We’re looking back at the menswear fall/winter 2023 shows that took place over the weekend from names like Dior, Hermès, LOEWE, Comme des Garçons, KENZO, and Casablanca.
Acknowledging the importance of the past informing the present and future, Dior Men’s Creative Director Kim Jones chose to set his sights on a turning point for the maison—the passing of Monsieur Christian Dior and the rejuvenation of the house under the direction of Yves Saint Laurent. Likening the ebb and flow of the times to the movement of the iconic rivers, the Thames and the Seine, the Fall/Winter 2023 designs pulled cues from their murky waters, contrasting visuals, and fluid movement, simultaneously considering Saint Laurent’s debut collection for the house. Fluid shapes, river-like neutrals (with a pop of sunshine yellow and cloudy blue), and reimaginings of the young designer’s 1958 silhouettes—like the sailor top and the off-the-shoulder Acacias jacket—offered loose, softly-falling shapes that suggested a new kind of masculinity. Looks featured pieces like pleated kilts, fluid, wide-legged trousers, sweaters with drapery and textured embroidery, utilitarian outerwear with maritime influences (like a padded jacket that looked like a floatation device), and understated, elegant styling.
The Fall/Winter 2023 menswear debuts from Hermès were spry and playful, sharp and sweet, and ready for motion. Focused on lines and fabrics, the collection centered slim and confident silhouettes and crisp, quality fabrications in neutral hues like coffee, fog, charcoal, camel, and ivory. We saw straight-legged khakis paired with button-ups and leather jackets, supple leather trousers with turtlenecks and cardigans, pullovers combining knit details with leather ones, and suiting dressed down with layered shirts and sneakers While rooted in classics, a new-age feel was achieved through updated cuts (like a trench with a reimagined collar), intriguing metal hardware like pocket chains and collar fastens, lug-soled leather boots, and details like a small embroidered graphic that appeared on sports jackets, outerwear, and knits.
LOEWE executed a collection with reductionist principles, presented in tandem with three stunning large-scale commissions by Julien Nguyen, which stood like totems throughout the stark white presentation space. The American artist’s portraiture employs tactics of the Renaissance Masters using a unique base of copper and vellum. Nguyen aligned with the house’s quest for reduction and use of traditional methods in a non-traditional manner. Letting the silhouettes do the talking through pared-down details and carefully-chosen fabrics that interact with light (parchment, velvet, steel, leather, satin, copper, and wool), the resulting styles featured soft folds and rounded lines that gave off a kind of Renaissance tenderness, capturing details often seen in the paintings of the era. Standout looks included a round-neck red tunic styled sans pants with slouchy leather boots and an oversized tote bag, a leather top and black pants that featured an embellishment of leather folds at the waist, and a shaved shearling coat in a sculptural shape with belled sleeves and hem.
“Tailoring of the Avant-Garde” is the concept around which we saw the Fall/Winter 2023 debuts of Comme des Garçons come to fruition. The runway was filled with suiting of all types, though not quite the shapes that come to mind when thinking of the classic suit. Blazer shapes were updated with padding and panels, adding extra layers with zippers or imagining them in atypical fabrications like knits with patches of fur or glossy leather. Some looks had shorts in place of pants, we saw jackets that became capes (some more traditional and others, sculptural with pointed shoulders), and blazers outfitted with what looked like extra arms. The season’s prints came from the artwork of the New Mexico-based artist Edward Goss, which took the form of abstracted text scrawling across garments. Each look was styled with a wig featuring statement bangs, encircled by a unique headpiece in black that was part protective gear and part halo.
KENZO’s Artistic Director Nigo introduced a collection called “The White Album” for the Fall/Winter 2023 season, encompassing clothing for men and women. The designs began from two points of reference: the differences in the world of brand Founder Kenzo Takada and that of Nigo, and the interactions between British, American, and Japanese street cultures. Born from these explorations were garments that gave us the faintest notion of the wardrobes seen in Wes Anderson films, including garb recalling vintage clothing styles from the 1960s and 1970s and pieces combining traditional Japanese construction and American workwear styles. Looks we loved included a tweed shorts-and-jacket set with tall rainboots, a knitted neck scarf, and a compact leather handbag; a take on overalls with updated details and hardware, paired with a snow toboggan and a striped mock neck top; and a refreshing take on a khaki suit featuring swinging gaucho pants with excess fabric, minimalist hardware reminiscent of traditional Japanese styles, and a bucket hat that reminded us of vintage army helmets.
Named “For the Peace,” Casablanca’s Fall/Winter 2023 collection brought attention to refugees and those affected by the crisis in Syria. Setting the mood was a technicolor checkerboard floor, an installation of a jet overcome by roses, and a backdrop of international flags. Looks were inspired by courage and beauty in the face of tragedy. Including garments for men and women, the collection featured a range of shapes, colors, and influences, though the incorporation of doves of peace, Damascan roses, and Syrian florals in tandem with the brand’s own signatures was the most noteworthy element. In bold patterns and bright primary and secondary colors, the debuts included sharp tailoring, crocheted styles, looks with the chicest notions of ski attire, and a suite of couture pieces—like a pair of white trousers and a cape that featured intricately-jeweled squares of color down the front.