Androgynous Fashion on the Runways: 2023 Highlights

Model walking for P.L.N during Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023

by Triston Brewer - June 2023

The current state of fashion continues to break down gender constructs as more brands adhere to the gender-free approach to design. Shifting the focus from rigidity to creativity, androgynous fashion has been embraced by several brands with many offering clothes that breaks free of the binary constraints that have traditionally been associated with fashion design. With so many labels attempting to create their own imprint on genderless/gender-fluid fashion, the following are the top picks of 2023 so far.

Raul Lopez for Luar

The intersection of chaos and charisma is where designer Raul Lopez thrives, and in the last few years his eponymous brand spelled backwards – Luar – has moved at a fast pace quickly becoming a legend. At 2023 New York Fashion Week, the label closed out the event as it positions itself towards becoming a household brand.

Taking inspiration from the counter-culture and his Dominican roots, the native New Yorker used his latest collection to elevate a legacy that defies perceptions and rewrites conventional aesthetics. With a barrage of androgynous looks funneling across the runway, Luar presented a line that dissected street elegance and weaved it into structured visually appealing collection. Under the title ‘Calle Pero Elegante’ (Street, but Elegant), Luar was a bold spectacle for senses: exaggerated silhouettes, gorgeous pinstripes, bold denim jackets, and double-breasted overcoats. A standout from the collection had one model in a black jacket with padded shoulders paired with an open-front dark grey skirt and black boots. By the end of the presentation, Lopez had successfully completed the mission of street chic on his own terms.

Hed Mayner

There is no avenue Hed Mayner will not traverse, and for his Spring/Summer 2023 collection at Paris Fashion Week, the creative director took embroidery and lace to new schemes that were stylish, avant-garde, and irreverently against gender normative protocols.

Using a unique approach for his latest presentation, the Parisian-based designer embraced a new silhouette by restructuring traditional skirts and jackets to produce a slightly oversized, laidback aesthetic. In another design twist, Mayner included form-fitting pieces into the mix as well, with the lineup featuring duster coats, double-breasted jackets, and parkas re-imagined to create a more two-dimensional look. One model took to the runway in an oversized scoop neck sweater and undershirt with bell sleeves paired with a pleated skirt that included deep front pockets. The overall effect was the perfect combination of the informal and casual.

Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino

Since taking the reins, Pierpaolo Piccioli has been adamant with his mission to create a distinct aesthetic that celebrates what the brand has always been known for and infusing it with a fresh perspective for a new generation. For their Fall/Winter 2023 collection, ‘Black Tie’, Piccioli worked the look and revamped it, presenting a line that was crisp, clean, and refined to the last detail.

Accepting the challenge and running with it, Valentino took the concept of black tie clothing and elevated it as only they can. With a flair for noting individuality even in a style with typically more rigid guidelines, the label took this collection to showcase how to expertly challenge norms and use nuances to stand out. A perfect example of Valentino’s brilliance was showcased with one model taking to the runway in a minimal black mini paired with white button-down, skinny black tie, flat-soled boots, and topped with a green leather jacket with oversized sleeves and high collar. The homogeny and utilitarian design made for an amplified silhouette and an engaging look.

Pia Davis and Autumn Randolph for No Sesso

Working under the banner Sesso, co-designers Pia Davis and Autumn Randolph delved into the realm of self-exploration of the Black Punk experience with a presentation that mixed the experimental with the futuristic. Their distinct aesthetic has resulted in “No Sesso” staking its claim as one of the most progressive labels currently occupying space in the industry. 

Asymmetry and radical proportions dictated much of Sesso’s latest collection for their Spring/Summer 2023 collection, with the creative directors opting for muted tones and dramatic shades of black across their new releases. Models took to the runway in high-waisted skirts and shorts paired with boxy blazers and shirts, and threw in mismatched hemlines and cut-outs on pieces made from cotton and silk chiffon. One androgynous look, a black asymmetrical mini skirt paired with matching single-shoulders top which revealed lots of skin, took a particular attention.

Louis-Gabriel Nouchi for LGN

‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses’ (Dangerous Liaisons) is considered one of the steamiest novels of its era, and by choosing it as the title of his latest release, the mission of Louis Gabriel Nouchi was clear – to transplant the decadence of the 18th century into the current progressive state of fashion. As an avid reader and modernist, Nouchi’s presentation covered the dynamics of love and lust with the hard truths of brutality. 

If the characters of the famed French novel were alive today, perhaps their wardrobe would consist of what LDN presented at Paris Fashion Week 2023. With an eclectic mix of professional models overlapping with real customers as part of the event, the latest collection from LDN had androgynous written all over. Collection featured tuxedo jackets in deep purple and bright pink hues, black and white long coats over sheer blouses, body suits, and revealing, jersey-knit underwear. The brand included a heavy dose of its signature slit throughout, with the majority of the clothes in black and white, with a generous infusion of red and pink for an additional layer of sensuality. A standout look seen on the runway included one model in low-sling black trousers and matching body suit with revealing cutouts. The sensuality and intrigue of LDN yet again took center stage, ushering in a refined, yet progressive perspective to fashion.

