At the Fall/Winter 2022-23 Fashion Week, the All-rounder

Desire for balance and control, desire for carefree and letting go. Men's fashion Fall/Winter 2022-23, presented in Paris last week through some 70 shows, has adopted several postures when projecting us at the end of the crisis. Where its Milanese counterpart persevered in the exploration of classic codes, the French edition took multiple paths and expressions, as many post-pandemic reflections. From this balancing act emerges a particularly eclectic set of wardrobes, oscillating between structured tailoring and relaxed pieces.
Louis Vuitton and Kenzo symbols of a new diversity
The symbol of this astonishing diversity is a collection that intends to illustrate it: that of Louis Vuitton. In a memorable show led by a symphony orchestra and dance performances, the ultimate wardrobe of the late Virgil Abloh was unveiled, a retrospective of his Vuitton years where we found both the streetwear of the early years, with baggys, snapbacks and graffiti prints, and the tailoring that had succeeded him in recent seasons. A harmonious dissonance, which found a sound of bell in another show among the most expected of this Fashion Week.

For his first as artistic director at Kenzo, the apostle of streetwear Nigo revived the playful style emblematic of the House, a celebration of universalism with inspirations drawn from the four corners of the world. Suits so British varsity jackets with an American college vibe, tweed with floral prints, and slim-fitting cuts with the widest of fits. There was food and drink, and the cream of US rap and Kanye West were at the buffet. The menu appeared more readable and refined at DiorThe menu appeared more clear and refined at Dior, surely the most accomplished wardrobe of this men's week, with its suits mixed with joggers and mules co-signed by Birkenstock. The splendor of twisted tailoring, or one of the elements of continuity vis-à-vis the last editions.

Tailoring, sex and fun

 Tailoring was always in question during this Fashion Week. Revisiting the formal wardrobe remains topical, and the suit a raw material. It was bulging with epaulets at Louis Vuitton or Hed Mayner, embellished with chest pockets or piping at Egonlab and Lemaire, grafted with contrasting lapels like Jil Sander or a plaid for Sean Suen. A set of twists that questions its meaning and what it implies about male codes. Even if it means breaking them: at Egonlab again, the power suit is worn with skirts, while LV's wedding dresses and Dior's mythical bar suit are revisited for men. At Maison Mihara Yasuhiro, a man wearing a mini-skirt and heels is followed by a woman in an oversized suit. Boundaries are more blurred than ever.

Like tailoring, the genderless remains a strong trend. The two themes feed each other, but the first one also knows how to erase itself. Thus, in parallel to the revisiting of the classic wardrobe, another more straightforward fashion was played out. She used floral and animal prints, geometric patterns, but also textures that are rarer in the men's wardrobe, like sequin and latex. On these pieces with very sixties/seventies influences, the palette is more vitaminized than that of the sartorial style, stripping away the traditional winter color chart. The result of reflections stemming from the pandemic, since it was a question of celebration for Études, Dries van Noten and Courrèges, or of travel for Juun.J or Casablanca, so many Houses that we could find on the privileged support of audacity.

The hood rather than trainers

Exit the sneakers, minority facing the declinations of the leather shoe - although it should be noted the revelation of sacai x Nike Cortez -, the accessory of the season is at the other end of the body. It is the balaclava. Like an extension of the mask that is imposed on us, we are invited to choose it of our own free will - it's definitely OK. And even if it means hooding ourselves, why shouldn't our coats perform this function directly, many Houses ask us. Fabrics are extended into scarves at Y/Project, covering the neck like the collar of a coat Dior. Lace for Jil Sander, XXL fur for Hermès, Victorian knot for Yohji Yamamoto... and even higher, a sum of extravagance.


The LV headwear made its mark with its daring spikes, but perhaps not as much as Rick Owens': inspired by ancient Egypt, they are topped with Philips light bulbs. Quilted leather aviator hats - a very fashionable material this season - at Juun.J, traditional berets for Dior or Black Panther at Rhude, Kolor layered hoods, Peruvian BLUEMARBLE hats and big Casablanca hats... Boldness is definitely nestled at head height. Enough to make us say that the desire to be seen is another constant of this Men's Fall/Winter 2022-2023 fashion. For the rest, after the enthusiasm of diversity, the question remains whether the edition is a playful parenthesis of the era of twisted tailoring, or if it introduces a new, more exuberant one. We're already looking forward to next June to find out more!

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Thomas Goffaux