LaQuan Smith Spring 2023

As many fashion designers are attempting to bring sexy and glamour back in this post-COVID-19 season, LaQuan Smith is looking in a different direction. In fact, sexy never left Smith’s fashion collection, sensuality and sexiness has always been a focal point of the collection.

For his spring 2023 collection, LaQuan Smith looked to bring more movement and pliability to his always sexy point of view. In previous outings, Smith wrapped his woman in his in-your-face sensual projections. And as sexy as his collections were, Smith’s woman had to be very fit and fine without having a lot of comfort when donning Smith’s creation. Well, all that is thrown to the winds in Smith’s spring 2023 outing.

“My woman is in a space where she needs air right now, it’s all about movement and fluidity,” Smith explained in a article. “It’s about the female form, about sensuality and femininity, that is what we’re here to celebrate today,” Smith continued.

While there are many looks in this collection that demand a very svelte frame, there were several looks in the collection that would appeal to curvy or larger women. Still, if you want your sexy back or you are looking to continue your ride on the va va voom train, this collection will satisfy every need to show off your femininity and outer vixen.

What also worked in this collection was Smith’s projection to the future as evidenced in garments that scream next, next, next, with just a sliver of now. Daring, out of this world and a smidge of “oh no, you didn’t,” but Smith did, and his diehard consumer is ready and ready for this collection.

Though this collection was about as far as a designer can get away with when it comes to provocatively baring the female body, it was not garish and low brow.  And the titillation value was not diminished by Smith’s infusion of comfort ease.

Images courtesy of

There was also a sophisticated element to this collection that sometimes lacking in previous outings. This collection proves that LaQuan Smith is one of the standout designers of his generation and that he has grabbed the brass ring and knows what to do with it!!

—William S. Gooch

Boohoo by Kourtney Kardashian Spring 2023

Fashion collections by celebrities don’t provide the quicken heartbeats and excitement they one produced. No one can forget Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B collections—which mixed streetwear with fashionista bling. Nicole Ritchie’s House of Harlow collections were a must-see, as well as Love S by Serena Williams. And former Spice Girls’ Victoria Beckham’s eponymous collection still manage to quicken pulses.

Kourtney Kardashian has entered her fashion collection into that fray of celebrity-based fashion and beauty brands. And there though fashion wagging tongues that would scoff at this added venture to the Kardashian empire—I was one such critic—from the looks of Kourtney Kardashian Boohoo spring 2023 collection, there are some merits to this outing.

At closer examination, the Boohoo spring 2023 collection was a very smart collection. This collection has lots of street cred and will satisfy a lot of consumers that want casual, sexy clothes with an edge that fits a lot of different body types and doesn’t break the bank.

Kourtney Kardashian ingeniously put lots of different sized models—from standard size to curvy to plus-size to very pregnant—in this runway outing. With this diversity of size and ethnicity, consumers will have no trouble imaging themselves in these clothes.

Still, there was not a lot of design in this collection. In another decade, this collection would have been categorized as a stylists’ collection. (For those young viewers who don’t know what a stylists’ collection is, a stylist’s collection is a collection that a fashion stylist could have curated from a lot of well-known retail stores. Thus, eliminating the need for innovation and creation. The genius is in the mixing and matching.) And that is ultimately what this collection is.

The only substantive thing this collection had to say is that it was incredibly inclusion. But innovating and introducing originality was not a part of the conversation. Still, this collection will sell well for those who follow the Kardashian and want to sexy at every jointure of their day.

Images courtesy of

One cannot leave out the attendees at this runway show. Anna Wintour and Anne Hathaway sat side by side in the front row. And this was the biggest assemblage of New York City young fashionistas I have every seen. The audience was awash in Gucci, Valentino, Chanel, and other luxury brands. None of whom will probably wear Boohoo.

This show was, for the most part, an Instagram and TikTok moment. And for those social media aficionados, the clothes were less important than the scene.

—William S. Gooch

Bibhu Mohapatra Spring 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge and difficult for all of us. But out of tragedy, a phoenix can rise.

That said, out of tragedies that Bibhu Mohapatra has suffered over the past two years—losing his brother to COVID—Mohapatra looked to points of activism and redefinition for his spring 2023 collection. Out of his realignment and inspiration a phoenix did rise out of the proverbial ashes. That rebirth being Mohapatra’s spring 2023 collection.

