The big story for the
spring 2024 menswear collection? The spectacle of it all. From enclosed bridges (Louis Vuitton, Kenzo) to moving floors (Dior Men) and palace-side cruise ships (Jacquemus), fashion shows continue to reach new heights as displays and demonstrations of power, wealth and access. I’ve seen more drones circling the shows than cameras snapping close-ups of the clothes we supposedly saw there. As for brand livestreaming, they’re getting better at capturing the scale of a scene by zoomingout, but luckily, on theVogue runway, we The business is still expanding.
The look this season is boyish suiting, such as a tailored jacket paired with tiny shorts (“Very short shorts, yes! These girls have beautiful legs!” Hermès designer Véronique Nachinian backstage). The classic schoolboy uniform has dominated the shows from Valentino and Givenchy to Ami and Paul Smith. What the hell are these shorts for? The big picture: Fashion is grappling with masculinity. How do you dress the modern man in a world where the typical man is outdated? Menswear starts and ends with tailoring, and as my colleague Luke Leitch points out in this season’s Vogue Club retrospective, designers are now asking us to go back to square one. The little boy suit is playful and non-threatening; it showcases a masculinity unencumbered by historical precedent.
There’s a certain lightness to this season, and it’s not just a response to the heat. Walter Van Beirendonck and Emporio Armani offered sheer tailoring, while Saint Laurent’s Anthony Vaccarello and Dries Van Noten opted for lightweight fabrics. This sophistication extends to this season’s key silhouettes, rendered in opulent style. Tank tops and tank tops, which dominated the runways last year and have now taken over the streets, have been replaced by halter tops and tank tops that expose the almost always thin bodies that wear them (but that’s a story for another report ). Interestingly, menswear often borrows from queer ways to express liberation—tank tops, camisoles, and airy frilly fabrics aren’t queer and gay trends, they’re community-first adoption of unfeminine clothing. Getting rid of the norm, now they are liberating everyone else.
Contrast this with the utilitarian detailing of Sacai’s partnerships that can be found everywhere, from Silvia Venturini Fendi’s Florence factory show to Chitose Abe’s Carhartt. But rather than suggesting a return to tradition, these invisible utility vests and tool belts suggest a suspension of masculinity as we know it: the men who wear these don’t spend long days in factories, and their carpenters The ring cannot hold a hammer.