LOUIS VUITTON BROUGHT THE WILD, WILD AMERICAN WEST TO PARIS
Following a triumphant debut show on the Pont Neuf in Paris, Pharell Williams and his Louis Vuitton-clad army of models returned to the French capital for the Menswear Maison’s Fall/Winter 24 show. The collection was a Western-inspired extravaganza with models flaunting cowboy hats, belts, and boots. The runway featured Damier denim suits, pixelated cow prints, red checkered ensembles, and floral embroidered sets, all adorned with lavish embellishments. The collection showcased an array of accessories, including LV cowboy hats, ostrich leather boots, and a collaboration with Timberland. Pharrell’s signature ‘Speedy’ bags made a stylish return in fresh teal, pink, and purple hues. For the finale, Pharell took us from the hot, arid desert to a winter landscape, making it snow on the runway.
DIOR DEBUTED COUTURE FOR MEN
Last season, Kim Jones celebrated half a decade at the helm of Dior with an internet-breaking show with a model sprouting out onto the runway via trapdoors. This season, for the Menswear Maison’s Fall/Winter 2024 show, Jones employed slightly different mechanics, this time making the runway spin – a fitting finale for a collection inspired by ballet.
Exploring the connection between ballet dancer Margot Fonteyn and Monsieur Dior, Jones skillfully juxtaposed ready-to-wear and haute couture, embodying the contrasts within the house of Dior. In a nod to his uncle, the photographer Colin Jones, who was friends with ballet star Rudolf Nureyev, Kim explored the intersection of theatricality and reality.
Dior introduced Men’s couture for the first time, delving into the brand’s design archives with a focus on Saint Laurent’s tailoring. Ballet references were elegantly expressed through redefined masculine ballet flats, seamlessly blending Jones’ vision with the art of dance. The collection featured exquisite suiting, from extended double-breasted wraps to fluid bar waist curves, showcasing Jones’ signature style. Accessories included softly constructed utilitarian bags and bum bags, amplifying the iconic house codes.
KENZO TOOK US ON A COSMIC JOURNEY THOUGHT CROSS-CULTURAL ELEGANCE
Nigo unveiled a captivating Kenzo Fall/Winter 2024 collection at the Bibliothèque Nationale, taking us on an adventure through the Kenzo magic galaxy. Nigo, as the custodian of Kenzo Takada’s legacy, brought forth non-Western influences to Paris fashion, drawing inspiration from George Lucas’ cinematic shift using Akira Kurosawa’s samurai films to create the Star Wars universe. This exploration unfolded in details rooted in Japanese tradition but infused with sci-fi elements, such as kimono coats with warrior cape lines and plissé dresses reminiscent of space fiction heroines.
The collection subtly incorporated Western utility and military wardrobe influences, seen in flight jackets and shearling jackets embedded with codes from another universe. Paying homage to the Japanese electronic band Yellow Magic Orchestra, the collection celebrated the late musicians Ryuichi Sakamoto and Yukihiro Takahashi, with nods to their compositions inspired by Western and Asian musical influences. The red gakuran school uniforms served as a salute to YMO, enhancing the cross-cultural exchange within this captivating collection.
LOEWE PAINTED A BOLD & COLORFUL PICTURE
The Loewe Menswear Fall/Winter 2024 runway collection by Jonathan Anderson explored a crystallized American iconography through the lens of artist Richard Hawkins. Hawkins’ work was turned into snippets, adorning jewelry and clothing, creating prints, jacquard on knit, and oversized ‘Squeeze’ bags. The vibrant color schemes, intricate detailing, and deconstructed silhouettes, from scaled leather coats to beaded trousers, showcased Anderson’s understanding of modern masculinity. The Loewe Menswear Fall/Winter 2024 show set had a touch of Hawkins’ work. Inspired by 1960s Loewe window designs, Hawkins created 12 video collages, layering new footage with eclectic imagery, adding depth to the presentation.
HERMÈS VENTURED INTO SPORTS MODE
The Hermès Menswear Fall/Winter 2024 collection, designed by Véronique Nichanian, brought a playful touch to the Hermès men’s wardrobe. Embracing a paradoxical strength, the collection featured sculpted silhouettes and generous volumes. Nichanian reinvented construction through shapes and counter shapes, tapping into the sporty aesthetic by upgrading track and field staples with luxury and technical fabrics. Described as “dandy-chic,” the collection prioritized versatility and multitasking, offering layer-able clothing for a more challenging time in luxury fashion. The pieces exuded a sporty-city feel, incorporating rubber coats, herringbone coats with wool check linings, and glamorized fleece jackets with luxurious knitted collars. The color palette, featuring chartreuse, citrine, and aubergine, added a contemporary touch to the usual wintry tones.
VALENTINO REACHED FOR THE SKY
The Valentino’ Le Ciel’ Menswear Fall/Winter 2024 collection by Pierpaolo Piccioli challenges conventional notions of contemporary masculinity. Exploring the meaning of being a man today, the collection delves into the symbolism of color as a tool for the communication of ideas and ideals. Emancipating blue from societal expectations and gender norms, Piccioli reconfigures its language, inviting a reflection on the character of modern men. The traditionally masculine hue is resignified, liberated, and rethought, with sky blue symbolizing free-thinking.
BALMAIN RETURNED TO THE MENSWEAR RUNWAY
“It’s luxury, but it’s definitely not quiet,” declared Olivier Rousteing – a fitting description of Balmain‘s Menswear Fall/Winter 2024 collection. The showcase featured a riot of bright colors, figurative prints, polka dots, metallic glam, and couture-caliber embellishments. The opening piece, an overcoat paved with pea-size crystals forming a face generated by AI, set the tone for the bold and expressive show. After 13 years at Balmain’s helm, Rousteing aimed to infuse menswear with the same craft and expression seen in women’s fashion.
Described as a “rebirth,” the collection borrowed from the women’s archive of Pierre Balmain and highlighted codes introduced by Rousteing. The focus was on tailoring, with daring color clashes, lavish embellishments, and bold jewelry, including an abundance of bangles and armbands. Lips and eyes emerged as key motifs, adding playful yet confident touches to the collection, symbolizing freedom and a joyful spirit.