The best style features we published in 2023

All the fashion hits of the year, from carboots to catwalks and everything in between.

How the British car boot found its cool

This year, young Brits eschewed the shops, did a U‑turn on reselling sites and made a beeline for the carboots instead. In this report, writer Kyle MacNeill heads down to Peckham Car Boot one sunny Sunday to find hungover, well-turned youth flogging Dior Saddle bags and C.P. Company jackets alongside old-school sellers with decades of experience. Scrap the postage and packaging: this is the changing face of shopping for the sustainably-minded.

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Lo-go: how menswear got plain and simple

Brash logos and bolshy branding have dominated menswear over the past decade or so. But then January’s men’s shows in Milan and Paris welcomed a new direction. The hypebeast has grown up,” as Jacob Negus-Hill put it, when describing the pared-back, function-first collections from Givenchy and Dior, plus the rise of Swedish brand Our Legacy, that kicked off the year. Some months later, and we were all banging on about quiet luxury”.

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Inside Hatton Garden’s turbo-charged watch market

We got a masterclass in wheeler dealin’ at one of London’s most infamous, fast-talking shopping destinations, Hatton Garden, where six-figure deals are made, iron-clad vaults are mandatory and business is lucrative. Writer Kieren Morris met the jewellers with mega-wealthy clients, and took some notes on the masterful art of bartering.

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In future: fashion’s bright young things

Sure, catwalks make the trends. But it’s in the UK’s universities where the real style ideas are made: the original, on-the-ground stuff influenced by dancefloors, youth subcultures, politics and sex that isn’t puppeteered by a spooky CEO pulling the strings. And so, as we often do, we profiled fashion’s bright young things to have graduated this year. These are clothes to bring joy, hope, optimism, and even a laugh or two.

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It’s Luar’s world, baby

How do you go about describing designer Luar Lopez? Well, New York” is a good place to start. The designer, whose namesake label Luar reached the LVMH Prize final in June, is quick-talking, witty and very, very real. In our summer issue, Lopez took us on a tour through his early years growing up in Brooklyn, learning the art of beauty from Mother Lopez, tearing through NYC’s hedonistic early-’00s club scene, and becoming one of the most anticipated, hotly provocative designers on the New York Fashion Week schedule.

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Vivienne Westwood’s early, anti-establishment collections

In February, two months after the passing of Dame Vivienne Westwood, our Digital Director Brooke McCord headed down to Brighton to meet with Steven Philip, who holds one of the largest collections of Westwood’s designs. There, she found punk, protest, sex and anarchy in the designer’s seminal collections from the 1980s such as Witches, Buffalo/​Nostalgia of Mud and Pirate, plus rare pieces from the famed SEX shop. While British fashion lost its rebellious red-haired spark, her designs will live on forever.

Read more here.

Menswear is rejecting the alpha male

While we’re never far from a debate about the gender spectrum – whether on X or a segment on This Morning – the men’s collections over the past year felt more progressive than ever. In place of the odd mini skirt here and there, the AW23 shows came fully-loaded with floor-length skirts from Gucci, smart shirts with exposed shoulders from Fendi, soft lilac pastels at Loewe, form-fitting suits at JW Anderson and a whole lotta attitude thrown in for good measure. Beyond the veneer of machismo lies a man in tune with either end of the binary. Rules are boring, anyway.

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Martine Rose: ​“Have your eyes open, take notice of what’s going on”

In between showing at Pitto Uomo, forming an alliance with Baby Keem & Kendrick Lamar and becoming Clarks’ first-ever guest creative director, Martine Rose took over a sweltering community centre in North London for her SS23 collection in June. When we found her backstage, she gave us some of the soundest advice we’ve heard all year: Go out and have as many experiences as possible […] have your eyes open, take notice of people, take notice of what’s going on, respond to it, and just be brave.” Then, she disappeared into a crowd of friends and family in search of a tequila.

Read more here.

Faceless style in London’s underground techno raves

In the darkness of London’s techno raves, photographer Yis Kid captured the balls-out styles of its most hedonistic disciples, pointing his iPhone flash at torsos and finding leather corsets, bare chests, painted-on bras, 90s Jean Paul Gaultier and god-knows what else. It’s where trends are born, alright?

Read more here.

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