The past decade-plus has seen a sea change in suiting. From razor-sharp notch lapels to ultra-slim fits, the modern suit has become more of a statement than ever.
It’s also become more comfortable to wear, thanks to the rise of casual performance menswear. It’s no surprise that this trend will continue to grow in 2023.
Dries Van Noten
Dries Van Noten’s SS23 collection for men brings classic structure of sartorialism infused with a sense of loucheness and sensuality. Presented as part of Paris Fashion Week, the collection celebrates unusual elegance and explores both the need for protection and the need for intimacy of up-close tactility.
The designer reimagines different archetypes of man, including after-dark dandy, cowboy, garage scene grifter and sleepy daydreamer. Their mannerisms and codes are manipulated to create new interpretations of each stereotype.
For his first physical show in two years, Van Noten chose a parking garage rooftop in Paris for the runway presentation. Using nature elements in his collection and the venue as an immersive experience, the brand made for an unforgettable show that left the guests feeling refreshed afterward.
The themes of raving and nature intertwined throughout the collection, with optical graphic prints and monochromatic designs contrasted by botanical prints and motifs such as green shoots forking off across cots and pants or an eagle caught in flight on a creamy crewneck sweater. The resulting look was as much a tribute to the effervescent, self-expressive rave culture of the ’90s as it was a nod to the surreal beauty of nature.
For Homme Plisse, Issey Miyake took over the newly renovated Poste du Louvre in Paris for a performance that blurred the line between fashion and dance. Models and performers from the acrobatic collective Compagnie XY performed, tumbling and jumping through eye-popping hues inspired by flowers and vases.
It was a masterful collection of menswear that embodied the Japanese designer’s signature pleating in new and innovative ways. It also included teckwear, layering and bold color, all of which made for a highly entertaining presentation.
Upon A Simplex is the latest in the label’s ongoing investigation of triangles and other simple geometric shapes that lead to the creation of complex forms, all of which are adapted as folds in fabric constructions. This season, the resulting motifs are incorporated into garments and the lines of their components adapted as the aforementioned one-of-a-kind tucks.
Matthew M Williams
The new mens fashion 2023 collection by Matthew M Williams sees the designer reimagining dressing culture, blending the traditional values of menswear with modern-day flair. As a result, the new collection is anchored by bespoke pieces that reflect the idea of individuality as well as ease and confidence in the process of dressing.
In addition to the new collection, Givenchy has also launched a brand-new original sneaker in two colourways – one a snakeskin iteration and the other in triple black. Taking inspiration from the designer’s TK-360 silhouette, the newest footwear is made with state-of-the-art technology and a striking, total knit construction.
The show was a fluid one that saw models emerge from a giant white box that plunked in the middle of Ecole Militaire in Paris and splashed through a moat of milky white water in vulcanized Givenchy boots. It was all accompanied by an ethereal soundtrack from British indie rocker Bakar and a range of looks that mixed neon performance gear with streetwear essentials like cargo pants and denim Bermudas.
Kenzo’s new creative director, Nigo, is a dutiful student of the brand’s history. He has spent a lot of time talking to the house’s archive, leafing through show notes, photographs and sketches.
It’s a studied, exacting approach that reflects the label’s enduring philosophy of real-to-wear. As a result, each season’s offerings don’t feel like an exact copy of the previous season’s designs.
In a collection composed across cultures, eras and styles, the designer drew inspiration from the beat fashion of his childhood in a way that is both modern and unmistakably rooted in Kenzo’s legacy. It echoed rocker wardrobes, Japanese construction, American workwear, classic rose prints and more.
A synthesis of these influences, he says, is the key to his collection. Known as the DC Brand Boom, this culture of 1980s’ Japan was inspired by casual, pop-driven character labels, and he evokes that spirit in varsity jackets with graphic character applique. Nautical influence, too, is reflected in sailor collars and caps, as well as naval bunting found throughout the collection.