Paris Fashion Week Men’s Was a Cluster of Contradictions - Mission

Paris Fashion Week Men’s Was a Cluster of Contradictions

By Ally Reavis.

Paris Fashion Week Men’s may be evidence we’ve left quiet luxury behind in 2023. The week was a show of modern masculinity, embellished with workwear and extravagance. 

It’s impossible to describe this Paris Fashion Week Men’s in one word, but “diversified” comes close. The Autumn/Winter 2024 shows brought a wide array of styles to the freezing city last week. Every kind of man saw themselves in fashion, from the macho cowboy at Louis Vuitton to the refined gentleman at Givenchy and the sensitive man at Loewe.

Elements of workwear appeared in a variety of shows. Dries Van Noten gave cargo pants the spotlight. Pharrell Williams, Louis Vuittons new mens creative director, delivered luxury workwear in his Western-inspired collection, with a Timberland collaboration and double-fronted work pants.

Designers also played with the shifting notion of menswear this season. Loewe’s Jonathan Anderson subverted masculine gender expectations by embracing the “no pants” trend that has been a hot topic in womenswear for the past year. Models walked the runway in nothing but white athletic-style tights, a leather coat, and vibrant low-profile sneakers. 

Pierpaolo Piccioli played with pinks and blues to comment on modern masculinity at Valentino. Even the structured gray trench coat had a gentle flair, with a pink hoodie layered underneath. The designer married traditional tailoring and delicate pinks. It was a wedding of gender fluidity. 

Styling seized focus this season, often contrasting casual and formal attire. Loewe’s gray sweatpants combined with the classic button-up was a work-from-home dream. Dries Van Noten’s sock-like dress shoes matched the mellow air of his loose-fitting suits. Givenchy paired tailcoats with tank tops and ribbed sweaters with slacks. 

“The collection, or rather collections, are about contrast: the contrasts in the House of Dior in terms of ready-to-wear and haute couture.”

Kim Jones OBE, Dior Men’s Artistic Director.

Dior Homme was no exception to the casual-formal alliance, combining couture and ready-to-wear this season. Kim Jones paid tribute to the late, fashionable dancer Rudolf Nureyev. Colin Jones, Kim Jones’ uncle, was a British Royal Ballet dancer and photojournalist who did a day-in-the-life story on Nureyev in 1966. Kim Jones celebrated his uncle and Nureyev by contrasting theatrical couture with ready-to-wear. A romper paired with a long gray coat and beret-style headwrap is undoubtedly dramatic.

“The collection, or rather collections, are about contrast: the contrasts in the House of Dior in terms of ready-to-wear and haute couture. It’s the difference between onstage and backstage; the life of Nureyev theatrically and in reality. Here it is a meeting of the dancer’s style with that of the Dior archive,” said Jones.

It’s safe to say quiet luxury finally got the boot this fashion week. In fact, Olivier Rousteing exemplified loud luxury at Balmain. “I’m not a quiet man,” he said. Like Rousteing had the Midas touch, coats, chains, a briefcase, and even a helmet appeared to be dipped in gold. 

Loewe also embraced maximalism. Nearly every look featured vibrant colors and prints inspired by American artist Richard Hawkins. Bright green coats with oversized neckties opened the show and set a spunky tone. Hawkins’ pop-culture-inspired prints became the fabric for jogger pants and totes. 

As couture week closes and NYFW is on the horizon, it’ll be interesting to see if the same themes play out. Will maximalism keep its crown over minimalism? Will stylists continue to mix formal and casual wear? The contradictions that defined Paris Fashion Week will surely show themselves again.

Homepage image group shot courtesy of Dior by Brett Lloyd. Runway homepage image courtesy of Dior. Inside group shot courtesy of Dries Van Noten.