Summer 2023 trends on the runway!

Summer 2023 Trend Report

By Emma Francois

Writer's Note

Here are three happy trends to enliven your summer dance dress wardrobes. First a sumptuous color palette of watermelon-hued flamingo-pink and parakeet-green. Second, we have our radiant summer black; timeless and glittering, this trend takes its whimsical inspiration from festival styles to put a free-spirited flair on a classic staple. And finally, we end with a hint of magic: the pixie dust trend is just as sparkly and effervescent as you dreamed it would be, with lovely lilacs and petal pinks you’ll want to fly away in. Enjoy!

Watermelon Sugar

For his summer couture collection, Alexis Mabille dreamed up a capsule of sumptuous gowns in every color of the rainbow. But two particular palettes—positioned right next to each other in the models’ lineup—stood out for their zesty, joyous energy: a juicy fuchsia and a vibrant viridian, the colors of a ripe watermelon piled on picnic blankets across the world, a sartorial symbol of good times, clear skies, and joie de vivre, with a hint of al fresco.

Off the runway and into the streets, Sandra Oh made a splash in her juicy peony-and-fern Prabal Gurung gown. Shiny berry heels poking beneath the velvety green skirt added a stylish, fruity touch. And equally vibrant, actress Kiernan Shipka sported an entirely sequined mini with an ombré effect. For the finale, seafoam sparkles faded into a bright tango mango hue.

For your dance dresses this season, look for gowns in any style or silhouette you so desire, and add a watermelon-sugar splash with flattering shades of emerald or carnation—or both!

On the Runway

Festival Summer Black

Inspired by the decadent architecture and fashions of the rococo period and the performances of harlequins past, the latest Armani Privé capsule featured a whopping 77 slinky looks all in various shades of minty green, perky pink, effervescent teal, and royal lavender—trimmed and accented with a rich, gorgeous black, often complimented and animated by glittering embroidery that seemed to whisper to the audience: make no mistake, this collection is a celebration.

On the Italian red carpets, Penelope Cruz took this excitable black trend for a whirl in a modernized monochrome polka dot number with a hemline that skimmed the shoulders like a sundress. A bright red floral hairpiece, looking like a bouquet of roses, enlivened the Dolce & Gabbana look. And at a different event across the world in Japan, Millie Bobby Brown radiated positivity in a deep charcoal Moschino mini decorated with colorful, floral decals shimmering along the front.

Take this versatile trend for a spin on the dance floor by looking out for waltz dresses that juxtapose a classic black with a bright wink of color. And of course, any amount of glitter and embellishments will only add to the romantic, vibrancy of this contemporary spin on the timeless black.

On the Runway

Pixie Dust

Oh, this trend is just lovely for summer, though truthfully it will carry you (on a pixie dust-fueled flight!) through this season and beyond. It’s a sophisticated, ever-so-slightly restrained take on the classic pastel colorway, just now with a little more shimmer that will subtly change the color—like magic—as you twist and twirl. This trend takes its inspiration from Viktor & Rolf’s summer couture collection, which featured princess-cut gowns with fitted bodices and sweeping, romantic taffeta skirts in springy shades from daisy yellow to quiet cornflower. Simple enough, yes? But then, the innovative design house inverted—subverted?—expectations, spinning the gowns around as if a hidden fashion fairy waved her wand from somewhere above the flashing lights and cameras. Just magical.

In the pages of real life, Lea Michele struck a regal, flirty, princess-worthy note in an iridescent periwinkle Vintage Mugler gown. And Sienna Miller truly looked like she could do a twirl and take flight in her glittering Fendi Couture slip, paired with a petal-pink train flowing like a pair of flittering wings behind her.

This trend translated effortlessly into the wide world of waltz dresses. Look for gowns in any light-hue of your favorite color (think: sage, violet, melon, or rose) with sparkles and sequins embroidered and splashed on to the silhouettes—like a little pixie dust—though of course, your talents and love for dancing come from a magic that’s entirely your own.

On the Runway