From Raf to Rubchinskiy – these are the shows to keep an eye on this upcoming menswear month
This Friday, the AW17 show season is kicking off with the newly-renamed London Fashion Week Men’s. As the baton gets passed to Pitti, Milan, Paris and New York, the industry’s leading menswear designers will be presenting their new collections to the world and showing us the direction men’s style is headed in. There are going to be hundreds of shows and presentations and so, to make it a bit less overwhelming, we’ve boiled the schedule down to the five most crucial moments; moments that are likely to be the most exciting, Instagrammed and written about. So without any further ado, here’s what to watch out for.
MARTINE ROSE’S EVENT
Martine Rose’s supreme talent for mixing and artfully subverting different subcultural references to create something new has earned her the respect of the whole industry. While she’s not as much of a household name as Raf Simons or Kim Jones just yet, she is undoubtedly one of the most agenda-setting menswear designers working today – currently, as a consultant at Balenciaga with Demna Gvasalia in addition to heading up her own eponymous label. While Rose has chosen to present her last few collections via lookbooks, this season she’s staging an event, the details of which are yet to be revealed. Stay tuned.
GOSHA RUBCHINSKIY’S SHOW IN RUSSIA
Uniquely capable of straddling the worlds of high fashion and hype fashion, Gosha Rubchinskiy’s brand of elevated menswear meets streetwear has a fanbase that stretches from snobs to sneakerheads. Last season saw the designer head to Pitti Uomo in Florence to present his take on vintage European sportswear, but for his next outing he’s returning to the Motherland, his native Russia. The show will be held on January 12 in Kaliningrad, the capital of the province of the same name that sits between Poland and Lithuania. Again, Rubchinskiy is demonstrating his propensity for approaching fashion in his way and on his terms.
Born on Tumblr and inspired by sneaker fetishes, Cottweiler is one of menswear’s most underrated labels – but it doesn’t look like that’s going to be the case for much longer. Predominantly known for their high-concept, high-end tracksuits, Matthew Dainty and Ben Cottrell’s designs represent sportswear in its most elevated, artistically and technically brilliant form. This season, the duo are staging two separate events: one in London and one at Pitti where they’lll be showcasing their highly-anticipated collaboration with Reebok, in addition to taking part in the Woolmark Prize in Paris. Watch this space.
DEMNA’S SECOND BALENCIAGA MEN’S SHOW
If there was one name on everyone’s lips (in fashion, anyway) in 2016, it was Demna Gvasalia. The Vetements head designer and now creative director of Balenciaga presented his inaugural women’s and men’s collections for the house, combining his unique vision with that of its founder, Cristóbal. For his debut men’s show, the designer wanted to propose the male equivalent to haute couture: bespoke tailoring. But it wasn’t tailoring as we know it – Gvasalia subverted the silhouettes, blowing them up like 80s power dressing and shrinking them in like the 60s masculinity of Mr Fish. The result was modern and bursting with attitude – what Gvasalia will do next is anyone’s guess.
RAF SIMONS’ SHOW IN NEW YORK
So Raf Simons has decided to show in the Big Apple this season and, in one fell swoop, has made New York Fashion Week Men’s worth talking about. It’s widely believed that his decision has to do with his job at Calvin Klein, which is based in Manhattan. And this leads us to the designer’s Calvin Klein debut which, despite not being on the AW17 men’s show schedule, is going to be a major moment for menswear. Slated to take place in February (exact date to be announced) as part of New York Fashion Week, the event is probably the most hotly-anticipated show of the 2017. An ardent modernist, Simons has been entrusted with the creative direction of the entire brand and all of its various diffusion labels – it will be extremely exciting to see what he does with the vast resources available to him.