Inspired by the late German artist and activist Claude Cahun, who proposed the idea of a “third sex,” Mohapatra used Cahun’s experimental use of masks to alter his appearance in self-portraits to re-examine the Mohapatra woman’s perspectives and points of view at ever jointure of her day. “Instead of using masks in the literal sense, I have tried to create many renditions of the Bibhu woman,” Mohapatra said in a article.

So, let’s examine who the Bibhu Mohapatra woman is. The Mohapatra is a woman who loves texture, embellishments, intricate design, and traditional silhouettes seen the lens of modernity.

Like many fashion designers this season, Mohapatra incorporated his version of the corset married with some of Mohapatra’s continued favorites—striped textiles, striped winged sleeves, black eveningwear, and monochromatic color palettes. New to Mohapatra’s aesthetic were his use of high/low looks and wide-legged pants with piping.

Standout looks in this collection was the brand’s Deauville-inspired, denim-inspired dress with denim corselet, wide-legged stiped pant with white lace floral top, floral black and white handkerchief, long skirt with black lace top, pale-blue poof cocktail dress with pale-blue train, and white and black floral print cocktail dress with long ribbed organza skirt overlay.

Images courtesy of

Now that Bibhu Mohapatra has a brick-and-mortar store, his fans and upcoming consumers will not have to wait for the big retailers to carry his collections. And that is a very good thing!!

—William S. Gooch


Kevan Hall Spring 2023

Have you ever wondered what makes a good fashion show? With the plethora of fashion shows and presentations during New York Fashion Week (NYFW) it is sometimes hard to tell what make a good, brand effective fashion show. That said, there is an art to producing a great fashion show.

Here are a few tips!! A good fashion show should contain looks that are now and next. (Shush, I got that from the great fashion editor icon Diana Vreeland.) No collection can really standout and triumph without good models. Good models can make even a bad collection look better. A good fashion show has excellent production quality—meaning that attendees are in the right sections and the guest lists includes industry professionals, influencers, the old guard as well as up-and-comers.  And lastly, a good fashion show/collection should speak to the brand’s core consumers. It is fine and dandy to attempt to expand your audience, but you cannot throw the baby out with the dishwater, so to speak.

Kevan Hall’s spring 2023 show/collection contained all these elements and more!! For inspiration for his spring 2023 collection, Kevan Hall looked to Todos Santos, Mexico and his travels there. This “Hotelito” collection expressed a feast of vibrant colors, textures, and clean architectural lines that define the décor of the hotel where Hall resided. The saturated palette of persimmon, fuchsia, yellow, azure, and violet all of which are just a stone’s throw away from the crystal-clear turquoise ocean, are the final ingredients in the fashionable feast of the collection.

In this outing, Hall dressed his customer at every jointure of her day.  And he dresses her brilliantly. “These are clothes that women can wear effortlessly for day … cotton embroidered dresses, neon brights, summer tweeds, graphic-printed georgettes are casual and chic,” says Kevan Hall. “There are also cocktail dresses and evening ensembles in textured jacquards, taffeta, silk organza, beaded laces and fringe that are at once sophisticated and sexy providing the perfect balance for the modern woman… the woman for whom I design.” 

Though there was a slight old-school atmosphere at this outing—models turned, posed, pivoted, and mildly interacted with the audience, the black fashion intelligentsia were front and center, and the attendees were divided up according to what they could bring to the bran. There were also some modern projections that worked well for the collection. Tradition silhouettes contained some innovative elements. The summer tweeds were extremely lightweight facilitating transitions from early spring to early summer. And like several designers this season Kevan Hall included a range of ages of the models, highlighted by the inclusion of supermodel icon Coco Mitchell, who really knows how to show off a garment.

In this collection, Kevan demonstrated that young consumers can be sophisticated and elegant and still be current and that more seasoned consumers can be frolicky and fashion-forward without sacrificing sophistication and elegance. Additionally, Hall launched his capsule handbag and belt collection in this collection. All created in Italy with the interlocked “KH” monogram logo that will be a signature of the collection going forward. The bags are made of some of the finest Italian leathers on the market, some with perforated detailing. The belts are reversible in vibrant color combinations like chartreuse/turquoise, persimmon/yellow, pink/coral, and black/white for a graphic, more classic statement.

Images courtesy of VERY New York PR

Bravo Kevan Hall!! Keep up the good work and show the young bloods how it is done!!

