Gwyneth Paltrow’s courtroom style has been a master class in ‘quiet luxury’ dressing—so, what does it mean?
All eyes have been firmly fixed on Gwyneth Paltrow this week, as the star has appeared at a Utah courthouse on trial for allegedly causing a skiing accident (opens in new tab). (A retired doctor is seeking damages after alleging that Paltrow (opens in new tab) was responsible for a collision between the two. Paltrow is denying the accusation and counter-suing for a symbolic $1).
Throughout the trial, Paltrow’s actions have been dissected by legal experts worldwide and her testimony has become meme fodder disseminated across the internet. But that’s not all fans are talking about, discussions about how the actor has chosen to present herself during the trial are currently a hot topic of conversation.
Over the last week, Paltrow has employed the very specific and understated “quiet luxury” aesthetic. The actress has appeared completely void of flashy brand logos, bold colours or out-of-the-box designs, and instead chosen outfit formulas which rely on classic styles and capsule wardrobe (opens in new tab) staples.
For her first day in court, Gwyneth opted for a white roll-neck jumper, khaki green coat, aviator sunglasses and brown trousers. On her second day, the actress sported an ivory cardigan, gold jewellery (opens in new tab) and an oversized tan tote designer bag (opens in new tab).
While internet sleuths have managed to track down the exact items in Paltrow’s courtroom wardrobe—her Day 1 boots were by Celine for example, while her Day 2 cardigan comes courtesy of her own brand sold on Goop—there has been a distinct lack of branding present throughout.
Of course, this feels like an intentional choice for Paltrow who is regularly seen in vibrant colours and floaty patterned dresses.
Quiet luxury is a fashion trend which has been steadily rising in prominence over the last few years. Employed by brands such as The Row, Gabriela Hearst (the double-breasted grey suit as seen below) and Theory, quiet luxury represents the antithesis of viral logo-mania-laden designs (think Gucci’s collaboration with Balenciaga or Fendi’s omnipresent double FF logo).
It’s epitomised by expertly tailored separates, classic hues and an overall feeling of timelessness. The fabrics are premium and the technical construction of the garment is luxury-level, but you would never know who designed the item unless you look at the tag…or are an in-the-know fashion expert.
While the runways of New York (opens in new tab), London (opens in new tab), Milan (opens in new tab) and Paris (opens in new tab) are often filled with larger-than-life designs, in recent seasons we have seen the pendulum swing towards this quieter, more timeless aesthetic.
Bottega Veneta as an example, closed its most recent Autumn/Winter 2023 show with the ultimate homage to quiet luxury, sending a model down the runway in a plain white tank top and a pair of blue jeans. Similarly, Proenza Schouler opened its runway with Chloë Sevigny dressed in a black blazer and white button-down shirt.
Indeed, we have certainly seen a renewed focus on clothes and craftsmanship on the runways, creating a new set of luxury signifiers that exist far beyond the logo. Quiet luxury operates on an ‘if you know, you know’ basis, without the need for obvious branding.
With the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow championing the aesthetic, we can only imagine its prominence will continue to rise. Could this be the new way to do designer?