Amid the budget-breaking productions and the pomp and circumstance that give Paris Fashion Week its buzz, the clothes are sometimes beside the point. But in the Spring ’23 shows, four of the capital’s stalwarts cut through the noise and delivered the goods: Louis Vuitton, Dior Men, Hermès, and Givenchy. It’s a pleasure to see these mega-brands show their legions of style enthusiasts what they’re made of, and why craft and creativity matter. And watching these shows gave me The Feeling, that powerful twinge of desire — for the perfect leather bomber, the right pair of drapey shorts, or a freaky tailored coat — that drives me to Add to Cart.
Louis Vuitton’s Spring ’23 men’s show was the first without the oversight of Virgil Abloh, the House’s former artistic director of menswear who died tragically last November. But the in-house design team honoured Abloh’s expansive and inclusive vision with a collection inspired by childhood creativity — a thematic throughline between Abloh’s multi-disciplinary obsessions spanning art, architecture, fashion, and design. Standout pieces included tailoring and outerwear rendered in Abloh’s signature eccentric proportions — exaggerated shoulders and a cinched waist created a sharp silhouette. Hand-crotched details, ornate embroidery, and couture-level techniques were very Vuitton flexes. A worthy tribute to Abloh, an unstoppable force who flung open the gilded doors to one of Paris’s most storied ateliers and cracked the industry wide open for the next generation.
If Dior has its way, Spring ’23 is all about hiking couture. Inspired by Christian Dior’s love of gardens, designer Kim Jones married couture-grade techniques with contemporary styles in a gorpcore-fueled collection. Fleeces, double-layer shorts, and backpacks rendered mostly in earthy rose and pale gray were paired with Jones’ signature British-inspired tailoring with military details. With a growing desire to connect with the natural world — and dress for it, too — Jones was right on the money by tapping into that instinct.
Ah, Hermés. There’s no brand quite like it. Sumptuous, ultra-luxurious materials and unparalleled craftsmanship are givens for the Parisian stalwart. But over the past few years, the brand has been quietly building an extremely covetable men’s wardrobe outside their signature leather goods. Think lightweight summer suiting, sumptuous knitwear, the perfect leather bomber and the sort of casual-elegant shorts that would add just the right amount of risk to a summer wedding outfit — ideally in Capri.
There are few designers as plugged into pop culture as Matthew Williams. The Givenchy creative director designs for his friends, who happen to be the most relevant artists and rappers on the planet. Jack Harlow loves the suits; Playboi Carti is something of a House muse. So, what are the cool kids wearing? Hard-edged streetwear that’s been given the luxury treatment; think ‘90s raves meets techno-futurism. Cargo denim pants, enormous tailored shorts, and moth-eaten layers are the MVPs here.