Benjamin Huseby and Serhat Isik for GmbH

In celebration of South Asian and Arab cultures, ‘Ghazal’ took inspiration from a number of aesthetics to create a collection with its own perspective of the traditional sarong by pairing it with square suit jackets and immaculate fabrics. The collaboration extended to Syrian artist Abdelrazak Shaballot, whose Arabic calligraphy was seen across many pieces seen throughout the presentation.

The androgynous collection incorporated a liberal amount of satin, pairing it with intricately designed fake fur coats, colorful scarves, and restructured silhouettes that easily could have fit a late 70s/early 80s evening look. One standout from the collection featured one model in a vibrant, light blue free-flowing and mini kaftan with a plunging V-neck. Paired with white knee-high boots, the ambitious look was in line with the GmbH status quo and a welcome addition to the progressive fashion movement.

Jannik Wikkelsø Davidsen for Han Kjøbenhavn

Jannik Wikkelsø Davidsen took the phrase dystopian decadence further than it’s ever been in recent memory with a collection inundated with vivid imagery and designs that took on a decidedly futuristic vibe from start to finish. Under the theme ‘Chthonic Penumbra’, Han Kjøbenhavn crafted a collection which stressed taut silhouettes, beautiful bodycon outfits, and extravagant overcoats in muted colors that were seductive and ethereal all at once.

The brand did not shy away from controversial aesthetics. Designs included full-length turtleneck dresses, sculpted ruched dresses layered cut-outs, floor-length skirts and so much more. Several androgynous looks took the runway with one taking the stage in a statement overcoat in white that featured a high collar and shoulders. Paired with knee-high silver metallic boots, the label evoked a strong, singular approach living up to its mission to disrupt through design.

Thom Browne

Regarded as one of the most singular brands in the fashion world, any Thom Browne collection promises to be exciting, progressive, and in a lane all its own. So, with ‘The Asteroids’, Browne too the moment to re-imagine traditional childhood lore and put an indelible stamp on the narrative with immersive designs. Never a label to conform to the conventional, the brand remixed, reshaped, and draped to produce new stylistic approaches to fashion.

Under a presentation that included a solar system overhead, the models making their way down the runway offered up looks that were definitively different than just about anything offered by any other label. Using a color palette primarily encompassing light gray and silver hues, attendees saw custom shirts re-worked as dresses, larger-than-life puffed sleeves, and platform shoes that brought a number of looks to excellence. A standout from the presentation included an almost ethereal three-piece tweed suit. With a long, royal blue overcoat that featured large shoulder pads and truncated sleeves, light gray kilt, and black knee-high striped socks and boots, this was a stately, precision-tailored aesthetic both brilliant and enchanting. 

Willy Chavarria

Fresh off winning the Cooper Hewitt’s 2022 National Design Award for Fashion, Willy Chavarria took this year’s presentation at New York Fashion Week to further his  reputation as a protector of sleek, versatile clothing tailored to perfection. Throughout the collection, ‘Kangaroo’ exudes the strength and opulence synonymous with the brand, simultaneously progressive and revelatory across each piece.

Black dominated the runway during the presentation, with a focus concentrated on the proportions seen in the brand’s first foray into evening wear. Chavarria sent models down the runway in dynamic bow blouses, pleated silk skirts, silk suit pants, and statement overcoats worn with even larger sized tops. A premier embodiment of the tone for the collection featured one model in black pants paired with a fitted blazer that included a deep V-neck plunge with striking shoulders for a structured yet refined silhouette. Chavarria’s latest presentation perfectly showcased his artistry as a designer and his versatile creative genius.

Maximilian Davis for Ferragamo

After launching his career as the creative director at Ferragamo only a year ago, Maximilian Davis has called on all his innate talents in design to bring the luxury house to new heights. During Milan Fashion Week and his sophomore collection he placed expert tailoring and utilitarian design front and center in front of captive audience.

A fresh vision was in store for one of fashion’s most celebrated brands, and the collection included liberal use of their trademark red paired with bold greys and yellow as well as classic black. Befitting the elegant perspective Ferragamo exudes, spectators were presented with an eyeful of tailored wool coats, removable hoods on outerwear, asymmetrical fastening, subtle deconstruction, high collars and leather pants for added measure. For the ultimate utilitarian look, Davis clothed one of his models for the runway in head to toe signature red – a three-quarter length overcoat with long structured sleeves over matching pants and black boots. The end result as a linear silhouette that was strong and impactful.


What is certain in today’s fashion world is that the gendered restraints of yesterday have forever been obliterated as more labels seek to represent the shift seen in societies around the world. A new generation of designers have emerged ready to tackle binary fashion in search of fashion that ignores archetypes and rewrites fashion codes for a more progressive audience.

Triston Brewer is an international journalist and digital bon vivant. He has been published in The Huffington Post and featured in New York Times, Vogue Italia, and The Washington Post, to name a few.