Fashion Week Preview

Men’s Trends to look out for in the buildup to fashion’s biggest dates

Fashion Week has been a vital component of the fashion calendar for decades. Industry experts and journalists are eager to note the shifts in trends and styles as they hit the catwalk. 

Paris is at the peak of the fulcrum of the attention spectrum. Not only is the French capital still home to the best designers and labels, it also puts on the most iconic shows. And it kicks off a plethora of shows from this January 17th.

Until very recently, most attention has been focused on womenswear. With good reason. It’s where big designers make the biggest impact. To a female audience with a bigger and more diverse net spend.

Traditionally, there is also more room to maneuver in womenswear. While men’s clothes can be boiled down to variations on suits, sports, and holidays, womenswear is a myriad of dress-up and-down themes that are as myriad as flower types.

But all this is changing. Menswear has undergone the kind of radical transformation that used to be the exclusive domain of womenswear. What’s happening?

Part of the shift has to do with perceptions about what menswear actually IS. This is not just a casual/formal change. 

Gender fluid realignments mean that the differences between men’s and women’s wardrobe collections are becoming less defined. This has positively affected how the suit is worn, and by whom. And it’s making menswear at this season’s fashion shows something to look forward to. Big time. 

Here are seven key trends to watch out for going into Paris Fashion Week 2023

1. Dresses – the gender-fluid template has been set by the likes of JW Anderson and —.  It’s not necessarily a fluid look, with Thom Browne‘s grey skirts for a nod to the masculine kilt look. The question is can it work in summer when sarongs and beach towel wraps abound, will one designer make the full splash

2. Less is More – suits have remained untouched, but what has changed is what is worn underneath over the past decade. Nakedness ala Givenchy pre-fall seems something of an anti-fashion statement (or at least a pre-cold snap spurt), but vests and knitted tops add a dressed-down facet to the staple suit’s boxiness. 

3. Tone down AND Up – the gender movement has seen some designers turn down the controversy by providing fluidity in boring colors. It’s fine. But bolder colors – influenced by the OffWhite School of thought and by African diaspora trends – offer a striking take on formal suit etiquette that might make some A/W collections

4. Sustainability – It’s still big news. Increasingly Sus influences the materials. Expect the look of fabrics and patterns to be a big deal this season as technology and confidence grow, with A/W a great platform for wool weaves and tweed patterns and layers.

5. Royal Themes – There has to be something positive in the wake of a very rough ride for the ‘firm’. It’ll probably amount to little more than union jacks and tiaras, but what better platform for posh Britain to fight back than on the runway?

6. Political Commentary – Troubled times create troubled and inspired clothes designers. Moschino is the first place to look for winks at the current world order, but menswear is gaining traction in its facility to speak the language too. And as war and polemic influence our personal outlooks, will someone dare shout from the roof?

7. Men and women Unite – inclusivity has welcomed multiple protected characteristics into the fold. And of course, brands like Burberry and Gucci blend gender in collections. How about some token women on the male catwalk now?

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