt with a festive bra top, a look that can be transitioned well into the fall months with the addition of a leather bomber or trench coat.
Regardless of your personal aesthetic, the maxi skirt — unlike its micro mini counterpart from the past season — is as practical as it is chic.
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