Once considered a "warm up" for their female counterparts, Men's fashion shows are having their moment of glory, ready to open 2019 in style. Here are the names —legendary and new— to keep an eye on, this season in London, Paris and Milan.
January 5th, the equivalent of a Grand Tour will begin within fashion circles. Airline tickets are booked, Eurostars are filled and suitcases filled with carefully picked shoes: fashion journalists, stylists and models are ready to move in on the international fashion capitals.
First to open the year are men's fashion shows in London, Paris and Milan. Traditionally, Men's fashion has always been the younger sibling of high-glamor events of prêt-à-porter and women's high fashion shows. But the times they are-a-changing. And although Men's fashion represents only a quarter of the fashion market according to Euromonitor (equivalent to 1.7 billion dollars), the segment is expected to grow at a much faster rate than women's fashion over the next five years. The data has of course not gone unnoticed by the titans of the sector: in effect, what was once an afterthought in the fashion calendar has now shifted to becoming an occasion one dare not miss.
This year the London program will be compressed in three non-stop days. As usual, it will include a series of historical brands including E. Tautz, Oliver Spencer, Belstaff and Barbour. But London being a fashion incubator, the style capital will also showcase plenty of young talent.
Watch out for Charles Jeffrey —twice LVMH prize finalist and winner of the British Emerging Talent Menswear Award at the Fashion Awards— and his transgressive brand, Loverboy, for a timely exploration of the fantastic and the bizarre, and the most outrageous shows (last year Jeffrey sent the models on the catwalk with hats in the shape of sewing machines made of papier mache).
Charles Jeffrey's Loverboy
Samuel Ross, another LVMH Award finalist and Off-White consultant, will present his unique mix of casual garments imbued with a touch in Savile Row style for his A-Cold Wall* brand. The emerging Delada, a non-binary brand from Russian designer Lada Komarova, also deserves attention, alongside a the new entry on the calendar: the Mowalola brand, brainchild of former Central Saint Martins student, Mowalola Ogunlesi. Following his contribution in Pitti Uomo as a guest designer last year, Craig Green will return to present his collection of functional, cutting-edge fashion.
If London is synonymous with individual personalities, Paris is the capital of great teams. And 2019 promises to be a formidable season.
Last year, Celine named a new creative director to steer its brand, Hedi Slimane, who promptly dropped the brand's "E" accent, causing dismay and a frenzy for the designer's fans who began hunting for "vintage" pre-Slimane-Era logo bags. The label is now quietly returning to its men's fashion calendar following a much-publicized Slimane debut show in September. Clare Waight Keller —creative director of Givenchy, royal wedding dress designer and recently BFA winner— will follow suit with her Men's and Women's collections.
Kim Jones Dior Homme
Judging from the recent Pre-Fall collection held in Tokyo, Kim Jones's streetwear-inspired Dior Men line will surely be full of extravagance. Elsewhere, all eyes will of course be on Virgil Abloh, the fashion boy prodigy who rose to prominence as a creative director for Kanye West, and whose debut in Louis Vuitton last year was a critical public success. Heron Preston, another former student of the Kanye West team, is also an eagerly anticipated name: Preston who defined "luxury inspired by workwear with a new york aesthetic" will likely offer an energetic element of contrast with more established brands. Last but not least, Raf Simons will be returning to the French capital from New York. We couldn't ask for a better Parisian calendar this year!
At the beginning of the year the news that Michael Kors had bought Versace was certainly not a surprise. The American giant paid over 2.12 billion dollars for the iconic Donatella Versace-led fashion house, and recently announced its intention to open 100 new boutiques worldwide. Many hope that this Milan fashion show will provide clues about whether the new commercial imperative will become synonymous with a dilution of the classic Versace aesthetic in the name of pure sales performance.
Brands to make a return this year include John Richmond from homonymous British stylist, and MiaoRan, from Chinese designer Miao Ran. New names such as United Standard, a synonym of DIY 90s and bold graphics, and M1992, a kaleidoscopic mix of nostalgic elements from Hollywood and Los Angeles cool, will also be highly anticipated.
The grand finale will be held by Gucci of course, with a show entitled 'Motus Presents MDLSX with Silvia Calderoni'.