—William S. Gooch



Cynthia Rowley Spring 2023

When one thinks of a New York City-based fashion designer whose collections reflect that you New York City woman who is looking for style, elegance and comfort Cynthia Rowley immediately comes to mind. As a designer who has presenting at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) for a few decades, Rowley knows her consumer very well and understands how to keep her happy and well dressed.

Using New York City’s Battery Park and the Statue of Liberty has a backdrop, Rowley presented the color that was infused with lots of bold color, texture, metallics and silhouettes from the 1990s. “I think the things that are consistent with us is the pretty-meets-sporty and how these two really disparate ideas coexist, and everything that happens in between is really what I think makes us who we are as a brand,” explained Rowley.

“Color is really important to me and the joy that color can bring, so I like experimenting with that [too],” continued Rowley. “I feel like first coming out of the pandemic, color was really important. And then the next evolution of that is all that color, and then in metallic too.”

Many of the looks in this spring 2023 collection are slight carryovers from Rowley’s fall 2022 collection. This inclusion was must evident in the carryover of Rowley’s use of bodysuits and very sheer, diaphanous elements.

Like many designers this season Rowley looked back to the 1990s for inspiration. Rowley brought back the cargo pant aesthetic in this collection, but in true Rowley done in a style that fits her brand DNA and that make her customer very happy. We are talking cargo pant pockets on maxi canvas skirts and pants.

Rowley also brought back the silver metallic trend; however, in this outing it metallics that a woman can wear at every jointure of her day, and not just for eveningwear or nighttime ventures. And for those Rowley devotees there is lots of bold color to go around, as well as sexy garments for those daring enough to show off that va va voom.

Images courtesy of

As we continue to move out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cynthia Rowley is poised and primed to keep her consumer ready for this new adventure into style and elegance. And this spring 2023 collections screams loudly that we are back!!

William S. Gooch

IN EARNEST by Bryon Lars Spring 2023

A few years back, Byron Lars changed the name of his eponymous brand to IN EARNEST by Byron Lars. The reasons for this name change are varied and multilayered; however, for those of us who love Byron Lars and his vision of his ever-evolving consumer the reason for the name change is obvious. Byron Lars is earnestly and honestly the real deal. And this spring 2023 collection confirms that fact.

Season after season, Lars keeps his collections, fresh, current and beyond fashion trends. Inspired by 1940s Harlem, Byron Lars found an ingenious way infuse a Harlem 1940s fashion aesthetic into his spring 2023 collection. “At the end of the day, it’s about evoking the joy of dressing up exemplified in Harlem of that period, since I think we are most definitely ready if not longing for that level of expressiveness again in the way we present ourselves with clothes,” says Bryon Lars.

Interestingly Lars’ atelier is based in Harlem and this outing was the first time Lars has presented his collection in New York City since renaming his brand in 2020. “With IN EARNEST, we need to look at things differently, through a different lens than what we’ve done in the past. It is reflected in the design, in the business, and in how we want to present our concepts to the public. We are so inspired by the multi-disciplinary art forms and wanted to have fashion represented among artists of all kinds,” says IN EARNEST by Byron Lars business partner Sheila Gray.

Though Lars consistently seeks to keep his collections fresh, updated, and culturally relevant what does stay true to the brand’s fashion DNA is Lars’ remolding on traditional silhouettes and unexpected combinations of fabrications, textures, colors, and layered looks. Only a designer of Lars’ design acumen can continually evolve the Gibson Girl silhouette, keeping this traditional silhouette relevant and fashion forward.

As expected from the king of mash-ups, there were many other unexpected looks from the cargo culottes and lace motorcycle jacket to a red striped bustier top with floral harem pants. The designer also played with contrasting hard and soft elements, showcasing Black vegan leather ensembles as well as cocktail dresses of chiffon, lace, and florals. One defining element of this season’s collection is the dramatic display of the feminine form with an hourglass shirtdress, bustier detailing, puff sleeves, and peplums.

For pattern, the collection relied on a full mix of bold florals, bizarre prints, abstracted sequins, and stripes. Transparency was also a key element with lots of sheer paneling and a fully sheer qipao-style dress. The overall mood was a romantic nod to the styles of the 1940’s when American fashion was both traditionally feminine and utilitarian inspired.

