By Pakkee Tan

NYFW: 5 Things To Know About COS’ Sharp, Sophisticated AW23 Show In New York

The AW23 collection was an ode to New York married with a Swedish sensibility
Photo: Courtesy of COS

After a week of erratic weather (an unseasonable heatwave followed by torrential rain!), Swedish fashion label COS returned to New York Fashion Week to present its autumn/winter 2023 collection. Held at the Manhattan Classic Car Club, and backdropped by a stunning golden sunset on the Hudson River, the clothes were a sharp, well-tailored proposition for the new season. Sasha Pivovarova made a star turn on the runway, while stars such as Jodie Turner-Smith, Evan Mock, Camille Rowe, Suki Waterhouse and Heart Evangelista sat front row. The best part? A selection of items from the show collection are already available now at COS stores and online. Here, your inside look at the sleek evening.

It was all about urban sophistication

The set featured curving galvanised steel sculptures that hinted at the collection to come down the runway. It had a smart, cosmopolitan feel that would be right at home from New York to Seoul. “We thought a lot about contrast,” Karin Gustaffson, creative director of COS, told us the day after the show. “Womenswear took a lot of inspiration from menswear, and also working with tailoring and methods like deconstruction to create strong silhouettes.”

It was an ode to New York

This is the second season that COS has shown in New York, and the collection reflected the buzzy pace and high-octane glamour of the city. “I love the vibe; I love the galleries; I think the food is good,” Gustaffson said with a smile. “New York is a place we always come for inspiration in a way. There’s so much art and people, and it’s dynamic, and it’s international.”

It was about an evolution, not a revolution, for the new season

The collection was more about adding on to the building blocks of the COS customer’s existing wardrobe, and less about making them buy an entirely new one. “I think what we really believe in is that [our customers] like to shop beyond the season and to buy pieces that they know they can keep,” Gustaffson said. “And I think this season specifically, the deconstruction for womenswear really helped to evolve the collection.”

Texture reigned supreme in the collection

It would be easy to take a straightforward approach and present the classic tailoring that COS is known for, but that’s not what the new COS is about. Interesting textures and materials were deployed to great effect throughout the AW23 collection: from fuzzy mohair, to leather tassels on wool coats, to detailed chunky crochet knits. Of course, over 92% of the collection was made from sustainably sourced materials like recycled and GCS cashmere in the knitwear pieces.

The viral cloud bag got an upgrade

You know those puffy COS bags you’ve been seeing everywhere? They’re back in a big way for autumn/winter 2023. Popularised by Blackpink’s Jennie, the COS cloud bag was spotted on the runway in luxe leather versions in various sizes and colours. It’s already on several fashion insiders’ wish lists, who texted me immediately after the show declaring that they absolutely needed the new iterations. Our pick? The pastel blue mini version for evening events and the large black one that will be perfect for everyday wear.