It’s day two of 2024, and we’re back at the office, reacquainting ourselves with our Google calendars after 10 days of pretending they don’t exist. Here’s a preview of the fashion happenings we’re looking forward to in the first half of the year.
Our first shot of high fashion will come early. Designer favorites including Greta Lee, Carey Mulligan, Emma Stone, and Margot Robbie are all nominated for acting awards at the Golden Globes on January 7, and that’s just on the women’s side. Among the male nominees are Saltburn’s Barry Keoghan, May December’s Charles Melton, and Willy Wonka himself, Timothee Chalamet, all of whom have shown themselves to be red carpet rulebreakers. We’ll also be watching to see who dresses the up-and-comers Lily Gladstone of Killers of the Flower Moon and Cailee Spaeny of Priscilla, who have distinguished themselves in looks from Valentino and Miu Miu, respectively.
At the menswear shows, all eyes will be on Gucci on January 12, when Sabato De Sarno will put his vision for men on the runway for the first time. What to expect? Back in December, at the annual LACMA Art +Film Gala in Los Angeles, the Italian designer dressed Pedro Pascal and Andrew Garfield in neatly tailored piped-like-pajamas evening suits. Maybe they’ll be in the front row at the Milan curtain raiser alongside Paul Mescal, who’s currently appearing in the brand’s advertising campaigns. Meanwhile at Balmain, Olivier Rousteing is doing a solo men’s show for the first time, after years of showroom appointments and lookbooks.
Then, at the Paris haute couture shows, Simone Rocha will become the sixth designer and only the second woman after Sacai’s Chitose Abe to guest design a Jean Paul Gaultier collection. How will the Irishwoman, known for the dreamy romance and eccentric embellishments of her clothes (lately she’s stuffed the lining of her dresses with both long-stemmed pink roses and hay), interpret the Frenchman’s own unique codes, which are more sartorial and shot through not with feminine wistfulness but humor? She has complete freedom, according to Gaultier: “The whole concept is about trusting a guest designer whose talent I respect,” has told Vogue. “There are no instructions or anything because I figure if it were up to me to work for another house, maybe I’d kind of want direction but it’s better not to have it because you wind up being influenced, whereas your own vision is the whole point.”
As the most responsible fashion week (designers are required to meet a number of green requirements in order to show), Copenhagen is attracting more attention every season. Kicking off the fall 2024 collections, the city’s calendar includes cult local label mfpen’s fashion week debut, Nicklas Skovgaard’s sophomore outing, and an off-schedule show from indie label Solitude Studios.
Marc Jacobs is once again preempting New York Fashion Week, this time with a show on February 2. His ode to Dame Viv was a knockout last year, so we’ve saved the date in our calendars. The official schedule kicks off on February 9, three days before another kickoff: that of Super Bowl 58, where Usher is the halftime entertainment. Fashion-wise, he has a tough act to follow in Rihanna, who famously revealed her baby bump in custom Loewe and Alaia, from a platform suspended a couple dozen feet above the 50 yard line at Super Bowl 57. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t going to try. The R&B legend made some inspired, avant garde choices in 2023, from a Bianca Saunders tux at the Met Gala to Marni polka dots at the Italian label’s first Paris show.
London Fashion Week is celebrating its 40th birthday this year. At its launch season for fall 1984, there were 15 runway shows. Among the designers on the lineup were the late Vivienne Westwood; Ghost, which was founded by Tanya Sarne and Katharine Hamnett that year; and John Galliano, who presented his Central Saint Martins graduate collection Les Incroyables, footage of which will feature in the upcoming Kevin Macdonald-directed biopic High & Low: John Galliano. As ever, it’s the city’s iconoclasts and upstarts that make it the fashion capital it is. Vogue editors are particularly excited about Roisin Pierce, Torishéju, Talia Byre, Aaron Esh, Tolu Coker, Leo Carlton, Kazna Asker, Luke Derrick, Feben (who is showing in Milan at the invitation of Dolce & Gabbana), Paolo Carzana, and Michael Stewart of Standing Ground at the moment.
Speaking of London iconoclasts, Alexander McQueen has a new man at the helm. He is Sean McGirr, who was formerly the head of ready-to-wear at JW Anderson, and has previous experience working with Dries Van Noten and Christophe Lemaire. His Paris runway debut will be closely watched, not only because he is just the second designer to helm the label after the founder himself and Sarah Burton, who worked alongside him for many years before his passing, but also because of the sturm und drang aroused by McGirr’s appointment, as another white man at the top of a luxury fashion brand. The newcomer seems not to be active on social media, which may work to his advantage as his show date approaches and online speculation rises: Keeping your head down and doing the work is a motto the press-shy McQueen and Burton both abided by.
Paris’s other important debut is Chemena Kamali’s first Chloé runway. This is not the German designer’s first go-round at the house; she assisted Phoebe Philo and worked alongside Clare Waight Keller at the brand. “My heart has always been Chloé’s,” she said in an announcement. “It has been since I stepped through its doors more than 20 years ago. Returning feels natural and very personal.”
The Met Gala is set, as usual, for the first Monday in May, and it will precede the opening of the show “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” by several days. As we wait for an announcement of the dress code, here’s a reminder that the Costume Institute’s current exhibition “Women Dressing Women” is fabulously illuminating, not least of all the revelation that greets visitors at the show’s start—that Mariano Fortuny’s famous pleats were in fact the brainchild of his wife Henriette Negrin. Which brings us to the last item of business: the open question of who will take over the vacant positions at Moschino and Givenchy, the former left vacant when the newly appointed creative director Davide Renne died suddenly and the latter when Matthew M. Williams exited? Wouldn’t it be a welcome surprise if those jobs went to women?