Between the grand shows, the jokes and the K-pop stars, a look back at Men’s Fashion Week

Men’s fashion is changing course for next winter: it will again be more conservative, calmer, dominated by black and beige. However, the fashion week circus was more chaotic and boisterous than ever.

With the pandemic under control and China opening its doors again, a wave of change is sweeping the fashion world.

As of this writing, Gucci has yet to name a successor to Alessandro Michele, its former creative director, and the late Virgil Abloh’s position remains vacant at Louis Vuitton.

This lack of creativity at the helm of two of the world’s biggest luxury houses is enough to spook shareholders. But for the public, the coming months promise to be exciting. For the first time in years, Gucci opened Milan Fashion Week without Alessandro Michele.


The brand was called to change course, offering more traditional products and abandoning a little of its madness. To continue growing, the label had to become more exclusive and commercial at the same time. A strategy implemented with a certain lack of vision and character. Gone are Michele’s endless philosophical treatises, his penchant for Donald Duck, sequins and Elton John’s seventies outfits. Today, Gucci is a luxury brand like any other. Desirable clothes, sure, but they could just as easily have come out of the workshops of Celine or Dries Van Noten.

simple reductionism

Prada also follows a well-defined strategy. There was a time when every Italian house collection was the opposite of the previous one. From now on, each new version appears to be a revised and corrected version of the previous one. In their press release, Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons spoke of “a deeper exploration of the basics of fashion” and “reductionism and simplification.” The result: a parade of boys in skintight, minimalist, loose-collared, bare-chested suits accompanied by fantastic techno in a fantastical, stripped-down setting, where all attention is drawn to the soaring, ornate ceiling some ages.

Prada Ready to Wear Fall-Winter 2023-2024 – Getty Images

Other classic Italian brands have embraced ‘back to basics’ for this season, from Brioni to Tod’s to Canali, who designed us in 2007, that is, just before almost all traditional houses embarked on a renovation operation, calling Metallica for an advertising campaign like Brioni, for example. The “basics” of these brands are classic suits and beige winter coats. In this category, only Zegna and its artistic director Alessandro Sartori, offers a progressive vision of luxury fashion.

However, going back to basics is not particularly associated with depression. Like last season, Dolce and Gabbana honored his debut, serious, black and decidedly Sicilian, but at the same time deeply sexy, with several revivals of their winter 1999 collection. Exaggerated silhouettes and corsets abound. . “Black represents reserve, elegance, seriousness and allure,” explained the designers. Their parade was an unexpected highlight in Milan.

And then there was Dsquared2, for whom time seems to have stood still for 20 years. Here, there is no trace of “reductionism”. As usual, Canadian twins Dean and Dan Caten played with sexy menswear clichés (“Is a boy!” printed big on a t-shirt), with the only brag about 2023 being a piece of underwear here and there . So 2000!

Really awesome?

In Paris, display took precedence over collections, sometimes to their detriment.

It’s impossible to know where to head in the Louis Vuitton parade. On a somewhat elaborate catwalk, perhaps: a series of messy boys’ rooms through which the models zigzagged, occasionally grabbing a teddy bear and throwing it away later. Or was it necessary to see the wall of the auditorium built for the occasion in a courtyard of the Louvre, on which a film by the cult director Michel Gondry was projected. Or the bright yellow old car at the other end of the room that served as the stage for Spanish hit phenom Rosalìa. And how not to be fascinated by Rosalìa?

Rosalia at the Louis Vuitton show – Menswear Fall-Winter 2023-2024 – Getty Images

Part of the collection is designed by young American designer Colm Dilane, who recently rose to prominence with his KidSuper label. Will he soon integrate the house for good? It is possible, but at the same time impossible. Virgil Abloh, whose vacant position he temporarily filled, was the perfect example of the dreamy outsider who, to everyone’s surprise (and his own), ended up at the highest levels of the luxury industry. But Virgil Abloh already had his own successful label, Off-White, and as a man of color in a predominantly white luxury industry, his journey was also more meaningful. At this point in his career, Colm Dylan has just shown an innate talent for self-promotion. Maybe that will do, Kardashian style.

For the KidSuper fashion show two days later, Colm Dilane had invited a handful of American comedians (Jeff Ross, Stavros Halkias and Andrew Schultz) and anyone who wanted to come, which resulted in chaotic scenes outside the theater entrance. The evening was hosted by Tyra Banks. Insatiable banter abounded. Tyra Banks and comedians were dressed in KidSuper, but again the designs were off center, fading behind the fun.

Marine Serre, a talented designer who one might think takes pride in her work, and rightly so, staged her show in the dark, interspersed with flash effects that ended up making me sick. I kept my eyes closed most of the time, barely seeing anything (singer Yseult paraded, cool, with the legendary Kristina De Coninck, also cool).

Charlotte Rampling walks the runway for AMI – Men’s Fall-Winter 2023-2024 – Getty Images

Let’s move on to Ami, for whom Charlotte Rampling paraded on the perfectly lit stage of the Opera Bastille. Or for Dries Van Noten, who raised his audience for a show with an avant-garde atmosphere with a live performance by Lander & Adriaan. Or the small debuts on the runways of AIREI in Los Angeles, Jeanne Friot in Paris, the Liberal Ministry of Youth in Guadalajara or Namesake in Taipei. Or Rick Owens, who proved once again that a “big” fashion show can also be intimate.

The first real fashion week in years is coming to an end. Of all the good resolutions passed during the pandemic, nothing remains. Fashion was often sober, more minimalist than before. But the whole circus around him was more deafening than ever: the noise of the big parades, the influencers in almost identical outfits, the celebrities surrounded by bodyguards, the fans screaming behind the barriers, after the holidays which the press never spares… Enough to give you a headache, especially since we rarely had time to eat a good meal.

And yet, it was better than watching digital fashion shows on a laptop alone. Well, that’s what I told myself trying to convince myself one Sunday morning in minus five degrees, fingers half frozen, on a bench in a garden in front of the mad spectacle of Doublet.


At Dior in Paris, we know how to put on a show. The brand new face, Jimin of K-pop sensation BTS, appeared in front of hundreds of screaming fans at the Place de la Concorde – my “wrap” of Jimin and his bodyguards generated more than eighty thousand views and 620 comments on Instagram. No one seemed to be interested in David Beckham, one of the other guests on the show. The brand even released a statement about Jimin’s arrival the day before. Almost never seen. A K-pop star on the front row brings significant visibility to a brand. So Prada invited boy band Enhyphen to Milan, Kai of EXO was front row at Gucci and J-Hope of BTS was invited to Vuitton. And at Dior, where he honored his fans with a few dance steps.

Jimin of BTS in Dior – Getty © Getty Images


1. Invest in a long coat, preferably ankle-length, to wear around the chest. Glamor guaranteed, with anti-flu supplement.

2. Finished color: winter is almost completely black. Beige in all its variants is also allowed. And beige combined with black, as in Hermès. Toadstool yellow appears occasionally, as in Zegna.

3. Fashion is becoming more conservative again, while remaining progressive: we’ve seen a lot of bare shoulders, a lot of skirts (for example during John Galliano’s masterful fashion show for Maison Margiela), and a lot of underwear and corsets.

4. Brighten up your outfits with sparkling stones and crystals, like at Dolce and Gabbana.

5. The 2000s are slowly fading away, but the muse of the season is a somewhat dubious Italian club, like Martine Rose or Magliano.

Read also: A very promising men’s fashion week in Milan for Italian fashion

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