Paris Fashion Week, June. Everything was going beauteous smoothly—and past the horses started shitting. At the Casablanca show, 4 shiny equines were corralled successful the halfway of the carpeted runway, looking handsome and a small uneasy arsenic guests filtered to their seats. As influencers edged adjacent to the pen to drawback equine selfies—and the horses snapped selfies of their own—the country struck maine arsenic a potent awesome of the heady ambiance that had pervaded the full precocious manner ecosystem that summer, the archetypal since the onset of covid wherever the runway calendar was packed with in-person shows, presentations, and parties. The prevailing contented seemed to beryllium that beauteous covering was nary longer captivating enough—or possibly not adjacent the constituent of runway shows anymore. You needed chill clothes, but you besides needed horses.
“Fashion week” (an imprecise term, but the champion we person for now) hasn’t been the insider-y commercialized matter it erstwhile was ever since the emergence of the supermodel successful the ’90s. And these days, with thousands upon thousands of radical watching dozens of shows successful idiosyncratic and connected their phones, brands person to devise progressively elaborate ways of entertaining them. The assemblage expects much than a clump of models stalking down a catwalk: they expect a performance. This year, brands delivered successful extravagant fashion. Louis Vuitton, for one, erected a colossal dreamworld successful a courtyard of the Louvre to wage a final tribute to Virgil Abloh, implicit with a marching set imported from Tallahassee and a Kendrick Lamar concert. Other flexes were much subtle. Gucci, successful what would beryllium Alessandro Michele’s last amusement for the Milanese powerhouse, formed 68 sets of painstakingly sourced identical twins. Emerging designers got successful connected the amusive successful their ain ways, too, arsenic erstwhile Mowalola returned from a three-year hiatus with a body-baring postulation of X-rated ecclesiastical-wear. The connection was clear: arsenic agelong arsenic manner sits astatine the halfway of fashionable culture, and wealth floods done the ecosystem, the brands are going to enactment accordingly.
On the different hand, 2022 mightiness beryllium remembered arsenic the twelvemonth erstwhile the full endeavor got a small excessively ambitious—when things started going haywire. Like erstwhile the euphony kicked connected astatine Casablanca and the startled horses started pooping each implicit the floor, which astir guests gamely tried to ignore. (The stench, however, was hard not to notice.) It was a reminder, important arsenic ever, that often the champion rewards are recovered by peeling backmost the layers of spectacle and remembering wherefore these shows beryllium successful the archetypal place. Beneath each the ’grammable moments and VVIP beforehand rows and astatine the halfway of the constellation of events and activations that present ellipse the accepted docket is, hopefully, immoderate beauteous and compelling covering that volition pass however you and I dress.
As the menswear shows whip astir the corner—things footwear disconnected astatine Pitti Uomo successful Florence connected January 10!—we’re looking back, with a wide bias toward events this GQ writer was contiguous for, astatine the moments from the men’s shows this twelvemonth that we won’t soon forget.
When it comes to the standard and ambition of his work, the lone idiosyncratic Kim Jones tin outdo is himself. This year, Jones unveiled a buzzy Dior collaboration with ERL successful LA, and ended the twelvemonth with a solemnisation of not 1 but two blockbuster collections successful Cairo, including 1 presented to 800 guests successful beforehand of the freakin’ Pyramids of Giza. The 2nd was a collab with the buzzy and superb Tremaine Emory of Denim Tears. (Supreme x Dior Men’s when?) But Jones acceptable the code for a twelvemonth defined by a quieter signifier of hype with his archetypal Dior outing successful February, wherever the models marched retired successful grey and beige wool-and-leather Birkenstocks, which would spell connected to shriek disconnected retail shelves for $1,100+ a pop, selling retired galore times over. There were plentifulness of exasperating trends successful menswear this year, but you person to extremity your Steven Jones Millinery beret to Jones for ensuring that the astir covetable shoes of the full twelvemonth were gardening mules inspired by a couturier’s greenish thumb
Maryam Nassir Zadeh
February, New York