The runway viewing experience will become less diabolical, hopefully: Like concerts and “VIP List” restaurants, runway shows are designed around content creation and capture. The live experience of looking at clothing is an important but largely secondary concern. It makes sense: there are way more people watching these shows via livestream than there are in the room, so brands design their 10-minute performances around content. I will probably never attend another fashion show as grand as Pharrell’s monumental Louis Vuitton debut on the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris, an audaciously huge event that looked incredible online, where it quickly became the most-watched runway show of all time. But the clothes were about 30 feet away from the audience. Now that we can’t go much bigger, perhaps more brands will re-explore simpler and more intimate forms.
The front rows will steal the show: As my colleague Eileen Cartter noted in June, last season was the most celebrity-centric men’s fashion month ever. You couldn’t walk a few feet in Paris without bumping into the cast members of HBO dramedies or K-Pop supergroups. It felt like the most important fashion show was the one happening as the VIPs walked to their seats. And this season will provide no shortage of random run-ins and meme-worthy moments. Especially if Jacob Elordi outdoes the above outfit. If that’s even possible—to me, his Valentino ensemble represents the two wolves inside every fashion week attendee: part of you wants to take the whole thing very seriously, and the other part wants to embrace the bizarro energy.
Act I: Pitti Uomo, Florence
Dates: January 9-12
Highlights: Pitti Uomo, the historic menswear trade show held in an ancient fortress in Firenze, is ground zero for the Italian tailoring industry and known for its delightfully unhinged street style. For the 105th edition, Pitti is continuing its tradition of inviting guest designers to hold runway shows in local palazzos, a program that has showcased emerging talents like Giorgio Armani (1979) and Dries Van Noten (1995). This season, the headliner is an Anglo-Italian double-act. First up is Magliano, the hot young Milanese brand known for its “fucked up classics,” like distended square-toe derbies and whacked-out knits. Then it’s S.S.Daley, another relatively new brand that—come to think of it—also makes fucked up classics, but with a distinctly British sense of materiality and charm. Joining the young guns is American menswear majordomo Todd Snyder, who makes distinctly not fucked-up classics. His twists on wardrobe archetypes are much more subtle, and have made him a quietly dominant force in American menswear.
Act II: Milan Fashion Week Men’s
Dates: January 12-15
Highlights: MFW will kick off with its biggest event: Sabato De Sarno’s first men’s show for Gucci. We got a sneak preview of De Sarno’s menswear designs at the LACMA Gala in November, but that was a formal red carpet. What he does on the runway is way more important and—like his women’s show—will probably be widely debated. In the days following, we’ll see Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Prada, Giorgio Armani, and Zegna. The standout newcomer on the schedule is actually a familiar name—the Italian street-tech-wear brand Stone Island will hold its first ever runway show on the evening of day one, promising in a press release to “gather our community together and share Stone Island’s new Manifesto, which speaks to the unique legacy, values and mission of this iconic brand.”
Act III: Paris Fashion Week Men’s
Dates: January 16-22
Highlights: Pharrell is playing a familiar role at PFW, that of headliner. At Louis Vuitton, the hitmaker closes down night one of a week jammed with unmissable shows, including Wales Bonner, Rick Owens, Dior Homme, Loewe, and the return of Valentino and Balmain Homme to Paris. Newcomers to the official show schedule include the two excellent artisanal labels Auralee and Ziggy Chen, as well as rising sportswear label Winnie, which joins Amiri, KidSuper, Rhude, and Kartik Research (formerly Karu Research) in representing the American fashion scene in Paris this season. Speaking of which, the party of the week is looking like GQ’s traditional bash at L’Avenue… see you there.
See all of our newsletters, including Show Notes, here.
Read the full article here