Menswear SS24 Edition
An insider’s view on PFW
On June 20th the city woke up to an air of optimism, freshness, and utter poetic boldness. Paris wasn’t about croissants and museums any longer, but it was about to be subject to the latest creations by designers and brands of all kinds.
DAY 1: The Beginning [LI-NING]
As it is common knowledge, the first day of the week has few shows. Today the impatience set around Pharrell Williams debut at Louis Vuitton. However, we were on the other side of the seine at the Centre Pompidou, where an “off-the calendar” show was taking place. The brand, titled ‘Li Ning’ is Chinese born and focuses on the integration of athleisure and streetwear. Their most recent collection was named ‘MY-VERSE’ and it set out to explore the role of the digital metaverse in our active lives.
Using the vast arena of the Pompidou, the show was set in a rocket / space capsule setting. Surrounded by vibrant red walls and psychedelic animations, the true showstopper was rapper Offset’s performance. Signing one of his #1 hits with Metroboomin ‘Ric Flair Dip’, it was the perfect tonality to accompany the urban style garments.
Focusing on earthy oranges, greens and browns with the occasional vibrant purple, yellow and red. Each look was meant to represent an idea of the modern consumer, where we can choose to identify as the ‘cool kid,’ ‘the skater,’ ‘the gamer,’ and much more. Taking inspiration from technology-driven cities such as Beijing and Hong Kong, the looks that walked down the runway allowed an expansive mobility without sacrificing style. Oversized and textured pants and jackets matched perfectly with printed bucket hats and nylon trench coats.
As the show came to an end, the day didn’t. We then headed out into Le Marais, or the ‘cool kids’ playground, where the infamous ‘La Perle’ bar was busy as ever. La Perle, famous for John Galliano’s history, but also known as the meet-up spot for all the industry. Cigarette smoke filled the air, cups of wine were clinking and models, photographers, and stylists were all lining up their weeks to see where they would meet again. Those nights, everything is possible, and the friendships made are ones you won’t forget.
DAY 2: On The Rise [RIZ POLI & ZIGGY CHEN & LOUIS GABRIEL NOUCHI]
It was 10:00 AM, and we were backstage at an up-and-coming brand’s show… RizPoli. Set in Maison D’lair in the 20th Arrondissement, the guests were directed to picnic style seating surrounding the venue.
Models delighted by showcasing vibrant and intrinsic garments containing layered mesh tops, ruffled blouses and psychedelic prints.
Not much later Ziggy Chen presented its latest collection titled ‘INADVERTENCY’ at the acclaimed Palais de Tokyo. Inspired by 1940s Chinese workwear, the garment’s palette consisted of faded blues, olive greens, coffee browns, grays and blacks. The usage of materials such as linen, hemp, and ramie allow for a simple and comfortable expression, meanwhile the use of silk and viscose emphasized the femininity of drapes. Interestingly, the covers of ancient books and fabrics from the designer’s personal collection were re-adapted to create the SS/24 prints.
Deciding to showcase their latest collection through an eerie presentation, the models would walk in pairs or small groups to a slow moving and dark beat. Acting sorrowful while directing an empty look towards the audience, the entire atmosphere reflected the conflicting feeling of ‘inadvertence’, which manifests the unconscious procrastination of one’s actions. An immersive story and disruptive collection, which is bound to disrupt.
Right next door we encountered fashion’s current and up-and-coming obsession, Louis Gabriel Nouchi. While the runway was being set up, we went backstage and got an up and close look at not only the collection but the wonderful team that makes it happen.
Inspired by the 1964 novel ‘A single man’ by Christopher Isherwood, the collection examined the view on masculinity through the lens of a gay man. A recurring topic for the designer, he sets out to re-define what a man is and what he feels, as per his fall collection when re-imagining ‘American Psycho.’
In this collection there was a keen appreciation towards 1960s tailoring with an 80s influence, as double-breasted jackets and high shoulders strutted down the runway. Details such as the ‘teared at the collar’ shirts, exposed shoulders and seatbelt inspired belts all hinted at different aspects of the book. An aspect that truly tied in all the collection, as ‘inspired’ doesn’t stop at the concept, but materializes into a garment.
Casting models in a range of sizes and ages set the brand ahead and into a more inclusive future, which captivated the audience much more. With a playful lime green and blue color palette accompanied by white and black classics, Louis Gabriel Nouchi invites everyone to explore masculinity alongside him, and re-invent athleisure into modern-day workwear.
DAY 3: On The Streets [HIGHSNOBIETY & NEW BALANCE]
Today we begin our journey deep in the heart of the 3rd Arrondissement. Back at Le Marais, we headed into the Highsnobiety Pop-Up. Presenting the fifth edition of the ‘Not In Paris’ collection, they teamed up with Café de Flore, Loulou restaurant, and of course, Adidas, to produce a limited edition ‘Paris’ sneaker.
As you walked in you were greeted by the glowing neon green sign of Highsnobiety and a lovely team of experts ready to help you pick out the perfect accessory. Filled with mirror and screens, it transformed the scene in to a ‘phygital space’. With the Fabricant producing a digital varsity jacket for the event, that you could also purchase in store!
But as you walked deeper you were met with a StockX claw machine which allowed you to win prices such as in-store credits and more. But of course, the real attraction was the wall of Stan Smith Sneakers and the newly released magazine featuring Winnie Harlow.
A few blocks down New Balance was having a party of their own. Hosted at Paperboy café, the view from the outside was reason enough to go in. Purple and green lemonade, vivid knitted jumpers, oversized denim jeans, and off-white sunglasses accessorized the setting as the DJ set the mood. Launching their collab with ‘thisisneverthat’ they re-invented the new balance 550 sneakers in gray, green, and a mauve purple colorway.
