Paris Fashion Week Men has defied expectations and conventions for the Fall/Winter 2024 season. As usual, a wide myriad of points of view and approaches to the current times we live in have weaved a tapestry of presentations that ranged from the intimate to the political. From Rick Owens’ runway show in his house to GmbH’s powerful call for a ceasefire and calling out Israel’s genocide on the Palestinian people, to Loewe’s colourful reflection on social media, Dior Men’s merging of prêt-à-porter and Haute Couture, KidSuper’s star-studded event, Yohji Yamamoto’s subdued but equally striking show, or Sean Suen’s exploration of new silhouettes in tailoring, we’ve seen it all. These collections are more than clothes – they’re narratives and activism, pushing boundaries and urging us to see fashion’s deep, transformative power.
An exclusive invitation transports you to an unconventional setting for fashion – the intimate confines of Rick Owens’ home. Breaking away from the usual Palais de Tokyo venue, the designer decided to present his F/W 2024 menswear collection in the very space where he began selling his collections twenty-five years ago. The decision to host the show in his personal living and working complex was initially a response to the tumultuous times, but Owens later reflected on the unintended consequence of potentially excluding a community that he hoped to engage and connect with during the event.
Titled Porterville, the collection draws inspiration from Owens’ hometown in California. Featuring distinctive architectural silhouettes, exaggerated volumes, and innovative materials, each look showcases a continuous evolution of Owens’ design prowess. However, the standout elements of the collection were the inflatable boots, a collaborative creation with London designer Straytukay known for experimenting with shapes and architectural volumes. Another noteworthy aspect of Owens’ commitment to innovation was seen in jackets and pants crafted from discarded bicycle tires, recycled by Parisian artist Matisse Di Maggio. In a nod to community spirit, Owens expressed gratitude to fellow utopian artists who fearlessly embody their aesthetics like Steven Raj from Fecal Matter or subversive artist Gena Marvin.
As the fashion week reached its grand finale, GmbH founders Serhat Işık and Benjamin Huseby defied conventional runway expectations with their newest collection, named Untitled Nations. In a resounding departure from the typical realm of fashion fantasy, the duo took centre stage to deliver a powerful social statement that delved into the heart of global chaos. The runway became a poignant space for their heartfelt plea for a ceasefire in Gaza, setting the stage for a collection that transcended mere garments, weaving together a narrative of resilience, struggle, and a collective call for shared humanity.
Broad-shouldered coats and protective balaclavas, some draped in the colours of the keffiyeh, exuded a supportive spirit. Oversized tees adorned with ‘bleeding’ watermelons served as a poignant symbol of Palestinian reality, offering a stark contrast to the crocodile-skin textures that mirrored a world grappling with instability. Amidst the darkness, glimmers of hope emerged through opulent fur coats and comforting knitwear, extending warmth, while religious prayer hats paid homage to those aspiring to a brighter future.
It’s all about silhouettes. In a straightforward display, Chinese fashion designer Sean Suen brought his artistic prowess to the forefront with a menswear presentation that seamlessly blended nostalgia with innovation. Drawing inspiration from China in the early 1990s, a time of fervent exploration of Western fashion influences, Suen curated a runway adorned with finely tailored coats in rich autumnal shades. The collection not only celebrated impeccable tailoring but also showcased Suen’s penchant for experimentation in silhouettes and layering, featuring suit coats with extra buttons that allowed for dynamic rearrangements, introducing new folds and asymmetry.
Beyond the meticulous craftsmanship, Suen played with textures to craft a visual balance on the runway. Luxurious elements such as fake fur muffs and capes softened the overall aesthetic, creating a compelling contrast with the sharp, pronounced collars embellishing dress shirts, suit jackets, and elegant coats. Suen’s collection was not just a fashion statement; it served as a thoughtful exploration of historical influences, capturing the spirit of a transformative era in Chinese fashion where creativity and newness took centre stage.
Yohji Yamamoto Pour Homme
Forget fleeting trends and breakneck speed. In Yohji Yamamoto’s Fall/Winter showcase, time stood still. The runway transformed into a haven of personal resonance, where legends intertwined and history walked hand-in-hand with fashion. Imagine Zinedine Zidane, the soccer icon, sharing the front row with filmmaker Wim Wenders, who once documented Yamamoto’s visionary spirit in the ‘80s. And Wenders didn’t just watch; he became part of the narrative, gracing the catwalk twice, a living bridge between past and present. The show wasn’t just about clothes; it was a narrative. Eight dark coats, hand-painted with geisha figures and femme fatales, opened the scene, setting the tone for an eclectic dance between tradition and modern cliché.
The runway itself became a familial space. Models defying conventional age and gender norms walked in signature Yamamoto creations: long coats and boxy jackets, each adorned with symbolic paintings and cryptic messages. In a world obsessed with the new, Yamamoto reflected on the past with Wenders backstage, memories of war weaving a silent connection across generations.
From Colm Dillane to Ronaldinho, the String Theory menswear collection by KidSuper affirmed the belief that everything is connected. Renowned for his graphic-heavy designs, the show commenced with live violinists and a ballet dancer, signaling a transformative era for KidSuper. The collection shifted from a gothic opening to redefining streetwear, featuring embroidered faces on wool overcoats, 3D moss on puffer jackets, and oversized scarves. Colm Dillane’s creative evolution departed from conventional tailoring, showcasing transformative elements in streetwear, and continued with deconstructed trench coats, oversized fur coats, and floral motifs on denim, all reflecting the brand’s distinctive abstract style. Signature sketches adorned pastel suits, chunky knitwear, and cropped workwear jackets, accompanied by innovative accessories like sewing machine-shaped bags.
Beyond mere fashion, KidSuper’s runway became a stage for collaboration. Brazilian football legend Ronaldinho Gaúcho revealed a jersey collaboration, while ongoing partnerships with Canada Goose and the NBA featured paint-splattered outerwear, celebrating the 2024 All-Star game. The show’s finale featured intricately crafted crotched garments gracefully unraveling down the runway, leaving an indelible mark on Dillane’s presentation.
Stepping away from the conventional runway norms, Botter unveiled their Fall/Winter 2024 collection, an interesting journey into the depths of Dark Waters. Drawing inspiration from a melting pot of global influences including art and the vibrant Caribbean culture, each ensemble unfolded like a new chapter in the house.
The needle punch technique, echoing an old Dutch tradition, became a symbolic bridge between the sober Antwerp tailoring and the spontaneous vibrancy of Caribbean aesthetics. As the models strutted down the runway, the collection submerged itself in the visual reflection of the Dark Waters concept with a colourful contrast and redefined silhouettes, the seamless blend of grunge tailoring and deconstructed patchwork slowly shaped the wearable Caribbean collection.
The runway not only showcased a new approach from the designers but also hinted at the next chapter in Botter’s collaborative journey. A Reebok partnership took centre stage with sportswear vibes, revealing low-top footwear with flapped tongues, reminiscent of Wales Bonner’s adidas collaboration. Puffed rugby tops, dual-toned puffers, punctured caps, and oversized duffle bags in Botter’s signature blue rounded out the show, solidifying the collection’s status as a cultural odyssey that redefines the very essence of Botter.