As a proudly South African fashion brand, we like to be on top of upcoming fashion trends in the industry. Although each brand has its own unique styles and methods, we all draw inspiration from our beautiful nation and its diverse cultures. So, let’s get into it.
Here are seven South African fashion predictions for 2023:
Bring on the Layers
Layering has been a long-standing trend worldwide, but no one can really layer quite like us. It takes skill to enhance a look through layering and can be the difference between looking like a gorgeously structured look or a burrito loosing all it’s filling.
One noteworthy trend we see branching out the typical layering styles in the past is oblique layering. This is layering pieces that are opposite in line and shape and go in an almost diagonal line movement to create a synchronous and eye-catching look.
Another layering trend that we foresee making an impact on South African fashion is oversized layering. Now, we know this can be a controversial layering style because it doesn’t always work for every body type. However, we have see a lot of South African fashionistas ranging in a variety of body types pull this look off so effortlessly. So, don’t be intimidated by an oversized layered look, it just takes a bit of practice and insight to get right.
The Bold and the Bright Take Over
A fashion trend that may not be a surprise but we are happy is sticking around is bold and impactful colours. Honestly, if you look at traditional South African and African fashion throughout the years, bold colours have always been there. However, since the Fuchsia revolution in 2022 the world has started to embrace bolder colours more. Perhaps this could mean more of a spotlight moment for African designers in 2023 (we hope so).
Colours we predict are going to make it big in 2023 are cobalt blue, lime, orange, and of course fuchsia.
One South African designer who comes to mind is Maxhosa. Their newest collection is so bright, we definitely need shades. This is a perfect example of modernising the classic traditional patterns and marrying them with bright and bold colours.
This is a trend we can certainly get behind.
Speaking of traditional patterns, this is a trend that will never go out of style. Traditional patterns have become a core element in South African fashion and we don’t see them going out of style anytime soon.
Fabrics like Dutch wax or Anakara fabric. have been prevalent throughout African fashion styles and are a great source of inspiration for designers in South Africa. Traditional patterns have been a creative outlet that allows designers to express and experiment with colour and mix-matching various prints.
A great and modern example of this is Thebe Magugu’s “Heritage dress” which features cultural illustrations by artist Phathu Nembwili. The inspiration behind this collection of eight dresses is the diverse South African cultures and Nembwili’s creative interpretation of traditional South African prints, namely the Xhosa Dress, Zulu Dress, Pedi Dress, Vhavenda Dress, Tswana Dress, Tsonga Dress, BaSotho Dress and the Swati Dress.
We foresee traditional patterns and prints still being a core source of inspiration for South African designers in 2023.
In 2023, designers will be experimenting with longer-length skirts and dresses and how modesty meets timeless style. Maxi skirts have been a staple in SA fashion over the last three years or so but in 2023, maxi skirts are going to take on a modern look.
Throughout history, it has been observed that during times of economic recession, hemlines on women's clothing tend to lower. This phenomenon is often referred to as the "hemline index". The idea behind the hemline index is that during times of economic prosperity, hemlines on women's clothing are shorter and more risqué, while during times of economic recession, hemlines tend to be longer and more conservative.
It is important to note that this is a theory and not a proven fact. It’s not always the case that hemlines lower during a recession, it could just be the fact that maxi skirts are versatile and great for all body types.
Side note, one of our best-selling items are maxi wrap skirts. Our customers just can’t get enough of them and we end up making them every season.
Beads and Baskets Baby
This may seem like an unlikely trend but we guarantee you’ll be seeing it in 2023. Since South Africa is a land of many cultures and ethnicities, it is only natural that this is reflected in fashion. For example, head-dresses. African head-dress has always included intricate beaded designs and extravagant shapes and styles. However, we foresee a mixture of African- and Egyptian-inspired head-dress.
Why, Rhianna even wore something similar to the 2014 CFDAs, and well if Riri wore it, it’s certainly going to become a popular trend.
Another trend we predict for 2023 are basket-inspired accessories and styles. In the past, a trend that has been popular in South Africa is the use of traditional materials, such as beads, leather, and woven fabrics, in contemporary clothing and accessory designs. This has included woven baskets being used as accessories to complement modern clothing.
The Great Migration to Sustainability
This trend prediction comes as no surprise. However, we foresee South African designers taking sustainability to new heights in 2023 which we are hoping becomes a more adopted trend throughout the world. No one does sustainability better than African designers.
South African creators will continue to create looks that are made from sustainable materials and production methods. Look out for natural materials like linen, organic cotton, recycled fabrics, and low-impact dyes.
Here at Differently clothing, we rarely like to hop on trends. However, this is certainly a trend we will continue to take part in like we have done so since the beginning. Our Many Hands Kimono is a testament to this and takes the place as one of our most sustainable pieces to date.
The many hands kimono is made from a natural Rami Linen fabric and handmade by the talented ladies from the Many Hands Project. All proceeds from the sale of the Many Hands Kimono goes into funding the Many Hands Project, providing it’s members with the tools and materials to uplift themselves and their community. Read more about the Many Hands Kimono and Many Hands Project on our blog.
A Sheer Takeover
Attention, transparency in so 2023. This is not only true in how we communicate with each other online and in-person, but in how we portray our unique styles.
We think is because of the self-love revolution that has been happening over the past two to three years. An increased emphasis on self-love and body positivity has finally seeped into one of the most toxic industries, the fashion industry.
We are seeing more style icons and creators sporting looks that show off and celebrate natural beauty and real silhouettes. This is where sheer comes in as a trend that helps accentuate the body or elevate a look through strategic layering.
Either way, sheer fabrics and styles are taking 2023 by storm.
South Africa is a country with diverse culture and style. This means it is likely that the fashion industry will continue to reflect and celebrate this diversity in its designs and trends. It is worth mentioning that these are just predictions and it's hard to know for sure what will happen in the future of fashion, but we cannot wait to see what South African and African designers come up with in 2023.