What also stood out in this collection was Lars’ selection of the right models for the correct garment. From standard-sized models to plus-sized models to seasoned models, every model was perfectly matched to the right garment. A special nod goes out to supermodel Coco Mitchell who strutted down the runway in a silver, black and white sequined harem jumpsuit. Only a model of Mitchell’s caliber can show this look off in a way that makes every woman want to have this garment in her spring wardrobe.

Images courtesy of VERY New York PR

Standout looks, and there were many, include the white oxford boob button-down shirt w/palazzo jean, black vegan leather puff-sleeve sheath, black and white oxford stripe hourglass shirtdress, camouflage guipure lace jacket with sequined tap short, floral lace garden party dress, and floral sequined fit and flair dress.

William S. Gooch

Naeem Khan Bridal Spring 2023

At end of his spring 2023 bridal runway presentation, Naeem Khan turned to the audience, with fist in the air, proclaimed, “we are back.” As the audience rose to their feet in praise of Khan’s spring 2023 bridal collection, Khan’s collection not only proved that Khan was definitely back, but also that Khan is continuing to thrive.

For his spring 2023 bridal collection, Khan was inspired by beautiful gardens from around the world. Imagine the beautiful gardens of Tuileries, New York City’s Botanical gardens, the Dubai Miracle Garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens, and France’s Villandry Gardens. All this floral wonder in front and center in Khan’s spring 2023 bridal collection and reflected in Khan’s use of intricate beading, floral cutouts, embroideries, and laces. To highlight this inspiration, Khan gives the gowns in this collection names that reflect specific global gardens.

As with many of his collections, bridal and ready-to-wear, Khan consistently injects a 1970s design aesthetic into almost every bridal gown. And Khan has created a collection that dresses his bride at every jointure of her nuptial ceremony from the bridal rehearsal party to the wedding to the reception.

This collection also includes a variety of bridal silhouettes from floral column gowns to fit-and-flare gowns to princess gowns to cocktail dresses and floral pantsuits. And though in past collections Khan’s bridal gowns seem to focus more pointedly on a younger bridal consumer who is very svelte and fit, with this collection Khan expands his demographic to include a wide swarth of bridal customers.

Khan did not recreate the bridal wheel, so to speak, with this collection—something he has done in previous collection. With this collection, Khan plays it a little say with silhouettes and design aesthetics that most consumers can relate to.

That said, Khan’s more standard approach this time around did not diminish the beauty of this collection. Though there were a few looks that seem to be repurposed from previous bridal collections.

Images courtesy of

Standout looks in this collection—and there were many—include Oahu beaded cocktail dress, Medellin scallop beaded cocktail dress, Greenport fit-to-flare embroidered gown, and Kew embroidered drape sleeve gown. Naeem Khan, the bridal industry is so pleased that you are back. Bravo!!

—William S. Gooch


Ines di Santo Bridal Spring 2023

If you have ever been to an Ines di Santo bridal show, you know that she never does anything small. From having her bridal show at Jazz at Lincoln Center with a full orchestra to producing a bridal show with set of real trees and foliage for the models to saunter around, di Santo really knows how to enchant and entice bridal industry professionals and consumers.

A bridal extravaganza was not on the menu for di Santo’s spring 2023 bridal collection. This presentation was about re-establishing di Santo in the New York bridal market and demonstrating that di Santo has not lost any of her shine and sparkle.

“Last season I shared my love of family and our Italian roots. In this new season, I drew inspiration from my formative years and the integral cities from around the world that have nurtured my growth as a designer. Join me as I look to my childhood in Buenos Aires, reflect on my time studying couture in Paris, and see how I discovered opulence in Dubai. This season’s collections are a glimpse into my fantasy world from my explorative years and discover how my travels led me to collect the skills I have spent my career trying to perfect,” detailed Ines di Santo.

This spring 2023 bridal collection was a reflection on what di Santo does best, create bridal gowns that combine elements of couture with a modern sensibility. And that modern sensibility includes bridal silhouettes for what many modern consumers are in the market for.

Images courtesy of Atelier PR

True to form there were many traditional bridal silhouettes in this spring 2023 collections. There was an array of trumpet gowns, fit-to-flare gowns, princess gowns and mermaid gowns. Still, there were a good amount of cocktail dresses and column gowns with interesting embellishments—feathers, bangle beads, floral cutouts, and fringe. And realizing that the modern bride is interesting is something other than a white gown, Ines di Santo injects lots of pastel colors into this spring 2023 collection.

