Stylist and fashion photographer Leo Li may be 18 years old, but he knows fashion. In fact, this style-savvy college student and influencer recently attended New York Fashion Week, where he attended shows by huge designers like Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger, Coach, Fendi, and Laquan Smith – and now he is preparing to attend Milan Fashion Week in February 2023.
Leo’s work has graced New York runways and has been spotted at Manhattan’s hottest clubs. He’s an icon in the making, and he predicts that this winter’s trends will be everything he loves: color, sparkle, and unexpected silhouettes.
“Cinch in your waist and be ready for flowing, translucent fabrics,” he enthuses. “Okay, it’s going to get cold in New York – but we’re so excited for this look. Dior and Balmain gave us futuristic metal corsets, Versace opted for silk satin, and Gucci did sheer black net over taupe silk.”
He adds that the key to keeping warm with these delicate fabrics is layering them with another of the season’s biggest trends: huge, bulky, chunky knits. “I loved the thick sweaters that Molly Goddard paired with tulle evening dresses,” says Leo. “Yohji Yamamoto had models drowning in layers of wool, with huge mushroom-shaped hats. That might not be for everyone, but we’re loving the 90’s throwback to the sweater set, updated by Chanel.” Big sweaters don’t have to be shapeless, though – Louis Vuitton featured Fair Isle sweaters knotted at the waist.
Leo adds that skirts are most definitely in for winter. “Messy maxi skirts are so much fun in a variety of textures,” he says. “In sharp contrast, we saw super-tailored skirt suits from Erdem, Thom Browne, and Giambattista Valli. Very sleek, very polished. I like to pair these with another seasonal trend: the updated bomber jacket. I love the metallic version from Chanel and embellished versions from Prada and Elie Saab.”
As a bold ambassador of vibrant colors, Leo is wild about another big winter trend: brilliant stripes. He points to Christopher John Rogers’ kaleidoscope of rainbow striped pieces, and Chanel and DSquared2 both showing off brightly striped tunics and shirt dresses. “This, along with the Zany Granny aesthetic – super colorful crochet that we saw with Moschino, Etro, and Rosetta Getty – proves that color is a hot trend, sure to keep the winter blues away,” says Leo.
He adds that the key to incorporating each of these vibrant trends is starting off small, then testing your comfort zone. “For a client who usually sticks to neutrals, I’d start with one statement piece – say The Series Granny Scarf, which is a gorgeous brightly-colored crochet piece,” says Leo. “I’ll have that client throw the scarf over their trademark neutral overcoat and let them experiment with color. Then we can start to branch out and try new pieces to mix and match.”
He adds that a popular winter trend that anyone can appreciate is the vest. “You can go for opulent, like the Chloé shearling/leather vest; dressy, like Christian Dior’s matador-influenced tuxedo vest; or classic, like Alessandra Rich’s buttoned waistcoat,” Leo says. “We’ve seen denim, leather, silk – vests in all lengths and all materials. It’s an easy layering piece that anyone can experiment with.”