Highlights From the SS19 Men's Runways

Highlights From the SS19 Men's Runways

A roundup of the SS19 menswear runway moments that are impacting the fabric of global fashion.

A roundup of the SS19 menswear runway moments that are impacting the fabric of global fashion.

Text: Brandon Tan

The menswear collections that made way down the Spring/Summer 2019 runways are among the most provocative to date. Hot off the catwalks, apart from the looks, are the hot topics and trends paving new land on the grounds of menswear for sartorial polemics. Traditional ready-to-wear has taken a seat in the back it seems, as designers venture towards increasingly daring pursuits for the boys. Amidst these designers navigating uncharted territories, we accord merit to Maison Margiela for its respectably quirky grooming, Charles Jeffrey in his boundless willing to play with the gender binary and Virgil Abloh’s emotional pioneering at his inaugural show as chief of menswear at Louis Vuitton.

While the sensational moments studding men’s shows thus far are seemingly countless, we’ve rounded up the highlights from this season’s collections that are most impacting the fabric of global fashion.

A Teetering Binary

CHARLES JEFFERY LOVERBOY

No stranger to turning heads for his designs is Charles Jeffrey of Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY. The Central Saint Martins graduate and nominee for Emerging Menswear Designer of the year in 2017 has secured a name for himself within fashion, while maintaining his club kid roots of which androgyny and non-binary politics are essential. He certainly did not cheat his SS19 collection of that.

LUDOVIC DE SAINT SERNIN

Another relative-newbie to the scene, but rocking fashion’s binary boat proficiently, is Ludovic de Saint Sernin. Starting his label only a year ago after a long stint at Balmain, Saint Sernin’s latest collection is filling a void that most guys don’t even know they need filling: Femme-pride. There is so much fear instilled into male youth for identifying as feminine or even expressing a desire to do so, that it’s typically not even a consideration. That said, this emerging designer is changing that by fully embracing it, designing beautifully subtle, yet undeniably feminine garments and presenting them as menswear.

Radical Grooming

FENDI

Fendi, though a house built upon familiar tradition and heritage, basks in not just an air of freshness and relevance this season, but also in one of innovation thanks to its distinct grooming. While the fellas strut upon the runway in their covetable garments, it was hard not to notice their equally desirable, perfectly imperfect locks. There is no question that the direction for their hair was simple--unfussy with a wet sheen--yet there is a certain je ne sais quoi about the mops on their heads that has left me mesmerized. Whatever it is, I’ll have what they’re having.

MAISON MARGIELA

Margiela to me has become synonymous with “innovation in design.” The house’s show-stopping pieces are emblems of novelty--garments that not only provoke thought, but also beg questioning and curiosity. This season was no different with the impressive threads, but I must admit that the grooming geniously stole the spotlight. Serving vibrant scalp fantasies, Margiela’s avant-garde aesthetic has transcended from the brand’s garments and translated into tresses.

Showstopping Accessories

Kim Jones debuted his first collection for Dior Homme after his departure from Louis Vuitton. With some help on hardware from Matthew Williams of Alyx, Jones made a strong first impression with killer accessories sure to sell out faster than you can say Diorissimo. The collection featured classic silhouettes like the saddle bag, as well as their iconic monogram print, remixed with a modern relevance.

There was much to be excited for leading up to Louis Vuitton’s menswear show, considering it was Virgil Abloh’s premiere show as creative director. That said, we were not expecting intergalactic variations of signature Vuitton accessories. Abloh put his marketing savvy and street smarts in conversation with the house’s legendary reputation in leather goods, generating some of the most controversial accessories of the season.

Industry Buzz

As the first Black American designer to direct a European house of Louis Vuitton’s stature, this menswear show was an extraordinarily formative one for not only Virgil Abloh’s career, but also for the fabric of global fashion. Without speaking for the clothes, the collection itself, in its mere existence proves commendable in its pioneering and supply of hope for designers of color.

Also making headlines in Paris was Simon Porte Jacquemus of namesake label, Jacquemus. For once it seems, attention to his attractiveness has been eclipsed by the launch of his first menswear collection. Sparking controversy, many have come to criticize the collection due to the expectations of femininity falling short. In fact, the collection proved considerably divergent from what we anticipated. Jacquemus showed a hyper masculine show, choosing to highlight the Marseillais--his macho man archetype for Marseille locals.

Lastly, we bid a farewell to Tomas Maier as Creative Director of Bottega Veneta. After helming the major luxury Italian fashion house for 17 years, Maier will be replaced by Daniel Lee who had previously been the director of ready-to-wear at Céline. With all of the receptions of these new creative directors come farewells of their predecessors.

Credits: IMAGES VIA VOGUE

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