Style & Grooming

Fashion Week Was a Season of Firsts: Here’s Everything You Need to Know

With designer debuts, line launches and fashion week firsts, the S/S19 men’s shows have been particularly exciting, if confusing – here is your need-to-know guide

After three weeks and six cities (if we’re counting New York and Marseille), the men’s shows are over. It’s been an exciting season, full of firsts, with brands showing outside of their regular spots, more designer switcheroos, lines launching, relaunching and even showing at fashion week for the first time. It’s also been a tricky season to keep track of, so, to help you pretend you know what’s going on, here is your need-to-know guide to all the ‘firsts’.

Anthony Vaccarello’s first Saint Laurent men’s show

While he has shown a couple of men’s looks at his women’s shows, Anthony Vaccarello had not done a full men’s collection for Saint Laurent since he was appointed creative director in April 2016. Until this month. Staging the show in New York instead of Paris – as a throwback to Yves’ legendary Opium fragrance launch party in 1978 – the designer debuted a collection that represented “the idea of New York, the idea of the icons of New York in the 70s.” What this translated to is some serious Studio 54 vibes and silver body paint like The Idiot-era Iggy Pop.

See the Another Man editors’ highlights from the show here

Fumito Ganryu’s first independent show

Fumito Ganryu is a talented Japanese designer who, up until last year, ran the brand ‘Ganryu’ under the Comme des Garçons umbrella. One of the most underrated labels in the group, Ganryu’s clothes fused American sportswear and Japanese deconstruction to great effect. So the closure of his brand was sad. At Pitti Uomo though, he made his comeback, showing for the first time as an independent designer. Here, he showed us what his vision for 21st century clothing looked like: cool, clever clothes which will hopefully, as Calum Gordon wrote for us, “help ease us out of the irony-laden logomania currently dominating menswear and fashion at large”.

Read our interview with Fumito Ganryu here

Craig Green’s first show outside of London

We love Craig. The whole industry does. And, crucially, so do actual men. (We actually spoke to six, who told us why they like wearing his clothes so much.) This season, Green put on his first show outside of London, at Pitti Uomo, where he was Menswear Guest Designer. Staged in the phenomenally beautiful Boboli Gardens in Florence, the show was on a different scale to the designer’s previous offerings. Inspired by “cleaners, surgeons, and postmen” and the idea of forgotten saviours, his S/S19 man was akin to an angel, resplendent in multi-coloured robes.

Virgil Abloh’s first Louis Vuitton show

Over to Paris, and the ‘firsts’ became more frequent. Off-White designer and former Kanye West creative director showed his first collection as Louis Vuitton’s artistic director of men’s collections – the first black man to be appointed to the position. Abloh enlisted a cast of almost exclusively men of colour to walk in the show – including musicians such as The Internet’s Steve Lacy, Dev Hynes, Kid Cudi, Playboi Carti and Bakar – and showed us what he thinks luxury looks like in 2018. It was an important moment, and not just for the former architect. “You can do it too,” he wrote on Instagram, shortly after the show. An American dream come true.

Read more about the show here

Kim Jones’ first Dior show

Then came Kim Jones’ moment. After leaving Louis Vuitton in January, this was his first show in his new position as artistic director of Dior men’s. Featuring a set created by American artist Kaws and jewellery designed by Ambush’s Yoon (now jewellery designer at Dior), the show was opened by Prince Nikolai of Denmark and represented Jones’ personal interpretation of Monsieur Dior’s legacy. Making use of Dior’s ateliers, the collection brought together the house’s couture approach to fashion and Jones’ own streetwear-led approach to luxury menswear.

Read our interview with Kim Jones here

Alyx’s first-ever show

The Dior show also featured ‘CD’ buckles designed by Jones’ friend Matthew Williams of Alyx. While Williams founded Alyx in 2015, he’s previously showcased his collection via Nick Knight-shot lookbooks – though this has done nothing to stop the brand becoming one of the most popular emerging labels out there. Combining Italian tailoring and a subculture-inspired, street-ready approach, the label has garnered countless fans (and stockists). This season though, he staged a show, saying simply that “It just felt like the right time”.

Read Dazed’s interview with Matthew Williams here

Jacquemus’ first men’s show

In Feburary, Simon-Porte Jacquemus announced that he was launching a men’s line – something that was received with resounding excitement. Yesterday, the day after the close of Paris Men’s Fashion Week, the designer presented this collection – in typically Jacquemus fashion, on a beach in Marseille. Jacquemus revealed that his decision to launch a men’s line came from falling in love, which pushed him to speak to a male audience. Featuring relaxed tailoring and lots of bucket hats, the collection reflected his own personal relationship with fashion – “It’s really important to me to be a menswear designer who wears his own clothes,” he explained.