And as the sun set down we headed into ‘Silencio de Pres’ to dance the night away alongside StockX and Highsnobiety. High-spirited amanpiano sets were spun by the DJ and spicy vodka lemonades were served, the night was just starting. Star-studded appearances were made by, of course, Winnie Harlow, Denzel Curry, Tyga, Jessie Andrews and many more.
DAY 4: Back to the Runway [OFFICINE GENERALE]
Still in Saint Germain de Pres, the night soon turned into day and the high beats of the previous night transmuted into a breezy tune at Officine Generale.
The theme and title of the collection was ‘Optimal Simplicity’, with the designer expressing a sensibility to silent luxury, which focuses on the longevity and quality of the garment, more than its trendy appeal. He discussed his creative process to be a ‘removal’ of layers and unnecessary details, actualizing a concept we should all embody… Living with the essential.
Fine-tuning a vibrant orange and grape purple palette, alongside the classic gray, deep marine blue, and whites. Atypical to other collections this season, these garments can be shaped and don’t live on a storyline of their own.
Materials such as cotton poplin, merino wool and cashmere were key to enriching the characters that seemed taken out of a classy summer in Montecarlo.
DAY 5: Timeless Death & Rebirth [FENG CHENG WANG & SANKUANZ]
Continuing a nature-type approach to fashion, we head onto Feng Cheng Wang at the Paris Lycée Collège Montaigne, where an empty courtyard surrounded by blooming green trees was being set for soon-arriving guests.
The collection was central to the changing of seasons, but especially the encapsulation of those fleeting moments and memories. Taken back to her childhood years, designer Feng Chen Wang, reminded by her afternoons with her grandma, decided to bring them back to life by imprinting her (grandma’s) favorite plants on suit sets and more. With contrasting gradient-dyed pink, blue, green and black sheer shirts and pants that capture the effect of new experiences and bold memory-lasting effects. The show celebrated starting anew while appreciating one’s roots.
Silk and dragon patterns are two key archetypes of the brand, that once again came to delight the collection. Accompanied by the band Nara Bara, the first few minutes echoed a nostalgic slow song, which soon turned into an upbeat melody – following the transgression of memory reminiscing into memory making.
But perhaps one of the most eye-catching details were the shoes! A collaboration with Nike allowed the designer to adorn the timeless shoe with organza, feathers, and tulle. And the guests did not leave empty-handed, being gifted a ‘Feng Cheng Wang’ labeled paper fan that was then spotted at other shows and in the streets of Paris… Allowing the audience to make memories of their own while surrounded by nature.
Making a complete 180-degree turn, we arrive at Sankuanz, a Chinese owned brand that launched in 2008 and has kept making waves since then. Known for enticing young audience through its vibrant, edgy, and avant-garde pieces, the theme of this collection further advance its disruptive movement.
Titled ‘The Giantess’, it follows the story of a Greek mythological goddess which evokes chaos to destroy all that is no longer serving, and provokes a new beginning. This was depicted through deep red and fiery orange printed dresses and shirts, chained masks, pointy boots (reflective of their dagger archetype), and bulldog imagery. Meanwhile, the other half of the collection presented teddy bear keychains and “Love and Peace” graphic shirts, evoking a stark contrast but progression to them of death and rebirth.
Silk and distressed/worn down denim are the two main features to lookout for in this collection, as they perfect the blend between softness and harshness.
DAY 6: The Finale [LAZOSCHIMDL & C.R.E.O.L.E]
Today we say goodbye to fashion week. However, the day had a spectacular set of event
First up we have the Lazoschimdl show, a brand based in German and Sweden with the sole purpose of exploring the limits of ‘sexy’ while remaining playful and equally Bohemian. This season presented echoed the story of two gay lovers vacation adventures, from enjoying the sun at the beach, to skinny-dipping by moonlight.
Hinting at a colorful 70s summer, the collection featured short shorts, lime green microfiber hoodies, striped swimsuits, and sheer raincoats. Traveling to an idealistic summer dream has never been so possible.
Back at Palais de Tokyo, C.R.E.O.L.E hosted a musically enticing experience that quite literally gave life to the collection. Presentations have been making the scene more often than not, which provide a more immersive storytelling as it allows the designer/creative director to set up a live scene of whatever they desire.
At C.R.E.O.L.E each model wearing the garment, was actually a musical artist and would perform a set of songs with a 15-min break in between that allowed guests to mingle and sip on drinks. The set in itself released major ‘chill-vibes’ as pink and orange led lights created a sunset-like effect and white blocks hosted the models, who in turn were chatting with themselves, posing, or just vibing along to the music.
But just as the sun set, on the 7th arrondissement, right near the seine a cool fashion crew was ready to end one of the most electrifying weeks of the year. MODELD, an app that enables, quite literally, anyone to become a model, closed PFW in the most stylish of ways, an all-white dress code, boat party.
With invitees ranging from magazine editors, models, influencers, stylists and photographers the night was danced away by catchy pop remixes and the sway of the seine.
Paris fashion week can be described by itself, its reputation and allure make it one of the most attractive events of the entire year. However, there was something different about this season. Perhaps it’s the summer heat, the Parisian buzz, or the fact that once again we are truly allowed to reconnect without any limits, leaving any burdens of the past behind. Innovation was at the forefront of every collection, and it seems that the world and fashion (as an effect) are optimistic towards the future… Is a new reality being born? And are we ready to dress for it?
Author: Isabella Maldonado