From high-low gowns to cocktail dresses to princess gowns there is something in this collection for almost every bride. And Ines di Santo has all the goods!!

—William S. Gooch

Sachin & Babi Bridal Spring 2023

Despite the tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are some good things that have come out of this health crisis. The health pandemic has caused many of us to reflect on what is important. And that sense of what matters has taken root in the bridal industry. Pre-COVID-19 pandemic, most brides aspired to have large weddings with all the trapping. That is no longer the case for many brides. In a nutshell, priorities have shifted.

This shift in priorities is most evident in Sachin & Babi’s spring 2023 bridal collection. Their consumer yearns for something simpler, more organic, something that reflects their newfound sense of calm and tranquility.

“Our inspiration for this collection is really our muse, our gal. We looked at today’s modern woman, her sensibilities, her mindset. Our inspiration is never linear because we are inspired by so many things, but the focus of this collection was appealing to our muse, a woman who is enjoying life and has a post-pandemic focus,” explained Babi Ahluwalia.

There is something in this spring 2023 collection for almost every bride, whatever the age, cultural or social demographic. There are no big, puffy ballgowns, but that was never Sachin & Babi’s design aesthetic. What is front and center in this collection, is the husband-and-wife design duo’s attention to detail, minimalist sensibilities and focus on strong, clean lines with just a bit of modern sensuality thrown in for good measure.

This bridal collection also is designed with an understanding that many bridal consumers are choosing to have their weddings outside of a traditional chapel setting. So, whether the bride is getting married in a garden, on the beach, at City Hall or a mountainside, Sachin & Babi have the perfect bridal ensemble for the occasion and the location.

Additionally, Sachin & Babi incorporated something that few bridal collections include, garments for the female members of the wedding party. There were wonderful additions of bridesmaids’ dresses and mother-of-the-bride gowns.

“[These additions] came organically, I promise you, because on social media we would get DMs from mums who wanted something for themselves but were not finding much in the market. So, by putting our ear to the ground, we filled the needs of our consumers. Many of the mothers of the brides are in their early fifties and sixties and they are paying for the wedding. They want to shine, too,” revealed Babi Ahluwalia.

Images courtesy of Atelier PR

Standout looks in this collection include, but were not limited to, the crepe tee shirt with crystal and pearl torsade crepe wide-legged pants, allover floral embellished lace halter with pearls and wide-legged crepe pant, stretch crepe jumpsuit with crystal embellishment and beaded drop earrings and tailored blazer with oversized bow sash, column dress with crystal embellished bon on attached cape.

William S. Gooch


Mark Ingram Bridal Spring 2023

Inspired by vintage bridal collections, the recent Dior exhibit and HBO’s “Gilded Age,” Mark Ingram infused his collection with a combination of classic silhouettes and modern points of view all seen through the lens of what modern brides want to wear. What stands out most in this bridal collection is Ingram’s attention to detail and his construction stills, which he honed at the iconic fashion houses of Oscar de la Renta and Caroline Herrera.

“My inspiration was the process of couture and going to Dior show at the Brooklyn Museum, in Paris and later in Brooklyn. It was a very personal showing because you get the opportunity to be up close and personal view of the details that Christian Dior used in couture collections.  I hope the couture process came through in what I executed this season,” explains Ingram.

And yes, Mark, the couture process did come through. And true to the art of couture, Mark Ingram paid close attention to the techniques necessary to make couture the focus of this collection.

Though this collection was a fashion compendium on couture techniques and classic silhouettes, Ingram did ingeniously inject some modern elements into this bridal collection. There were several garments that contained detachable trains and bows, and one garment had a skirt that could be transformed from a typical skirt with small train to a high-low tea dress.

There were several bridal gowns that were accompanied by stunning bolero jackets. Ingram wisely included these bolero jackets to accompany gowns that were strapless in case spring weather is on the chilly side. There were also a couple of garments that had deceptively hidden openings where brides can show off their jewel-embellished shoes in Instagram photos.

Images courtesy of Mark Ingram

One of other element that should be mentioned is Ingram using his bridal showroom appointment to educate industry professionals about his choices in fabric, construction, and various couture techniques. This was a very rare treat and harkens back to the golden age of couture when fashion designers interacted in a very personal way with fashion industry professionals. Very smart addition Mark Ingram, keep up the good work!!

William S. Gooch

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