Photo: Courtesy of Saint Laurent
The January menswear calendars are crowded with standouts and surprises, including the return of Gucci and Saint Laurent to Milan, Martine Rose at Pitti, and Emily (Bode) in Paris.
The season will begin on January 10 at the Florence trade exhibition Pitti and move to Milan three days later. The menswear presentation by Maison Margiela, John Galliano’s first in four years, will wrap up the event on January 22 in Paris. It starts at 8 p.m. and is intended to draw attendees who will be coming on January 23 for the start of couture week and keep menswear editors in town until the very end.
Due in part to the demise of separate in-season menswear calendars in New York and London, where the emphasis on menswear always felt secondary when exhibited with womenswear, Pitti, Milan, and Paris continue to draw important designers from the US and UK. These include the highly regarded US designer Emily Adams Bode, who will hold her first Paris show since the pandemic, as well as Charles Jeffrey Loverboy showing live for the first time in Milan and JW Anderson returning. Martine Rose is also one of these designers, serving as Pitti’s guest designer for the season. Additionally coming back are Rhude, Amiri, Bianca Saunders, and Samuel Ross (who will deliver a presentation for A-Cold-Wall). Additionally, Grace Wales Bonner will debut her live performance in Paris.
However, the two most awaited shows of the season will see the reunion to their respective home countries of the menswear superpowers Italian and French under very different conditions. It will be nearly eight years to the day since then-unknown (and unconfirmed as creative director) Alessandro Michele presented what would be his debut presentation for the brand when Gucci returns to the Milan program with a show at 2pm local time on January 13.
The audience will be as eager to learn who will write the next chapter of Gucci’s story now that the fashion house is once more switching creative leaders. Again in Paris, the same audience will be keeping an eye out for a new designer at Louis Vuitton, which has not yet named Virgil Abloh’s replacement.
Meanwhile, at Saint Laurent, the theme is one of rebirth. Since 2015, at the completion of Hedi Slimane’s second tenure there, the house has not been on the menswear roster. Since then, the brand has either unveiled its menswear in a coed setting or presented it through far-flung “destination” events under both Slimane and his successor Anthony Vaccarello. Menswear has frequently been overshadowed by Vaccarello’s exquisitely crafted interpretation of womenswear, despite the fact that he has shown to be an inspired creative head of this iconic maison. This event, scheduled for 9 p.m. on January 17, appears to be intended to correct that disparity.